Hipkins says no to money for schools

The Overseas Investment Office has approved an application from an overseas investor to buy 19 hectares of prime New Zealand land outside Arrowtown for $2.7 million and a donation of $100,000 towards iPads for the Decile 10 Wakatipu High School.

Needless to say the Labour Party is hopping mad.

unnamed-1Chris Hipkins says;

“Apparently donating to local schools makes overseas investors eligible to purchase sensitive NZ land. Is this what we’ve come to now, our schools relying on wealthy overseas benefactors to get kids the support they need for their education? Forget becoming tenants in our own land, we currently seem to be striving for an even lesser status…!”

Actually this seems like a great idea. The Kiwi vendor is now $2.7 million richer, the purchaser has what they wanted and a Decile 10 school has some much needed assistance.

Maybe instead of stamping his feet and suggesting it is the government’s responsibility to buy every child an iPad (is that what he is really saying?), this could actually become good practice.

$100,000 is 3.7% of $2.7 million. In March this year the Overseas Investment Office approved approximately $556.4 million in overseas investment. The actual figure will be higher than this because a fair proportion of the values are withheld under the Official Information Act. But let’s just take this very conservative figure then and take 3.7% of it. That is $20.58 million.

Imagine if every investor acted like the one in Arrowtown and invested 3.7% of their purchase in local education to help the application through the OIO. That would be $20-30 million every month going into local schools.

But no! Chris Hipkins thinks this is the government’s fault. Blame John Key, the right-wing hegemony, poor funding and dirty [Singaporean in this case] foreigners.

No wonder Labour is struggling for money when they don’t know how to accept a well-meaning donation.

All they know to do is say “no”.


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  • Left Right Out

    I’m still lost as to what Sensitive Land is…. and why is it only people from overseas seem to buy “sensitive land”

    • Seriously?

      It is the land that you need OIO approval to buy. It includes all range of things, but notably in this case any non-urban land of 5 hectares or more.

      It is nothing to do with it actual sensitivity as such.

      • Left Right Out

        Ahhhh…. I now understand….. to me, the way it is reported it seems like it is very important sensitive land to NZ…..

    • jaundiced

      And if it is ‘sensitive’, paying money to a decile 10 school won’t make the land less sensitive. I’m not particularly comfortable with the idea that unrelated ‘donations’ can grease the palm.

  • Anthony

    19 hectares is hardly a large farm. Its not significant so why should it be “sensitive”?

  • Observer

    Good on the investor, although I have to say I’m sceptical about iPads helping these students learning.

    The OECD’s education director Andreas Schleicher says school technology had raised “too many false hopes”.

    Tom Bennett, the government’s expert on pupil behaviour, said teachers had been “dazzled” by school computers.

    The report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development examines the impact of school technology on international test results, such as the Pisa tests taken in more than 70 countries and tests measuring digital skills.

    It says education systems which have invested heavily in information and communications technology have seen “no noticeable improvement” in Pisa test results for reading, mathematics or science.


    “If you look at the best-performing education systems, such as those in East Asia, they’ve been very cautious about using technology in their classrooms,” said Mr Schleicher.

    “Those students who use tablets and computers very often tend to do worse than those who use them moderately.”

  • Dog Breath

    Labour has perfected the art of biting the hand that could feed it.

  • shykiwibloke

    Labour is not used to working with sums that large. Look at their recent donations history. Tea towels anyone?
    They would prefer to tax this generous individual, and mop up half of the amount funnelling it through a govt department complete with consultants. Direct donations cut out the middle-man.

  • Doc45

    All this really shows is that socialists are so blinded by their prejudices they cannot identify realistic needs. Sticking with their mantra is more important than our kids education.

  • Abjv

    I bet if the well-meaning donation was to Labour they would also have turned it down as tainted chinky-looking money.

  • Catriona

    I vaguely remember Sue Moroney promising every kid an iPad if labour won the last election.

  • Wolfman Jack

    The guy is a twit in my opinion http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=twit
    and should be treated as such

  • Barnacles2

    Oppose oppose oppose. Labour are struggling so much for any air time let alone relevance, that any opportunity to have a say is lept upon without considering the message.

    And what is the message that Hipkins is trying to get across here? That there shouldn’t have been a donation to the school, a donation somewhere else would have been ok then? Or is it that a decile 10 school is ‘rich’, whereas all the decile system controls is the level of funding they receive from the government, and all the ‘rich pricks’ that live there can buy their kids iPads anyway. The politics of envy strike again for Labour.