A landmark report by the New Zealand Education Institution has found primary school teachers face increased demands, but staff numbers are mostly unchanged.
The report recommends the current primary school staffing model be completely revamped
That includes reducing student ratios, more teacher aides, and giving teachers a weekly release day.
NZEI President Liam Rutherford joined Kerre McIvor.
The National Party is due to meet later this month to vote on proposed changes to its internal rules after a string of problems with MPs and candidates, and a disastrous election result in 2020.
National Party leader Judith Collins says changes to the National Party's selection rules will include much stronger vetting of potential candidates' social media histories and more comprehensive reference checks.
But how do you go about rejuvenating a business, or in this case, a political party?
Pead PR Chief Executive Deborah Pead joined Kerre McIvor to discuss why a shake-up for the party needs to start at the top, with the board.
The Ashburton District Council is facing a big repair bill to fix up gaping holes left in rutted roads and fix their bridge.
Mayor Neil Brown says if Auckland can get a new $685 million bridge, his Canterbury town should get a new bridge at a fraction of the cost.
The South Island mayor said Auckland has a need to bridge the Waitemata Harbour and "that's fine", but his town of 35,000 people has a need to bridge the Ashburton River.
Ashburton Mayor Neil Brown told Kerre McIvor it's not as simple as asking the government for money.
"We're doing a business case at the moment. Part of that business case will be the design of the bridge, once we firm up the location and there'll come a figure that it will cost to build the bridge and then we'll know how much to ask the government for."
UK research has found that children on a vegan diet are more likely to be shorter and have weaker bones than their meat-eating peers.
The study by the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health in the UK and the Children's Memorial Health Institute in Poland compared infants on a vegan diet and those who were omnivores.
It found that vegan kids might have slightly lower levels of cholesterol and body fat - but on average they were three centimetres shorter, had weaker bones and were three times more likely to be B12 deficient.
To discuss this, Claire Insley media spokesperson for the Vegan Society New Zealand joined Kerre McIvor.
Nurses Organisation members around the country are striking between 11am and 7pm tomorrow, after rejecting another pay offer.
They say pay rates don't attract people into the profession or retain current staff, and staffing levels are stretching them to breaking point.
Nurses Association Lead Advocate David Wait joined Kerre McIvor.
A bill that would have required all primary and intermediate schools to offer second language tuition from among 10 priority languages has been torpedoed by Labour despite the party originally supporting the bill.
The Labour-led parliamentary committee examining the bill, originally proposed by ex National MP Nikki Kaye, oppose making 10 languages a priority. It says that te reo Māori and sign language should be the priority languages because they are both official languages.
And it said Cook Island Māori, Niuean and Tokelauan and other Pacific languages needed to be valued and taught.
National education spokesperson Paul Goldsmith said Labour are too focused on Māori - Pākehā relations.
"Fundamentally, what's happened is Labour have decided that yes, it's a good idea to learn a second language, you can learn any language you like, but it must be te reo."
Christabel Williams has been crowned the winner of Popstars 2021, taking out the $100,000 prize and proving she is well on her way to living out her music dream.
The 20-year-old from Auckland was chosen by Popstars panellists Kimbra, Nathan King and Vince Harder as the deserving winner after careful consideration of her vocal ability, song-writing skills and stage presence.
And Christabel's brand-new single 'If You Ain’t Looking', has already hit number one on the New Zealand iTunes charts.
A lot of jobs require the wearing of body cams; parking wardens, SPCA inspectors, conservation rangers, a whole host of them. And yet our police don't.
Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon has called for body cameras to be used by our police, not to protect them or keep them safe necessarily, but as a tool to prevent unconscious bias from entering into police decision making.
Body cameras, says Foon, could offer context to any problematic interaction and, as he says, in this day of social media and cell phone footage, context is everything.
Police Association president Chris Cahill, says bring it on.
Police have trialled body cameras previously. A police research project into the use of the cameras started in March 2018, and was due to report back in December 2019, but was shelved with little hoopla by police bosses a few months earlier.
At the time, police cited the cost of the project. Cameras are more than one thousand dollars each, but that's only the beginning. Footage has to be stored, analysed, made available under OIAs and prepared for trial. The cost involved in that was better used in other areas, police said at the time.
So do they work? Depends who is asking.
When it comes to reducing violent interactions, no. When it comes to protecting police officers from false complaints, yes. When it comes to helping police recognise that they targeting certain groups over others, when it comes to stopping on suspicion, yes.
But then that's more a diagnostic tool, rather than a tool for the front line. If I was a police officer, I think I'd rather wear one than have highly selective social media snippets being the official record of what went on. But if the money and resources spent on body cameras could be better allocated elsewhere, I'll trust in the police judgement.
Further to the cycling discussion on Monday, Kerre McIvor was reading a Listener piece by the Chair of the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Dr Alan Bollard.
Within the article, Dr Bollard says the proposed Northern Pathway Auckland Harbour Bridge cycleway project has been forecast to cost many times its initial capital cost estimate of 67 million. It will move less than 1% of the bridge traffic while subsidising some of the wealthiest suburbs in the country. He says, it does not add up.
Coincidentally, it's the second day of the Infrastructure 2021: Looking Ahead Symposium that looks at Infrastructure NZ's work on a 30-year strategy and discusses some of the most critical infrastructure issues we’re facing as a country.
New Zealand Infrastructure Commission Chief Executive Ross Copland spoke to Kerre McIvor.
Further to the cycling chat yesterday, just a follow up. Reading the Listener and there's a piece in there by Alan Bollard - chair of the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission.
It's a fabulous piece and I do recommend it - hopefully we will have Alan Bollard on the show tomorrow to talk infrastructure, but within the article is a piece that is relevant to the conversation we were having yesterday.
He said the proposed Northern Pathway Auckland Harbour Bridge cycleway project has been forecast to cost many times its initial capital cost estimate of $67 million. It will move less than 1% of the bridge traffic, while subsidising some of the wealthiest suburbs in the country.
It does not, says Alan Bollard, add up.
But in the meantime, I was interested in Jarrod Gilbert's piece in the Herald applauding Don Brash for choosing to work with a Mongrel Mob trust. It's a gang education trust which might, said Gilbert, prove to be a game changer in changing the future of these kids with an extremely high risk of becoming the worst sorts of statistics.
I know we've had these conversations before about gangs - and in fact I was rung by a very irate Louise Hutchinson, PR consultant for the Mongrel Mob Kingdom, saying the gang members were good people and trying to change and for heaven’s sake I was living in the past - they'd been ordered to cease and desist from pack rape ages ago.
Jarrod Gilbert says it's worth a try, particularly in addressing the issues of family violence and meth addiction. The flow on effects of those are hugely damaging particularly to the children, so if they can be given alternatives by working with the gangs he says that's worth doing.
Muldoon famously tried to get alongside the gangs. He tried to get the leadership to encourage their members into the make-work schemes that were being run at the time, thinking that getting the gangs into work would decrease their anti-social activities.
That idea went out with all the other Muldoonisms - protectionism, Think Big, when the eighties swept in and since then, or until recently, gangs have been seen as a police issue.
The arrival of Andrew Coster seems to be heralding in that back to the future, let’s work with them, not against them, approach and thus perhaps Don Brash joining a Mongrel Mob trust is just part of the zeitgeist.
I was heading over to the North Shore on Sunday morning - in the never ending search for the perfect inter-generational home - and thought how lovely to see so many families out cycling.
There seemed to be far more than usual - mums, dads, little kids, babies strapped in the back - and although it was a little irritating, doing 5 ks down Herne Bay's side roads, it was Sunday morning these people were having lovely family time and what the hey.
Then, as I got closer to the park, I saw hundreds of them. Like a swarm of lycra clad rats, coming out of every side street and road.
I had to wait while a policeman directed traffic - hordes of cyclists crossing on the road in front of me, and after four or five minutes, I was allowed to drive onto the Curran Road on ramp. Well lucky I wasn't ten minutes later setting off.
Had that been so, I would not have been able to make the appointment because the cyclists whipped up by perennial spinning wheeler Julie Ann Genter went from a lawful rally at Point Erin Park, to a law breaking ride across the Harbour Bridge, backing up traffic for hours on State Highway 1.
I have no problem with cycling proponents wanting a way to get from the North Shore to Auckland City. Hell, if we end up buying a house over there, I might have actually used it.
But right now, I don't feel like ever being supportive about cyclists or cycling lanes ever again. There is absolutely no difference between these law breaking, entitled, demanding gits and the law breaking, entitled gits on motorbikes who take over the roads and the highways when they feel like it - other than the fact that the motorcyclists pay to be on the road and the cyclists don't.
With all the immature reasoning and rationale of four year olds, the cyclists took over the bridge because they want something and right now, this minute, they can't have it.
Bike Auckland chair Barb Cuthbert addressed the protesters after they returned from their bridge crossing.
'Ooooh, how did you like our lane?' I bet they were ever so thrilled with their smug, lycra clad moment of derring-do and bravery in taking on the police.
Later that night, sitting around Auckland's leafy suburbs with a median house price of around 3 million dollars, they would have sipped their chardonnay or pinot noir or for the younger ones, kombucha, and thrilled to the excitement of telling the story of the day they took over the Harbour Bridge - a story that will be told and retold in years to come as they push around the gourmet sausages on the BBQ at the beach pad in Omaha.
That they won't have cycled to mind, because how would they get the toys and the Farro hampers up there if they were biking, but by crikey, the grandkids will know and their kids will know too of the day their courageous forebears took on the authorities and won.
Today is Gumboot Friday.
Mike King says research tells us that the number one support that can be offered to help an at-risk young person is to give them face-to-face counselling.
His charity Key to Life, which pays for free counselling for youth, aims to raise $5 million through Gumboot Friday to meet a demand they simply can’t keep up with.
Kerre McIvor heard from numerous family members who are struggling to help their children with their illness.
Nuroscience educator Nathan Wallis told Kerre McIvor he thinks children these days often don’t have the support networks available to him when he was a kid
"We've got a much less resilient generation of children, they're in crisis."
There is a prediction that house prices won't rise much from here.
The Reserve Bank is forecasting zero upward price movement for the next year from June onwards.
The Reserve Bank announced yesterday they are keeping the Official Cash Rate unchanged at a record low 0.25 percent, but point to increases sometime next year.
The Treasury is expecting house price growth between 2021 and 2022 to be 0.9 per cent.
It jumps slightly to 2.1 per cent the next year, 2.1 per cent the year after that, and 2.5 per cent between 2024 and 2025.
One Roof commentator Ashley Church told Kerre McIvor he thinks that putting such specific figures on these predictions is dangerous.
"It's an extraordinary thing to do; I'd go as far as to say I think it's a foolish thing to do."
Remember BBQ man? Man, I wished we'd kept that clip. Our conversation is seared into my memory and those of you who heard it will have remembered it.
Basically, he was off to the beach with his portable BBQ to spend a day there with his daughter, swimming, sunbathing and BBQ-ing because he could.
He was on the bene - he wasn't going to go to work because he couldn't find work that paid him what he thought he was worth, and he thought we were all idiots for slaving away when we could be at the beach.
Slaving away to look after ourselves - and people like him.
He was utterly unrepentant and do you know what? He's probably not the one amongst us who will die of a heart attack.
I remember a conversation I had with another young man, God, about twenty years ago. He had a university degree and was on the dole because he said no one would pay him what he was worth.
I was incredulous - until you prove you CAN work, how do you show your worth? But he was adamant he wasn't going to work for minimum wage when he knew he was worth so much more than that.
It’s an attitude I simply don't get. But then I'm a peasant. I'm absolutely certain if I go back through my family tree, we were all toilers and hefters and hewers.
No fannying around in draughty castles doing the embroidery - I would have been downstairs scrubbing coppers pots and having liberties taken by footmen.
Working defines me, and I really don't care what it is I do.
Whether it’s working as a house cleaner, in the local fish and chip shop, in restaurants or on the telly - I'll work. But are we the mad ones?
I'm lucky that I enjoy what I do, but if you don't love coming to work, what is it that gets you up in the morning, out the door and through the grind? Especially if you have children.
What keeps you going and stops you from pulling a BBQ man, saying to the kids let’s sleep in tomorrow. You don't have to be at preschool at 7, sleep in, I'll make you breakfast when we wake up and then we're off to the beach for the day.
If you're educated, fit and well and not working, why not?
Is it that you have spent tens of thousands of dollars on your degree and don't see working just above minimum wage as a return upon your investment?
I'd love to get inside the psyche of the 122,871 people in this country who are job ready but have been off work for more than a year.
I'm not talking about people who can't work, or people who have disabilities and would love to work but simply cannot. I'm talking about people who are fit and healthy and just simply won’t.
Many countries around the world are seeing a Covid-19 surge, which some are saying should be a warning for Australia and New Zealand.
Nations like Taiwan, Singapore, and Thailand, once celebrated for their response to the coronavirus pandemic, are now grappling with a sudden surge in cases, with large swathes of their populations unvaccinated.
As long as less than half the population is vaccinated, New Zealand and other elimination countries remain vulnerable to outbreaks.
Auckland University Professor of Medicine Des Gorman told Kerre McIvor he has a few reservations about our Covid-19 response of late.
"There are a number of reasons why I'm very worried about our immunisation strategy. The software is not good, the booking system is a joke at the moment, sadly, we don't have enough vaccinators. The fact we've kept telling ourselves for so long how good we are has led to complacency."
A new survey has revealed that Kiwis are fearful of a more visible gang presence in public spaces.
A man died following a shooting in Auckland's Ōtāhuhu in the early hours of Sunday morning, in Rotorua members of the public were caught up in the bedlam near the Rotorua Sports bar, and two people were seriously injured in fighting as well.
60 per cent of the 1000 respondents in the Research NZ Crime and Safety survey said an increase in people with alcohol and drug problems contributed to more New Zealanders being assaulted or feeling unsafe.
We had the stabbings in Dunedin, yesterday a young man was stabbed on a bus in West Auckland and it does feel a little out of control. As texters have said constantly since the gun buyback, what happened to New Zealand being a safer place?
Remember Operation Tauwhiro? The operation focused on investigating and disrupting the illegal supply of firearms to gangs.
It was to be a long-term, nationally-coordinated operation that would see each police district run their own "tailored initiative" alongside iwi and community groups to offer support that can help address the underlying causes of violence.
Since the operation was launched in February, 350 firearms and $2.4 million in cash have been seized, and 378 people have been arrested on firearms offences. But how many young people have had their life of crime nipped in the bud after being offered support? And are now law abiding members of the community, stacking shelves at their local supermarket, which was one of the clear aims of Operation Tauwhiro.
Not many, if any I'll be bound.
Still, it's early days, and I guess, while I myself prefer the stick, stick approach, if the police hierarchy want to try a carrot and stick approach, knock yourself out.
In the past, I've seen gang violence as God's little pruning fork. For the most part, gang members doing harm to other gang members.
But their reckless and cavalier disregard for our laws and the public’s safety means it's only a matter of time before innocents become collateral damage in their stupid turf wars.
Still, when it comes to public safety, I have for concerns about the halt, the lame and the dispossessed roaming the streets with unaddressed addictions and no structure or support around them.
We might live in Paradise, but there's trouble in Paradise and it behoves this government to look after the very people they said they would.
They might not have campaigned on the law and order card, but they did on homelessness and mental health support. There is going to have to be an urgent focus on these issues, often one and the same for many people, if people are to feel safe in their communities.
Dame Cindy Kiro says she hopes to inspire young wāhine to aim for the "very top" after being named New Zealand's first wāhine Māori Governor-General.
Shortly after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement today, Kiro reflected on her own "very poor" upbringing, and the "incredible" journey to get there.
"I really hope it is seen as a positive thing, you can reach the very top, and remember not only Māori and a woman, but pōhara, very poor, from a humble background.
"It truly is incredible standing here with this opportunity, and I hope young Māori girls, no matter where they come from in life, and all girls, take some inspiration from that."
Kiro will take over the role in October from Dame Patsy Reddy, who will have reached the end of her five-year term.
Kiro will become the country's fourth female in the role, and the first with Māori whakapapa.
Kiro has spent much of her career in the tertiary sector, holding a PhD in Social Policy and an MBA (Exec) in Business Administration.
She has held various professorships at multiple New Zealand universities, and most recently was Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori at the University of Auckland before taking up her current role as chief executive at the Royal Society Te Apārangi.
She has also advised multiple governments and various ministries.
She served as Children's Commissioner from 2003 to 2009, from 2014 to 2018 she was a member of the Ministerial Cross-Sector Forum for the Ministry of Education, and from 2018 to 2019 she chaired the Welfare Expert Advisory Group.
This year she was made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to child wellbeing and education in the 2021 New Year Honours.
When she was asked by Ardern to consider the Governor-General role, she said it was a "shock", sending her back "slumped" into her chair.
But after the initial emotion, and "huge sense of gratitude and humility" and support from husband Dr Richard Davies, she saw it as "an opportunity to really serve our country".
This notion of service had "gone to the heart" of everything she had done through her life, particularly around children, young people and those who didn't have a voice to speak for themselves, she said.
"Service is an old-fashioned idea but still an important one."
She was born in Whangārei in 1958, the eldest of six children, into a "very poor family".
"My mother was born in a nīkau hut with a mud floor in the Far North. My father was born in the north of England in coal mining town.
"I know what it takes, hard work dedication and perseverance to actually succeed in life.
"I have used that academic success as way of progressing through life, while raising a family and trying to contribute to my community."
She said her heritage was a "unique marriage", being of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu and British descent.
"I am proudly Māori, and part British," she said,
"So I bring with this a unique marriage, an understanding of the foundational basis of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its place in our history."
Asked what she thought of race relations today in New Zealand, Kiro said New Zealand had "done a pretty good job, but we have got some way to go".
The Governor-General role came with the patronage of many organisations, including working with children, young people, mental health, innovation and education, homelessness and those with complex needs, she said.
These were all areas she had "championed and worked on" in the past, and she hoped to be able to continue to do so, she said.
Asked what she thought of the role of the monarchy in New Zealand in 2021 and her views on calls for the country to become a republic, she said "clearly" she accepted the Queen as head of state.
"I am here to support her and act in the role of Governor-General, perform a duty around uniting the country."
text by Michael Neilson, NZ Herald
I know the argument for paying teachers on performance has been around for years - ever since I've been hosting a talkback show. But its been around for even longer than that.
An article in the Harvard School of Education said that, as early as 1710 said that in England, teachers were paid based on their students' test scores in reading, writing, and arithmetic.
But problems with this approach quickly became apparent, the author wrote. The curriculum narrowed as arts and science classes were no longer taught. Teachers focused on drills aimed at improving test scores, and "teaching to the test" was born. There were even scandals with teachers faking test scores.
For these reasons, pay for performance -- also known as merit pay -- was abandoned.
Over the past three centuries, it has been resurrected numerous times, and in each instance, according to a Harvard educator, it has failed to improve education and was eventually dropped. This cycle has been repeated each time a merit pay system has been launched, including one championed by President Richard Nixon but declared a failure not long afterwards.
Just about every country in the world has had the debate and will continue to do so because it matters. Because we care about our kids and we want them to do well.
I understand that you want to reward the people who do the best, but who do you define the best?
Well, we were right to be waiting in anticipation.
In Grant Robertson's first budget unfettered by New Zealand First, he delivered a true Labour budget, with money for beneficiaries and students, money for Kiwi Rail, more money in the coffers for Pharmac and $1.1 billion in initiatives for Māori and reinstating training allowances for single parents, yep, it had it all.
This was a budget that should have been printed in red ink.
The Finance Minister has defended his budget and says he's tried to strike a balance between helping those who most need it and being fiscally responsible.
And Grant Robertson seems to have got it pretty much right. He's been criticised by the left for not going far enough and criticised by the right for not looking after the average Kiwi worker or business owner.
But the PM says the $15 billion earmarked for infrastructure will create jobs and stimulate the economy.
So where would you like to start?
In the biggest lift in benefits in more than a generation, welfare payments were yesterday increased significantly, with the Government injecting a massive $3.3 billion into social spending.
Beneficiary payments are set to be boosted by up to $55 a week come next April, potentially lifting tens of thousands of children out of poverty.
The increases will be implemented in two stages, the first taking place from July 1 and the second, by the following April.
Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said this would mean 109,000 families with children would be, on average, better off by $40 a week and 263,000 individuals and couples without children would be better off by $42 a week.
It's seen qualified praise from the social service sector and beneficiaries alike, who say while a raise is great news, it is not necessarily enough to live on and this should be seen as a starting point.
If this is going to raise children out of poverty as the PM believes it will, well and good. It's money well spent. But will it?
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, has lambasted the BBC for contributing "significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation" felt by his late mother, Princess Diana, in the years before her death, in a rare emotionally charged statement by a royal against the public broadcaster.
The Duke's comments come after the BBC offered an unconditional apology over the controversial 1995 interview by BBC journalist Martin Bashir with Diana, in which she detailed the breakdown of her relationship with Prince Charles. An inquiry had found that he used "deceitful" methods to secure the landmark interview.
The Duke also accused the BBC of commercializing a "false narrative" about his mother.
"But what saddens me most, is that if the BBC had properly investigated the complaints and concerns first raised in 1995, my mother would have known that she had been deceived. She was failed not just by a rogue reporter, but by leaders at the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions," he said.
"It is my firm view that this Panorama programme holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again. It effectively established a false narrative which, for over a quarter of a century, has been commercialized by the BBC and others."
The original interview was featured on Panorama, which is still on air and showed a documentary about the controversy on Thursday.
William's brother -- Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex -- issued an equally emotional statement after the report, saying, "The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life."
Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, have fought battles of their own against British tabloids in court.
"To those who have taken some form of accountability, thank you for owning it. That is the first step towards justice and truth. Yet what deeply concerns me is that practices like these— and even worse—are still widespread today. Then, and now, it's bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication," he said.
"Our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed. By protecting her legacy, we protect everyone, and uphold the dignity with which she lived her life. Let's remember who she was and what she stood for."
BBC makes a 'full and unconditional apology'
BBC Director-General Tim Davie said Thursday the interview "fell far short of what audiences have a right to expect."
"While the BBC cannot turn back the clock after a quarter of a century, we can make a full and unconditional apology. The BBC offers that today," Davie said.
Bashir responded in a statement Thursday that it was "saddening" the controversy had "been allowed to overshadow the princess' brave decision to tell her story," according to PA Media news agency.
Bashir stepped down from his role as the BBC's religion editor last week, citing health reasons.
The journalist apologized Thursday for using the fake bank statements but said they had no bearing on Diana's decision to take part in the interview.
"It was a stupid thing to do and was an action I deeply regret," Bashir said in a statement. "But I absolutely stand by the evidence I gave a quarter of a century ago, and again more recently."
"I also reiterate that the bank statements had no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview."
Bashir added that he remained proud of the interview.
The Dyson report comes at a highly volatile moment for the BBC, which is a giant of public broadcasting but increasingly under pressure from politicians.
Its publicly funded model faces growing scrutiny from the government, including from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
What did the report find?
The report was commissioned by the BBC and written by retired high court judge Lord Dyson. It found that Bashir had shown fake bank statements to Diana's brother Charles Spencer, which "deceived and induced him to arrange a meeting with Princess Diana."
"By gaining access to Prince...