Adult Community Education

June 8th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Labour have announced:

A Labour Government will ensure all Kiwis can access Adult and Community Education courses by restoring National’s devastating funding cuts, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

“Labour will provide funding of $13 million in the first two years and a further $9 million in the following years for this important area of education. We will also provide $1 million a year for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses.

“Labour will work with the Adult and Community Education (ACE) sector to ensure funding is targeted to the areas offering the most value.

“ACE gives Kiwis the chance to make their lives better; be it through literacy and numeracy classes to improve their employment chances, computer training for new career options or ESOL classes to ease their settlement into their new communities.

“A 2008 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that for every government dollar invested in this sector there was at least a $16 return.

A $16 return on investment. Truly? If so, this would be the bets investment known to mankind for any Government to make. But Eric Crampton looks at the so called study:

So folks taking adult ed courses are assumed to have a 50% reduction in their chances of committing a crime.

Yep, that’s the basis of Labour Party policy. Take an ACE course and your chance of committing a crime is halved. Almost magical.

PWC cites a 1999 working paper as evidence; a 2004 AER piece by the same author has the crime reduction associated with high school graduation as being less than half that figure (14-26%). This latter study uses a far more cautious identification strategy: changes in minimum age of dropping out of school as instrument for completion rates. And note that the numbers cited are for HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION, not for taking a night course in Indian cooking. 

So graduating high school reduces propensity to crime by 14% to 26%, but Labour is saying taking a cooking or pottery course will reduce crime by 50!!!

Never mind that crime, and especially violent crime, has fallen much faster since the ACE funding was slashed, then when it was bloated under Labour.

There are some very good ACE courses, such as English language courses and literacy and numeracy courses. They still get funded.

The courses that taxpayers used to subsidise include:

  • Floral arranging
  • Stained glass windows
  • Spanish
  • Pottery
  • Indian and Moroccan cooking
  • Cake decorating

This is the priority for Labour. Not paying the best teachers more. It’s subsidising pottery classes for wealthy people.

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69 Responses to “Adult Community Education”

  1. Redbaiter (9,502 comments) says:

    Why is there a need for adult education, to be paid for by the taxpayer?

    FFS, we pay through the nose to get everyone educated when they’re kids.

    Why the hell must we pay again when they’re adults?

    Why can’t they pay????

    Man this socialism lark is such a damn balls up.

    Just an endless stream of irresponsible dimwit politicians stealing our money and or racking up debt.

    Basically just to buy the votes of losers who don’t contribute to the pie.

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  2. Huevon (223 comments) says:

    Madre mia! Que buena esta politica! Ahora puedo seguir mis clases de espanol con la plata del pueblo!

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  3. louie (96 comments) says:

    lot of Labour voters run these classes too so have a strong interest in our money being sent that way.

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  4. mara (794 comments) says:

    O goody. Now I can afford to go to the crochet sessions to learn to crochet blankies to donate to the Green Party for fundraising purposes.

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  5. OneTrack (3,213 comments) says:

    In that case, I expect to see Labour policy that it become mandatory for all prisoners to take Floral arranging classes and reduce the crime rate by 50%. And for those that reoffend, a compulsory Stained Glass Window class.

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  6. kowtow (8,730 comments) says:

    In all honesty these aren’t adult education courses as portrayed by Labour ,they are essentially hobby courses.

    And no the taxpayer should not be forced to foot the bill.

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  7. Redbaiter (9,502 comments) says:

    Hey Kowtow, what about the implication that if they don’t get taxpayer funding for these idiot courses, (that they should rightly pay for themselves), that they’ll turn to crime?

    What sort of a damn society are we living in?

    Where losers can get taxpayer funding for any idiot scheme from spineless unprincipled politicians merely by threatening to commit crime.

    The politicians using this kind of reasoning are the real criminals. They should be behind bars for over taxing and racking up unnecessary debt and complete dereliction of their duty to the people who actually pay the taxes in NZ

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  8. jp_1983 (225 comments) says:

    The hidden policy.
    The ACE classes

    treaty of waitangi – why the white man is wrong

    Global warming and you-

    Living the vegan lifestyle

    How to protest and deface billboards without getting charged – a Green Party case study

    Pledge cards and how to get away with it. – a labour case study

    Poverty and white middle class guilt.

    – any other ideas???

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  9. JC (967 comments) says:

    The courses of national interest such as English for foreigners or stuff leading to identifiable jobs continue to be funded but these hobby courses are purely a private benefit and should not be subsidised by the tax payers.

    The crime thing is a red herring of course.. an 86 year old taking floral art is hardly likely to become a mugger if she isn’t subsidised (but we’ll have to put up with her whining).

    JC

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  10. mjw (399 comments) says:

    Another way of looking at this is that it promotes social cohesion and this in turn has huge social, democratic and economic benefits. It promotes trust which reduces transaction costs, as well as promoting civic engagement leading to more democratic participation. Putnam produced the seminal work on this, studying different local governments in Italy. As far as I know his results are undisputed. See ‘Making Democracy Work’ for an explanation of the critical role community activities play in modern democratic society in wealthy countries.

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  11. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    Some ACE courses are very worthwhile, and it would be shortsighted to cut them all (not that the Govt is doing that). Conversely, in some areas there can be a high return on investment.

    Other courses were/are just a waste of money and/or should not be state funded. You can add poetry and foreign languages to the list.

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  12. Jack5 (5,145 comments) says:

    In the interests of assimilation it’s probably sensible to subsidise English as a second language course for migrants and refugees, but many of those taking the courses are foreign students who are otherwise paying their way in our education system.

    NZ seems also to be subsidising Maori language courses. Compare the course fee prices of these with other subjects at many institutions.

    The person left-out is an NZ resident, conversant in English, who wants to learn a language apart from Maori and English. If there are going to be subsidies, giving them on foreign language classes would be sensible in a country that lives by trading with the world and needs to have some people fluent, and many people conversant, in other major languages. Our schools aren’t doing their job here. The little they did before has been diverted to promote knowledge of the cultural-value-only language, Maori.

    Apart from language courses, some flaky subjects were being subsidised under the previous ACE regime (that is before the subsidy cuts). Reflexology, belly dancing, etc.

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  13. homepaddock (408 comments) says:

    I used to teach Spanish night classes. I enjoyed it and so did the students – but even the best never learned anything beyond the very basics. It wasn’t good use of taxpayers’ money.

    Huevon @ 2:07 – ¡No pienso necesitas clases, puedes comunicar bien en español ahora!

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  14. Captain Pugwash (98 comments) says:

    Quite a few years ago (early 90’s) I took night classes at a local high school, to learn to Microsoft Office to improve my skills at work. the company shelled out thousands for software & hardware but wasn’t interested in paying for official courses. There is a lot of community good in these classes weather it is for continuing education for employment or for hobbies. From my experience I haven’t seen any wealthy people attending these courses. well not in wellington anyway; they’re usually attending Embassy functions or some other taxpayer funded civil service function catered for by Ruth Pretty.

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  15. alex Masterley (1,523 comments) says:

    Mathew Beveridge comments on the ACE policy on his blog as well.
    The maths used by Labour gets critiqued and is found to be wanting. see below,
    http://matthewbeveridge.co.nz/politics/

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  16. Redbaiter (9,502 comments) says:

    “Another way of looking at this is that it promotes social cohesion and this in turn has huge social, democratic and economic benefits.”

    Well that way of looking of course is the socialist way, where funds are available for any idiot scheme you can dream up as “increasing social cohesion” and taxpayers are just the mug punters who will provide an endless stream of money (that they’d much rather spend on themselves of their own family), to fund it.

    These are adults FFS. Where is their responsibility to their own self not to be a burden upon other people?

    They don’t at all create cohesion, they produce anger and division in the country, among the workers who pay for these idiot schemes and the knuckle draggers who are the recipients of the other people’s money these unprincipled vote buying socialist politicians hand out.

    To hell with them. I’m sick of every damn commie with their hand out for my money. The country is full of such bludgers.

    (You do realise the country is $60 billion in debt I presume?)

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  17. Nostradamus (3,433 comments) says:

    The last part of Eric Crampton’s excellent blog post is worth reading:

    For some reason, I’m reminded of Susan Feigenbaum and David Levy’s work distinguishing the difference between scientific fraud and biased research.

    Fortunately, Finance Minister Bill English is no idiot:

    Hon Maryan Street: How does the Minister compare the return on the investment of $35 million into private schools with the PricewaterhouseCoopers’ calculation of the return on the investment in adult and community education funding in 2008 of between $54 and $72 for each dollar of funding?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: Well, if we believed PricewaterhouseCoopers’ evaluation, we would spend $10 billion on adult and community education and would have an economy that is twice the size it currently is. That is clearly the kind of nonsense that the previous Government relied on.

    Exactly.

    Would “useful idiots” be too strong a term for folks who take these reports’ findings uncritically?

    Maybe re-funding adult and continuing education is worthwhile, maybe it isn’t. The case can’t really rest on that PWC study.

    Note those figures claimed by Maryan Street: a return on the investment of between $54 and $72 for each dollar of taxpayer funding.

    No surprise that Labour shows itself to be the party of voodoo economics.

    The big surprise for me, though, is that PriceWaterhouseCoopers appears to have published research that was based on heroic assumptions and a flawed methodology – and, for good measure, appears to have released that research to Labour. Does anyone know whether a copy of the PWC report is publicly available?

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  18. mjw (399 comments) says:

    Actually Redbaiter, it’s quite a right wing concept – that of neighbourliness. The question is how do we build it? Barnraisings and borrowing the lawnmower seem to a thing of the past. But we can promote night classes. Go, why not try it? You
    Might find it is fun, and that you build a bit more trust and respect with your neighbours.

    And bear in mind we have a real problem with civic engagement. Voter turnout is dropping alarmingly.

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  19. Mobile Michael (459 comments) says:

    No, I’m positive the ballroom dancing classes I took years ago helped me negotiate all those large commercial transactions I do as my profession. These must be funded, especially as it was a fraction of the cost I could afford.

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  20. Grizz (609 comments) says:

    @Captain Pugwash, Basic Computer courses are still being funded as they were perceived to have economic value. I cannot speak for Wellington as it exists in a bubble and wealthy people there tend to have their snouts buried in the trough, but from your point of view, what is a wealthy person look like? As you have not attended a course since the early 90s, how would you know what night course attendees look like anyway?

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  21. johnwellingtonwells (137 comments) says:

    I taught marketing subjects at polytechnics and adult education classes. Polytechnic students were at least 75% committed, adult education little more than 25%. Adult education students were not prepared to put in any effort to read about the content of a particular lesson before the lecture or to participate in class. The current system is that an adult education course operates if the participants are prepared to fund it – as it should be

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  22. Huevon (223 comments) says:

    @ homepaddock – gracias!

    Anyone who thinks taxpayer-subsidised night school courses in foreign languages is going to help NZ business (@ Jack 5) or “promote social cohesion” (@mjw) believes pura mierda (that’s bullshit). If you do one of those classes and come out being able to count to 10 and ask where you can buy toilet paper (a very useful question), you’re doing better than 95% of the students.

    Mrs Huevon teaches a cooking class at night school at a local high school. She gets paid like $5/hour or something, but she enjoys it so it’s ok. I went to a social function a couple of years ago with the other teachers/managers/husbands/partners etc. A bigger bunch of socialist pinkos I’ve never seen (excluding my significant other, of course). This Labour policy announcement is just a cynical hand out to supporters, much like John Key’s asset sales…

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  23. kowtow (8,730 comments) says:

    Red

    Yep,a course of 4 once weekly lessons in Myanmar bamboo steamed mung bean cooking will keep burglars off the streets and provide them with genuine career options.

    Oh and will increase voter turnout ,social cohesion and reduce teenage pregnancy as well as reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases.

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  24. Redbaiter (9,502 comments) says:

    “Actually Redbaiter, it’s quite a right wing concept – that of neighbourliness.”

    Socialism is the antithesis of neighborliness in that Citizen A is forced by govt to give what he may not want to give to Citizen B. I don’t know how anyone can be so FITH as to call that neighborly behaviour, which has as its core understanding, principles of generosity and charity but is emphatically not compulsory.

    “Barnraisings and borrowing the lawnmower seem to a thing of the past.”

    Only since people like you came along. Using you vote to elect thieves to parliament who by their over taxing and over spending dampen what community spirit might still remain.

    BTW, before you start whining about (sigh) “personal abuse” it is you as an individual who thinks the way you do that is at the root of so many of our problems. You may see it as a collective issue, but in fact that collective is made up of a huge number of cross wired wrong thinking individuals who seem to just want to blank out where this must inevitably end up.

    Don’t you care about debt, and the interest we’re paying on that debt, which is money that could be spent on other things? Or better still left in the pocket of those who earned it, for them to spend AS THEY WISH?

    Maybe even helping out their neighbour of their own volition.

    “Voter turnout is dropping alarmingly.”

    Of course it is, for politicians are perceived as representing the wishes of handout receivers and self appointed media elites rather than the man in the street working and trying to raise a family.

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  25. mjw (399 comments) says:

    Redbaiter, the societies you hanker after are poor, not wealthy. They are ruled by mistrust and warlordism. And yes I do care about debt, but also about the future. It is common in the private sector to make the books look better by cutting all future-focussed expenditure, and then to sell out or jump ship and leave the headaches to your successors. I would rather we kept investing in the future.

    A lot of our wealth and wellbeing is built on our high levels of social capital. If we don’t maintain it there will be economic and social consequences in the long term.

    Maybe the answer is that we should all join the National party! Then we will have something in common.

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  26. Jack5 (5,145 comments) says:

    Re Homepaddock’s Spanish classes (2.55 post):

    It might be interesting how andy surviving night classes on languages are faring without subsidies, however ….

    It’s bullshit that the only value comes from those who become fluent in a language. In fact, it must be damn near impossible to become fluent without being submerged among native speakers. (The internet and Skype may be a new form of help to learners, though).

    Being able to read a foreign language, or get through an airport or into and out of a hotel, and perhaps negotiate the transport system is useful. Even knowing how to pronounce key words of names of people and cities isn’t without merit.

    Kids in Western Europe graduate from secondary school knowing good basics of several languages. Then they can build on them if they wish. In a night class one or two hours a week, can you hope for more than that?

    I think anything to reduce NZ’ers lack of foreign language skills, typical of those living in a major language country (such as English speaking) makes any effort at foreign language teaching worth while.

    Homepaddock, Spanish would be one of the easier languages for English speakers to learn. If you only had (Huevon’s number) 5 per cent success with your students were you struggling with your technique as a teacher, or with your motivational skills?

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  27. tamati (75 comments) says:

    I remember my mother took an ACE class in French. She loved it, and her French lessons directly benefited the French wine industry when she went on holiday last July. Got to keep them Fendalton (/Remeura) housewives entertained.

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  28. Redbaiter (9,502 comments) says:

    “Redbaiter, the societies you hanker after are poor, not wealthy. The are ruled by mistrust and warlordism.”

    It just staggers me that someone who otherwise presents a reasonably keen intellect can write something so ignorant of history. (Please see link below) Its pure fairy tale stuff on a par with trolls living under bridges.

    In this country, debt is directly the result of socialist politicians buying votes. IOW, they’re not happy just stealing what’s available, they have to borrow and add that debt and the interest on it to their loot as well. And its a myriad of dopey schemes like adult education that its spent on.

    “Aunt Mary is voting Labour this election because she wants to study (as Kowtow says above) Myanmar bamboo steamed mung bean cooking, and it will be “free” if Labour wins.”

    What a rabidly cynical abuse of our democratic system. And you’re paying interest on debt so that knuckle dragging Aunt Mary can indulge her selfish little whimsies.

    Between the Civil War and 1913, the U.S. economy experienced absolutely explosive growth. The free market system thrived and the rest of the world looked at us with envy. The federal government was very limited in size, there was no income tax for most of that time and there was no central bank. To many Americans, it would be absolutely unthinkable to have such a society today, but it actually worked very, very well. Without the inventions and innovations that came out of that period, the world would be a far different place today.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-09/us-economy-grew-fastest-no-fed-and-no-income-tax

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  29. lurcher1948 (151 comments) says:

    OLD banks could run an advanced class on ear wax eating, the picture in todays SST shows its bitter,his wife must love the after taste.Rightwingers line up as if its good enough for the criminal John Banks, and ACT its a taste ACT supporters would enjoy.Does Epson do night classes??????

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  30. Jack5 (5,145 comments) says:

    Lurcher tries to hijack the threat at 3.54. Piss off you leftist troll.

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  31. mjw (399 comments) says:

    Red – I admit to a tiny bit of hand waving in that last comment – but to clarify my position I see centrally planned economies and libertarian anarchic Utopias are equally disastrous in practice. The answer lies in between. I guess we disagree exactly where in between.

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  32. Redbaiter (9,502 comments) says:

    Can I say this again, just to correct a common misapprehension?

    I AM NOT A LIBERTARIAN.

    I don’t like libertarians and I do not believe in their ideas. I think they are deeply flawed logically and those who do believe them do so with only the kind of religious fervour they commonly condemn in Christians.

    I am a Conservative. Meaning that I seek to retain those things that made our society the best society. I fight against change I see as damaging and frequently unnecessary. Made only for the sake of change and justified by such empty slogans as “Its time”.

    Here’s a short article on Conservatism.

    http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/the-essence-of-conservatism

    That Progressives rule in NZ is a fact I am painfully aware of, but it does not by any means demand that I should be content with this state of affairs, or not try to change it.

    BY the way, I was shattered and heart broken when you blocked me. Just because I didn’t share your reverence for Nelson Mandela? Unbelievable. Where’s your tolerance? Where’s your embracement of diversity of opinion? What kind of liberal are you really, when it comes down to it?

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  33. Nostradamus (3,433 comments) says:

    MJW:

    You really should read this paper, entitled Local Government: Time for a New Blueprint, by Sir Douglas Myers.

    His central argument:

    The argument I want to make is that it is time for a new wave of reform of local government. The sector is too important to the economy and our communities to be allowed to drift. It spends over $3 of every $100 New Zealanders earn, ratepayer equity is greater than half the market capitalisation of companies listed on the stock exchange, there are two thirds as many local government employees as full-time farmers, and local government regulation affects every business and household in the country.
    We need top quality performance in local government if the country is to prosper, and we are not getting it.

    On public libraries:

    The current round of funding reviews required under the new local government legislation is throwing up some quite perverse results. Many councils are maintaining that services like water and libraries confer primarily public benefits and should be funded wholly or mainly from rates. Their proposition is that when I have a shower, water my garden or borrow a book from the library, other people get most of the benefit and should pay for it. The Grey District Council is one of the few to apply some of the principles of the legislation meaningfully and was brave enough to suggest that at least half the benefits of library services went to users; needless to say, it was immediately branded a Business Roundtable lackey. Unless the auditor-general or the courts can put a stop to decisions which are making a travesty of the new legislation, it looks like being ineffectual.

    And his conclusion:

    I believe we need another major round of reform. I don’t believe local government is capable of making the necessary changes from the bottom up – it has never done so the past. Central government must make them from the top down.

    All excellent analysis – and the sad reality is that nothing much has changed in the 16-year period since 1998.

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  34. Brian Smaller (4,024 comments) says:

    Another way of looking at this is that it promotes social cohesion and this in turn has huge social, democratic and economic benefits.

    These ACE courses that were cut were mostly cooking and hobby courses. Now I like cooking and have a hobby painting model soldiers. How taxpayers subsidising my cooking adventures and painting of miniatures creates social cohesion, and even turns into an economic benefit is totally beyond me. Perhaps there will be an ACE class in voodoo economics.

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  35. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    I did a “community education” class, subsidised, in learning to handle and fire a rifle on the North Shore. The irony of being trained to kill off your fellow community members via community education when the bomb dropped caused several chortles from fellow course members. Only $80 including ammunition and venue hire (indoor shooting). The end result of the course enabled me, should I wish, to get a gun licence.

    Course was very well done but why it was subsidised (heavily) is beyond me. A single example but comparable with many of the courses, which mostly were of the hobby category.

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  36. Gulag1917 (978 comments) says:

    Lets eliminate crime by redefining it.

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  37. mjw (399 comments) says:

    Redbaiter – thanks for the clarification, I’ll have a look at your link tonight. But I think you have a case of mistaken identity, sorry.

    Nostradamus – I don’t agree on libraries and the like, but I do agree local government is a problem. They are a regulatory monopoly with no incentive to provide competitive services. Deregulation didn’t work (leaky homes) but I don’t think central planning in the form of government intervention is the answer either. You can appeal to the courts about local government decisions, but that is too costly.

    Somebody has clearly put the hard word on about rates rises, as the town clerks are generally proposing much lower rises than in recent years. But that doesn’t address fees for service, development contributions and the like. So my suggestion is that we have a local government Ombud, who can hear appeals against local government fees (not rates), and strike them down if they are ruled unreasonable. That should provide an incentive for improvement !

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  38. wf (464 comments) says:

    I once did a night class course on Car Maintenance for Women at Wellington Polytechnic.. Out tutor was a stuffy little old pommy chap who insisted on treating us like ladies. We had a lot of fun.
    I had an ancient 1948 Ford Prefect at the time – there wasn’t a lot that couldn’t be fixed with a spanner and screw driver.
    My daughter some 20 years later did a course involving welding and ironwork, and sculpted a rather splendid garden gate. She was the only female among 9 men, and the only one who completed a project.

    My efforts at the book-keeping classes were dismal, and I dropped out about halfway through.

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  39. Gulag1917 (978 comments) says:

    Haven’t the clowns realised that there has been a revolution going on for the last twenty years. Computers and the internet will eliminate some educational institutions.

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  40. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Actually DPF, whilst I’m not sure Labour have got it right (probably not) however it has been well proven that humans are creative beings and when they are creating, be it floral arrangements or great works of science, they are more content, and less likely to have the attributes that are found commonly among many criminals.

    I am all for the return to community education, however, I think it should be made compulsory for those who are on a benefit, supposedly waiting for work. Instead of sitting around all day, I believe they should be made to attend classes, even if it is just in furniture restoration or whatever. Simply making them get out of bed and be somewhere on time, and use their time constructively, will go a long way to teaching them the work ethic, that so many lack.

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  41. Captain Pugwash (98 comments) says:

    @Grizz, more recently I’ve have attend courses, I doubt that there would have been many wealthy people attending. But I’ll go as far to say that they’re more middle/working class than wealthy.

    I’d contend that continuing education (weather for productive paid work, or personal hobbies) is good for society. Actually Joe Blow getting involved in hobbies (home renovation, home brew, wine appreciation etc) is likely to spend money with businesses that they wouldn’t otherwise spend. So presumably that is a good thing. The money involved is peanuts in the scheme of things. As for wasting money, the Lower Hutt Council is seriously considering 10’s of millions of dollars for a boutique stadium for a wealthy mans hobby soccer team to prance around in, with practically no benefit to the community.

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  42. Grendel (1,003 comments) says:

    i taught a one night course ever term for a few years on preparing to buy your first home. it went well and we would get 5-7 people a time, some of whom would then ask me to help them buy.

    when the funding went away, i was advised that either we raised the price, took less money or dropped it. i said to drop the price as the $80 i was earning a term was not going to hurt me, but the opportunity for more practice at teaching and also the potential for more clients was worth it.

    no reason my course should have been subsidised, nor the course on how to recycle properly.

    MJW, nice rewrite to think that leaky buildings were caused by deregulation, when it fact it was caused by following the specific regulation that demanded what they got. why do lefties always consider a failure to be due to lack of regulation, regardless of how much regulation there was. can the regulation itself not be the issue?

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  43. artemisia (254 comments) says:

    The 2008 PWC report is here:

    http://www.aceaotearoa.org.nz/sites/aceaotearoa.org.nz/files/ACEPriceWaterhouseCoopersFINALREPORTJune08.pdf

    Note it was commissioned by ACE providers and relies to quite a large extent on data provided by them. There are several disclaimers about the information provided to the study.

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  44. Nostradamus (3,433 comments) says:

    The PWC report is available here.

    It turns out that the report was commissioned by an organisation called Adult and Community Education Aotearoa Inc under a contract dated 17 June 2007. Let’s call them ACE Aotearoa.

    That raises a question about the extent to which ACE Aotearoa is a publicly-funded organisation. That, in turn, raises a further question about whether ACE Aotearoa was entitled (under the terms of its funding arrangements) to commission the PWC report. This is essentially a re-run of the recent debate about whether it was appropriate for the Problem Gambling Foundation to use taxpayer funding to lobby for favourable outcomes.

    But first some background. The ACE Aoteraroa website relevantly states:

    Adult and Community Education (ACE) Aotearoa is the lead body for adult and community educators and a voice for adult learners.

    ACE Aotearoa is a dynamic network of adult and community educators committed to a society based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi, a guiding framework that enables ACE Aotearoa to give due recognition to the status of Māori as Tāngata whenua, and Tāngata Tiriti as citizens of our shared country. It actively promotes and supports the diversity of lifelong learning in Aotearoa New Zealand and fosters collaboration and cooperation to the advantage of adult learners, educators and providers.

    ACE Aotearoa is a membership organisation which represents both its members and the wider ACE sector. It provides advocacy and direction for policy development and its implementation.

    How wonderful!

    Coming back to the two questions:

    – It turns out that ACE Aotearoa is a predominantly publicly-funded organisation. The latest annual report for the year ended 31 December 2013 shows income of approximately $1.3 million – most of which is accounted for by grants from the Tertiary Education Commission under what are vaguely described as “contracts for negotiated outputs”.

    – I assume none of those negotiated outputs (at the relevant time) related to a report of the type commissioned from PWC.

    – The extent of taxpayer funding has clearly reduced significantly. The PWC report stated that the ACE sector received approximate annual funding (based on funding figures for the year ended June 2008) of $88.4 million. A large portion of this funding came from the Tertiary Education Commission ($45.5million). The remaining funding came from other government agencies ($20.5million), including the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social Development, and private sources ($22.3million), including lottery grants, public donations and fund raising.

    What do other Kiwiblog readers make of all of this information?

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  45. Grendel (1,003 comments) says:

    pugwash, there is nothing to stop anyone from running their own courses. off the top of my head i know that the wellington makerspace runs classes on learnign to use lasercutters and 3d printers as well as other MAKE courses. the mediterranean food warehouse (or it might be someone else), also does regular cooking classes.

    neither of these are subsidised.

    why should anything else be? if there is a need and a desire to provide and the costs/price is right it will happen. we dont need govt to decide for us.

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  46. Captain Pugwash (98 comments) says:

    @Grendel, I think Meetup is probably meeting some of the community/social/adult education needs and of course none of it is government funded.

    I do believe that the original idea of adult education night classes at high schools was literacy for the working classes, I’d agree wine appreciation classes are stretching it a bit…

    You could also argue that councils shouldn’t run a library, swimming pool, sports fields the list could go on … However there is a benefit to the community that these facilities exist.

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  47. Nostradamus (3,433 comments) says:

    Captain Pugwash:

    You could also argue that councils shouldn’t run a library, swimming pool, sports fields the list could go on … However there is a benefit to the community that these facilities exist.

    These facilities exist at a cost to the community.

    But focusing on the benefits:

    – Who decides whether a facility has a benefit to the community that outweighs the associated cost?

    – How much have you voluntarily contributed (over and above your mandatory rates contribution) to ensure that the benefits of these facilities are widely spread across the community?

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  48. Redbaiter (9,502 comments) says:

    “I think you have a case of mistaken identity”

    OK, sorry. Same initials, same ideas. Just a guess that was wrong I guess..:)

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  49. mjw (399 comments) says:

    Nostradumus – interestingly enough the decision about cost-benefit for many libraries was made by Andrew Carneige, whose foundation built many of our libraries. Not saying that necessarily rebuts your argument given ongoing operating costs etc, but it is interesting nonetheless.

    Redbaiter – no worries. This other guy sounds well-informed though ! :-)

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  50. Captain Pugwash (98 comments) says:

    @Nostradamus, “Who decides whether a facility has a benefit to the community that outweighs the associated cost?” – You could always stand for Mayor on the platform of getting rid the library,swimming pool, sports field etc and see how far you go on election night.

    “How much have you voluntarily contributed (over and above your mandatory rates contribution) to ensure that the benefits of these facilities are widely spread across the community?” – I live, work & spend money in the business in my community, as well as paying rates, tax and other charges. I’ve also volunteered my time (& money) to community & sports groups.

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  51. Jack5 (5,145 comments) says:

    Does anyone know how WEA classes, the original night education courses, are faring? They were very low cost, community run, largely with volunteer lecturers. They seem to have been almost wiped out by schools’ night classes, though I heard that WEA thrives, with a sound financial base, in Southland. Anyone from down there following Kiwiblog and who can confirm that?

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  52. srylands (414 comments) says:

    “As for wasting money, the Lower Hutt Council is seriously considering 10′s of millions of dollars for a boutique stadium for a wealthy mans hobby soccer team to prance around in, with practically no benefit to the community.”

    Yeah? Well fuck that also. You just don’t get personal responsibility do you?

    I love how people that pay zero net tax happily describe millions of dollars as “peanuts”.

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  53. Captain Pugwash (98 comments) says:

    @srylands, – ” I love how people that pay zero net tax happily describe millions of dollars as “peanuts”. – Sorry who pays Zero net tax?

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  54. lurcher1948 (151 comments) says:

    Jack5 (4,428 comments) says:
    June 8th, 2014 at 3:57 pm
    Lurcher tries to hijack the threat at 3.54. Piss off you leftist troll.

    Let me get this right ,if im not a toddy arse hole licker and dont tug my forelock and go with the flow with Davids post im a leftist troll, you Jack5 dont know me from hell i could be Richie McCaw or John Key you plonker so if im not a serial arselicker like you jackSH*T DONT CALL ME A TROLL please petall

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  55. Nostradamus (3,433 comments) says:

    Lurcher1948:

    I note that “Lurcher1948” is the latest in a long list of aliases that you’ve previously used: John/JSF/Joe Average/JoeAverage1948/Roger Rabbit/Jock/Harry Glicken/paws/Plebe.

    I also note that you’re currently banned (under all aliases) until 11 September 2032.

    Are you proud of this contribution to Whaleoil’s blog? Before you deny any association with that comment, I note your use of the word “arselicker” there and in your previous comment to Jack5.

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  56. Viking2 (11,550 comments) says:

    alex Masterley (1,469 comments) says:
    June 8th, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Mathew Beveridge comments on the ACE policy on his blog as well.
    The maths used by Labour gets critiqued and is found to be wanting. see below,
    http://matthewbeveridge.co.nz/politics/
    ======================
    Perhaps alex there should be maths classes especially for politicians (of all persuasions.).

    :lol:

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  57. Rich Prick (1,719 comments) says:

    Come on Labour, where’s my Twilight Golf?! That’s it, you’ve lost my vote!

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  58. ross411 (861 comments) says:

    I’d love to learn Spanish on you’s all’s dime. I wonder if when Labour brings back this nothing policy, what the chances are of the teacher being some no hoper who has rarely spoken with a native speaker.

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  59. itstricky (1,880 comments) says:

    All for the princely, inflated, way over the top, exuberant, price of 9 mil. a year. Actually 10 mil a year because of ESOL (which is actually a very important one). Nice to see DPF, like the TPU, focusing on the big costs a?

    Community spirit and feeling, raised education, bugger all to fund it, why not? Most of you sound like grumpy old men trying to ruin everyone else’s fun for the princely cost of a buck per person per year.

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  60. Rich Prick (1,719 comments) says:

    itstricky, OK, if you insist. Please send me a cheque for my Twilight Golf. Seeing as you are so keen to pay for others’ hobbies. Or I can email you my bank account details. No? … didn’t think you’d be keen to actually pay out of YOUR pocket.

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  61. itstricky (1,880 comments) says:

    I’d be stoked if Golf was offered, again, for the princely sum of 1 dollar per person per year. Somehow, I think Golf instructors charge just a little more than random Spanish tutors and are quite a bit more unlikely to just do it just for the good of it though, unfortunately.

    You’re really that precious about 1 dollar? Oh well, I guess you had to get “Rich” somehow.

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  62. Rich Prick (1,719 comments) says:

    Whoosh, you missed the point you stupid socialist. Now, where’s my cheque?!

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  63. itstricky (1,880 comments) says:

    I feel really sorry for you, bitter and twisted over $1 a year and having to resort to calling others stupid. You’re certainly living up to your name.

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  64. Rich Prick (1,719 comments) says:

    Again, you missed the point. Clearly a product of the Clark era of the education system. I shall smile at you on the bus in tomorrow’s weather, while I drive past to my company car park park, to just put in what ever hours I enjoy to get at deal or two done. I love success. Don’t forget to clip your time card in your public service hell-hole.

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  65. itstricky (1,880 comments) says:

    Ho de ho. It’s quite funny to think that you’d believe that only a public servant could disagree with you. Putting people in little boxes like that shows a distinct lack of world experience that makes me think you’re actually not what you say you are.

    Regardless, for a buck a year I couldn’t care less what “hobbies” I’m funding. I’ll probably take advantage of some. If it were in 100 a year, I probably would. But getting all wound up for the sake of next to nothing – meh. Like I said, focus on the big issues.

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  66. Rich Prick (1,719 comments) says:

    And you just reinforce why I will never employ a person with a record in the public sector. I’m not going to call you a simple fuckwit, you’ll work it out for yourself in 20 year’s time when you are drinking soup in front of your gas heater clutching a Lotto ticket hoping for the winning numbers.

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  67. ROJ (121 comments) says:

    I tend to the view ACE has a fantastic role in community cohesion. And have done a couple – one can be called hobby, the other quality. From the latter a lad I sponsored got his first and only qualification to date, Boatmaster. What a beaming face from his granddad when the news came through, and came to pass it along.

    This is a semi rural location. We do have limited opportunities. And social issues. Some of the class providers might have been taking the main chance. Others are genuine. The system was not broken, perhaps damaged, at least here.

    On consideration, why not contestable funding? For individual courses? That even ties in with the current clamour for charter schools. Not that I’m promoting that avenue. There needs to be an acknowledgement of both strategic direction as well as short term reaction

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  68. itstricky (1,880 comments) says:

    And you just reinforce why I will never employ a person with a record in the public sector. I’m not going to call you a simple fuckwit, you’ll work it out for yourself in 20 year’s time when you are drinking soup in front of your gas heater clutching a Lotto ticket hoping for the winning numbers.

    If only you knew, if only you knew. Nothing like a good stereotype, a? Lets you box people into little categories so you can think more black and white about the world. I’d say get out and experience a bit more of it – surely your success allows you to do that. That way, you might learn that people don’t just slot into two categories – ones that agree with you and ones that don’t (who seemingly are all public servants – because only public servants could ever disagree with you, right?)

    Such a shame you can’t discuss things without descending into a foul mouthed slang attack. Again, sort of proves that you’re not really who your name suggests you are.

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  69. itstricky (1,880 comments) says:

    On consideration, why not contestable funding? For individual courses?

    Sounds reasonable. Yes, agree, I also know these courses are utilised more often in rural areas – which makes logical sense.

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