Monthly Archives: September, 2016

Old white guys announce Māori are too privileged

A new group named after a former governor has come out swinging this week launching a campaign against what it says is the special treatment for Māori.

Hobson’s Pledge, named after the former governor William Hobson, is headed by former National Party leader Don Brash.

“Even though I look like an antique pigskin wallet,” Brash told a packed crowd of other old white dudes, “people loved my Orewa speech. It was important to scrape the surface and uncover that racism we all know us there.”

Let’s all be equal!

Dr Brash said it was important to remember that even though Māori were the first here, and even though they signed the Treaty of Waitangi to protect their property rights and then had much of their property confiscated, and this dispossession has led to a miriad of other issues, they’ve had it pretty good.

Dr Brash was adamant.

“We need to ensure that everybody in New Zealand is treated equally under the law so me and my rich mates don’t have to pay as much tax.”

Brash signed off the gathering by denying he’d paid as much tax as Trump since 1986.

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Racist rich person: “I’m not racist”

Racist star of the joke reality show Real Housewives of Auckland Julia Stone is demanding an apology from the Race Relations Commissioner after Dame Susan Devoy called her a racist last week following her use of a racist term to describe a fellow cast member during a show.

The Human Rights Commission confirmed it has received a letter from Ms. Stone’s racist lawyers claiming her racist use of the racist term wasn’t racist.

The incident, featured on a recent episode of the programme showing Ms. Stone using a racist term in a racist and derogatory way, garnered international attention with various media organisation around the world reporting Ms. Stone’s racist language.

After being confirmed as hugely racist, Ms Stone went on the offensive saying the racist term she used wasn’t “that racist” because she used it all the time and because she wasn’t racist, the phrase wasn’t racist.

Ms. Stone confirmed she has called in the lawyers who will be looking to sue the Human Rights Commission for defamation for calling the racist language she used racist.

Ms. Stone’s public relations consultant Deborah Pead has pointed out, “she is concerned that her character has been vilified in a sweeping, snap judgement, based on a reality TV show. It’s important to remember if the television cameras hadn’t been there, Ms. Stone could have been casually racist as she normally is and nothing would have happened because she wouldn’t have been filmed using the racist language she loves to use.”

Hekia Parata: I’m all ears – especially my ears

New Zealand has a very good education system. That’s beyond debate. Can we make it better? Yes, we can and we must. We must make it heaps more betterer.

As a passionate New Zealander and as a mum, I want to see an education system that delivers quality learning for every child and young person every day. Their achievement matters, to their families, their communities – and to me.

I visit schools right across New Zealand on a regular basis, and after the torrents of abuse have died down, I speak to teachers, principals and parents about what I, as the Education Minister, can do to support them to ensure our kids are achieving.

For example, I can open my mouth and tell them to do things I think are important. They can listen to me or they can strop and moan like a grumpy old man.

The proposed changes that we’re making in education are all about putting our kids at the centre of the education system, lifting the educational success of every young New Zealander.

This means ensuring we get the right amount of funding for each child. There are so many options in modern education. Back when I was at school in Ruatoria we had nothing. No pencils. No books. We didn’t even have a classroom or a teacher. There were 753 students in my class. At the start of the school year they took us to the top of Mt. Hikurangi and left us there. You graduated if you could make it back to Manutahi School by the end of the year.

That was real learning. And even though I never had a teacher, my teacher was the best teacher I ever had.

These days school need to be supported in making the same kind of courageous decisions for kiwi kids. Each year we spend over $11 billion on education.

As I’ve often said, “That’s a shipload of money,” because so many people I know use that term when referring to a large amount of something.

We increase spending each year and the spending review we are currently engaged in is looking at everything. We want to provide schools with more flexibility and choice. We want them to be able to be flexible enough to say, “Hey… We’ll paint the junior block and put a beginning teacher straight out of university in front of our most vulnerable learners.” At the moment they can’t do that.

School communities have to spend some of their money on teachers. That’s such a shame.

I’ve consistently listened to the teacher unions since I came into the education portfolio, regularly meeting with them and working with them on a number of important initiatives. I’ve also told them they are just plain wrong. There’s nothing more motivating than an Education Minister telling teachers how wrong they are.

This is about lifting the learning potential of every child. Our spending cuts in the Early Childhood and Special Education sectors have allowed kiwi children to grow and prosper.

It’s about preparing young New Zealanders for a contrary, challenging, exciting world where they will spend their working lives sitting 3 hour external exams and being assessed against their workmates as to whether they meet the standard.

Or not.

* Hekia Parata is the excellent Education Minister of New Zealand

Upston: I have absolutely no comment on nothing ever.

This week the Women’s Affairs Minister, Louise Upston, faced a barrage of criticism over her refusal to comment on a range of women’s affairs. From the Chief’s mad Monday case through to her silence at the annual convention for the National Council of Women, Upston has become somewhat of a laughing-stock with other, more senior ministers, such as Judith “Crusher” Collins and Paula “Used to be on a benefit” Bennett showing the cojones required to comment on a range of matters involving women. MyThinks thought it important we seek Minister Upston’s side of the argument so we met up with her in her Wellington office. 

MYTHINKS: Good morning minister. Thanks for agreeing to see us at such short notice.

UPSTON: Well it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment on whether or not I’m happy with either your entry into this room or the greeting that followed.

MYTHINKS: But surely minister. You could say “Hello” or “Welcome to Wellington” or something? Surely?

UPSTON: No. I can’t. I can’t comment on things I know very little about.

MYTHINKS: But I’ve just walked into the room. You saw me do it. You opened the door, then you invited me in by motioning into the room with your arm.

UPSTON: Yes. That’s true. I was there when you entered the room, but I wasn’t looking at all. So I couldn’t possibly comment.

MYTHINKS: Let’s move on then. You are the current Minister for Women’s Affairs. How do you find the job? It is a challenging job.

UPSTON: Well I wouldn’t be able to say whether it was challenging or not.

MYTHINKS: Sorry? You do do the job, don’t you?

UPSTON: I’m not sure I follow your line of questioning.

MYTHINKS: You are Louise Upston, Minister for Women’s Affairs, are you not?

UPSTON: I understand you want me to answer these questions, but I’m unable to at this time.

MYTHINKS: So you can’t even tell me your name and your current job title?

UPSTON: That’s information I’m really not willing to talk about. Do you have any other questions?

MYTHINKS: Well… I’m not really sure what else I can ask… Um… is that a picture of Margaret Thatcher on the wall over there?

UPSTON: I’m uncertain whether I can say if that is, or is not, Margaret Thatcher.

MYTHINKS: It’s a picture of Margaret Thatcher with a small gold plaque underneath in which are engraved the words Picture of Margaret Thatcher: Former British Prime Minister.

UPSTON: The picture of that woman does indeed have words on a small metallic rectangle within a close proximity, but I don’t believe I am in a position to say anything that is an answer to your question at this time.

MYTHINKS: I’m not sure we’re going to get anywhere with these questions today, Minister. Thank you for your time.

UPSTON: Actually. I have no time at all. I can’t possibly talk any more words today because I have completely run out of time. I am too busy dealing with Women’s Affairs.

UPSTON: MYTHINKS: So you are Minister for Women’s Affairs?!!??

UPSTON: MYTHINKS: What? Um… I… could you….

JOHN KEY (interrupting): …Look… thanks for coming today. As deputy Minister for Women’s Affairs it is a great honour to stand here behind Minister Upston and tell her exactly what and what is not important in the world of women’s affairs.

MYTHINKS: Does that mean she’s too scared to say anything in case she looks stupid or says the wrong thing and gets demoted.

JOHN KEY: Oh good lord. She’s Minister of Women’s Affairs. She’s a minister outside cabinet. How much lower can she go? Leader of the UnitedFuture?? Undersecretary for something? Ha ha ha!! Classic!! You ask too many questions. Now get out.

Better Funding: More pies for all!

I like pie.

As a born and bred New Zealand man with 46 years experience living in this world, I have come, over the years, to adore pie. The pie I most enjoy is Pepper Steak, but I have been known to partake in Steak & Cheese, Slow Roasted Pork Belly and good old-fashioned mince.

Pie sharing is something I’ve had a problem with – particularly single pies. You know, those pies which sole reason for existence is to be consumed by one person. If they were meant for sharing the deity responsible for pastry goodness would have made them larger.

That brings be to family pies. These pies have been built for sharing. They are larger than the single-serve pies previously mentioned. They are called family pies for a reason.

One of the most important things about family pies that they are shared evenly across the family. The family that doesn’t share the pie evenly will not be a happy family.

That is what the National-led government and their glorious Undersecretary for Education David Seymour are wanting to do with education. worth-fighting-for

They are going to take the $11 billion family pie of educational funding and devolve the decision-making on how that pie is eaten back onto the various Boards of Trustees and principals heading New Zealand’s learning institutions.

Why take the blame for increasing class sizes, under-resourced teaching and learning and operational spending decisions that put furniture ahead of hiring another learning support worker? That just makes the government look mean. Why should they look mean all the time? They make so many hard decisions and every three years people get to vote for them (mainly based around their decision-making). What if all these decisions were made BY OTHER PEOPLE? What if we started quietly reducing the size of the pie? What would happen then? We could reduce the size of the pie and other people will be left trying to sweep up the crumbs and any smears of gravy they can find. Those decision makers would still have to make the decisions BUT THEY WOULD HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THE SIZE OF THE PIE THEY ARE CUTTING UP!!!

OMG everyone! Yes… that’s right. OMG (not to be confused with 80s mellow synth poppers OMD).

If OTHER PEOPLE like parents on the boards and principals said, “We can’t afford to hire that person there to help our teachers deliver a robust learning programme,” then we could say, “Well… you know… we’ve given them billions of dollars. How they spend it really is up to them – the school communities.”

OTHER PEOPLE will end up burning the pie, dropping the pie on the floor, crushing the pie with a miss-placed size 10 Hush Puppy and BAMM! The pie is ruined.

No more pie for anyone.

And you know what? I didn’t ruin the pie. THEY did. Yes… them over there with their committee and their meetings and their decision-making. THOSE people ruined your pie.

Not me. I was in Wellington the whole time.

God forbid my pie metaphor has diminished the argument, but my point stands.

If we let the National Party loose with their plans for the education system, we will, I absolutely guarantee you, lose the wonderful system we have built up over the last century.

They will wreck it and the people who will lose out from this failed experiment are our most vulnerable asset.

An infographic about pies

An infographic about pies