Saturday, August 31, 2013


Have just returned from Jaffa land where I attended a retirement function for a person I recruited into the job some sixteen years ago.    Didn't want to overnight too distant from where the function was being held so we opted to stay at the Grange Motor lodge just across the road from The Grange Golf Course.   

I get to travel a fair bit within NZL both private and as part of my employment.   It is my observation that the quality of motels, particularly in Auckland, has declined markedly in the last decade+.

By any measure the Grange Motor Lodge is the standout exception.   We arrived to be greeted by Bernie, the owner, who took us to our Chalet, made sure we were totally happy with what was on offer, left and returned a few minutes later with a couple of complementary freshly baked muffins.   The accommodation, although slightly dated, was immaculate.   It came with everything you could possibly want and more including Sky TV with every channel available.    The tariff was modest ($115 for the night).     Bang for buck it puts many of our 'name' hotels to shame.   I have no hesitation in recommending this place to you unreservedly.

Papatoetoe is awash with election signage.   My attention was drawn to one featuring 'Team Papatoetoe' with a Ross Robertson as one of the members.     His picture looked remarkably similar to Ross Robertson MP,  the local Labour member and currently one of the two Assistant Speakers in Parliament.    Now, am I being churlish to ask how he, assuming his election, is going to effectively carry out both jobs given that as an MP he is remunerated on the basis of his full-time commitment to his parliamentary duties.

Where does that leave him as a Ward Councillor?     Will he be using his Parliamentary travel perk to fly back to Auckland for Council meeting?   Clearly Robertson is fixing himself a new job given his stated intention to retire for Parliament at the end of the current term.  Why won't he do the decent thing and resign his seat now thus avoiding the accusation of double dipping.    So many questions, so few answers.

p.s.   Is this the same Ross Robertson who sent his boy to Auckland's exclusive King's College? Where was his faith in the State education system so strongly touted by his Party as providing the best answer?   And yes, he exercised his right of choice and good on him.   Why then did he vote against giving parents that same right of choice with Charter Schools and how do you spell hypocrite?


Psycho Milt said...

Why then did he vote against giving parents that same right of choice...

Parents already have the same right of choice to send their kid to King's that Ross Robertson had, and no vote was taken on it.

...with Charter Schools.

Oh, right - taxpayer-funded self-indulgence for middle class obsessives. A more relevant question would be why National MPs voted for me to be forced to help fund this educational fad. I'd have liked the choice not to contribute.

The Veteran said...

PM ... you know and I know that Charter Schools aren't catering for the same demographic as KC.

Charter schools may be a part answer to the failures present in the State system. Clearly RR identified those failures and acted accordingly. Perhaps it was his challenge to the Labour mindset on education that ensured he remained a back-bench MP.

Certainly the all all-powerful teacher unions that underpin much of the Labour Party would not have been impressed.

Psycho Milt said...

Clearly RR identified those failures and acted accordingly.

I see. So, someone who drives a Mercedes S-Class has identified the "failures" of a Toyota Camry and acted accordingly. It's an interesting definition of "failure."

The Veteran said...

PM .... we are going slightly off track here apropos my original post but it is fascinating and just a tad telling that you characterise parents who choose to send their kids to private and integrated schools and now chartered schools as self indulgent and middle class obsessives.

A variant of the 'them vs us' theme.

My experience is that most parents will do what they believe is best for their kids at often considerable personal sacrifice.

More power to their elbow.

Choice is not a dirty word. Hypocrisy is and RR is guilty of it.

p.s. didn't know he drove a Mercedes S-Class (tongue in cheek).

Psycho Milt said...

Sure - a lot of parents worry about their kids' future and are prepared to sacrifice for it. What's contemptible is politicians exploiting those fears for the sake of some additional leverage against the teacher unions. Behind all the blather, that's exactly what National's push for charter schools is.

Paranormal said...

PM, your comments would have some validity if state schools were as reliable as a Toyota Camry.

Your university has just released a report that shows NZ teaching, as promoted by the teachers unions you hold such confidence in, fails over 40% of children. Thats like a car not starting 2 out of five working days in a week.

Unfortunately state schools aren't as reliable as my old clapped out ford escort. No wonder the hypocrites on the left who know won't trust state schools with their children's education. Its just too important.

Psycho Milt said...

Your university has just released a report that shows NZ teaching, as promoted by the teachers unions you hold such confidence in, fails over 40% of children.

There's lies, damned lies and statistics, and beyond that there's academics with a bee in their bonnet. University of Otago publishes reports that say that alcohol and food regulations are "failing" too - basically, a load of cobblers doesn't become less of one because someone with a PhD is spouting it.

As to the apparently unreliable, failure-prone nature of our education system, the SST reports today: "New Zealand 15-year-olds have been rated third best in the world for all-round academic performance, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development." If that's failure, NZ needs more failure.

Paranormal said...

So failure of over 40% of students to have basic literacy standards is not a failure? (and that figure is unfortunately reliable over the past couple of decades). If it was a car that failed to start 2 out of five working days it would have been fixed or replaced by now.

No problem here obviously as the OECD says the mid to top end are doing ok. Lets entrench poverty and crime, move along nothing to see...