Real Issues Blog
04 June 13
The way the Western world views poverty, the poor, and welfare is changing. New studies show that successive generations are less supportive of the redistribution of wealth, and have less conviction that the government is responsible for ensuring a decent standard of living for the unemployed.
Poverty in New Zealand is often seen as a non-issue, and it is not uncommon to overhear someone state that “poverty doesn’t really exist here.” + more
23 May 13
Did you know that your tax pays more towards subsidising tertiary education than for the Police and foreign aid combined?
Last week, Maxim Institute launched a free, one-click Tax Tracker web app, a simple online tool that lets you enter your annual income, click “GO” and immediately see a receipt of what your income tax is going to pay for this year, based on the hot-off-the-press 2013 Budget numbers. + more
17 May 13
Justice Minister Judith Collins recently dismissed adopting any of the changes to our electoral system recommended by the Electoral Commission’s Review; a process that cost 1.6 million dollars and engaged over 5000 New Zealanders.+ more
01 May 13
There is so much happening in education at the moment that it’s exhausting sifting through the snowdrift created by an avalanche of press releases, opinion pieces and radio and television items.
It was reported earlier this week that the Ministry of Education will presently disestablish the Te Kotahitanga programme. But is this a false alarm?
Te Kotahitanga is a “research and professional development programme” that encourages teachers to teach Maori students reflexively, and school leaders to enable this. That is, Te Kotahitanga seeks to ensure research and an understanding of Maori culture inform teaching practice to the point of facilitating Maori educational accomplishment, both socially and academically.
26 April 13
The constitution should not, as J.C. Beaghole put it in New Zealand and the Statute of Westminster, be “some silk-wrapped mystery, laid in an Ark of the Covenant round which alone the sleepless priests of the Crown Law Office tread with superstitious awe.” Discussions around New Zealand’s constitution were once like this, characterised by hushed whispers drifting serpentine-like through ivory towers, but are now—in part thanks to the Constitution Conversation—moving towards passionate exchanges bouncing back-and-forth in school halls and maraes alike.
26 April 13
This has been another contentious week in education. The Education and Science Committee reported back on the Education Amendment Bill 2012 last Friday, and commentators and politicians have rushed to their megaphones and keyboards; they’ve mounted their soapboxes. Soundbites, editorials, media releases: we’ve heard and seen them all. + more
Jane Silloway Smith
11 April 13
Reading through the many obituaries of Margaret Thatcher that have been published since her death yesterday, a quote from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar continually comes to mind:
"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar."
Mark Antony speaks these words following the assassination of Caesar by his close associates in the Senate. Despite this opening, the rest of Antony’s speech goes on to highlight not “the evil” that Caesar has done but rather “the good.” Turns out “the good” will not be “interred.”
So let it be with Thatcher.
02 April 13
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, as the saying goes. If nothing else, the column inches and ink expended on partnership schools proves the saying, well, contingent at best. Smoke stacks regularly twist and carve up the horizon. But fire? Umm, hard to find. + more
28 March 13
More crumbs about partnership schools kura hourua dropped recently. And, as we’ve seen before, critics swarm over these morsels. + more
Jane Silloway Smith
27 March 13
In the midst of his inaugural Mass and on the feast of St. Joseph, the new pope demonstrated the type of papacy he intends to live out: one dedicated to service to, as he put it, “the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important.”+ more
15 March 13
The third and final installment of Maxim Institute’s series of Research Notes on charter schools analysing the for-profit model is now available. + more
13 March 13
Maxim Institute’s CEO, Greg Fleming, will be a panellist on the topic of “the ethical questions that talk of the common good raises” on March 20, in an upcoming panel series in Auckland.+ more