Financial capability services are being bucked up, but Stuart Nash shouldn’t have to see if they can help him (not yet)

Buzz from the Beehive 

The building of financial capability was brought into our considerations when Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced she had dipped into the government’s coffers for $3 million for “providers” to help people and families access community-based Building Financial Capability services.

That wording suggests some Building Financial Capability services are not community-based and are not being helped with government funding.

The ministerial press statement further suggests someone should sort out which initial letters in words should be capitalised and which should not – or, even better, why any of them should be capitalised.

In the headline and the first paragraph, the initial letters of Building Financial Capability are capitalised, but not the initial word of services.

But then the minister says:

“Demand for Financial Capability Services is growing as people face cost of living pressures. Those pressures are increasing further in areas affected by flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle.”

“We’re reprioritising an additional $3 million to invest in MSD-funded Building Financial Capability services to support demand.”

Continue reading “Financial capability services are being bucked up, but Stuart Nash shouldn’t have to see if they can help him (not yet)”

Govt gets a “fail” mark in Education but (with another $24 million of our money) ministers pledge they will try to do better

    • UPDATE:  Re the above headline.

Jan Tinetti said the government is investing a further $24 million in initiatives to deliver close to 1,000 additional teachers.   

Chris Hipkins said it is putting $20 million into additional teaching and tutoring services.

The grand total:  $44 million….

And here’s our original post:

Yet  another  failure  of the  Ardern  government,  this  time  in  education,   has  surfaced, with  ministers earmarking another $24 million in an effort to  recruit  more  teachers and provide  “extra  support”  for  young  people whose  learning has been disrupted  by  Covid-19.

Earlier  the  government  lowered   the  bar for  NCEA achievement in schools for  the  third  year  running.

Critics  at   that time  said  lowering  the  bar   is  a  natural  response if  you want to  paper over the  cracks rather  than fix  the  actual problem, which is a combination  of low school  attendance,and  acres  of   missed  learning as a  result.

In  the  words of  one  of  these  critics,

“Rather than the inconvenience  of  mobilising a  full-court  press to  help  those  who have  been  missing  out,we  are  to maintain  a facade that  these  students  have  been as   well  educated as  those  from  pre-Covid  years”.

Other  countries have  spent  big  money  on catch-up  learning, arranging  extra  days  of  schooling, or  vouchers for  private  tuition to help students learn  what  they need to learn before they leave school.

Then  there  has  been  the disaster  of  the  polytechnics, where the Ardern government’s move to  centralise the  administration  has   virtually  wrecked  the system, piling  up deficits  at the  same time as rolls  have  fallen.

But none  of  this  can  be  detected   in   the  latest   statement   from  Ministers  Chris  Hipkins  and  Jan  Tinetti.

Point  of  Order produces  the statement  in  full, to enable our readers to appreciate the  irony.

Government investing in 1000 more teachers and student learning affected by COVID-19

      • Hundreds more overseas and domestic teachers to fill workforce gaps
      • Funding for additional teaching and tutoring in schools
      • More targeted Māori and Pacific tutoring and mentoring
      • Additional places on Te Kura’s summer school

The Government is continuing to invest in teachers and students, through a multi-million dollar package to boost teacher supply and provide extra support for young people whose learning has been disrupted by COVID-19, Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti announced today.

“Teacher supply has long been a priority for us. Ensuring we have more teachers is vital to ensure our kids are getting the education they need. There is high international demand for teachers and New Zealand trained teachers are also well received internationally,” Jan Tinetti said.

“This Government has invested heavily in teacher supply initiatives both here in Aotearoa New Zealand, and through recruiting overseas. By investing a further $24m in these initiatives, we plan to deliver close to 1,000 additional teachers – we expect to recruit approximately 700 internationally and 300 domestically.

“Overseas trained teachers have always been a valued part of the workforce; they bring diversity and rich experience to our communities. It’s also the quickest way to get experienced teachers into schools, so we’ll bring in hundreds more through this package. 

“But the long-term goal is to improve the supply of domestic teachers, so we can meet demand when needed. So we are increasing the number of teachers who can train while they are placed in schools, putting more incentives in place to get beginning and returning teachers into hard-to-staff roles and expanding our successful ‘career changer’ scholarships, which are designed to encourage and enable mid-career professionals with valuable life experience to become teachers,” Jan Tinetti said.

“As well as increasing teacher supply, we are also ensuring our young people, whose learning has been disrupted by COVID-19, won’t fall behind,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.

“We know that young people have missed some crucial time in the classroom throughout the last two and a half years and we need to address the impact of that head-on.

“So we are putting $20 million towards additional teaching and tutoring services. This will include exam preparation, workshops, tutorials and homework, and one-on-one mentoring. We know that schools are best placed to make the best decisions to target the funding where it is needed most,” Chris Hipkins said.

Of this, over $2 million will support programmes designed specifically for Māori and Pacific students, while $17.4 million will help year 7-13 students in schools with greater proportions of young people facing socio-economic challenges to educational achievement, which have been exacerbated by COVID-19.

“The Ministry of Education will expand existing community-led programmes across the motu that can target the specific needs of Māori and Pacific NCEA learners in their community,” Jan Tinetti said.

“Altogether, these community-led programmes will be able to help at least 2,245 year 11 to 13 Māori and Pacific learners get extra practical NCEA help during Term 4 this year.

“The Equity Index will be used to weight the rest of the funding, and schools will decide which students are offered the service, drawing on their knowledge of their own learners. The Ministry will also directly purchase additional tutoring and teaching for non-enrolled or at-risk students, to help support them to re-engage with schooling.

“In addition, 500 more Te Kura dual tuition summer school places are being added. This gives students in Years 11 and 12 more time to study over the 2022–2023 summer term to gain those all-important credits.

“The Government has confidence that through addressing teacher supply issues and improving students’ outcomes through additional learning resources, we will be able to address some of the inequities that have been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are committed to ensuring all our tamariki receive the supports they need to overcome obstacles in their learning,” Jan Tinetti said.

These  notes were added to the press statement:

To boost overseas teacher supply we are:

      • Extending two grants – the Overseas Relocation Grant and Overseas Finders Fee – that compensate teachers and employers for the additional costs of immigrating or hiring abroad
      • Funding additional roles – in the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Teaching Council and Education Payroll Limited – to speed up processing times for overseas teacher assessments. Funding is also being provided to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, so International Qualification Assessment Fees for migrant teachers can be waived.

To boost domestic teacher supply we are:

      • Increasing the number of Te Huawhiti | Career Changer Scholarships available, to support people to move into teaching
      • Funding 100 places in school-embedded Initial Teacher Education schemes that allow trainee teachers to be trained in schools while studying remotely
      • Expanding the Beginning Teacher Vacancy Scheme (BTVS) that connects beginning and returning teachers to teaching positions in schools with high need and incentivises them to stay in the role :

Commendable engineering: Wood is chuffed about 22km stretch of expressway “falling into place” but he keeps quiet about the cost

Buzz from the Beehive

Transport Minister Michael Wood left the dollar signs out of his press satement when declaring   that the Hamilton Section of the Waikato Expressway has opened, marking the final chapter of a 30 year roading project.

It was terrific to see the last 22-kilometre piece of the Expressway “falling into place”, he enthused.  This reflects somewhat curiously on the work of the engineers and construction gangs.

The road connects Auckland to the agriculture and business centres of the Waikato and would improve economic growth and productivity in the region.

The full 102km Waikato Expressway will also reduce travel times between Auckland and Tirau by 35 minutes for approximately 20,000 vehicles a day.

The Hamilton section is the biggest roading project in Waikato’s history and runs from Ngāruawāhia in the north to the existing Tamahere interchange south of Hamilton.

Work on the earlier sections of the Waikato Expressway began in the 1990s and the road (Wood says) will be one of the safest in the country.

Wood said The Waikato Expressway was funded though the National Land Transport Fund, with funding for each section applied for as they progressed through their stages, from pre-implementation through to construction.

But – would you believe – he did not mention the cost. Continue reading “Commendable engineering: Wood is chuffed about 22km stretch of expressway “falling into place” but he keeps quiet about the cost”

Buzz from the Beehive: Brace for more change and for the Treaty to be further sanctified in public policy prescriptions

It’s a great day for change or the prospect of change – of the Earthquake Commission, the teaching of history in our schools, the work of the ACC and gambling regulations.  It’s a great day, too, for the Ardern government’s programme of sanctifying the Treaty of Waitangi.

Earthquake Commission Minister David Clark announced that making a claim following a natural disaster will be easier soon thanks to a Bill introduced today.

Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti announced a review of pokie machine regulations to “reduce harm to vulnerable communities” (or people who gamble money when they can’t afford to lose).

Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced every young person in school will soon start learning about how New Zealand’s histories have shaped our lives.

ACC Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced the Government is taking steps towards delivering on a key manifesto commitment and seeking feedback on a review of occupational diseases for which ACC can provide cover.

Other announcements included handouts of public money to help South Island tourism operators. and provide students with an opportunity “for life-changing education experiences overseas”. Continue reading “Buzz from the Beehive: Brace for more change and for the Treaty to be further sanctified in public policy prescriptions”

Sio looks back to the Dawn Raids – but (more grimly) he addresses the implications for the Pacific of ocean changes

Ministers hadn’t finished their outpouring of Covid-related announcements, when Point of Order posted its update on news from The Beehive on  Friday.

Before the day was done, businesses were being reminded of a corporate welfare programme named Resurgence Support Payments, and more Covid news flowed during the weekend, including the news we will be shipping in more Pfizer vaccine from Denmark.

Two further announcements harked back to the past – the PM’s acknowledgement of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and an announcement of details of scholarships described as a goodwill gesture that follows the Government’s apology for the Dawn Raids of the 1970s.

The scholarship details were released by Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio.

But more much critical for the future of Pacific islands than governmental breast-beating about events several decades ago was the sobering information in a speech Sio delivered to South Pacific Regional Environment Programme ministers.

“The new science released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 8 August paints an alarming picture of the projected impacts of climate change on the most vulnerable countries, including in the Pacific.

“The Kainaki II Declaration confirms the grave threat that climate change poses to the Pacific region.” Continue reading “Sio looks back to the Dawn Raids – but (more grimly) he addresses the implications for the Pacific of ocean changes”

Govt plaudits for Lisa Carrington shouldn’t bother the public – whitebaiters won’t be so chuffed about new regulations

Ministers sometimes can bask in the satisfaction of releasing a press statement which is unlikely to provoke political opponents to find fault with the announcement or anger some sections of the community.

Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson issued such a statement yesterday, when he congratulated New Zealand Olympic kayaker Lisa Carrington on her exceptional performance at the Tokyo Olympics which has led to her becoming the most decorated New Zealand Olympian.

“Lisa is a phenomenal athlete. To win the K1 200m three Olympics in a row, and to add both the K2 500 gold with Caitlyn Regal earlier this week and the K1 500 gold today is an exceptional effort. She is tough, resilient and remarkable, and deservedly the most decorated New Zealand Olympian,” Grant Robertson said.

He also congratulated the New Zealand Olympic Team for its outstanding performance in these Olympics. With a total of 17 medals so far, including a record number of seven Gold medals, they are on the road to a possible record medal haul.

Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan, on the other hand, is bound to have rankled whitebaiters with her announcement that the 2021 whitebaiting season is about to kick off with new regulations in place to help ensure a healthy future for the fishery.

The Games seem to have inspired other ministerial announcements. Continue reading “Govt plaudits for Lisa Carrington shouldn’t bother the public – whitebaiters won’t be so chuffed about new regulations”

The High Court finds fault with the Waitangi Tribunal (and a breach of The Treaty) while Jackson is congratulating it

Our Beehive bulletin

While Maori Development Minister Willie Jackson was addressing members of the Waitangi Tribunal,  the High Court was setting aside a tribunal decision to return $800m in state-owned land to an iwi because it had failed to follow tikanga Māori and breached the Treaty

Good grief!

The tribunal breached “the Treaty”?

Apparently so.

According to Newsroom:

Crucially, Justice Francis Cooke declared the tribunal had been in breach of the Treaty of Waitangi and not followed tikanga when it decided lands transferred to state-owned enterprises or in Crown forests in the central North Island should be returned to the Ngāti Kahungunu iwi.

The disputed tribunal ruling on the $800m of public lands accordingly has been overturned (although the judgement may be appealed).

Jackson’s speech to the tribunal members, telling them what a splendid job they were doing and giving them an idea of the future work that lies in store for them, was posted on the Beehive website along with – Continue reading “The High Court finds fault with the Waitangi Tribunal (and a breach of The Treaty) while Jackson is congratulating it”

Tinetti’s teaser – to whom was she talking when she delivered a Moot Speech about teaching and truancy?

Our Beehive bulletin

Oh goody – a guessing game has been provided by the clever people who post announcements, speeches and what-have-you on the Beehive website.

It was delivered in the name of Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti – by her press secretary, perhaps? – in the form of a teasing headline.

Learning Support, Curriculum, Attendance – NZPF Moot Speech

NZPF?  Which one?

We put the challenge aside while checking out the other news from the Beehive,

  • Amelia Setefano and Marina McCartney have been selected as inaugural recipients of the Ministry of Education’s Tagaloa scholarship, which supports Pacific Doctorate and Masters study.
  • Three Auckland schools are benefitting from a $1.3 billion nationwide school redevelopment programme. May Road School, Onehunga Primary School and Albany Primary School are getting new classrooms to replace those in poor condition, and will benefit from investment in projects to support expected increases in student numbers.

And now to identifying the audience to whom Tinetti delivered her NZPF Moot Speech.

The possibilities (because you could say learning and attendance are involved in all of them) include:  Continue reading “Tinetti’s teaser – to whom was she talking when she delivered a Moot Speech about teaching and truancy?”

Govt finds $22m for four favoured timber companies but is checking the cost of looking for sunken livestock ship’s black box

It has been more than a week since an ill-fated livestock export ship went down off the coast of Japan with 6000 Kiwi cattle and 40 crew, including two New Zealanders.

Since then demands have grown for the live shipments of animals to be banned; the Seafarer’s Union has questioned the timing of the voyage; the veterinary association has pressed for the welfare of all animals leaving our shores to be paramount…

And at the weekend Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced New Zealand “is exploring the viability of working with partners to conduct a search for the black box on the Gulf Livestock”.

We think this means the government is thinking about helping to find the black box.

It may way well decide the costs are prohibitive.

Continue reading “Govt finds $22m for four favoured timber companies but is checking the cost of looking for sunken livestock ship’s black box”