Lincoln University at last says it, too, includes Maori knowledge in its science classes

Lincoln University administrators did some consulting before answering questions first sent to them on September 21.  They finally answered the questions – about the incorporation of matauranga Maori in science classes – earlier this month but won’t say who was consulted.

The short answer is yes, it is incorporated in their science classes.

  1. Is Maori knowledge incorporated in science courses, at Lincoln University


 2.  If so, when was it introduced to science courses, why was it introduced, and is it incorporated in all science courses or just some?

Maori knowledge content began to be introduced into some courses at Lincoln University from around 2005 by individual lecturers who were motivated to do so.  Currently some courses available in 2018 have Maori knowledge content.

The university has been somewhat sparse with the information it provided and is not disclosing the identities of the people whom it consulted after insisting Bob Edlin’s questions be dealt with under the Official Information Act.

All other universities approached for information had replied by early November.  All but the University of Auckland said yes, they did incorporate Maori knowledge in science as well as other courses. Continue reading “Lincoln University at last says it, too, includes Maori knowledge in its science classes”

Brexit: no-deal contingency plans could encourage a deal being struck

LONDON CORRESPONDENT:   As the Christmas truce approaches, the EU and UK have set out their respective plans for how they will respond if the UK leaves the EU on 29 March next year without a withdrawal agreement.  The announcements are proof of the increasing likelihood of ‘no deal‘ Brexit; they also have the potential to drive the parties towards the very outcome for which they are the contingency.

The EU preparations bear a passing resemblance to the War of the Roses battle cry of “kill the nobles, spare the commons”.  Steps will be taken to avoid inconveniencing individuals by keeping flights running, protecting the rights of UK residents of the EU and so forth, while going slow on measures to help UK businesses to deal with the flood of new obligations – like border and veterinary checks, licensing requirements, tariffs etc – that will descend overnight.

The hope is that the disruption, and in some cases stoppage, of trade will show the UK government and electorate the error of their ways and ideally bring them to heel. Continue reading “Brexit: no-deal contingency plans could encourage a deal being struck”

Ministerial appointments monitor – jobs for the boys (and jobs for the girls, too)

The government makes appointments to 429 state sector boards and committees every year, according to Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa.  This gives Ministers several opportunities to wield power by making appointments or recommending them, creating a perception that appointments are a form of political patronage.

Ministers proudly announce an array of other appointments, such as judges and overseas envoys.

The past week’s announcements include a batch of diplomatic appointments by Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters.  All the jobs have gone to career diplomats.

Associate Justice Minister Jan Logie drew attention to the first day of work for a Māori advisory group – Te Rōpū – which has been appointed to help transform the whole-of-government response to family violence, sexual violence and violence within whānau.

Did we miss a ministerial announcement of the 10 new appointments?

An accompanying document provided us with the names of the interim appointees.

The interim chair is Prue Kapua, president of the Māori Women’s Welfare League, who landed another job a few weeks ago when she became one of three new members added to the Waitangi Tribunal.  Tribunal members are appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister for Māori Development.

Point of Order’s weekly monitoring of Beehive press statements to learn who has been favoured by ministerial appointments in the past week shows this … Continue reading “Ministerial appointments monitor – jobs for the boys (and jobs for the girls, too)”

How MPs can unleash the furies by throwing barbs like ‘stupid’

Describe the leader of the Opposition as “Simple Simon”, and it’s all a bit of a lark. Yes, Jacinda Ardern did have to withdraw and apologise in Parliament after she responded to a question from Opposition leader Simon Bridges with reference to a character in a childhood nursery rhyme.

Ardern was elected on a promise to bring a kinder and nicer face to politics, of course,   as a scribe at Stuff pointed out.

So is it kind and nice to respond to Bridges’ question: ” It’s quite simple…..Simon”

Ardern might have been paying Bridges a compliment, of course, saying he is uncomplicated, clear, plain and understandable (yeah,right!).  Those happen to be among the several meanings of “simple”  – but:

“If you say that someone is simple, you mean that they are not very intelligent and have difficulty learning things.”   Continue reading “How MPs can unleash the furies by throwing barbs like ‘stupid’”

UN compact: Peters’ supporters fear he hasn’t put NZ First

Deputy PM Winston Peters has lit  a firestorm  in his own support base  over  the government’s decision to sign the controversial UN Migration Compact—a  move  National   says  it  will overturn.

NZ First’s  Facebook  page  went into overdrive as  one-time NZ  First voters voiced their anger.  After all, NZ  First  campaigned strongly   against  the previous  government’s  immigration policies  and  stood  out in demanding  stricter controls on  migration.

Now the party appears willing to  adopt the UN’s  rules on open, regular migration.

So  did  Peters  miscalculate?  In  Parliament   he had been using the UN compact to  bait  National,  because it  was the government  in 2016 when offering support as the compact was being initiated. Continue reading “UN compact: Peters’ supporters fear he hasn’t put NZ First”

MFAT’s prestige is expected to bloom again, now the ministry has gone to Seed

Chris  Seed  has been  confirmed  as  Secretary  of  Foreign Affairs  & Trade,  as Point of Order   earlier foreshadowed.  An experienced diplomat, he succeeds  Brook Barrington  who  the State Services  Commission named as CEO of the  Department of  Prime Minister &  Cabinet.

Seed,  who  recently  returned to NZ  after  serving  a  five-year term  as High Commissioner to  Canberra,   is  expected  to   work  closely   with  Foreign  Minister   Winston Peters on his Pacific Reset   policies.

His  appointment  is  understood  to  have been  extremely  well received  by  senior staff  in MFAT, whose  morale  was  severely bruised    during the era of  John Allen   as  CEO.     It is  known  that Peters   has been   keen  to  return  MFAT   to  the   slot   it  enjoyed   before the Allen era    as one of the  key  sources of   advice  to  Cabinet, not  just  on   foreign and trade  policies but  in other   areas  of   national  security. Continue reading “MFAT’s prestige is expected to bloom again, now the ministry has gone to Seed”

Research suggests we should take a harder look at the benefits of organic foods

The Green Party’s food policy may need revisiting, in the light of research published in the past week.

The policy was introduced in May 2017 by Green Party MP Mojo Mathers, who lost her list place in Parliament at the general election.

How we produce, distribute and consume food is of critical importance to growing
resilient healthy communities, minimising our ecological footprint and maintaining a
stable economy, she said.  That’s why food policy lies at the heart of Green policy.

Mather said:

“Aotearoa New Zealand can reap multiple benefits from a healthy and equitable food system that ensures environmental protection, social connection, and healthy communities.”

Continue reading “Research suggests we should take a harder look at the benefits of organic foods”

Napier Port is in good health – but Jones will find regions in need of PGF injections

Shane Jones, in his role as Regional Economic Development Minister, has been showering money around the country so lavishly no-one would have been surprised if he had turned up this week in Parliament wearing Santa Claus’s gear.

The more cynical might argue he is buying (badly needed) votes for NZ First – though that would under-estimate the subtlety the old master Winston Peters brings to the game. The trick is to unlock donations to NZ First’s coffers from grateful industry beneficiaries: it worked a treat with the racing industry.

The problem for Jones in the coming year will be to identify where to place what’s left in the generously endowed – but nevertheless limited – Provincial Growth Fund.
Continue reading “Napier Port is in good health – but Jones will find regions in need of PGF injections”

The Trough Monitor – more servings of a rich gravy from the PGF

The Point of Order Trough Monitor sounded two alerts this morning, both triggered by  pre-Christmas distributions from the Provincial Growth Fund.

But hey – there hasn’t been one Santa Claus.  There have been two.

One chunk of money, headed for the Coromandel, was announced by the usual dispenser of PGF largess, Shane Jones, wearing his hat as Minister of Regional Economic Development.

Perhaps in the spirit of seasonal good will, Jones stepped aside for the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau, to enjoy the pleasure that comes from announcing a boost to Southland’s economy.

On second thoughts, perhaps he couldn’t be in two places at once.

Anyway, Tabuteau did a splendid job of declaring PGF support for an Invercargill development project, aquaculture, and sheep and goat dairy initiatives.

The PGF feasibility projects he announced are:

$995,000 for Invercargill inner-city development
$424,900 for Southland hatchery and nursery
$490,000 for sheep and goat industry resources

Funding of the Inner-City Development will support Stage Two of the project, which includes preparing a business case, feasibility study, concept designs and procurement strategies.

The aquaculture project gets an injection of $424,900 to fund a business case to assess the development of a state-of-the art, land-based commercial hatchery to produce salmon smolt and mussel spat.

The third project is a $490,000 investment with FoodSouth to scope further development of the sheep and goat milk industry.

“Sheep milk farming exists in pockets around the country, particularly in Southland, but this project will assess the economic viability of developing a nationwide industry.”

FoodSouth will develop a national business case of the industry to identify export opportunities, estimates required for goat and sheep milk volumes to meet potential demand, and consider the best locations for processing plants.

The report will focus on four products which are considered to have high-value potential: liquids, cheese, butter, and protein powders.

“Southland sheep milk farmers stand to benefit from the information and insights this project will create, including workshops and market research.”

We suppose this is the same FoodSouth which was the subject of this announcement when Callaghan Innovation and Canterbury Development Corporation announced its opening and its purpose.

If it is the same outfit, let’s note that is has been suckled on the teat of public funding:

Canterbury Development Corporation and Callaghan Innovation are providing joint funding of $5.7 million over five years to establish and operate this new facility. Site services and accommodation are being provided by Lincoln University.

Now let’s head for the Coromandel ,  where Jones announced the PGF was investing $924,000 in aquaculture and marine services.

“It makes sense to invest in aquaculture, which has grown by 70 per cent in seven years, has annual sales of $612 million and can drive regional development,” Shane Jones said.

So why isn’t the private sector investing?

Jones says funding into feasibility studies “will help get the planning right to support future aquaculture and marine services”.

The Coromandel beneficiaries are –

Sugarloaf Wharf, Coromandel, $558,000  

Coromandel Marine Gateway, $93,850

Kopu Marine Precinct, Coromandel, $270,000

The potential to expand Sugarloaf Wharf to accommodate growing aquaculture demand is being explored as a first step.

The feasibility of developing a large marine facility at Coromandel Gateway to increase capacity and overall safety for recreational users and ferry and charter boats will be examined.

At Kopu Marine Precinct, the enhancement of marine facilities and supporting services for large locally based boats and barges will be investigated.

Now let’s wait to learn where Jones will next toss our money…

Chris Finlayson bows out – but first he shares his thoughts on good governance

Chris  Finlayson  always  stood  out  as  an exceptional  talent in  the  Key-English  Cabinets  and    his   work in  progressing  treaty settlements  is one of the great legacies  from  that  period of  National  government.

So, at a  time  when New  Zealanders’  faith  in  the role of the  State has been severely shaken by government agencies “spying” on citizens, Finlayson applied his formidable intellect in his last speech in  Parliament to point  the  way   ahead.

He told  a  crowded  House  in  his  valedictory he had  great respect for the  institution, but there will be much to do in the years to come, including reviewing the role of the State.  Continue reading “Chris Finlayson bows out – but first he shares his thoughts on good governance”