Andrew Little’s message to teachers



As most of you know I regularly receive e-mails from my mate Andrew Little. He sent me a copy of his speech and I thought I would have a look at what he said specifically about education as we have two powerful teacher unions who no doubt would be eager to hear what he had to say. I am sorry to say fellow teachers that the news is all bad. Andrew is not happy with our ” World class ” education system and it looks like it is all charter schools’ fault despite the fact that they have only been around for three years.

Yes, it is all doom and gloom in this speech. Fortunately though Labour can fix it. So what is the answer? I will give you a hint, it’s more money. Money is the answer. Apparently all Labour has to do to “fix” the public system is close charter schools and put that money (which is actually achieving amazing results) back into our Public System that isn’t, ( Andrew’s words not mine.)

People want a good job, a home they can call their own, a good school to send their kids to, and healthcare if they get sick.

…These are the goals most New Zealanders have for themselves and for their families. That’s the Kiwi Dream.

…But right now, too many people feel like those goals are further and further out of reach.

…Parents are paying more for their childrens’ education, but our schools aren’t performing as well.

Our country is facing some big challenges right now.

In the economy, in housing, in health and education.

In all of these areas, things are going in the wrong direction, and the government just isn’t doing enough to set them right.

…Instead of talking about giveaways to the very rich, our government should be providing a public health system that can look after every Kiwi.

We’re seeing the same issues in education.

At the same time as National has poured millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money into privately run charter schools, our public education system is struggling.

In the last year alone, National has cut funding for pupils by $150 each.

And so schools load more costs on to parents in order to fill the gaps.

Ask any parent and they’ll tell you the cost of uniforms, class activities, camps and of course ‘voluntary donations’ just keep on rising.

…No parent wants their child to miss out.

But here’s the thing: while costs are rising, standards are falling.

In 2006, we were ranked 5th in the world for reading.

Now we’re 13th.

We were 7th in science.

Today? 18th.

And in maths? We’ve fallen from 11th to 23rd.

We’ve got to do better.

Education is fundamental to our ability to provide opportunity for the next generation.

We know that education changes lives. It inspires and empowers people.

It is the single best way to lift people out of poverty and deprivation

Because while our economy may be delivering bigger gains than ever for the very wealthy, more and more Kiwis have found themselves struggling.

…That’s the background to John Key and Bill English’s 8th Budget.

That’s the direction their first seven Budgets set us in.

More roadblocks that stop people getting ahead, fewer opportunities for our young people, a struggling health system, an education system in decline.

…And we can see it in a public education system where achievement is falling while more money than ever is pumped into privately run charter schools.

…We will also turn around the decline in health and education.

Under a government that I lead, our health and education systems will be amongst the best in the world.

And the next Labour Government will recommit our country to the principle of high quality, free public education.

We’ll end the government’s practice of pulling money out of public schools to pay for profit focused charter schools, and we’ll put that money to work building great schools for everyone.

We’ll fund schools properly so parents don’t constantly have their hands in their pockets or feel ashamed they can’t afford to contribute.

We’ll restore 100% qualification requirements in ECE so kids get better teachers earlier.

And under Labour, the education system will support you throughout your working life. We’ll never give up on expanding opportunity and giving people the tools they need.

That’s why we are committed to three years’ free post-school education so that Kiwis can train and retrain across their working lives, without having to take on huge debt. That’s how we support our people and its how we tackle the challenge of the future of work.

…We will feed hungry kids in schools

…It’s not economic success when we put more of the cost of education on families even as we tumble down the international rankings.

Right now, the government isn’t focused on these things and people are missing out.

…We can have world-class public services again. Better schools.

– Andrew Little May 22 2016


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  • Wheninrome

    Andrew Little would have us believe he is the Messiah.
    He better check how many true believers there are out there. Another shock will await him.

  • Gazza

    Here’s an idea, maybe its the quality of teachers that is the problem and the fact that you cant get rid of the deadwood! Pay for performance, and like any job, having to meet the expectation of your employer with results…

    • axeman

      Perhaps if they (the teachers) did what the employer asked them to do, instead of carrying on like spoilt kids then we may have got a better result

  • sheppy

    “…We will feed hungry kids in schools”
    Hasn’t that already been done by National? OR are we about to give them all their meals, obviously apart from during holidays when according to the lack of Media Party moaning, they don’t need food

    • KatB

      But surely once Labour get into power there’ll be no poverty and there’ll be no hungry kids to feed?? That part of his speech must have been a typo.

      • sheppy

        I suppose it depends whether they declare that Poverty and Hungry Kids are a crisis or not.
        There will always be Poverty whilst the measure of it is based upon who earns more or less than the Median wage.
        If they were serious about doing something useful they’d start by redefining Poverty as what basics people don’t have, and then tackle those. To be taken seriously it shouldn’t include lack of Sky / foreign holidays / smokes etc.

  • Keeping Stock

    Did he add that you needed to watch the Bryan Bruce “documentary” on education on TV3 tonight?

    • R&BAvenger

      Bryan Bruce political propaganda broadcast, more like.

      • Keeping Stock

        Correct, hence “documentary” being in quotation marks. At least this latest party political broadcast from Bruce isn’t going to air a few days before an election.

  • Miguel

    Perhaps we should stop/slow immigration from the Pacific Islands? It’s not like Indian or Asian migrants are dragging down school performance. The islands hadn’t invented the wheel for crying out loud, and there’s a reason entry criteria for university is lower for PI students, too.

    • jcpry

      Not a lot of need for the wheel when your food source is in the water is there? I am aware of some very bright and successful Pacific Island students and as a group I would say the Pacific Islanders are on the whole aspirational. I do believe the problem is much closer to home.

    • Sailor Sam

      That would be racist though.
      Just ban migration from the UK and South Africa, for who wants more white people here, especially irrelevant white males.

  • axeman

    Yep its the second coming, the good shepherd Andy leading us to the freezing works where we will all get slaughtered, unless we can find a tax haven and foreign trusts. Where are those Panama Papers now??
    Has Andy been to Greece lately to study how successful their economy has worked.
    As my dear old dad use to say, “son you can have anything you want, all you have t o do is pay for it”

  • R&BAvenger

    What was it Claire Trevett said in her column the other day? Something like, the only thing he didn’t promise was to turn water into wine. This seems all about how bad things are and what they would do if in government in very broad strokes, without much detail, including how it’s all going to be paid for.

  • Woody

    It is the same tired old vitriolic rhetoric, all the woes which exist in our world but specifically in education is because …….. rich pricks.
    There have to be more than a few teachers who are very disappointed to find that they are not performing because of themselves. Using Labour’s Rich Prick criteria, most teachers would be Rich Pricks.
    He would gain significant traction if he embraced the success of Charter Schools and came up with a policy on how to implement those successes in the public school sector. Why does he not do this? Oh that’s right, Unions. Unions are a much bigger problem than Rich Pricks.

  • raumatirover

    Our education system is a shambles because we’re not teaching, and reinforcing, the basics. Pupils are being sent off on personal educational voyages of discovery without any clue how to add, subtract, read or write.

  • shykiwibloke

    Here’s an idea – we give each party represented in parliament one million dollars to spend on anything the choose its a view to ‘improving ordinary kiwis lives’ – that phrase so beloved by politicians. In six months we see what each has achieved. My bet would be one or two parties have turned that money into more, and are doing something a little boring, but delivering results, one party will have saved some wildlife or trees and be pushing its significance. At least one party will still be be arguing as to what to do with the money, while the final one will be holding consultative meetings, and used all the money for expenses. You can probably guess which party is which – sadly.

  • nudgy

    Is it any coincidence that our educational standards have fallen since Labour introduced NCEA in 2002?

    • OneTrack

      Not to ignore the modern educational direction that is being taken based on blind ideology. Teachers don’t teach maths, reading and writing like they used to. And now the consequences of that change are starting to show. Add in the latest educational idea (Modern Learning Environments – it sounds so modern, doesn’t it – ask a teacher), and educational results are going to fall through the floor.

  • Annoyed

    Labour gave us a welfare state. Stupid people have been breeding more and not doing their job in teaching their children. Those children are failing because their parents are failing them. This is beginning to show in the stats. This is because of Labour’s welfare state policies, not Nationals (who have unfortunately kept the policies due to political necessity).

  • Whitey

    Captain Y-Fronts needs to provide citations for his claim that National has cut funding for pupils by $150 each in the past year. In 2016 the Ministry of Education’s per pupil funding for state schools actually increased by 1%. Sure it’s not a big increase, but it’s certainly not a decrease.

    He’s absolutely right that we have a problem with educational achievement, particularly in maths, but I don’t understand how pumping more and more money into the same underperforming system is supposed to fix that problem. When you have a system that’s not working you don’t just throw more money at it, you look for better alternatives. Like charter schools.

  • Sailor Sam

    I have grandchildren in Intermediate Schoopl.
    They often come here after school on their way home and do their homework.
    In spelling they learn how to spell big words, but if you ask them what the words actually mean you get a blank stare.
    They “learn” current events on their laptops by means of a quiz set by their teacher.
    Often it is just a party political broadcast for a little party.
    Punching multiple choice answers into a computer passes for “social studies” today.

    • jcpry

      It gets scarier. I’ve heard that in a very short space of time the whiteboard will not exist and all tuition will be via a device. I love technology but this is getting stupid.

      • OneTrack

        The education hierarchy seems to have been taken over by the idea that if an iPad is involved, world hunger will be solved.

        • jcpry

          Much like Facebook believing that by providing the internet to third world countries the same outcome will be achieved.

    • Sailor Sam

      Just to prove the party political broadcast theme, there was a question which had 3 choices for answer:
      1) the leader of the Opposition, Andrew Little.
      2) the co-leader of the Green party, Meteria Turei.
      3) John Key.
      One could say that we all know that John key is the Prime Minister, but why have the other two their job description and not the PM?
      It can only be to make 11 year kids more aware of 1) and 2) and reduce John Key in importance.
      The correct answer was 3) by the way.

  • Jimbob

    Angry has declared it a crisis? If so then hallelujah all will come right!

  • JC

    Just over 100 years ago Hillaire Belloc wrote a book called “The Servile State” in which the government whether Communist or Fascist would collude with the elite/mega rich to make slaves of the rest of the population.

    For their part the slave population would accept it’s status provided the government would pay all or most of the costs of living.

    Now here comes Little Andy to prove the point..

    “People want a good job, (provided by the state) a home they can call their own, (provided by the state) a good school to send their kids to, (provided by the state) and healthcare (provided by the state) if they get sick.”

    Thats why Andy has to get rid of or downgrade Charter Schools because the state education system is the masters’ best propaganda tool to keep the slaves content with their place in life.

    In fact, many of the slaves themselves have a form of Stockholm Syndrome and want to get rid of Charter schools because they threaten and even challenge the state system and the welfare contract between slaves and government.

    You often hear lefties talk about the “social contract” between govt and citizens but really its a master/slave contract.

    Further, you read a day or so ago how Little Andy complained that the wages and salary portion of the economy had reduced under National, ie, there were fewer slaves in the system because they were now working (and thinking) for themselves in small business or contracting.

    Once you get that master/slave idea in your head its amazing how often you find Labour and the Greens comments are about preserving and/or enhancing that relationship.


  • Genevieve

    In the international Pisa statistics which measure achievement for 15 year olds in reading, maths and science, six of the top ten spots are consistently taken by Asian countries. Maybe we need more of those wealthy Asians immigrating here with their hard-working intelligent children, to lift our game on the international stage.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Wow the angry little guy doesn’t pull any punches but it is just shadow boxing where we can all be champions except the opponent laid flat on the mat is him. The only extension to throwing more massive amounts of money at a failed State School system is more free tertiary education.
    Watch out for interest free mortgage finance next.

  • Ross15

    Love the cartoon. So accurate.

  • Sticktotheknitting

    So much is wrong with us according to Captain YFronts. Fancy picking on his support base. Teachers and Labour go together like peaches and cream. Haven’t met a teacher yet who’s not a socialist. Charter schools are the answer Andy go and take a look and take Chippie with you.

    • LovetoTeach

      Again – you’ve never met me or many of my friends. One of the thing I love about this blog and in general the people who comment on here, is that most don’t believe everything ( or anything?!) the MSM tells us OR take the bleating by a few to mean that’s the view of the majority. We’re better than that WOers!

      • Sticktotheknitting

        You may have noticed I am speaking from my own experience. I was a schoolteacher’s wife. Just talking about people I have met.
        I do not take too much notice of the MSM either, so you are right there.

  • Left Right Out

    More money is not the answer…. being more efficient and effective is.

    The more you give the more they want they just move the threshold up. I’ve never met a teacher that has been happy with any govt

    • LovetoTeach

      You’ve never met me….I’m pretty happy with the current government. To be fair, I don’t think I’ve met many people in general who are entirely happy with any government

  • Bryan

    well he probally is saying bugger ! after the Documentary on TV3 tonight which highlighted the failure to teach kids to THINK just expected to give back all the answers the teacher is wanting. “We may have taught the lessons, but have we taught the pupil ” Interesting to see reporter push the whole thing back to the changes David Lange brought in, and how they have resulted in the breakdown of the trust and co operation between schools that our NZ schools were know for.
    Our education system has become such that we are not convinced about anything, and to seek to instill any sense of history and structure into the lives of children,we have adopted a situation ethical basis approach to life and then wonder why we have massive crime rates, child abuse and above all a complete disrespect for any basis in law, and think it is our right, that after a law is passed in Parliament, there has to be a way that it does not apply to us. so simply we are reaping what we have sown