I wonder what inspired this story

July 21st, 2011 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Elizabeth Binning at reports:

Kindergartens have increased fees, put playgrounds on hold and made staff redundant because of Government funding cuts – but many have large sums of money in the bank.

A search of the charities register reveals many kindergarten associations have shown surpluses in their annual returns.

An excellent story, and piece of investigative journalism.

It is of course pure coincidence that on Monday, Whale Oil blogged the bank balances of the major kindergarten associations.

 

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14 Responses to “I wonder what inspired this story”

  1. Paulus (2,711 comments) says:

    Thanks Whale, but will somebody in MSM really run with it. Doubtful.

    Well repeated Elizabeth Binning – but please do something more with it.

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  2. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    All true. I’m on the board of an organization that rents land/buildings to a childcare. This organization is sitting on a pile of cash that has accumulated over the last 5 years.

    Oh, Binning – do your own research or attribute your report to the source

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  3. m@tt (636 comments) says:

    I remember a similar issue with private schools having large cash reserves while also seeking public money. I believe the argument they put up was that the investments were generating interest which contributed to meeting the running costs of the school.
    If that’s the case here as well then I don’t have a problem with it.

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  4. ben (2,280 comments) says:

    This makes me wonder what the mainstream media would have to do to lower my opinion of them any further.

    Not content to hack phones of dead people, descend to shrill absurdity on every minor news story so that it becomes impossible to distinguish actual disasters from norms, or to be openly partisan on certain political agendas (I refer to Chris Barton and his hit piece on de Freitas last week, among many others), now they are stealing ideas from their new media competition without attribution.

    The amount of actual information in any given news bulletin is now so low that it is barely worth watching or listening, and wading through all the hyperbole is headache inducing.

    Ok, media is responding to what the masses demand. It is weird to me that apparently good content doesn’t pay. That doesn’t justify stealing it.

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  5. Pongo (374 comments) says:

    Kk, we rent out a building to one of these bleating tax funded organizations too and they have such a big bank balance they want to buy the building before they are asked to use their surplus.
    Well done to whale, doing the job journalists should rather the regurgitating labour press releases. His exposure of the front page cleaner who will have her life transformed by a ten buck tax cut as a union organizer was another one where the msm stuffed up.

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  6. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    @ben – I regard all MSM as simply delivery vehicles for shrill, magazine-style entertainment. That they pose as providers of news and are accepted as such by so many speaks volumes about the average NZer.

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  7. rouppe (983 comments) says:

    They are reporting different things. The Herals is showing the “financial performance” for the year ended 30/06/2010, whereas Whale is reporting their current financial position as at that date

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  8. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,704 comments) says:

    The accounts for the Auckland outfit make interesting reading.

    One of the excuses put forward for the achievement of a half million operating deficit is ‘a conscious decision to use reserves for operating costs<……. (my italics)

    I’m really scratching my head on this one because I would have thought that the use of capital reserves to fund operating costs might have induced something called, what is it again? a SURPLUS?

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  9. flipper (4,332 comments) says:

    There are several problems in the ECE area:
    1. The proliferation of privately owned ECE /child care centres. (The problem is the blurring of the line between ECE and Child care).

    2. The salary issue is NZEI driven – for salary reasons alone. The childrern have never been in their thorts.

    3. Clark’s actions (her ghost lingers!) blurred all the lines for solely political reasons, but dumbed out.

    4. Surpluses will, from time to time, be accumulated by FKA’s. But they are required/entitled to use salary/admin monies only for that purpose. Capital grants must only be used for that purpose. Un-spent capital funds may account for a surplus. Not sure about actual reasons for surpluses.

    5. All of this comes back to salaries. Change the rules (as Labour did) and one has a very different result.

    6. ?????? would it be cheaper to allow child care costs (up to a reasonable, average, limit) to be tax deductable? Just paying NZEI salary rates to the great unwashed is dumb.

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  10. KiwiGreg (3,278 comments) says:

    You have it backwards Adolf. If you use reserves to fund expenses you are running a deficit, in the same way if you use savings to buy your groceries. Eventually you will run out of reserves/savings.

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  11. Inventory2 (9,381 comments) says:

    If the good folk of the MSM are going to trawl the blogosphere for interesting stories, they could do a whole lot worse than call by WO’s blog today, and read about the systematic rorting of electoral advertising rules by Labour,. This makes a mockery of Grant Robertson’s promise just ELEVEN DAYS AGO to accept the Electoral Commission’s interpretation of the law, and to refrain from distributing dodgy stuff that the taxpayer is forced to pay for. The sooner one of the main media outlets shines light on Labour’s continued contempt for the law and the taxpayer, the better.

    And all power to the Whale; he’s not just bleating about it; he’s made a formal complaint:

    http://whaleoil.gotcha.co.nz/index.php/2011/07/dear-electoral-commission/

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  12. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,704 comments) says:

    No Kiwigreg. If you use reserves to fund operating costs then you might show an operating break even but your balance sheet will show a declining amount in its reserve account. If you had NOT used some of the reserves, your deficit would have been larger.

    EG

    Real operating revenue $100k
    Real operating costs $105k
    Transfer from reserves $5k

    P & L account shows break even for year

    Balance sheet shows reduction in reserve balance of $5k.

    The bloody deficit wasn’t CAUSED by the use of reserves, as they said it was, it was CAUSED by their inability to manage their costs and they plugged the gap by using reserves. Justlike Obama does except he’s run out of reserves long ago and now needs to print money. They should have deferred the R & M on the buildings.

    It’s all smoke and mirrors.

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  13. gump (1,685 comments) says:

    It seems much more likely that the same source provided information to both Whale and Binning.

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  14. Spoon (104 comments) says:

    It seems looking at a few [million] dollars sitting in the bank is largely irrelevant when you’re arguing ECE funding.

    Wouldn’t the correct figures to look at be their profit/loss for the year, less interest accrued? If we look at Auckland, for example, their liquid assets are about $3 million lower at the end of the period than the start, despite earning $750k interest. This indicates either too much expenditure or too little income, but obviously isn’t sustainable.

    One could even argue that their prudence in earlier years (when funding was possibly too high) is being punished now with the risk of dropping below a sustainable level.

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