When does history become “ancient”, on Tinetti’s watch as Minister of Education – and what of the compound adjective?

Buzz from the Beehive

Auckland was wiped off the map, when Education Minister Jan Tinetti delivered her speech of welcome as host of the inaugural Conference of Pacific Education Ministers “here in Tāmaki Makaurau”.

But – fair to say – a reference was made later in the speech to a project

“… which supported 60 learners and their families in South Auckland to stay engaged with their education”. 

Tinetti proceeded to say in her opening remarks:

“Aotearoa is delighted to be hosting you all.”

She opted for Aotearoa on 22 occasions, including–

“I know that, standing here before you, in my first international engagement as Aotearoa Minister of Education that I have a lot of work to do.  

The speech is among the latest posts on the Beehive website:

Conference of Pacific Education Ministers – Keynote Address

Warm Pacific greetings to all. It is an honour to host the inaugural Conference of Pacific Education Ministers here in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, on the other hand, has issued a statement from the city of Hamilton which he names as “Hamilton” and which refers to a country called “New Zealand”.

Vertical farming partnership has upward momentum

The Government’s priority to keep New Zealand at the cutting edge of food production and lift our sustainability credentials continues by backing the next steps of a hi-tech vertical farming venture that uses up to 95 per cent less water, is climate resilient, and pesticide-free.

Government focus on jobs sees record number of New Zealanders move from Benefits into work

Two reports released today by the Ministry of Social Development show the Government’s investment in the COVID-19 response helped drive record numbers of people off Benefits and into work.

Sepuloni highlighted two points:

  • 113,400 exits into work in the year to June 2022
  • Young people are moving off Benefit faster than after the Global Financial Crisis

She said that as at June 2022, there were nearly 23,900 fewer people receiving the Jobseeker Support – Work Ready benefit than at June 2020.

“Likewise the Youth Report followed young New Zealanders aged 16-24 through the pandemic to June 2022 and finds that young people were one of the fastest groups to recover from its impact.” 


“Youth Main Benefit numbers decreased by 22% over the 18 months following the COVID-19 peak in benefits, twice as fast as the 11% decrease over the 18 months following the GFC peak. By June 2022, youth main benefit numbers were closer to pre-pandemic numbers than other age groups.

But taxpayers should brace to do their bit to help those who need it:

“While the rapid decreases in young people supported by the benefit system are pleasing, the report also shows that young people who are receiving the main benefit tend to have more complex needs than the general youth population and they will need more support. For example, young people who received a Main Benefit at the end of the September 2021 quarter were 2.4 times more likely to have interacted with Oranga Tamariki in childhood.”

ACT’s Social Development spokesperson Karen Chhour puts a different perspective on Sepuloni’s statement:

There are 40,000 more Kiwis reliant on main benefits than when Labour took office, she said, and:

“The Government shouldn’t be bragging about welfare numbers, it should be ashamed.”

Chhour produced “some of the real stats that show where New Zealand is at in terms of welfare dependency”:

• 39,495 more people on main benefits than pre-COVID
• 15,663 more work-ready jobseekers than pre-COVID

“The duration of benefit dependency keeps increasing and is a national disgrace. If you’re aged 16-24 and join the benefit, on average you will be on that benefit for on 19 years. The average future time on a benefit has increased by almost two years since 2017.

“Labour just doesn’t seem to want to incentivise Kiwis to work. Their culture of welfare dependency is hurting New Zealand’s productivity, with able Kiwis choosing to reside on a benefit rather than play their part in society and work.”

But let’s learn more from our Minister of Education.

The name of the country in which she delivered her speech was mentioned four times as “Aotearoa New Zealand”, but this was varied in a fifth reference to “our new Aotearoa/New Zealand Histories Curriculum”.

“New Zealand” without “Aotearoa” was mentioned  five times.

An audience wouldn’t have picked up another curiosity, but the written version of the speech on the Beehive website throws up a compound adjective without the hyphen.

True, compound adjectives increasingly are found in modern-day writing and Point of Order is guilty of letting too many slip into print.

But Tinetti may have crafted a new word:

“This is a Pacific communityled approach to strengthening Pacific wellbeing for young people and their families.”

In response to our Google search, we were asked: Did you mean: community led

We learned, too, from Tinetti that “deep-rooted” history” doesn’t necessarily take us back too far.

Two decades will do the trick:

“Although this is the first conference, I am aware that this group has a deep-rooted history, dating back to the first Forum Education Ministers Meeting in May 2001 – again right here in Tāmaki Makaurau.”

We wonder if history before 2000 has become “ancient history” and our minds boggle when we muse on what is to be said of stuff the Greeks were doing in 500BC.



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