Briefing notes to incoming National government – 2008

Here at My Thinks we do a lot of behind-the-scenes delving into what makes governments tick. This year is no exception. We recently received some important information after making a request under the Official Information Act. The information relates to a briefing given by Treasury to the incoming National government back in 2008.

BRIEFING NOTES: November 2008.

There are many things you must immediately do to make New Zealand a better place and deliver the “brighter future” you’ve been harping on about for the last seven months.

First, make sure everybody is clear on what you plan to do. If you keep telling them what you are going to do over and over and over again the won’t notice what you are actually doing.

Secondly, there is a crisis in education. Teachers are teaching, children are learning and we have one of the finest curricula in the world. This must be stopped. With so many children learning so often it’s only a matter of time before they start thinking for themselves. Your idea on national standards is commendable, however labelling children failures early on in their schooling may not be enough. You may need to label schools and teachers failures also. We suggest using the son of your former president to achieve the tolling and bottom-feeding you require. He is both unhinged and dangerously ineloquent.

Thirdly, we’ve looked through your list of members and can suggest Anne Tolley or Hekia Parata for the role of minister. Both have significant experience in areas other than education and would be able to deliver plausible deniability if it all goes tits up as they would have absolutely no clue as to what was actually going on – even if you briefed them daily on exactly what was going on.

Finally, we are after something of a sea-change in education. Ultimately we feel that New Zealand children are standing on the cliff of greatness. It is important that we either hold them back or, alternatively, push them off. We would like New Zealand children to stay where they are. At the same time we would like to see them plummet head-long down to the rocks below and for waves of indifference to wash them out to sea.

As new ministers, you could be at the forefront of this change. You could be both the leaders of the policy direction and the ambulance at the top of the cliff… because why waste your time at the bottom after all the damage is done?

We’ll see you next week at Cabinet Club.

Love Treasury x x x x

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