Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Reading the Numbers

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  • DeepRed,

    Just as I suspected. Not a "lack of money", but bare-faced anti-intellectualism hiding behind it.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3896 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Worthwhile Herald story on real impacts of the government's tech teacher funding cuts.

    Same principal of a decile 1 school in Manurewa talks eloquently on Radio NZ's Nine to Noon show along with Principals' rep (25 mins, listening options).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    On TVNZ7, the lying about audience size is bound to have affected Cabinet's decision process, no matter how penny-pinching or ideological their overall motivation may have been.

    Those in charge of strategy like Joyce and MccCully would be using it to gauge potential political backlash. Just like potential commercial partners would for profitability.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    I think I can write it here...smells of corruption to me.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Curran,

    With regards to not realising how badly some schools would be affected - how does one pretend to be competent and not be aware of the ramifications of their own policy? Especially when it's a touchy subject like education. That's a flabberygastey face of disbelief right there. Though I'm not sure whether it's at the incompetence or the fact that this is not raising howls of outrage across the board.

    Since May 2011 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Those in charge of strategy like Joyce and MccCully would be using it to gauge potential political backlash. Just like potential commercial partners would for profitability.

    It certainly suited them, but I think the bogus figure was a matter of genuine ineptitude in pursuit of a low-sounding number.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17938 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I agree it would have been a genuine error. Just a convenient one and not corrected until the end.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ben Curran,

    how does one pretend to be competent and not be aware of the ramifications of their own policy?

    The Manurewa princpal talked to RNZ about discussing things face-to-face with Parata and her seeming to understand and even saying they were 'on the same page'. Then showing otherwise with this decision. Worth a listen.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • John Holley, in reply to Ben Curran,

    The challenge is that so much of policy is being driven by spreadsheets (Treasury) without any understanding of the true operational impacts e.g reduced educational outcomes.

    One thing that has been missed is that, where schools are forced to reduce staff numbers, and can't do so via attrition, they must go through the "redeployment" process in the Teachers award. This means, in a primary school for example, EVERY scale A teacher (pretty much all teachers) will have to reapply for their positions. The School is not at liberty to pick who goes. This means some good teachers who have had enough may just take one of the other options in the award and leave teaching altogether.

    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 am a Board Chair and have been stunned how NZSTA have been doing the "Dunne" to protect their relationship with the Minister.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    That darned sock puppet…
    Hosking seems to have derived all his information from that nonsense editorial in The Christchurch Press some weeks back.
    Interesting to note that he does not identify himself with the “chattering classes”, does this mean he does not consider himself educated or part of the Media – perhaps in good faith he should resign his role as the uncombed face of Close Up on Fridays.
    How does he justify this lie: “…the simple truth is no one watches it. Not now, not since it’s been on” and he then goes on to enumerate the people that do watch it, with very dodgy math showing his complete lack of knowledge of the industry he makes his living in (as you have so excellently pointed out, Russell), how sad.
    Even more sad is that he is happy to deprive not just adults, but the nation’s children of quality and intelligent shows that they love and enjoy, as the shows are stimulating and don’t patronise and pander – as most of the kids fare on the commercial channels do (so much for growing a 'knowledge economy' future).
    Can Hosking assure us that he knows of no plans by his other masters (SkyCity) to enter the TV field – aside from ousting TVNZ7 (and others) from its buildings for a new convention centre if The Smiling Assassin gets his way.

    <I tried to post this comment on that ZB page but it doesn’t support Google identities and I don’t do any of the other options – bastards!>

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4199 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    <I tried to post this comment on that ZB page but it doesn't support Google identities and I don't do any of the other options - bastards!>

    A serious limitation I have found as well, interesting. Monopolistic and protectionist behaviour from our Ministers and state broadcaster is corrupt in my view. Old double-dip Hosking is just another useful idiot in the ruse. Everyone is playing dumb while they haul in enormous benefits and salaries from both the taxpayer and private sources.

    On other topic I had to goog NZSTA, http://www.nzsta.org.nz/ how does their being funded work?

    What seems lacking from both topics is the need for accountability from Govt. This and transparency appear to be totally lacking.
    It's demonstrably dictatorial behaviour.
    I cite this as an example of plain stupid making for a very expensive cock-up in the making with seemingly no need for the Govt. to be held to account for their lack of planning...while the job is already in train.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10809159
    My logic leap is that they are not being stupid, they are intentionally obfuscating to further their own agendas, whatever they may be, and that is corrupt.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    How about we start a campaign and send Coleman 7 of things. Preferably small items that give him the message that it is all about "7".

    I'm sending 7 paperclips.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1458 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I think the bogus figure was a matter of genuine ineptitude in pursuit of a low-sounding number.

    People are not inclined to double-check results that agree with their prejudices.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2906 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    People are not inclined to double-check results that agree with their prejudices.

    To harp on, I want to know why Coleman has this prejudice? For what gain? For whose gain? Because if the answers to these questions are personally driven, then he is not being a representative Minister, in my view.
    And he has lied to enact a personal prejudice. Do we have checks and measures for this sort of thing? I think my questions equally apply to Mr Joyce's RONS prejudice.
    Is it sufficient for them (and guesswork Bill) to simply state to us that these are things they don't need to explain (the mandate argument, the use of false statistics argument)? Are we not allowed to question their motives? Are we wrong to expect a truthful answer?
    If so, we are screwed.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to merc,

    To harp on, I want to know why Coleman has this prejudice? For what gain? For whose gain? Because if the answers to these questions are personally driven, then he is not being a representative Minister, in my view.

    Why, SKY-NET, of course!

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3896 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to merc,

    People are not inclined to double-check results that agree with their prejudices.

    To harp on, I want to know why Coleman has this prejudice? For what gain? For whose gain? Because if the answers to these questions are personally driven, then he is not being a representative Minister, in my view.

    Steady on, everyone. Coleman did actually take to Cabinet a recommendation that TVNZ 7's funding be continued. Key was apparently relaxed about that, but Joyce (and English apparently) were not.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17938 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to merc,

    Do we have checks and measures for this sort of thing?

    opposition, media, political movements

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sacha,

    as an example of the system working, witness the govt backpedalling furiously on teacher cuts.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Sacha,

    opposition, media, political movements

    And of course, whistle-blowers.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3896 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Robinson,

    My eleven year old daughter wrote her first letter to a Minister (Hekia Parata) last night, because she was so incensed to hear that her school may have to shed up to six teachers. I was very proud of her.

    She attends a school that's a full year 1-8, not an intermediate, but it has the technology teachers that the surrounding schools make use of (kids are bussed in).

    With the specialist funding changes, all the other schools in the area get extra teachers; her school not only loses six technology teachers, but has a bunch of extra specialist classrooms that will be empty.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Attacking the government as a bunch of ignorant, ill informed Philistines for whom shutting down TVNZ 7 was probably the easiest cost cutting decision they made that day is probably accurate. But that doesn’t mean the channel gets away with being blame free. In the end it cannot be escaped that the curious vapidity of TVNZ 7’s content is what has done it in. Ultimately there was enough of a kernel of truth in the accusations of the station being nothing but a make work scheme for a self-styled liberal intelligentsia for lot of the mud to stick. Was TVNZ REALLY public television for ALL New Zealanders? Whenever I watched it everything seemed so… well, earnest and dull. The station lacked passion and urgency, a feeling that somehow it was doing and saying something important enough to DEMAND public funding. Too often – be it Emily Perkins or Russell Brown or Linda Clark – its tone was detached, cool and observational rather than organic, fired up and involved. The only show which had a regular pulse was Back Benchers, and that show was, to put it politely, uneven at the best of times.

    The charge that it was a lot of middle class liberal whiteys having chummy conversations with each other about the media or books with no real relevance to the lives of Joe Six Pack on Struggle Street who's taxes funded it has, if you are honest, some truth to it.

    I am not saying there isn’t a need for the earnestness of The Court Report, some books reviews or a laidback media show but where was the balance? Where was the fun? Where was the TVNZ 7 content that makes some of Maori T.V. so likeable and very much like what a public broadcaster should be? Where are the shows on TVNZ 7 like MTV’s Boil Up, Hunting Aotearoa, Marae DIY, Tao and the take off of it’s in the Bag? Public TV is about connecting with people in Levin and Lumsden as well as Grey Lynn and Kelburn. To be honest, I am not sure who is to blame for the content decisions made around TVNZ 7. More than likely TVNZ has both completely forgotten what public broadcasting should like and white anted the station, and sneering anti-intellectuals like Mike Hosking’s don’t need a second invitation to put the boot in.

    Arguing over the egregious and deliberate use of false numbers to justify the shutting of TVNZ 7 is to my mind ultimately missing the wood for the trees. At the end of the day, even the defenders of TVNZ 7 cannot deny it is being shut down because it didn’t make itself essential enough to a wide enough spectrum of New Zealanders to muster enough support to justify its funding and its existence in the face of a hostile government.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    At the end of the day, even the defenders of TVNZ 7 cannot deny it is being shut down because it didn’t make itself essential enough to a wide enough spectrum of New Zealanders to muster enough support to justify its funding and its existence in the face of a hostile government.

    That's a very poor argument. Radio New Zealand is the most listened-to radio station in the country, and that hasn't saved it from the multi-year budget freeze imposed by the government.

    FWIW, the people who come up and talk to me about Media7 (and it happens quite a lot now) are older New Zealanders -- they're the ones who'll lose most when the channel ends.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17938 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Steady on, everyone. Coleman did actually take to Cabinet a recommendation that TVNZ 7's funding be continued. Key was apparently relaxed about that, but Joyce (and English apparently) were not.

    Same applies, this is another tactic Govt. uses, ultimately I know, and you know, it was not about the savings. Ignoring Cabinet is just another symptom of the malaise.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    sneering anti-intellectuals like Mike Hosking

    Jeez Tom. Pot, kettle :-)

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3291 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Joe Six Pack on Struggle Street

    that's in Waitakere, right?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

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