Thank you for your answer. I get the feeling they may be the Govts. foil to the teacher's union?
They're supposed to be an independent lobby and support group for Boards of Trustees, but as Hilary says above, they're more like an employers organisation than anything else, and also do receive a lot of government funding in the way of training contracts. But their "employer" stance puts them at odds with a lot of Boards who, while they are employers in name, have a lot more in common with the teachers than with the Ministry.
Their "training" around National Standards (or at least the sessions I attended) were not much more than a thinly-veiled ra-ra session on how easy to implement and great to use National Standards were going to be.
Why no howls? Well NZSTA seems firmly in bed with the Minister rather than being the independent voice for parents and Boards that they are meant to be.
I was on the Board of our local school for about 12 years, including 6 as chair, and I was always surprised that NZSTA seemed to take the side of Government in a lot of things, like employment disputes, wage rounds, etc. They don't really independently advocate for Boards and schools nearly as often as they should.
On other topic I had to goog NZSTA, http://www.nzsta.org.nz/ how does their being funded work?
They're funded through an annual levy on schools as far as I know. At least our school paid a membership fee every year. The local office was handy on a couple of occasions when we sought advice on procedures, but the national body seems far too close to the Ministry for my liking.
Most of my online buying is music, although games and books have also featured. If I like music, I want to own the CD / LP, hence I don't do iTunes. I tend to use Amazon a bit, lots of eBay, some MusicStack, but also independent sites, which is where most of the obscure stuff I like comes from. RateYourMusic is a really good site for discographies, related artists, lists, "best of"s, etc - no music, but an active user base and some very knowledgeable people on all sorts of music. I also hang out in a couple of forums for specific music genres.
Locally, Amplifier is really good for keeping track of new stuff, and I've bought quite a few tickets through Under the Radar.
For books, it has to be the Book Depository - I don't actually do much in the way of keeping up with books, apart from reading the reviews in the paper and the Listener. Apparently Good Reads does the same things for books as discogs and rateyourmusic does for music.
Still think this might be the worst:
It has the benefit of being shorter than the original, and it's strangely appealing.....
Surely it would save everyone a lot of time and effort if Inspector Davison would just publish a complete list of the unacceptable music types now.
"Everything except the Feelers"
I went to see Shihad on Friday night. It was in a marquee after the original venue, The Bedford, had noise complaints in its first weekend of activity. It was a really good night, very good show. They started off with a small setup in front of a backdrop to play songs off their early albums (echoing the small clubs and pubs they played in to start off with), then half way through the show the stage went dark, the spotlights all pointed out in to the audience, and Jon Toogood appeared standing on a platform by the sound desk (also coincidentally about 1 metre from where I was standing) to do a song out in the audience while they expanded the stage, shifted all the gear around, raised the drum kit and brought out a whole lot more lighting - reflecting the bigger shows they play now. Then he wandered back up on to stage to finish the concert.
It took a while for the crowd to get in to things, because most of them would have been in nappies when the first few Shihad albums came out (comment by a 20-something I overheard as I was leaving "No one knew the first few songs" pffft if you don't know Derail and Factory you really need to do some learning), but I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening.
I'd forgotten how LOUD some bands can play (quite possibly a stupid thing to realise AFTER a Shihad concert)- my ears are suffering a bit today. And it's funny how older minds think alike - there was a whole bunch of us mid-forties to mid-fifties people standing right in front of the sound desk - best sound, best view, and no idiots spilling drinks on you or trying to mosh you.
I'm not sure if it counts as confirming the rumour that they're doing the easy bits first, but there are a LOT of driveways and fences getting replaced out in Rangiora, and a fair number of people getting their houses done too. It just feels wrong for that to be happening.
And every now and again (like today) I get an attack of the "how come we were so little affected by something that has destroyed so much" guilts. Our lives are pretty much carrying on, while others not 20 minutes' drive away have been devastated. And that just feels wrong too.
I drove in to Tuam Street the other day (school stationery run) and went down a street that i didn't recognise - wondered which one it was, the got to Smith's City and realised for the last few blocks I'd been driving down Colombo St and hadn't even known it. That was a bit scary.
I was at that Logan Campbell New Order concert, and as I recall, it was a pretty good night out. Lots of knobs being twiddled, very little stage banter, but enjoyable at the time. It really was a horrible venue though - shitty sound everywhere unless you were right up the front or standing by the sound desk.
I missed Simple Minds at Sweetwaters, but that was the year some of the main acts also played a one-day thing in Christchurch, and I did see them there. They blew everyone else away completely, even the headliner (I can't even remember who it was now).
does anyone else think that Pitchfork has got it's head stuck up it's own arse?
Pick me - I really don't get some of the stuff they rave about - twee "indie by numbers" nonsense most of it seems like.
I can't remember too much that I've bought this year, but Beastwars' album has been immense - Call Out the Dead and Damn the Sky especially. WOLD's new album came out 3 days ago, so I haven't heard it yet but will probably buy it like I have all their others - if you want to listen to some unlistenable black-metal-noise, they're your guys :)
The Bats, Victoria Girling-Butcher, Cairo Knife Fight, Gillian Welch, Primordial and Subrosa were also all excellent release. Black Boned Angel's The Witch Must Be Killed was last year, otherwise it would have got a highly commended as well.
Re people not voting. Was anyone else aware that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t vote?
The irony is, nor do the Exclusive Brethren - but that didn't stop them attempting to bad-mouth the Greens or bankrolling Brash and co in the 2005 election.