Andrew Little versus kaupapa Maori

Andrew Little stirred up Maori politics yesterday with comments on RNZ that slammed the Maori Party. There was a significant reaction via media and on Twitter.

RNZ: Māori Party ‘not kaupapa Māori’ – Andrew Little

Labour leader Andrew Little claims the Māori Party is not kaupapa Māori after hitching its wagon to National, as a new deal between the Māori parties is signed.

Speaking to Morning Report today, Mr Little said the Māori Party hitched its wagon to National, but nothing had changed in terms of Māori over-representation in prisons and unemployment – so it had no influence over National.

He said they had conceded on every important issue.

“In the end, what it comes down to is – how do Māori have the strongest voice? Not just in Parliament, but in government. At the moment it comes through the Māori Party, which is two MPs tacked on to a National Party that doesn’t need to listen to them on anything if it doesn’t wish to. It’s all grace and favour stuff.”

He said Mana’s Hone Harawira was all over the show, and in and out of different waka all the time.

That’s a bit ironic. Harawira responded on RNZ:

Mr Harawira said the Labour leader’s comments about his deal with the Māori Party were inappropriate and quite nasty.

He told Morning Report he found it quite astounding how arrogant Labour leaders could be when talking about what Māori needed.

“I think what Māori really need is to not have white guys like Andrew Little telling us what to do, and what our aspirations should be. Mana has always been clearly its own independent organisation.”

A Maori Party founder and ex leader Pita Sharples later also responded – RNZ Labour leader ‘should be ashamed’- Sir Pita:

Sir Pita  said the Māori Party’s focus was solely a Māori one, and said he was “totally insulted” by Mr Little’s comments.

“It’s that kind of using made-up phrases like that to denigrate the authenticity of Māori that really does the damage in race relations. He should be ashamed of himself.”

Sir Pita co-led the Māori Party from 2004 through to 2013, and said he was baffled by Mr Little’s claims.

“We champion and build kura kaupapa Māori schools highschools, wharekura run reo Māori language programmes and work by hui in marae and always have mihimihi, (greetings) so I don’t know what he’s talking about.”

More from Stuff:  Political attacks are in full swing as Labour and the Maori Party go head-to-head for the Maori seats

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox says…

“He is the worst example of someone who understands Maori and relationship agreements and how to work with other parties for that matter.”

She said the party is divided over Little’s decision to bring high-profile broadcaster Willie Jackson into the party and he’s been dishonest about whether Tamaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare was asked to stand aside in his electorate.

“What’s obvious is there’s disquiet amongst the Maori MPs,” says Fox.

Little:

Little went on to say the Maori MPs in Labour were “fearful” of a high spot on the party list because “they don’t want to give the impression they’re being held up by belts and braces”.

He said Labour’s Maori MPs were advocating for low-list places – it’s widely speculated Jackson, who is running on the list, will receive a high placing.

Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis, who will have a fight against Mana leader Hone Harawira for the seat after an agreement between Mana and the Maori Party to give Harawira a clear run, said Little was right and it was about getting more Maori in Parliament.

He said sitting Maori MPs were prepared to sacrifice a high list place in order to get more MPs, such as former TV presenter Tamati Coffey and Northland candidate Willow-Jean Prime, in to Parliament.

“It’s the risk we’re prepared to take,’ he said.

Unless Labour improves it’s support then list placings will be of little use. Winning an electorate is all important for Labour MPs.

It’s not just politicians who have piled into Little for his comments.


Sparrowhawk/KāreareaAndrew Little and the Māori lightbulb moment

It was a great question from Morning Report’s Susie Ferguson to the leader of the Labour Party, Andrew Little.

Ok…the Labour vote is high in those Māori seats, but isn’t there a hunger from the voters in those seats for an electorate MP who is from a kaupapa Māori party?

It was a great question for two reasons (in my mind)..firstly, the fact that Susie knew what a kaupapa Māori party was, and was comfortable with the nomenclature. Props. Secondly, the answer to that question showed Little lacks a useful understanding of Māori thinking. It was a kind of lightbulb moment in reverse: he showed us he had no idea where the switch is, let alone the bulb, that could illuminate Māori politics for any of us.

[Little] Well, the Māori Party is not kaupapa Māori. We know that, it has conceded on every important issue affecting Māori in the last nine years.

[Ferguson]: They would probably take issue with that!

[Little] Well in the end, what it comes down to is: how do Māori have the strongest voice, not just in Parliament but in government. At the moment it comes through the Māori Party which is two MPs tacked on to the National Party that doesn’t need to listen to them on anything if it doesn’t wish to.

Oh boy. we have the Leader of the Opposition telling us what is and isn’t kaupapa Māori. I don’t really mind any Pākehā person voicing an opinion about things Māori. So the fact that Little is Pākehā doesn’t gall me. What galls me is that he has pronounced grandly upon something he doesn’t understand. As can be seen above he has given us a definition of kaupapa Māori.

Extrapolating from his words above we now know that a political party can only be kaupapa Māori if it wins battles in Parliament on every important issue affecting Māori.

And then he seems to contradict his own statement by saying the Māori Party provides the strongest Māori voice in Parliament (albeit from the beat up Vauxhall being towed behind the big blue bus).

Way to build up your own Māori MPs, Andrew, by conceding they don’t have the strongest voice already.

I’ll leave it to others to defend the Māori Party’s own record. That is not my focus; my focus is instead Little’s apparent ignorance of Māori and Māori modes of thought and action.

So what do we now know of kaupapa Māori in the wake of the Little interview?

  1. No Māori affiliated with the National Party can ever claim to come from a base of Kaupapa Māori
  2. Kaupapa Māori can only ever be measured in terms of policy victories
  3. Kaupapa Māori can only ever be measured in the strength of the loudest voice proclaiming it.
  4. Kaupapa Māori can only be exercised in regards to issues directly affecting Māori.

On this definition, neither the Māori Party nor the Mana Party nor Sir Āpirana Ngata could ever be accused of employing kaupapa Māori.

Little has provided a handy rallying cry for those who would seek to undermine the Labour Māori vote. I am sure his own Māori candidates, MPS and membership will not thank him for disparaging the Māori Party in this way when they find themselves having to defend a leader who has commandeered the Māori language and insulted Māori politicians and voters in such a cavalier way.


Little seems to be struggling with dealing with Maori issues, as well as going on the attack in trying to protect Labour’s Maori seats.

He has indicated he has no interest in talking to the Maori Party about coalition arrangements.

Waitangi Day ‘cringe’

Bill English has not surprisingly provoked some comment when he rsaid “A lot of New Zealanders cringe a bit on Waitangi Day …”, but Waitangi Day ‘cringe’ comes from lack of understanding, Maori Party says

English has attracted controversy while defending his decision to skip Waitangi commemorations due to a lack of speaking rights, saying protests at Waitangi had been “nationally relevant” 15 to 20 years ago but were not anymore.

“Political discussion at Te Tii Marae is now really about Ngapuhi issues and their own concerns in Northland, but it’s a national day, a day for New Zealanders to be proud of their whole country.”

“A lot of New Zealanders cringe a bit on Waitangi Day when they see the way that the ceremonies are being conducted, the ceremonies and welcomes, the type of protest there has been in recent years, and I’m pretty keen that we have a day when they’re proud.”

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox…

…said English’s comments were “unfortunate” and did not match up with her perspective of the day’s importance.

“A lot of New Zealanders may feel that way, but that comes from a lack of understanding, a lack of education, and a lack of acceptance of the place of Maori in this country, so when that changes, we’ll all have a greater, united Aotearoa.”

Fox said she would have liked English to attend Waitangi commemorations, but his decision would not affect her plans to go.

“We are not the Maori arm of the National Party – we are going to attend as the Maori Party, and I will be taking my place in the powhiri, and I’m pretty sure nobody’s given me an opportunity to have a stage to speak, and I’m not concerned about that.”

Waitangi and Te Tii Marae were “surrounded in Maori protocol”, and it was up to marae leaders to decide whether someone could speak.

There are a number of protocols that I participate in at Parliament that I think are antiquated and should move on – those are my opinions. It is for Maori and the people of Te Tii, the people of Waitangi to decide how the programme should run – it’s their place.”

Fair enough, to an extent, about “Maori protocol” in a Maori forum, but if Waitangi Day is to ever become widely seen and felt to be a national day of significance then the commemorations need to involve and include both partners to the treaty, not just Maori.

Last day in Parliament

MPs had their last day in Parliament for the year today. There were a few shots fired across the house between the larger parties, but the Maori Party duet took a more entertaining approach.

The fun starts at 3:00

 

Bill English NOT on Q & A

Bill English, our Prime Minister next week, will be interviewed and analysed On Q+A today:

New Zealand will have a new Prime Minister on Monday. We’ll have in-depth interviews and analysis on what a Bill English led Government will do and how the landscape for next year’s election has changed.

englishqaa

Panel: Dr Raymond Miller, Marama Fox, Michelle Boag and Matt McCarten

Boag is an English fan so may give us more gushing than insight.

It will be interesting to hear what Fox (Maori party has to say, and also McCarten given that he is organising Labour’s election campaign in Auckland.

UPDATE: Some false advertising by Q & A – English pulled out but they haven’t updated their advertising on Facebook.

Steven Joyce stood in for a brief interview.


McCarten starts the panel by saying that we now have ‘an even contest’. That’s between National and Labour+Greens+?

Fox says the Maori Party is optimistic, English has been will yo work with them and Bennett is part Maori.

David Seymour is next up for an interview. He is pretty much campaigning for ACT.

Next up is Andrew Little – and he is in campaign mode as well, same old recitals.

James Shaw addresses the issues of the day more, saying English+Joyce won’t change much, but then goes to standard dissing, saying National have been grey and doing a minimum that they could get away with doing.

 

Organ donor law success for first term MP

The Member’s Bill put forward by rookie National list MP Chris Bishop, providing for financial assistance for organ donors, has passed into law. This is part due to the luck of the draw but it is also a success for the hard working Bishop.

First term MPs have quite varying profiles.

Many seem to disappear into Parliament, hardly to be heard of again. Some of them bail out without standing again, like ex-Palmerston North mayor and National list MP Jono Naylor who announced recently he was opting out.

Some make an early impact and fade. This has happened to Labour’s David Clark, who had an inherited Member’s Bill drawn just after he was elected and got some attention, media rated him as someone to watch, he raced up the Labour pecking order, but seems to have slipped into obscurity outside his electorate city Dunedin and making a racket in the House.

David Seymour has managed to attract a bit of attention in his first term. He had a daunting task establishing himself in his Epsom electorate and trying to resurrect the Act Party in Parliament.

James Shaw came into Parliament at 13 on their list in 2014 but jumped the queue to become co-leader after Russel Norman resigned.

Another Green MP, Marama Davidson replaced Norman as next on the list last year and has had some success in establishing a profile.

Maori Party list MP Marama Fox has done a good job and has been rated as a success. Maori MPs in particular seem to have public profile problems as they tend to work quietly with their constituents – see the Parakura method and Insight into Māori politics.

Old school parties tended to frown on new MPs trying to make a name for themselves.

Sir Keith Holyoake, New Zealand Prime Minister from 1960 to 1972, famously counselled first-term Members of Parliament to ‘breathe through their noses’, suggesting that it was in their best interests to keep their heads down and mouths shut.

Perhaps this recommendation is instrumental in the low profile of first-term MPs in New Zealand and the subsequent dearth of information available about these individuals.

http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/xmlui/handle/10063/1522

But Bishop has done more than breathe through his nose, showing that something can be achieved by new MPs.

New law gives financial assistance to organ donors

Parliament has passed legislation to give financial assistance to organ donors while they recover.

The members’ bill, in the name of the National MP Chris Bishop, provides 100 percent of the donor’s earnings for up to 12 weeks after the operation plus childcare assistance for those who need it while they recover.

This is a very good achievement for Bishop, and unlike many Member’s bills it will be very beneficial. It not only financially supports those who donate organs, it should encourage more to donate.

Bishop also did very well in his first election in 2014, pushing incumbent  Trevor Mallard in Hutt South hard and giving him a scare ending up with 16,127 votes to Mallard’s 16,836.

Mallard has opted out of standing again in an electorate, hoping to get in on Labour’s list (on current polling that is far from guaranteed) and hoping Labour wins so they give him the job of  Speaker.

Bishop has also been working hard in the electorate so has a good chance of establishing himself as an electorate MP.

He is a hybrid MP, having worked for a public company (Philip Morris) and has also worked as a staffer for Steven Joyce.

Bishop hasn’t heeded the ‘breath through the nose’ advice, but Holyoake was from a very different era (he was Prime Minister from 1660-1972 and died in 1983) and Bishop is a new breed of MP.

Greens versus Donald Trump

In Parliament today on behalf of the Prime Minister Steven Joyce moved a motion in support of the election of the President of the United States.

Hon STEVEN JOYCE: I move, That the House convey its congratulations to President-elect Donald Trump on his election as the next President of the United States, and to Vice-President-elect Mike Pence on his election, and in doing so express our desire to work with the incoming Trump Administration to continue building on New Zealand’s already strong relationship with the United States.

New Zealand will seek to build on this already-strong relationship with the incoming Trump Administration in order to advance our shared interests. In closing, I would also like to pay tribute to the outgoing administration led by President Barack Obama. President Obama has been a good friend to New Zealand, and we wish him all the best in the future.

Hon ANNETTE KING (Deputy Leader—Labour): The Labour Party congratulates Donald Trump on becoming the 45th President of the United States. I also want to congratulate Hillary Clinton, who achieved much in her public life, and who has been a good friend to New Zealand. There is no doubt, over the year-long divisive presidential campaign, that many Americans have been left fearful and concerned as to where they fit in their county. I call on Mr Trump to follow through on his words and pledge last night that it is now time for America to bind the wounds of division, and that he will be the President for all Americans.

Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First): A week ago today I was honoured to speak in winegrowing territory in Marlborough, to its chamber of commerce. In a speech entitled “The grapes of wrath”, I predicted what so many experts did not…[lengthy speech along the lines of how what Trump has done should be called ‘doing a Winston’]

MARAMA FOX (Co-Leader—Māori Party): I had three words in mind and they were not those ones. I think they were pot, kettle, and black. Ha! We are here today to offer congratulations to the President-Elect, Donald Trump. Although I find it a little bit difficult, there was a collective sigh this morning and a girding of the loins for the next 4 years across the world. I am a pragmatist at heart. I like to see the silver lining around the clouds.

DAVID SEYMOUR (Leader—ACT): On behalf of the ACT Party, I would like to join with other leaders who have supported the motion congratulating the 45th President-Elect of the United States, Donald Trump. That happens in the context of a long friendship between our two countries and our two peoples. I think it is important that we respect the will of the American people.

In contrast Metiria Turei took a different approach:

METIRIA TUREI (Co-Leader—Green): “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” These are the words of one of the truly great Americans, Martin Luther King Jr.

Yesterday’s result in the US elections has left me and the Green Party even more determined than ever to fight for the values that we believe in. We have generations of families living in poverty; people who face uncertain futures, without proper housing or healthcare or education; and people who do not believe that being involved can make a difference. That is something that we can—that we must—change.

We must use the Trump election as a powerful motivator, a motivator to stay involved in the governance of our country, and to include others in that process; to organise; to be strong; to listen to each other; to speak truth to power; to find hope; and to be kind to each other—to be kind.

So, no, I will not support this motion to congratulate Trump, and neither will the Green Party. We vow to fight the climate change denial, the misogyny, and the racism represented by Trump. We will not let hate triumph. Thank you.


Full transcript: https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/combined/HansDeb_20161110_20161110_08

The motion congratulating Donald Trump passed by 106 votes to 14 (the Green MPs).

The Greens are in to making stands based on their principles, and they can say what they like about the incoming president, and snub him if they choose.

But there is a well established democratic principle that even when you disagree with or don’t like political candidates if they are elected by their people then others need to accept this process and attempt at least to engage with and work with whoever leads other countries.

Perhaps this reflects the Greens’ lack of experience in that practicalities of governing situations.

You could shun half the country and half the world on principles, but to successfully govern the reality is you have to be prepared to accept whoever represents other countries and work with them.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama accepted that Trump had won the right to govern and Obama pledged to work with Trump to make his transition to power as seamless as possible, as he should.

If Greens became part of a government I wonder who it would work. They seem to not want to associate with many leaders and countries, including some of our biggest trading partners.

Maori party v. NZ First

The Maori Party and NZ First have been having a bit of a barney today.

It seems to have started with a chance clash between Marama Fox and a startled Richard Prosser this morning.

Newshub (includes video): Marama Fox attacks NZ First MP over Treaty let-down

Hundreds of Māori from around the country have cancelled trips to Wellington to witness the signing of Treaty settlements at Parliament on Friday.

New Zealand First has pulled its support for the settlements and that move led to a tearful and angry Māori Party co-leader confronting one of its MPs during a chance encounter in Newshub’s Parliament office.

“We’ve had tears on our phone. They’ve waited 30 years to bring this to Parliament. They’ve been dicked around enough and you buggers on a whim, on a bloody whim – you don’t even care,” she said as a Newshub camera filmed.

Te Ururoa Flavell let rip in General Debate in Parliament:

Ron Mark responded

(Thanks for the links PK)

Newshub: Taxpayers to cover travelling iwi after cancelled signing

Taxpayers will cover costs for hundreds of iwi members who have had to cancel plans to travel to Wellington to witness Treaty settlements.

The signing was put on hold after an objection from New Zealand First.

But what’s not perfect timing is Parliament extending its sitting hours to include this Friday, in order to sign off Treaty Settlements totalling almost a quarter of a billion dollars.

It’s business the Government says is being held to ransom by New Zealand First.

“It’s a stunt, it’s got the guy in the headlines. He’s out there again, using words like constitutional outrage etcetera,” complained Minister Gerry Brownlee.

Mr Peters argues the Bills contain errors, including specific wording.

“The provisions for appointed non-voted people on the committees is back in the legislation,” he says.

“There’s never really been a correlation between the word ‘merit’ and Winston Peters,” says Minister Chris Finlayson. “No, he’s just got things completely wrong.”

NZ First knows the Government has the numbers to pass the settlements – but that’s not stopping Mr Peters from holding up a stop sign.

“Foot the bill, Winston,” says Green Party’s Marama Fox.

“This is nothing more than a stunt, and you can pull out any little thing you can find to try and validate your stance – but this is a stunt, and nothing more.”

The Treaty Settlement Bills will remain on the order paper, essentially going back into the line, and with the Government’s legislative schedule full for the rest of the year, these five iwi will be waiting for some time.

Nick Smith blamed for Kermadec cock up

It’s not surprising to see Environment Minister Nick Smith being blamed for the mess over the lack of consultation with Maori over the proposed Kermadec sanctuary. This week the Government was forced to put plans on hold while they try to repair the damage.

This is a shame because there is wide approval for the sanctuary, including across most parties in Parliament.

But rights are rights and should have been dealt with before announcing the sanctuary.

Newshub: Maori blame Smith for Kermadec stalemate

Environment Minister Nick Smith has handled the proposed Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary poorly and would deprive Maori of future fishing rights, says the Te Ohu Kaimoana trust which has caught the Government with a Treaty of Waitangi fishhook.

The trust says the sanctuary cuts across the Treaty’s 1992 fisheries settlement, which transferred 10 percent of the New Zealand fishing quota to Maori.

Chief executive Dion Tuuta says Dr Smith has handled the whole process poorly with a lack of consultation.

On a matter of principle the Kermadec proposal was worse than the foreshore and seabed scrap of the early 2000s, which was about right to go to court to test ownership rights, he told The Nation on Saturday.

“This is actually taking away a property right that actually exists.We haven’t fished there but our Treaty right also includes the right to develop into the future. So the decision about whether we fish there today, tomorrow or a hundred years from now, that’s is our decision.”

The Maori Party is working with National to try and repair the damage. It’s in everyone’s interests that this is done.

The Government had overridden Maori interests without any consultation – and if it could do that to the fisheries settlement it could to it to any Treaty settlement, party co-leader Marama Fox told the programme.

With the Kermadec sanctuary they had been offered the chance to gift more rights back to the Government.

“The Government have simply not learnt through the bad example of the Labour government,” Mrs Fox said.

National has done well with treaty settlements but they have dropped the ball badly here, and Nick Smith must cop much of the flak for that, although John Key should have known better than try to push the sanctuary through without due diligence.

This was covered on The Nation this morning:

Lisa Owen talks to Te Ohu Kaimoana chief executive Dion Tuuta and Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox about the impasse over the Kermadec ocean sanctuary, and what happens next.

What next for the Kermadec sanctuary?

It will be on again at 10:00 am Sunday.

Waatea 5th Estate wrap up

I’ve had a chance to liksten to the final Waatea 5th estate of the year, possibly the final show altogether unless they receive NZ On Air funding for next year’s election campaigning.

In Martyn Bradbury’s introduction he said “where we wrap the most important news events with the best political panel on television. Joining us tonight to wrap the political year for our final show of 2016…”

He named a heap of people on the social media panel, saying “follow them tonight for the last time using the hashtag #waatea5thestate”. That sounds more final.

On the panel were deputy mayor of Auckland, Penny Hulse, union secretary Mike Treen, Marama Fox (Maori Party) and Grant Robertson (Labour).

The first issue discussed was housing and associated with that, welfare. The Government deserves a fair bit of criticism on housing but this was just about as over the top as you could get. It was a bashing.

The most notable comment was from Penny Hulse, saying that the Auckland council had given the Government the tools they needed via the Unitary Plan so the Government should just build houses now. The Unitary Plan took 6 years (although the building consents and land availability go back much longer) – has it even taken effect yet? To join in the Government bashing without a glimmer of taking any responsibility was a bit rich from Hulse.

Bradbury: “The second issue of the year was spin. Never before has information been so manipulated.” Pot (albeit a small one) calling a large kettle black.

He reeled of a number of justified and stupid gripes, one of the worst manipulation of information being “forty one thousand homeless people aren’t really homeless” – that was a dig at a supposed  claim from the Government but it depends on how ‘homeless’ is defined. University of Otago researcher suggests the actual number of what most people would view as homeless is about 10% of that:

If the homeless population were a hundred people, 70 are staying with extended family or friends in severely crowded houses, 20 are in a motel, boarding house or camping ground, and 10 are living on the street, in cars, or in other improvised dwellings.

http://www.otago.ac.nz/news/news/otago613529.html

Also “and the three hundred thousand kids in poverty aren’t really in poverty” is an ongoing spin, depending on what ‘poverty’ is defined as.

It was another Government bashing and Grant Robertson joined in but got a return serve from Marama Fox.

Bradbury: Marama what was your favourite political spin of the year?

Marama: Look ah actually Bomber you know what I’ve found as a newbie to politics is that these guys, Grant I love you, you know I do, but you guys are just as good at spin as the blue ones are as good at spin.

You guys spin this stuff out of control all the time to get some political leverage over each other. I am absolutely sick of the spin. Can we just tell the truth.

You know everybody moans about “oh you’re at the table blah blah blah, what has that got for you. Well I’ll tell you what it got for us because we’re at the table. Paula Bennett now spends $41 million on emergency housing….because we’re at the table. She is now implementing the Utah model that I gave her.

Bradbury spluttered a bit over that, then said “um, imagine all of the things you’re going to be able to do ah Marama if you’re at a Labour Party government next year, you’ll be able to do a hell of a lot more”.

Andrew Little has attacked the Maori Party recently and Labour want to obliterate them from Parliament.

Then, ironically, the third issue of the year was “the appalling state of journalism and the rise of click bait bullshittery”.

Bradbury then said “how can you get progressive visions out to the public when most of our media sound like Fox News?” Slater thinks the ‘media party’ bats for the other side. Perhaps it’s mostly somewhere in between these two extremists.

Bradbury: “I mean if you look at the coverage of the Unitary Plan it was literally the end of Western civilisation as we understood it, cats and dogs would start living together, planes would fall from the sky. None of that has occurred”.  None of that was hinted at or implied let alone claimed literally.

Hulse: “The Unitary Plan was landed despite the New Zealand Herald. The exciting thing for me is the rise of things like The Spinoff, then work that Gen Zero’s doing, the intelligent commentators who are now taking over that vacuum that’s been left by vacuous reporting”. She didn’t rate Bradbury or The Daily Blog as either intelligent or vacuous.

Bradbury: “Marama do you sometimes just want to slap Paddy Gower?”

Predictions for next year.

Grant Robertson:

I think we will see a change of government. The Labour Greens MoU is one of the big political developments in this year that we’ve just had and that will get it’s chance to come to fruition to lead that government. It’s going to get ugly next year as it always does when the right field…are on the back foot. It’s going to be difficult but we will come to the election and we will get result and then Marama will be able to join in with a change of government.

Penny Hulse:

If the Government don’t get Auckland right they are in for a very rough ride.

Marama Fox:

The Maori Party is going to take out four or five seats at least. [Exclamations from Robertson and Bradbury]

That’s probably no less realistic than Robertson.

We will be the king makers. Nobody wants to go to Winston. They want to see stable government. They believe in an independent Maori voice. And whether or not the Labour Party and the Greens’ MoU have said that they want us or don’t want us, when the time comes they’ll come knocking on the door and we’ll be ready with the things we  ‘re gonna negotiate to push our policies further.

Bradbury: Would the Maori Party be able to work with the Labour Party next year in government Marama?

Marama Fox: We’ve always said we will work with anybody, whoever is the government. Geez if we can work with blue undies we can sure as heck work with red undies.

Mike Treen:

I’m very hopeful that it’s going to be a change of government ah this year. I’m less confident that the change of government is going to produce the changes that we need, and I think that Labour needs to, ah  Labour and the Greens as sort of the joint parties of Opposition that are proposing themselves as an alternative government  at the moment need to come up with some things that will capture people’s imagination in terms of the type of change that is going to move the country forward.

At the moment I think it’s just a little too itsy bitsy and incremental, and it’s not telling people that it’s going to be a genuine alternative to the government that we have.

Labour in particular have nowhere near revealed their policies yet.

But what’s good at the moment is that this government is losing it’s image of infallibility, and the midas touch of John Key seems to have disappeared, and the housing issue has done that in the first instance. And so I think the chances of a change in government are much more realistic and I look forward to it.

Notably no mention of the mana Movement in any of the predictions.

Martyn Bradbury:

My final word. This is our final show. After seven glorious months a massive thank you to Andy at Face TV, the face TV crew, Will our director who’s a multi tasking technical superstar (I didn’t write that), Aaron and his team of metrosexual be-speckled uber nerds from Slipstream (I didn’t write that either), our amazing political multi functional Maori lesbian socialist friendly centre right producer and host Claudette (she totally wrote that).

Willie Jackson who shuts the bloody elevator door (I didn’t write any of this), to all our guest commentators, guest tweeters, amazing. Thanks also to our sponsors the Aotearoa Credit Union and Voyager Internet. Willie and I came up with this project because we couldn’t believe the diabolical level of debate from Seven Sharp and Story.

 In our seven months we have done more public interest broadcasting than Story and Seven Sharp combined.

Bradbury is not using comparable examples. Story and Seven Sharp are only partly political and I don’t think debate is a normal part of their formats.

Q & A and The Nation are better comparisons that are not mentioned.

We believe that democracy is only as strong as it’s media and if you are only hearing one side of the story then you have a one eyed electorate.

I hear many sides of many stories where I look.

We have a funding application in with New Zealand On Air, so we hope to see you next year as the election campaign heats up. We hope to see you next year.

So they are shutting down due to funding – I think Bradbury asked for donations recently.

Should NZ on Air fund a hard left political activist show? I wonder what Bradbury would say if the funded Whale Oil.

 

Hipkins v. Parata on online learning

Chris Hipkins, Labour and the education unions seem to oppose just about every change proposed by the Government on education, so it is no surprise to see hackles raised over proposals on online education that may involve private providers.

On Tuesday Education Minister Hekia Parata announced in Biggest update to education in 27 years:

One of the proposals in the Bill is to modernise online learning through the establishment of Communities of Online Learning (COOLs).

“COOLs will be open to as wide a range of potential providers as possible to gain the greatest benefits for young people. This innovative way of delivering education offers a digital option to engage students, grow their digital fluency, and connect them even more to 21st century opportunities.

“There will be a rigorous accreditation process alongside ongoing monitoring to ensure quality education is being provided.”

So it was not surprising to see this come up in Question Time yesterday. The Government got in the first shot.

Education—Announcements

6. Dr JIAN YANG (National) to the Minister of Education: What recent announcements has she made about expanding 21st century learning options for parents and whānau?

Hon HEKIA PARATA (Minister of Education): Tēnā koe, Mr Speaker. Yesterday the introduction of the Education (Update) Amendment Bill was announced in this House. It is the biggest update to education in 27 years and will provide flexibility for parents and whānau, and for children and young people at the centre of learning. One of the proposals is the establishment of communities of online learning that will enable online learning in whole or in part as a supplement to classroom learning or a complement to what their schools offer. Digital fluency is the universal language of the 21st century. In the future a provider, including our mainstream schools, tertiary providers, or private providers will be able to apply to become a community of online learning. This will give students, parents, and whānau the benefit of a digital option, grow their digital fluency, and ensure they can be global citizens in an increasingly connected 21st century world.

Dr Jian Yang: What measures will she put in place to ensure the quality of education is maintained for the young people who choose this option?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: To become a community of online learning, a provider will be required to meet a very high threshold. They will be required to undergo an accreditation regime to ensure that students will have access to a great New Zealand education. They will also be subject to monitoring and an intervention regime, just like all our schools. Providers will also have to provide evidence of their capacity to provide pastoral care and to meet the well-being needs of students. They will be subject to an accountability regime, including reporting against agreed student achievement outcomes, financial reporting requirements, and Education Review Office reviews. We also propose to set strict enrolment criteria—for example, a restriction on the enrolment of students for whom there is a high risk of disengagement in an online environment. We welcome the submissions of parents, families and whānau, and the education sector to the select committee.

Then Hipkins asked Parata about the policy, with David Seymour,  John Key and Marama Fox joining in.

EducationCommunities of Online Learning

7. CHRIS HIPKINS (Labour—Rimutaka) to the Minister of Education: How will her Communities of Online Learning (CoOL) proposal differ from online charter schools in the United States, given a study partially funded by a private pro-charter foundation found students attending those schools lost an average of about 72 days of learning in reading, and 180 days of learning in maths during the course of a 180-day school year?

Hon HEKIA PARATA (Minister of Education): Significantly. As I set out in the answer to the previous question, before a provider could become a community of online learning, it must undergo an accreditation regime, be subject to an intervention regime, provide evidence of its capacity to provide pastoral care, be subject to an accountability regime, and demonstrate that it meets strict enrolment criteria—for example, a restriction on the enrolment of students for whom there is a high risk of disengagement in an online environment. We have put these checks and balances in place because, like the Labour Party members in their Future of Work document, we agree that—and I quote from Labour’s Future of Work document—”… people can obtain entire qualifications online with the same quality of direct learning and engagement as if they were on site.”

Chris Hipkins: Does her own regulatory impact statement state “Historically, academic achievement for New Zealand correspondence school students is lower than that of students in face-to-face education. Engagement can also be low.”; if so, what New Zealand evidence does she have that fully online learning that is allowed for in this proposal will result in better educational achievement?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: The member is damning 23,000 students, which is the roll of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura)—the biggest school in New Zealand—and of course it has problems and challenges. [Interruption] Absolutely, and the regulatory impact statement outlines that, so I am glad the member has taken advantage of it. But like all schools in New Zealand that do face difficulties with engagement and achievement, so too does Te Kura, and it does a significantly good job with those kids who have been disengaged from other schools. As Dame Karen Sewell, the chair of Te Kura, has already publicly said, she welcomes this new approach and looks forward to Te Kura becoming a community of online learning.

David Seymour: Is the Minister aware that the study referred to in the primary question was popularised earlier this week in the American show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; if indeed that is how the member researched his primary question, would that be an example of online learning?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: To answer that question in reverse order, yes, it would be an example of that; in answer to the first part, unlike the Opposition, who use overseas comedy writers as the font of their knowledge, we do not.

Rt Hon John Key: Does the Minister find it very odd when she constantly gets to read reports from people who claim that they want children in New Zealand to get a better education, especially the least well-off New Zealanders, but never want to do anything other than just back up their union mates?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: It is terribly disappointing for New Zealand parents, who are very focused on how they get the best education for their kids and are constantly obstructed by naysayers.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! A little less interjection from my immediate right.

Chris Hipkins: Is she seriously suggesting that a primary school child sitting at home in their bedroom in front of a laptop or a tablet is going to get an education at least as good as a child sitting in a classroom, surrounded by their peers, and with a fully trained and qualified teacher guiding their learning?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: Unlike the Opposition, I do not propose to prescribe for every child in this country or hypothetically—

Hon Annette King: Yes, you do.

Hon HEKIA PARATA: No, I do not, and that is why the bill is full of enabling provisions. We actually trust New Zealanders to make choices for themselves rather than have them prescribed to them by all-knowing other people.

Rt Hon John Key: Is the Minister aware that on Stewart Island the school there has 28 pupils and those 28 pupils are all learning Mandarin, the entire school, and they are learning online, and is that not a great thing—that young kids on Stewart Island are learning Chinese?

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The first part of the question is in order. Supplementary questions should have only one leg to them.

Hon HEKIA PARATA: I am aware of that. I am equally aware that Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Waiu o Ngati Porou in Ruatoria is teaching physics and chemistry in Te Reo Māori to other parts of the country. The members of the Opposition seem confused about this policy—because in my answer I made it clear that mainstream schools can be incorporated in this policy as providers of online learning.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! We now have a discussion between two front-benchers, which will cease.

Chris Hipkins: Can she confirm that all of the students mentioned in her answer and in the Prime Minister’s question were attending a school, and what evidence does she have that they will get an equally good education if they are at home by themselves without a teacher?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: Again the member falls victim to his own prejudices. In the policy that we have laid out we have said there is a full range of options of what these communities of online learning could be like. It includes provision by existing mainstream schools. It includes provision by existing tertiary institutions, and it includes provision for provision by private providers. We are not saying yet what proposals will be acceptable.

Chris Hipkins: Does she at least accept the irony that while she is talking about opening up more flexibility and choice she is massively reducing the flexibility and autonomy offered to existing public schools and subjecting them in the same bill to even more compliance and red tape?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: I do not, because this Government has invested over $700 million into those exact same schools to ensure that they can have digital technology—24/7 ultra-fast, good-quality broadband data, at no cost to them—and we have incorporated as of a month ago digital technology as a core part of the curriculum. This is a next step because this Government is future focused, living now in the present, and providing for our young people to be internationally connected. [Interruption] Yes, very disappointing for those still living in the past; I understand that.

Chris Hipkins: When her bulk funding proposal results in schools reducing the number of subjects on offer, is she going to suggest to those students who can no longer take the subjects in school that they want to that they can enrol online rather than have the teacher in front of them as they have had previously?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: First of all, I have no proposal around bulk funding. Second of all, in the funding review we are still in the middle of a consultation process. The third thing to know is that schools already offer blended learning and they do offer it outside the boundaries of their own school, and, fourthly, our Government is absolutely supportive of that kind of collaboration.

Rt Hon John Key: Has the Minister of Education seen a press release by the Labour Party from Jenny Salesa saying that when it comes to Pacific population and bilingualism in New Zealand, the associate education spokesperson for Labour said this is a crucial—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! There is absolutely no—[Interruption] Order! I do not need help from Mr Chris Bishop. There is, firstly, no ministerial responsibility, and, secondly, it is a question that I perceive is designed to attack the Opposition party, which is in breach of Speakers’ rulings.

Rt Hon John Key: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER: No, I am not interested in arguing about it. If it is another matter, I will happily hear it.

Rt Hon John Key: Yes. I seek leave to table the press release, then.

Mr SPEAKER: No, and I am not prepared to put the leave.

Marama Fox: In addition to digital technologies being made a core curriculum subject, will the Minister consider Te Reo Māori and the New Zealand Land Wars also being made a core curriculum subject?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: Te Reo Māori has exactly the same status in our curriculum as digital technology. It is available in any school where parents wish it to be available—

Hon Trevor Mallard: That’s not true.

Hon HEKIA PARATA: —and it is resourced accordingly—it is true. In terms of the—

Hon Trevor Mallard: Not true.

Hon HEKIA PARATA: Argh! So from the past! In terms of ngā whawhai nui o Aotearoa, because the Māori Party has made strong advocacy to beef up the resources around Māori history, we have developed a significant website. I thank the Māori Party for that constructive advocacy.