Category Archives: Political Roundup

Tomorrow’s Schools Yesterday.

Rigged policy and a shocking abuse of power.

So we’re finally getting an overhaul of a failed neoliberal education policy (“2018: System review ofTomorrow’s Schools – 2018 Tomorrow’s SchoolsTaskforce Report”).

It was rigged policy anyway.

“The Government sought a response to the [Picot Task Force] report both from the general public and from educationalists. The Associate Minister of Education and other colleagues joined me in conducting a series of inquiries throughout the country. More than 20,000 responses to the report have been studied.

“The need for reform was generally accepted.”

  • David Lange, “Tomorrows’ Schools: The Reform of Education Administration in New Zealand”, August 1988.

That was a lie.

Following the 1988 Picot Report a nationwide consultation process was carried out. But the report of that process was ignored. The Tomorrow’s Schools policy had already been written before the consultations were complete, analysed and reported. 20,000 responses indeed. It was sham consultation.

In 1986/87 I had engaged a communications company to measure attitudes and opinions in a range of community and government sectors about a sometimes controversial programme I was running.  A senior consultant whom I shall call “Peter”did the work and I was impressed by his professionalism. I later engaged him to tutor me through the principles and practices of his profession, and to teach me as much as he could over a long weekend. We discovered that in a previous life as an intelligence analyst I had employed those same principles and practices as part of the military intelligence process. We got a lot done in a single long weekend. He was very good.

We became friends.

The Picot Task Force report “Administering for Excellence” was published in April 1988. New government policy was published as “Tomorrow’sSchools” in August 1988. There was so much neoliberal policy reformation going on at the time that I did not take much notice.

Until Peter turned up on my doorstep; agitated, depressed, and extremely frightened.

His company had been engaged by Government to advise and participate in the consultation or inquiry process following the Picot Report. Peter was the lead consultant on that contract. The cause of his extreme anxiety was that he had the evidence that the inquiry process had been totally ignored, that he had expressed his concerns about that, that it was thought he might turn whistle-blower, and that the Government had thrown the full weight of the State at him to frighten him into silence. It worked. The Government and his company also tried to recover any evidence he might still have had in his possession.

He ran to me, as the one person he thought he could trust, other than his wife. That was partly because I’m Maori, and partly because I was known to be a critic of government policy making, and not easily intimidated. He actually said he didn’t know any Pakeha he could trust to support him against the government machine. I supported him through an alarming abuse of state power over the next weeks and months.

His company had summarily dismissed him, repossessed his company car, and tried to retrieve any evidence he might have kept. He was fitted up with false criminal accusations and was confronted, searched and interrogated by the Police Fraud Squad over a period of weeks. His wife was also subjected to that attention. Either his company or the Government had hired a former policeman turned private detective to investigate him. It seemed to me that was intended to further intimidate him.

The private detective eventually turned up on my doorstep. I invited him in and he tried to interrogate me about Peter. Instead, he got severely grilled about why he was intimidating my friend. He did not enjoy the experience.

Eventually the intimidation and harassment subsided without any charges being laid but it was a terrifying experience for Peter and for his wife for the month or two that it lasted. And it achieved its purpose. They moved away and started a new life out of the limelight.

And for the next thirty years we lived with a policy based purely on predetermined ideology. I served on school boards of trustees under that policy.

And Peter quietly disappeared from sight.

A Wicked Look at Politics in the News

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Tens of thousands of words have been spoken and written about nothing much by dozens of talking heads and pen smiths. Here’s what happened in as few words as possible.

Maori Roll Option

Politician say
Enrol enrol.
Rangatahi say
Vote for you?


Meka Labour first
Te Hamua Mana second
Na Maori third
Marama Green fourth
Most people not vote
Not for them anyway
That the real result.

Labour Campaign


Mana Campaign

Look at me
Look at me
In love
Wit myself.

Maori Campaign

Look at me
Look at me
In love
Wit National

National Campaign

Don’t look at me
Look at Maori Party.

Green Campaign

Wake up you fulla
I the one worth lookin at
Too much Bromance
Not enough Romance

Maori Party

He rangatira no more
Kaitoa, haere ra
Te Ururoa
He rangatira now
Big paddle, no waka.

E Pem Te Chair
Haere ra
E Naida Te Chairess hou
Kia ora
E ki ra George Ngatai
Maori Party
Not Destiny Party

Musical Chairs Party
Sky City Party
Bourbon and Coke Party
But not Destiny Party George.

Kiss and Make Up Party

Hone say
You fulla join my Party
Me rangatira.
Te Ururoa say
You kiss my kumu
You big waka, no paddle.

Labour Party

Who rangatira?

United Future Party

No rangatira

NZ First Party

Same old rangatira

Green Party


Pakeha Party

Look at me
Look at me.

Urewera Raid

Now Te Ururoa
No got inquiry.
Course not.
Police Rule #1
Admit nuttin.
Politician Rule #1
See Police Rule #1

GCSB Committee Hearing

Rule #1
We no risten
Rule #2
See Rule #1
Rule #3
See Rule #2
Rule #4
See Rule #5
Rule #5
Blinds and curtains illegal.

Peeping Tom Society

E hoa ma
Now illegal
Pull your blind
Draw your curtain
You got nuttin to hide
You got nuttin to worry bout.
Your house.
Your castle no more.

Kim Dotcom

My house, my mega castle
I gonna get you John Key.
You got nuttin to hide
You got nuttin to worry bout.

John Key

Dotcom who?

Trust me
You no need
Blind and curtain
Baby safe now
Hack your Babycam
I said
Yes you
My friend Ian
Got you on Babycam.

National Party

Big John
He the rangatira

ACT Party

To market
To market
To buy a fat pig
Hey Dotcom
You rangatira
You pay for pig?
Smile Banksy
You lucky
You not on Courtcam
I think
You on Gonecam

E hoa ma, isn’t politics interesting.
Well it is if you got a sense of funny.

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