Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: All Change

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  • Neil, in reply to steven crawford,

    There’s this thing with a buzz word “consumer engagement”.

    Labour will have to prioritise. There is urgent need right now for resources to maintain the safety of the most vulnerable and at risk. An increased number of respite beds is one such resource and could be done today. Consumers have a much more limited ability to engage when they’re just trying to survive.

    Since Nov 2016 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Neil,

    An increased number of respite beds is one such resource and could be done today. Consumers have a much more limited ability to engage when they’re just trying to survive.

    Agreed, and a simple tweet in bail law, wouldn't do particular harm.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4011 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    On conservation, the politically challenging feature of the day is the Kermadec area. The Labour Party, thanks to MMP, doesn’t have to do another seabed and foreshore. The Greens get to negotiate that potentially – if not negotiated well – racist piece of legislation.

    Think about it like turning huge tracts of government owned lease hold dairy land into department of conservation land, with out bothering to consider how the farming community might feel about it. Actually, its more insulting than that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4011 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    does everyone need to go to university?

    No.

    But can everyone benefit from tertiary education?

    Hell yeah. And at any stage of their life.

    It doesn't need to be the classical university education, it could be anything.

    My personal opinion is universities exist to train a specific type of skills that society needs. But society doesn't need everyone to have those skills - other skills are just as valuable and some of those are much better learned outside a university structure.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4425 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    But can everyone benefit from tertiary education?

    Hell yeah. And at any stage of their life.

    I largely agree. You might be interested to note that the Business Council of Australia, the week before last, recommended giving "every Australian a capped Lifelong Skills Account that can be used to pay for courses at approved VET or HE provider over the person’s lifetime". It would comprise access to subsidised programs and a loan scheme. The differences between VET and HE in Australia are more pronounced than they are in NZ, because States mostly - but not entirely fund VET - whereas the Commonwealth entirely funds HE. Regardless, this debate - about what kind of post-compulsory education people need is urgent. I sincerely hope the next Minister in Charge of Tertiary Education in NZ considers this as one of their priorities.

    For those with the time and interest, the full report is here.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Paul Williams,

    Regardless, this debate - about what kind of post-compulsory education people need is urgent. I sincerely hope the next Minister in Charge of Tertiary Education in NZ considers this as one of their priorities.

    There's a mention of "hop on, hop off learning" in NZ's Future of Work report.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5382 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    There’s a mention of “hop on, hop off learning” in NZ’s Future of Work report.

    Even stronger, one of the findings of the NZ Productivity Commission's March '17 review of tertiary education was:

    A student education account model would place students at the centre of the tertiary education system. However, the prerequisite conditions needed for such a model to be successful are not yet present in New Zealand.

    I agree with the second sentence. There's a need for careful sequencing and pacing of related reforms - governance, learner information, regulation etc - before you'd seriously consider such an approach and that reform is needed regardless.

    BTW, the full report is here.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Having just "finished" further tertiary, I can certainly say I benefited from it. It would be a little annoying to have bracketed my entire tertiary education into the exact period for which it was not free. I began in the year Labour introduced fees, and to finish the year before Labour scraps them would be amusing timing. I wonder if I'm still eligible for 3 free years, having never had even one? Not that I grudge the younglings, this is great news.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10541 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Paul Williams,

    Anglosphere I can't comment on; however in New Zealand, for many many years' participation in vocational education and training has increased.

    Chief Executive of the Industry Training Federation, Josh Williams, pointed out in August, there's more apprentices and trainees that there are uni students.

    In the NZ ICT sector specifically, apprenticeships face big hurdles if Summer of Tech is to be believed:

    We have tried VERY hard to get apprenticeships started for IT in NZ. Current funding requires an ITO or tertiary provider + quals baked in.

    Employers don't value the quals in the current framework, and the funding can only go to the ITO or tertiary. Cannot off-set employer costs.

    Given that ICT skills are changing faster than the NZQA can keep up, the Future of Work's hop-on/hop-off skill system is timely. In America, Apprenti Careers is just the template for a Rhine/Nordic-style ICT apprenticeship system. So far it seems to be only in Washington State.

    I raised the issue with the then Minister for Tertiary Education, and not surprisingly he responded with a tin ear. It's exactly the kind of tin ear that supposedly pushed the Rust Belt to Trump and the de-industrialised UK North to Brexit. With Jacinda taking the Treasury benches, I'm *really* hoping the previously announced ICT apprenticeship policy still holds.

    In any case I'm prepared to re-skill, so long as it's not like going to a casino where there's no guarantee of a payoff, or a Trappist monastery where you might die of boredom.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5382 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Employers don’t value the quals in the current framework, and the funding can only go to the ITO or tertiary. Cannot off-set employer costs.

    I get that - it's problem in Australia and elsewhere. It's also a classic example of the tradeoff between getting skills to get a job and getting enough skills for a sustainable career, typically that is a qualification at at least one level post-compulsory school.

    I do understand too that vendor-accreditation is generally higher regarded than any national qualification. Most of our ICT qualifications embed vendor accreditation. But they're still full qualifications.

    With Jacinda taking the Treasury benches, I’m *really* hoping the previously announced ICT apprenticeship policy still holds.

    Interesting, I'd not previously known about it.

    Something similar could emerge from some work underway in Australia to embed digital skills in all training. More about that here.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Without explanation, without context, without qualifying in any way, Stuff/Fairfax simply does a cut and paste of the most idiotic and offensive piece yet written about Jacinda Ardern.

    I know we're all supposed to get terribly excited every time media overseas actually mention New Zealand, but are we so desperate for attention that we simply recycle their ignorance?

    (and the silver medal goes to Newsweek, who tell us "The newly approved immigration policy for the coalition is estimated to cut refugees by 20,000 to 30,000 each year." Oh dear)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1252 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to simon g,

    Without explanation, without context, without qualifying in any way, Stuff/Fairfax simply does a cut and paste of the most idiotic and offensive piece yet written about Jacinda Ardern.

    And the Queen dinosaur of the FPP era is also getting
    in on the act with lazy, old person opinions masquerading as facts in an idiotic and offensive piece ruthlessly debunked with contemptuous ease by one of the more impressive commentators "Swordfish" at the Standard.

    Linda Clark gave another dinosaur Barry Soper quite a serve on NatRad last week (she didn't name him, but it was obvious whose line of questions about Adern's competence to govern annoyed her - update or get out or words to that effect was her advice).

    IMHO, one of the unexamined aspects of an aging population we need to guard against is an unnoticed, creeping cultural senility afflicting those western societies with too many old people hanging on for too long. The reactions of the likes of Soper and Clifton to the election of a youthful 37 year old PM is part of the evidence for that proposition.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2196 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    IMHO, one of the unexamined aspects of an aging population we need to guard against is an unnoticed, creeping cultural senility afflicting those western societies with too many old people hanging on for too long.

    "Apples and pears when they're ripe they fall down from the trees
    Old people cling on to life like some kind of disease..."

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4578 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    And the Queen dinosaur of the FPP era is also getting
    in on the act with lazy, old person opinions masquerading as facts in an idiotic and offensive piece

    Well it's Bauer Media innit!
    No surprises there...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7704 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to simon g,

    ...we’re all supposed to get terribly excited every time media overseas actually mention New Zealand, but are we so desperate for attention that we simply recycle their ignorance?

    A bit unfair to Ardern. The NZ equivalent of Trump isn’t the PM, he’s the Deputy PM.

    Oddly, the last time Labour supported NZ troops in Afghanistan Peters was Minister of Foreign Affairs and there was a Republican president. This time round NZF also have the Defense portfolio.

    Since Nov 2016 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to simon g,

    Newsweek, who tell us “The newly approved immigration policy for the coalition is estimated to cut refugees by 20,000 to 30,000 each year.”

    For effing factchecking's sake! Estimated by which innumerate cretin? That's more refugees than NZ has taken in total over the past 50 years.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1802 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    My view, and this applies to all healthcare, but it could be piloted on mental health, is that we should apply the ACC model, which generally works, to non-accidental health issues.

    People would be able to present to any accredited mental health provider, or their GP, the provider would file a claim and they'd get treated. Resources expand to meet demand (like there are usually an adequate number of physios around to get an appointment quickly).

    You'd have a "Healthcare Commission" that would pay the providers and set levies to cover their costs across a range of tax types (as ACC levies income, vehicles, and employers based on risk).

    Then, having removed funding from the political sphere, you can look at the most effective modes of provision.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to linger,

    They conflated refugees with net migrants. They also know fuck all about NZ, it's population or its immigration policies.

    We aren't perfect by any means, but compared to most other countries, and especially the US, we are one of the most migrant friendly places:
    - our primary migration pathways are neutral as to the country of origin
    - we select on an empirical points system based in theory on ability to successfully settle (and we work on improving settlement outcomes)
    - we grant qualified migrants permanent residence at an early stage
    - migrants are able to vote after 12 months permanent residence
    - migrants have a clear path to citizenship

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    Twyford:

    There will be a special KiwiBuild visa that will allow people in the construction to fast-track temporary work visas. We will reduce migrants coming in but nothing will be allowed to constrain the construction industry to get workers.

    The need to resssure that not too many foreigners will be getting in is morally bankrupt.

    Since Nov 2016 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    My view, and this applies to all healthcare, but it could be piloted on mental health, is that we should apply the ACC model, which generally works, to non-accidental health issues.

    But it doesn’t work when it’s applyed to mental health. ACC is an insurance corporation.

    Then, having removed funding from the political sphere, you can look at the most effective modes of provision.

    Kind of like privatisation? Don’t forget there is an overlap between mental health services and jail, you would assume? Mental illness isn’t something you can just “treat” as easily as setting broken bones.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4011 posts Report Reply

  • simon g, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    They also know fuck all about NZ, it's population or its immigration policies.

    They don't know anything, and it doesn't (usually) bother me that they don't know anything, because we are globally insignificant. Just as our journos probably don't know anything about Slovenia or Slovakia.

    But what really grates is that our media then treat overseas ignorance as a worthwhile contribution to our own discourse. Why? It's the same fawning mentality that values an opinion by somebody who's just stepped off the plane ("Visitor says NZ is awesome", copyright most media, most weeks) ahead of people who live here and actually deal with daily reality.

    I think we should pass a law to force all media corporations to amend their employment procedures, thus: "In all job interviews, especially for editors, references should not be sought from people who have worked with applicant for years, but from somebody on the street who has never met them. This will override all other considerations."

    If they're going to foist this crap on us, the least they can do is follow the same rule.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1252 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    Twyford is proposing a PPP with Fletchers. Govt money will be good news for Fletchers’ shareholders currently in dire need of good news.

    I wonder if that means he’s no longer interested in the the role Fletchers plays in keeping building costs high.

    Since Nov 2016 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    Used to be a thing that not everyone had to go to school at all, because there didn't seem to be much use for more people who could read, write, and do basic arithmetic. For a start, people who could read and write were rich, some of them could even afford pepper, and how would things even get done down on the manors if everyone could read and write and be rich?

    But it turned out, not just with primary education that reading and writing for the entire population in every occupation was incredibly powerful, primary education was enough to solve farming for instance, quickly reducing the labour requirements by about 90% while dramatically raising outputs, even in the armed forces it worked such that once one country tried it every country either kept up or was quickly dominated by military force.

    But that it was the same again with secondary education in the arts, culture, sciences, and mathematics, even sadly tinged with the racist nationalism of the time, not having that was bad for your culture and country in a big way, because those racist nationalists were good at stuff, including being an effective army, despite their racist nationalism.

    It's the same with tertiary education, of course; law, medicine, economics, the sciences, sociology, advanced mathematics, engineering, data management, having a surfeit of people with those skills in every area of society would make us immensely powerful and rich compared to the world of our parents, and we're on the way already as more and more people are doing just that.

    Yes, it's hard to imagine taxi drivers and check out operators in world of full of lawyers and doctors (he says, ironically). But just because you can't imagine a world where everyone is better educated than you and I, doesn't mean it won't be completely amazeballs and kick everyone else's ass, just like it has every other time this has happened in the past.

    Honestly, it's a bit like people being worried about how the remaining shit jobs that no one really wants to do might go away. That's not a bad thing, in the past that has always turned out really well for everyone.

    Since Nov 2006 • 594 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank,

    Since Russell posted this six days ago it has become increasingly evident that our new government is indeed 'all change'. Perhaps except a couple of features of the last two governments: neoliberalism and financial discipline.

    Jacinda hasn't declared any rejection of neoliberalism, so I believe she just wants to tweak it as per the agreed policy prescription. In regard to that, someone reported in the media that there's a 39 page document which will be made public. What has been reported so far is merely the gist of that (key points simplified).

    Whether Grant Robertson proves capable of reaching the standard set by Michael Cullen remains to be seen. The public must be bemused that our economy will be supervised by someone with no financial qualifications, track record of successful management of financial systems, or any relevant experience whatsoever. Expect the right to liken his appointment as Minister of Finance to hiring an Afghan immigrant drain-layer as neurosurgeon.

    The demeanour of Winston & Jacinda at the initial press conference impressed me. You can always read the chemistry between people via body language, and the relaxed rapport evident bodes well for the new government. I watched the swearing-in late this morning via the live stream. Normally wouldn't bother, but having spent five years working to establish the Greens as a viable operation in the early nineties, I wasn't going to miss seeing the fruits of that labour finally show up as three Green MPs entered our government for the first time. This is the foundation stone for the sustainable society to come. Better late than never. Very satisfying.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    Hearing Twyford announce increased training of young people in the building industry was good news.

    Thanks to immigration there’s now the demand to provide the work and also the market for up-scaling production and decreasing costs.

    It would be a bit awakard to gear up such an industry only to have demand suddenly drop off.

    Since Nov 2016 • 209 posts Report Reply

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