Why Hipkins should study the formula for a London state school’s remarkable academic success

If Education Minister Chris Hipkins is overcome by an urge to join his cabinet colleagues in overseas travel but doesn’t have a good reason, we suggest he visits a state school in one of London’s poorest boroughs.

Forty-one of this school’s students have been offered a place at Oxford and Cambridge this year.

This rivals the admission rates of some of the top-performing private schools across the UK, according to the BBC

Brampton Manor is a state school in Newham in east London.

Nearly all of the students who received Oxbridge offers are from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds; two-thirds will be the first in their families to attend university.

Half of them are on free school meals.  Continue reading “Why Hipkins should study the formula for a London state school’s remarkable academic success”

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The summer holidays are over – but where in the world will we find the Minister?

The summer holidays are over, the flow of press statements from the Beehive is increasing and – we may assume – our Ministers will be busy at their desks or with engagements here and there around the country.  Or maybe they are or will be engaged in very important business overseas.

The Point of Order monitor of Beehive press statements has been idle since Christmas but burst back into life yesterday to register four sets of travel plans.

These included confirmation of the European travel plans of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to promote trade “and wellbeing” (good luck with that) which we portended late in January.

This mission includes a meeting with Britain’s Theresa May.  Events in recent days suggest there must have been huge doubt over whether this meeting would be with May or someone else.

With more certainty, the PM looks forward to again meeting Prince William.

Here’s what the monitor showed …. Continue reading “The summer holidays are over – but where in the world will we find the Minister?”

Organise Aotearoa’s vision of a brave new world – and its endorsement of Jacinda-style consultation

At Point of Order, we like to think the advocacy of good ideas and the strength of the arguments in support of change will help create a better New Zealand.   Organise Aotearoa more ambitiously – and with a greater inclination to robust physical action rather than rhetoric – is intent on changing the world.

On some things we agree.  The notion that “politics is for everyone”, for example.

We are not so sure about the nature of the political system that would be set up by Organise Aotearoa.

Their website says: Continue reading “Organise Aotearoa’s vision of a brave new world – and its endorsement of Jacinda-style consultation”

Pacific Reset – what Labour really thinks about it will be seen when US ships arrive

Left-wing  blogger Chris Trotter,  in  one of his  recent essays, questions whether PM Jacinda Ardern is really running the government or is merely its figurehead.

He  cited  several  examples of the PM  appearing to be unaware  of  key policy decisions  and  questioned  whether allowing her leading Cabinet Ministers to simply get on with the job is a central feature of her management style.

I hope  not.  It would suggest that Ardern has chosen the role of figurehead rather than leader. That her job is to supply the warm and sympathetic face of the Coalition Government while the heavy-hitters of her Cabinet – Winston Peters, Grant Robertson, David Parker, Phil Twyford, Meagan Woods and Shane Jones – carry out the day-to-day business of governing the country”. Continue reading “Pacific Reset – what Labour really thinks about it will be seen when US ships arrive”

The Trough Monitor: good housing news (if you are one of the chosen kaumātua )

The Point of Order Trough Monitor was triggered today by a press statement issued in the names of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Housing Minister and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

They have dipped into the $15 million Māori Housing Fund and announced the recipient of the first handout.

The aim is to build six flats for kaumātua.

Continue reading “The Trough Monitor: good housing news (if you are one of the chosen kaumātua )”

The reports are coming in – and they bring fresh challenges for the Ardern Govt

Finance   Minister   Grant  Robertson  has had a  good run this  year, with the  economy performing  well  and the  government’s books   in excellent  shape.

Despite   ministers  splashing  out  cash  in  every direction, the half-year  economic and   fiscal  update  (out this week)   may even  offer   the Finance  Minister  scope  for a  bit  more  spending  in  the years  ahead, without  endangering   his  self-imposed   goal of   sustainable surpluses .

But  a shadow may be  beginning  to emerge  from this  apparently  cloudless  sky.  It  lies  in  the  reports   from  all  those reviews  the  government   called  for   in  its  first  months  of  office. Continue reading “The reports are coming in – and they bring fresh challenges for the Ardern Govt”

The Trough Monitor is triggered as $140m of PGF deals are announced on the West Coast

The PM was down on the West Coast this morning, along with Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, keeping the Point of Order Trough Monitor busy while they announced $140 million of deals from the Provincial Growth Fund.

Loans for the Ruatapu Garnet Project, Westland Milk Products, and the Punakaiki Rest Wellness Centre were among the beneficiaries.

Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke wasn’t impressed. Continue reading “The Trough Monitor is triggered as $140m of PGF deals are announced on the West Coast”