Green rhetoric versus reality

Greens have yet another Parliamentary inquiry under way, this one into selected special needs education. ODT reports: Limited scope of special needs inquiry criticised.

The inquiry, announced earlier this month, will focus on improving the learning experience of children with dyslexia, dyspraxia and autism spectrum disorders.

Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said, ”So many students are missing out on education because their learning differences are not identified early enough and help is not made available. We want to change the system so every child has a fair go.”

However Raewyn Alexander, principal of Dunedin special needs school Sara Cohen, said she did not understand why other ”challenges” such as Down syndrome and cerebral palsy were not included in the inquiry.

”If they want a fair go for every child, why have they only focused on those three specific challenges? If they want a fair go for every child, then they should be asking for an inquiry for all kids with needs, not just those three aspects of special needs.”

Alexander points out a basic problem with the Green approach. Selecting three disorders only for their inquiry is odd anyway, but it’s at odds with their “We want to change the system so every child has a fair go” rheotric.

Dunedin Green Party MP and co-leader Metiria Turei said the inquiry needed to be ”fairly clear in its scope” and restricting the investigation to three disorders would keep the focus on understanding what was lacking and what further resources needed to be provided so every child in New Zealand had a ”fair go” at school.

Turei re-emphasises the contradiction. It’s typical Green marketing practice to package things into soundbites of three, in this case choosing just three disorders to investigate. But that clashes with a general Green theme of giving every child a “fair go”.

”We want to hear from families and schools about what they need and what is clearly lacking, we want to hear about all those experiences so we can get a handle on the scale of the problem,” she said.

Except they only want to get a handle on only some experiences, ignoring the overall scale of any problem.

Ms Turei had been invited to Sara Cohen school events on numerous occasions, Mrs Alexander said, and had failed to ever respond.

”We find that pretty disappointing because of her party and also because she is a local,” Mrs Alexander said.

Ouch. Do Greens only want to hear from families and schools who fit the scope of their packaged inquiries?

Turei is a Dunedin based MP although stands in Dunedin North and Sara Cohen School is in Caversham which is in Dunedin South.

Maybe Greens should have an inquiry into why their rhetoric doesn’t seem to match reality.

Leave a comment


  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  31st August 2015

    The Green’s mouth is mightier than its hands. Time was when the reverse was true and its people lived what they preached but it has been taken over by pretentious posturers.

  2. jaspa

     /  31st August 2015

    Well, I don’t think the distance between Dunedin North and Caversham really cuts it as an excuse! Wouldn’t she have to pass through Caversham to get to the airport every week? It beggars belief really, that she should not have ever visited this school anyway.

    Alan is right, pretentious posturers.

  3. David

     /  31st August 2015

    The sooner they adios Turei from the list the better, I know I probably shouldn’t say it but her constant bleating about kids in poverty while wearing exceptionally expensive outfits just kinda doesn’t sit well with me. She is yesterdays news and getting quite tiresome so the sooner Julie Ann Genter replaces her the better (at least she rides a bike everywhere)for the Greens.

    • kittycatkin

       /  1st September 2015

      I agree-I do find that her obviously expensive look isn’t consistent with whinging about poverty, She is tiresome, and so is her Benny Hill clone sidekick.

      • kittycatkin

         /  1st September 2015

        I also find her remarks about mouldy houses (she never offers solutions like opening windows or cleaning with bleach or vinegar) annoying. We haven’t been told if the woman whose state house was mouldy has deigned to take another house-she has been offered several, but as they were in the wrong place, she refused. One lost a lot of sympathy for her when this came out.

        Where was Meteria with a box of mould-killers, washing powder for the curtains (which seem to be kept closed even in the day) and instructions on how to open doors and windows ? There are a few new rental (believed to be HNZ) houses in our street, and while they look quite neat and respectable, I noticed that one or two have the windows and curtains closed all the time-they’re built on reclaimed swamp that no local would live on,no matter how nice the house, so the damp must be terrible this winter with all the rain we’ve had, especially if they’re hermetically sealed.

        I was astonished to read that we should not judge ‘poor’ parents who send their children to school with a packet of biscuits and expect the children to be fed at school. This is their way of showing their love for their children. My mother didn’t love me very much, we had things like cheese or egg sandwiches and fruit for lunch, never a packet of biscuits.The stupid thing was that even cheap biscuits cost more than sandwiches.

  4. The greens have a the old Anglican preacher railing against the vices of the world, who then goes on visits and drinks too much sherry……. the word and the deed are not aligned and EVERYONE knows it but is too polite to say anything, except the old reprobate Jed at the corner of the bar who calls a spade a spade….

    As for Meteria. She insists we have poverty in NZ and that it has a cohort of 45,000 children in its grasp….. But anyone, who has ever been anywhere knows that apart from a very self inflict places in NZ there is no poverty. We have a welfare net tight enough to land sprats and generous enough to support families in need.

    The whole inequality equals poverty meme is a crock of nightsoil. We all know it. it just plays well with the extreme left and the inner city females ashamed their husbands make big dollars in the professions….

    When Meteria leaves the house NZ will be a better place, though I suspect she will hang on for dear life as the Salary, perks and public profile are too much for her to give up….

  5. I don’t travel much with the Green’s but I do respect this inquiry. There are many many kids who struggle with reading disabilities, they can comprehend well enough but can’t decode texts without a struggle. They are called dyslexic but the govt doesn’t recognise the issue or resource schools to deal with it. If the Greens can highlight this then I think it’s job well done.

    • kittycatkin

       /  1st September 2015

      There is a massive amount being done,and the government most certainly recognises the issue. There are special teacher-aides who are there for these children. I taught in a special needs unit, and this was one of the main things done there. This statement is made from ignorance. My mother was involved at the national level in this field in the 1970s, so how anyone can say that it’s not recognised is beyond me. The Greens are broadcating stale news. The fact is that for some people, no amount of teaching will make them able to do some things.


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