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NZEI 'Cracks The Whip'

When I saw the circa $1,000 advertisement in last week's HH advertising tonight's 'Candidate Meeting on Education,' I wondered  what was going on. 

I decided to attend to see for myself. I need not have bothered - it turned out to be an NZEI (NZ Education Institute) 'lovefest' to enable teachers, of whom there appeared to be a majority of retired and current in the room, and on the platform to get their gripes 'off their collective chests' 

And of those there were plenty, but at the same time, the Colmar Brunton Poll announced at 7pm gave rise rise to great joy in the room, and any suggestion of a debate was well and truely knocked on the head. In the absence of the sitting member, that was not difficult - he had advised that he was "engaged on electoral activities." But I suspect that he may have been present at similar meetings elsewhere organised by the same Union, and realised that he was on a 'hiding to nothing'

So what we had was a recital of all the gripes about the present Government's education policy, starting of course with assessment in all its guises. I gathered that teachers are not in favour of it (I actually knew that already) but the depth of disgust and disfavour came as a surprise. It has nothing to commend it, even if many parents of those in higher decile schools tend to love it. That is sufficient evidence of its basic 'in-equality.'

It will be "gone by lunch-time,"according to Catherine Delahunty, who took a prominent role in proceedings even though her time in Parliament is over by choice. She obviously believes that Scott Summerfield needs her helping hand, though that was certainly not obvious. Scott was reduced to  grabbing the microphone at times to get his message across. Perhaps he should tell her to bugger off - her contribution does not help him.

Why retiring MP's who have their necessary nine years under their belts to qualify for the full pension feel it necessary to regale us with all their higher motives for retiring (family, time has come etc etc.) I will never know. Catherine was no exception.

It was far from a debate, and even though Wallace Chapman brought some of his 'Back-Bencher' skills ro bear on proceedings, it was clear that boredom was setting in after an hour, and he wound it up so that the 40-50 present could get home to the Leader Debate on TV.

Look, I don't wish to be overly critical, but this so-called debate was disaster, and to be frank I would not vote for any of them, other than perhaps Scott who showed that he has come a long way in getting himself prepared for the rigours of a proper campaign. The remainder all knew far too much about the subject - they all sounded like teachers, and would have been better off addressing an 'in-service' day.

The thing is that in describing how they would spend unlimited billions building all manner of facility, subsidising vast activities, and giving kids an education that they would "really enjoy," we heard not one word about 'cutting the coat according to the cloth' - it was all spend, spend, spend. It is only when you attend these types of meetings that you realise just how far removed from reality that candidates for office can become.

The recently announced Government policy on additional languages was 'rubbished' - Te reo was really the only 'other language' favoured, and "should be universal at every level - not 'additional.'" I heard "why Mandarin"?  from several quaters in the room. Not a great sentiment I would have thought in a teachers forum - reminiscent of Twyford's "Chinky" faux pas..

I won't commit to Scott until I have heard a proper candidates debate which I understand Transition Town Thames are organising early September. Tonight was an aberration - hardly worth the time spent attending. What I gleaned is that everything that the current Government has put in place over the last few years on the education front will be 'out the door' if NZEI and this lot have their way.

I need to know what other policies they have all signed up to to see where the 'balance of good v. evil' lies. The local 'candidate' vote is pretty 'ho-hum' in the overall scheme of things, but it is useful in indicating to parties just how good their candidate selection has been.

In the meantime, I in no way resile from having decided to promote the Green 'Party' vote - that is a given, for good strategic reasons




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Reader Comments (1)

Yes, T3 are in fact holding another candidates meeting. It's on this coming Thursday, the 7th of September at 7pm at the Civic Center. See you there, Bill.

September 1, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRobyn

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