Tag Archives: Bill English Hekia Parata

Let Them Eat Cake

Who is David Wales, and what does he know about school uniforms? Well his official titles are acting head of sector enablement and support for the Ministry of Education as well as head of Special Education.

Wales in a recent New Zealand Herald article about the costs of school uniforms http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11793406  said that it was up to parents to make informed choices when deciding which school to send their children to, he went on to say that “Parents should ask about the expectations and likely cost of school uniforms before they enrol their children.” Continue reading


This frog is tired of being boiled.

I am tired, my son asked me how I was when I came home from work tonight.  I realised it when I wanted to crawl into bed and go to sleep for a while, instead I turned the coffee machine on and brewed up a hit of caffeine.  I realised that I am tired on so many fronts and yet there is nothing I can do to change that.  Some of the things that give me tiredness are good things, looking after my children and helping friends is a good thing.  A certain amount of tiredness from work is apt as well.  But I am tired from fighting battles.

It seems at times that life is one long battle on many fronts and as soon as you fight and win (or not) one battle the next one erupts.  One of the things that I have learnt is to try to pick my battles.  The amount of energy that is required to fight sometimes is not worth the return.  Recently I got tired of fighting one battle, but I was unprepared to give up. Sun Tzu author of the book “The Art of War said this, “It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperilled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperilled in every single battle.”  I sat down and looked at my options, the first question was, is this battle worth fighting?  The battle was where I should be placed on the pay scale in my new employment.  It should be a very straight-forward process.  Unfortunately I was being thwarted by an intransigent, petulant, pedantic pencil pusher.  They were demanding yet another letter of evidence.  After four bites at the cherry I had become unwilling to jump through their hoops anymore when the evidence I had provided was more than adequate! There was a significant amount of money at stake, I decided it was worth it.

Conventional approaches had failed, I had appealed to the Minister of Education and had been ignored, my employers had tried to deal with NOVO Pay but no success. I jotted down the options I had and thought of the effects that they would have.  I arrived at the conclusion I needed publicity to bring pressure to bear on them and that would most likely have the best affect.  The next consideration was how?  I had an aha moment, a hunger strike would do the job I thought.  So then I had to think about the possible outcomes, just how long did I think I could last without eating?

The answer was I don’t know and frankly I didn’t care, I thought perhaps a week, maybe more.  That wasn’t the point really I needed to do something.  I was being frustrated by bureaucracy and it had become untenable to continue to do nothing.

Now as always I have a point in all of this, we  can become like frogs, legend has it that if you put a frog in water and then heat it up slowly it will die without trying to escape.  Put that same frog into water hot enough to kill it and it will react and not slowly.  We are frogs at the moment in so many ways, we are asked to put up with incompetent pay systems as Teachers, we have a minister of education that is attempting to place complete responsibility for learning success upon teachers without any acknowledgement of the social and economic environment that our students live in.  We as teachers are asked indeed expected to do more and more with less and less.  Pay rises under the rate of inflation, increases in student loan repayments  effectively meaning pay cuts for new teachers. The removal of student allowances for anyone studying at graduate level.  A conspiracist may think that this Government is attempting to dumb down the population, for what you may ask? Read this if you think I am exaggerating http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11128998

What could the Government achieve by dumbing down the population?  One explanation is that in doing so it may facilitate the continuing and ongoing transfer of wealth from the have nots to the haves.   This is the real ideology behind the ongoing asset sales, John Key has to reward his supporters somehow.  Even Treasury agree that there is no economic benefit in the asset sales.  Bill English says that First homes are affordable, what planet does the member for Dipton come from? http://www.3news.co.nz/First-homes-affordable-says-English/tabid/1607/articleID/314396/Default.aspx Well I am tired of the nonsense and tired of the struggle and although I don’t think Labour has all the answers I intend to work hard for a change in Government, who will join me?

Oh ps I won the fight with Novopay, rounds one and two any way, Round three is on its way!