Q+A

September 20th, 2009 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The main interview on Q+A was Education Minister Anne Tolley. I thought Anne did well (as did two of the panelists – the PPTA President obviously not such a fan).

PAUL Let’s talk about that shortly. But 200,000 New Zealanders a year go to night classes to improve themselves. Grown up people – that’s a helluva lot of people to annoy for 13 million dollars.

ANNE Well 124 million dollars will still be spent in adult and community education. What I’ve said is we’re going to focus on literacy, numeracy, language, foundation skills – those courses that will lead on to employment. We’re still in an economic recession, there are people out there, particularly young people, who are the most vulnerable, they are the most likely to lose their jobs and the least ones likely to get jobs.

PAUL Yes, but night classes in schools of course as adults – migrants, refugees adults trying to improve their lot – the strugglers.

ANNE Some of them are, some of them are hobby courses courses like belly dancing, ukulele playing. We’ve got courses like pilates and yoga – I’ve attended those classes myself. The average age of people attending those night classes is about 46. What we’re saying I had a half billion debt from the previous government to find in tertiary education what we’re saying is we’re going to put those tax dollars into supporting our young people through the recession.

PAUL I understand. Go to those classes again, Minister. Some of those classes might have been questionable – belly dancing, Cook Island drumming, cheese-making, folk art for beginners – but there were also book-keeping basics, English as a second language, learning Mandarin

ANNE Yes, English is important, language classes will remain as I say

I think Labour are deluding themselves that this decision is unpopular. The protesting are mainly the providers. Most of the 200,000 understand we are in a recession.

Recent polls in the UK have found from 70% to 80% of the population support spending cuts to reduce the deficit. I doubt it is much different here. NZ Labour is trying to appeal to 20% to 25% of the population only.

They then had Labour List MP and National Auckland Central MP on, to talk about how they were finding being MPs. Some extracts:

PAUL Do you get a thrill from that as well from helping?

NIKKI Absolutely. I mean I think my point is that the part I enjoy the most is being in the community and in my electorate actually with my constituents and Ive had some pretty hard cases as well, theyre people whove asked for drugs to be funded and you know that actually theyre not going to be funded.

PAUL Of course, you are both MPs but you are a constituent MP, youve got an electorate (Nikki) and youre a list MP (Jacinda). Does that give you more mana do you think with your senior colleagues that you do have a constituency?

NIKKI I think it was a pretty big win and there are often times when you can talk on an issue and you really know youve got the people behind you in your electorate I think there is something there in that.

PAUL As a list MP, and a young list MP at that, are you made to feel a bit lesser than say a constituency MP?

JACINDA No, not at all I think that part of is that because we accept that this system that uses list MPs, MMP, has made our parliament look more like New Zealand so list MPs are an important part of doing that. Now me personally, I would love to represent a constituency one day

I think Nikki is right that electorate MPs are often in a stronger position as advocates.

Interestingly Jacinda said that she is not ruling out standing in Auckland (in 2008 she stood in her home seat of Waikato), maybe even standing against Phil Twyford for the Auckland Central nomination.

PAUL Is your generation, people of your own age, more likely to have friends across the political divide than say the, are you likely to be less tribal?

NIKKI Well I think Ive built some good relationships on both sides of the house and I think it depends on the politician. I mean, thats the way that I work. I sort of see it as a bit of a sports match, you go in and you fight for what you believe in but then youre able to come off and treat each other with dignity and respect.

JACINDA I would agree with that, I think that that is important. I dont know if tribal is quite the right word , I do believe what I believe strongly, Ive got a really strong values set but I am willing to look at new ideas and new ways of doing things and if that involves the other side then it does. But I still think that there are certain things that I wont compromise on.

Jacinda tended to not reject the ideological label, as much as Nikki did. And that probably reflects the fact Jacinda is more ideological. But I don’t mean that in a bad way. Most successful politicians have a mixture of ideology and pragmatism, and the differences between them are more shades of grey than black or white.

PAUL What are the mistakes? Tell me your one mistake, because you told me a story once about a fellow who came to you with a problem and you did the political spiel and told him what the law was blah blah blah and what did he say to you?

NIKKI He said to me, and you know I think its that whole thing about, theres a whole of politics stuff that happens in Wellington but when you get back to the community people want to know how decisions affect them&.

PAUL&What did he say to you&

NIKKI ..and he said to me you seem like a very nice lady but youve just told me a whole lot of stuff that just means nothing to me and & but we actually ended up going to the pub for a drink and, but what I realised was actually that people just want to know how the decisions are going to affect them, theyre not that interested in the politics.

PAUL Youve got to stay real, is that what youre saying?

NIKKI Thats exactly right.

I thought that was a great example of the difference between people caught up in politics regularly (the beltway) and most New Zealanders who are focused on how decisions affect them, rather than debates about politics.

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31 Responses to “Q+A”

  1. backster (2,000 comments) says:

    Its the first time I’ve seen this Minister. I was most impressed she came across as very competent yet understanding. I have seen Nikki Kaye speak on Parliament TV ( to almost empty chamber) she was a fine orator. First time I have seen Jacinda, wow those teeth are they real?

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  2. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    No doubt Crappum will have another whine about Tolley pretty soon.

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  3. Viking2 (10,737 comments) says:

    “The differences between them are more shades of grey than black or white.”
    Yep well thats what we have been saying since when was it Novemebr 08. Bugger all difference between the two socialist parties. Left and slightly right of left.
    Thanks for confirming this. BB, Redbaiter et al will be right on the case.

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  4. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “… The protesting are mainly the providers. Most of the 200,000 understand we are in a recession.

    Recent polls in the UK have found from 70% to 80% of the population support spending cuts to reduce the deficit…”

    dpf..did you miss the point that holmes made three times..?

    that this $13 million is cut from the poorest/lowest-tier of education…on recession grounds..

    while an extra $35 million is ‘found’ ..to give to the richest private schools in the country..?..on ‘recession’-grounds..?

    (did you decide to leave that ‘curly one’ ut of yr edit..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  5. Viking2 (10,737 comments) says:

    From the richest peoples taxes. Phool

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  6. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    oh..!..are they ‘earmarked’..are they..?

    vik2..?

    no..the ‘richest’ people hire scumbag/leech-tax-lawyers…(like nckb is receiving a state subsidy to train for..)

    so they ..and many corporates pay s.f.a. in taxes..

    (they have ‘trusts’..and things..eh..?

    just like bill english does..eh..?..)

    and how about him applying for an extra twenty bucks a week..on his cleaner subsidy..?..eh..?

    talk about ‘wringing out the sponge’..eh..?..

    whoar..!..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    and did you know that english has seven superannuation schemes..

    plus pension..coming up..?

    whoar..eh..?

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  7. nickb (3,629 comments) says:

    What a shame, dole bludging hippies from Nelson and Northland will have to pay for their own flax weaving and cake making classes, I can’t sleep at night because of the injustice

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  8. homepaddock (429 comments) says:

    “while an extra $35 million is ‘found’ ..to give to the richest private schools in the country”

    Holmes put that and Tolley answered it – it costs less to give some support to private schools than to have them integrate into the state system.

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  9. Poliwatch (335 comments) says:

    Phool – let me tell you about a fly fishing night course I did recently at a low decile high school in a poor area. We all rocked up in our expensive motor vehicles to attend – not a pauper or refugee was to be seen. I have done other courses and they are all much the same.

    Now damn this government for removing such bullshit.

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  10. Pongo (356 comments) says:

    As a taxpayer I was stunned to find I am actually paying for cake decorating, belly dancing etc. then these clowns have the gall to say its an outrage hobbiest might have to chuck a few of their own dollars at it and say it with a straight face.
    Where did Jacinda get those teeth from, I had to watch telly with my shades on.

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  11. noodle (151 comments) says:

    I thought the interview was bollocks. I’ve forgotten more than those young ladies know but ya gotta start somewhere I suppose. And I was equally credulous at that age. Ok, will creep back to my crypt and observe the wondrous transformation of society at their lovely, caring hands. No hurry.

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  12. Kingi (142 comments) says:

    I thought Jacinda Ardern clearly outshone Nikki Kaye on the program (and no it wasn’t because of her AMAZING teeth either). Jacinda was clear, articulate and insightful, whereas Ms. Kaye seemed dull and was constantly stumbling over her words. Ms. Kaye also looked quite dull (in terms of her dress sense) whereas Jacinda looked modern and fashionable. I watched the interview again on TVNZ and Jacinda was clearly dominated Nikki Kaye in terms of talk time.

    A clear win for Ms. Ardern in my view, and she’d make a great MP in an electorate too!

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  13. nickb (3,629 comments) says:

    good to see you support socialism then kingi

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  14. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..Phool – let me tell you about a fly fishing night course I did recently at a low decile high school in a poor area. We all rocked up in our expensive motor vehicles to attend – not a pauper or refugee was to be seen…”

    wow..!..i find that hard to believe..

    i’d heard that ‘paupers’ and ‘refugees’ are ‘big’ on fly-fishing..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  15. Kingi (142 comments) says:

    If you mean I support a fairer, more just society where everyone can achieve. Then YES. I do nickb. Good to see you support….sorry what do you support?

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  16. nickb (3,629 comments) says:

    I support a fairer, more just society where everyone can achieve Kingi.

    The difference is that I support a society where the individual is left to follow his own destiny and achieve his own goals, rather than have government do this for them.

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  17. Steve (4,327 comments) says:

    Tell me again what Jacinda said. Raving List MP, who did she beat?
    Who did Nikki Kaye beat?
    Q & A was the Holmes Show with Jacinda and Paul all over Nikki.
    Talk about bullying lol!

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  18. nickb (3,629 comments) says:

    Agreed Steve, but Holmes is the wettest tv host in the country.

    Paul Henry and Michael Laws should set up their own talkshow for the sole purpose of owning handwringers and panty wetters.

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  19. Steve (4,327 comments) says:

    Maybe they are working on that nickb
    I like the program but the host sucks

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  20. Steve (4,327 comments) says:

    Phool,
    Nobody cared yesterday
    Nobody cares today
    Nobody will care tomorrow
    You are a toy, some play with you because they want to, and some just throw you out like a toy you never ever wanted.
    I am sick and tired of paying for maggots like you. In the morning, get a job.
    The work hardening people are on your case sunshine

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  21. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..The work hardening people are on your case sunshine..”

    you been watching some guy ritchie movies there..?..’sunshine’..?

    (‘right geezer’..are ya..?..’sunshine’..?)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  22. noodle (151 comments) says:

    Kingi. Ah erm. Jacinda outshone Nikki with fashion and bright teeth. You are so correct. I am an idiot. Sorry I had a doubting moment. I shall flog myself for punishment as soon as I quit this mea phucking culpa reply. I am replaying the tape to more correctly observe the [deleted by DPF and 30 demerits]

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  23. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    steve..

    what possibly gives you the idea..

    that i would give a flying fuck..

    what people i have absolutely no respect for..

    think about me..?

    i mean..y’know..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  24. paradigm (507 comments) says:

    If you mean I support a fairer, more just society where everyone can achieve.

    “Because its fair and just to give arbitrarily defined minorities extra benefits. But only if they vote for you.”
    -next election’s labour pledge card

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  25. nickb (3,629 comments) says:

    Lol.
    The left on this blog aren’t very challenging are they paradigm, more like challenged.

    At least give us some entertaining trolls

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  26. jabba (280 comments) says:

    maybe I’m a bit old but I worry about both of them. Jacinda seems to me to be a rich girl who wants to be save the country from the evil right. Nikki would be a little annoying I think to older MPs but I hope she kicks Trevors arse in the Taupo race as he banned me from Red Alert for a week.

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  27. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    I think Labour are deluding themselves that this decision is unpopular. The protesting are mainly the providers. Most of the 200,000 understand we are in a recession.

    It shouldn’t matter a jot whether we’re in a recession or not. Classes on Cheesecake Making, Yoga and How to Make a Fairy Tree should not ever be funded by taxpayers. Ever.

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  28. Jack5 (4,229 comments) says:

    Some high schools and uni’s etc seem to use night classes as a way of earning taxpayer revenue.

    Some night classes are worth tax funding, such as those that help NZ’s backwardness in learning languages, or offer remedial maths, English etc. However, it’s hard to see returns to taxpayers from state-funded classes in reflexology, belly dancing, cake decorating etc.

    State funding for adult education can kill self-help efforts. Think of the demise of clubs and volunteer groups that pass along knowledge. Before polytechnics offered free introductory classes in computing and high schools offered cheap night classes in the same, computer user groups and clubs were rife. Experienced users happily helped newbies gain skills, at no cost to taxpayers. As someone mentioned above, angling is another example. Why not join an angling club instead of going to to a night school to learn to cast?

    Similarly, YMCAs and commercial gyms offer classes in things like Pilates. Why should taxpayers subsidise duplication (or replacement) of these by high schools?

    Early last century professionals and intellectuals gave free WEA lectures as way of helping lift society. The WEA movement now seems just a shadow of itself. I suspect it has been undermined by taxpayer subsidised night classes at high schools, uni’s etc.

    A resurgence of volunteer education may be a surprising result of the Tolley cuts.

    As a start I propose a solution for Philu, who in this string is upset by the cuts, and would be happy, I am sure, to pass on free his blogging expertise. The perfect topic for Philu’s first free lecture: punctuation art !!…. the synergy … hidden meanings and magic of full stops!! question … marks ??? apostrophes … and exclamation marks!!! along with … the … obsolescence … of … capitals … and… y’know …paragraphing…

    This lecture will be free, but students must each bring their own 1kg of mixed full stops, exclamation marks, and question marks. Capitals will not be admitted.

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  29. nickb (3,629 comments) says:

    Lol @ your last bit

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  30. Rich Prick (1,324 comments) says:

    Well, I am at last pleased to see a Minister who will front up and say enough is enough. Do we remember the Labour Minister who defended “twilight golf couses” and “hip-hop tours”? Quite frankly, if the over 45′s who want cake decorating classes or macrame lessons or any othet bugger bollocks but can’t pay for it I say you should have made more of your time whilst in the work force to afford these trivialites. You just can’t have your decorated cake and eat it too.

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  31. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    > Most of the 200,000 understand we are in a recession.

    Alas, the Minister of Finance doesn’t seem to understand that. He’s still saying he’s entitled to taxpayer handouts despite being one of the highest paid politicians in the country. Have a chat to Bill English and remind him that we’re in a recession. He doesn’t get it.

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