The Crowd That Booed


IT WAS THE LARGEST CROWD I had ever addressed – and it booed me. In 1990 the Labour Government of Geoffrey Palmer (look him up!) announced that university tuition fees would rise from $129.00 to $1,250.00 per year – an eye-wateringly 969% increase! Unsurprisingly, the news was not well-received by New Zealand’s 100,000 university students. In Wellington, the then Education Minister, Phil Goff, was mobbed by hundreds of angry students from Victoria University who followed him all the way down The Terrace hurling abuse. In Dunedin, students from the University of Otago turned out to protest Labour’s fee increase in unprecedented numbers. I was one of a large number of people invited to address them.

Why? Because less than a year before the Labour Party had split. Jim Anderton, followed by thousands of others, had abandoned the party of Rogernomics to form the NewLabour Party. The students’ association wanted to know NewLabour’s policy on user-pays education – and I – naïve fool that I was – told them.

It started well. There were cheers when I told them that the NewLabour Party was committed to providing a free tertiary education to every young New Zealander who wanted one: that Goff’s hated $1,250.00 fee would be scrapped. A more sensible aspiring politician would have stopped right there. For better or for worse, however, I did not fall into that category. Promising to abolish tuition fees was only part of the story, I told the assembled thousands. In order to fund free tertiary education for all, New Zealand would have to re-introduce the sharply progressive income tax which the Fourth Labour Government had dismantled. To make the first promise without making voters aware of the second would be dishonest. Zero student fees could only be paid for by higher taxes.

That’s when the booing started. I quit while I was behind – a sadder but a wiser man.

I was 34 years-old in 1990 – roughly fifteen years senior to the crowd in front of me. People were just beginning to refer to these youngsters as “Generation X” – Jacinda Ardern’s and Grant Robertson’s generation. Many of these kids would fight the good fight against user-pays education with energy and dedication right through the 1990s. Grant, himself, was elected President of the Otago University Students Association in 1993 and would go on to co-lead the national student organisation three years later. That said, I couldn’t forget those Gen-Xers’ cheers for free education, nor their boos for higher taxes. Neither, it would appear, could Grant.

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Few economists and even fewer political journalists are predicting that Thursday’s Budget will feature a sharp rise in taxes. Envisaged instead is a massive increase in Government borrowing. Some younger commentators have worked out that the burden of repaying the enormous foreign debt this government is racking-up will be borne by them and their children – and they’re not happy about it. There is talk about extracting at least some of the repayment from older New Zealanders. After all, they argue, all of this uniting against Covid-19 has been for their benefit. The least they can do is give something up for the generations who will bear the brunt of the economic crisis which combatting the virus has precipitated. One of the Aussie bank economists has even, in the finest Shock Doctrine style, called for drastic action on superannuation, the retirement age, and untaxed capital gains.

Not wanting to provoke the election-compromising boos that such measures would elicit – not least from New Zealand’s most assiduous voters, the Over-60s – Grant is most unlikely to do any of those things. He, at least, is not so naïve as to waste all the election-victory-enhancing cheers which his Thursday promises to spend whatever it takes to get New Zealand out of trouble are certain to produce, by idiotically going on to explain how he intends to pay for them! Instead, he will reassure us of just how much scope for borrowing his prudent fiscal management of the New Zealand economy has provided. And there’s plenty of money on offer! In the immortal words of John Clarke (aka Fred Dagg) “If we stand in the queue with our hats off, we can borrow a few billion more.” Verily, we don’t know how lucky we are to have such a government.

Few New Zealanders see as clearly as John Minto what will be sacrificed to pay the vastly expanded mortgage that Grant is negotiating with overseas lenders. All the fine ideas about overcoming child poverty, humanising the welfare system, building state houses, tackling mental illness and doing something real about global warming will, to use Grant’s own words: “be put on ice”. If politics is the language of priorities, then almost without exception it speaks with a middle-class accent.

Because, in the subsequent hours and days – and years – in which I relived the humiliation of that booing crowd, I was finally blessed with the consoling insight that, big as it was, it represented only a very narrow slice of the New Zealand population. Moreover, it was not a slice that was ever going to welcome the news that its parents and, eventually, itself, would be called upon to pay, and pay handsomely, for the maintenance of the sort of society that offered all its young people a free tertiary education. That consolation came when I remembered that I was not the only speaker to be booed that day. The young Maori woman who spoke of the needs of her people, and of their just historical claims upon the resources of the Pakeha nation – they booed her, too.

The bourgeoisie, you see, has always been extremely keen on getting into heaven; but it’s damned if it’s ever been willing to die to get there. Always, that’s been somebody else’s job – somebody poor.



  1. Verrrrrrrrrry , very good article….


    …’ The bourgeoisie, you see, has always been extremely keen on getting into heaven; but it’s damned if it’s ever been willing to die to get there. Always, that’s been somebody else’s job – somebody poor ‘…


  2. Enjoyed the read thanks.
    I was there, as a student.
    I’ll admit to not remembering the specifics of speeches but I do recall a mob of angry kids discovering their future was to be mortgaged. Don’t think most were bourgeois, my uni mates are from everywhere, none started rich.

    My suspicion is the booing was just anger and the ability to inflict some of that on anything “establishment” of which a 35 year old well meaning Mr Trotter probably looked the part.

    I’m genuinely sorry at the giving of offense for what must have been a heartfelt speech in your part.

    • I also was in that crowd as a student semi-radical (short association with the Communist League at the time), living in student squalor in Leith Street, far from affluent NZ society. I also do not remember Chris trotter giving a speech. Chris I think it is fair to say you should not take it personally, we were young and idealistic and many of us may have been looking for a good time more than reasoned debate.

    • Student fees were very much less that that when I went to Victoria.
      Recently I had a yarn with Geoff Palmer and he expressed regret for the raising of student fees as that small amount of money hardly affected the budget.
      This year his grand daughter is at university.

  3. “that will be sacrificed to pay the vastly expanded mortgage that Grant is negotiating with overseas lenders.”

    Elaborate Chris, for everyone who these “overseas lenders” specifically are.
    Because we are told by the likes of Michael Reddel that the Government are not borrowing from overseas entities but instead printing their OWN QE, and selling treasury bonds to our OWN Reserve Bank ( get your head around that one)
    Have a crack at it..

  4. Can anybody not see the stupidity of going overseas for money to borrow for an entirely domestic matter.?
    Why on earth should we be using dollars issued by the US fed to tide the domestic economy over instead of issuing our own? It’s madness. We will have to pay for it with real goods or further state assets and it’s for absolutely nothing but numbers typed into a computer. Money is the easiest thing in the world to create. And there’s no earthly reason that we can’t do just as the UK is doing and borrow from our own reserve bank. Better still it should not be borrowed but issued where it is needed as fiat money by the RB on behalf of Govt. but that’s getting too radical for now, but there is absolutely no need or justification foe borrowing overseas to address the totally domestic aspects of the lockdown. If it was preventing us from exporting or requiring extra imports then yes, but the losses in revenue from overseas tourists will be largely offset by the gain from NZ travellers not being able to their money overseas.
    The system has to change.
    D J S

    • @ David Stone Spot on! And yes, the system has to change.
      The mindless rush back to BAU is insane, and will more or less seal our collective fate.

        • At the minute Sam, we’ve only heard from the loudest voices, and those with a platform. And a fair few of those have been yelling “stop pondering your existence and get back on the giant rat running wheel”.
          But many workers have, (a) had a taste of life out of the rat race for a bit, and (b) seen obscene amounts of money magically produced at a whim that apparently couldn’t before (and it ain’t the first time, ‘cos a similar thing occurred in the GFC).
          So all those folk who, having experienced the beauty of a quieter world, perhaps connected with family and neighbours, and also seen the real worth of the “money” they sweat to earn, might just be having second thoughts about slapping on the leg irons again.
          Yes, we live a democracy. In which case let’s hear from those people first, before we dive headlong back into the insane way of life we thoughtlessly endured pre-Covid.
          It may transpire that a democratic majority do want to do things a different way after all.
          That’s how you change the democratic machine you allude to I guess.

          • This is what most displeases me about participation democracy Yknow we all have to stop and listen to the slow kids.

            We’ve cut emmisions by up to 80% while simultaneously having access to every modern luxury I think will be the last thing mentioned in a monumental committee to compromise.

    • The economic orthodoxy is that printing money is inflationary, and doing so as your economy is diving risks ”stagflation”
      (Have one economics paper from otago Uni fittingly in 1990)

      • Printing too much money and for the wrong reasons is inflationary and QE is money printing on an unprecedented scale. It has not been inflationary in the classic sense because almost none of it has made it’s way into the real economy of working people and producing the necessities of life. All going to banks investors and speculators inflating only share markets , property gold , bitcoin ,and derivatives.
        But the money we will be borrowing in this extremity will be being printed as QE somewhere , probably by the fed, because everyone is in the same boat. There’s not a huge pile of money out there to borrow doing nothing. It’s going to be created to meet the crisis , just not by us apparently. We will just pay for it as if it was something real.

        D J S

        • Money is like water in that it will follow the path of least resistance. Hold up to high a moral judgment and the business model will change and the money will evaporate so we must be at least a little bit greedy or we will get no money.

        • A fair sum of money leaves these shores to overseas investors each year.
          Depreciation of assets and infrastructure also soaks up money.
          Social services and healthcare need money but are not expected to create fiscal return by their very nature.

    • @David Stone, you’re asking the most important question – why are we getting money from a privately owned overseas institution when all sovereign nations have the right to make their own money?
      And to anyone shouting that we can’t just make money out of nothing I ask; where do you think the Fed gets it’s money from?

      Economist Steve Keen is suggesting a debt jubilee. and explains how yes, money is just made by a trick of accounting

      • Lots of current full page advertising by ‘Social Credit’ suggesting that we should create our own money rather than borrowing. Can someone explain as I haven’t studied economics? Good idea or not? They seem to get rubbished by all sides.

        • My uncle and my father argued about social credit all the time I was growing up. AG (uncle) was a dedicated advocate all his life. CD (my Pa) was not convinced.
          So I was introduced to the concept that money was not as finite a thing as is generally assumed by the time I could walk. The brothers were very close.
          My belief is that Social Credit is perfectly correct. It has not mattered for many decades that money is not issued by Government because up until the mid 90’s it’s issue by banks was strictly controlled. But in the crisis of 1930’s and now the controls have been abandoned for the past 30 years and the banking sector has again demonstrated their inability to resist the temptation to exercise the enormous power the privilege of having the exclusive right to create the money supply has afforded them to their own vast enrichment .
          The theory that this power should be in the hands of bankers rather than in the hands of government stems from the historical record of monarchs and governments not handling that power responsibly either, leading to hyperinflation , and the reasoning that money is a specialist study and elected politicians seldom happen to have particular expertise in the subject is certainly a problem.
          But the wealth and power that the bankers wield is not going to be relinquished willingly, hence the successful centuries long propaganda campaign that pervades the general perception that money has some finite quantity that only the banking industry is qualified to manage.
          Having long abandoned the gold standard which gave the impression that money was a limited resource, it has been a perception of those controlling it that for it to work as a means of exchange to facilitate commerce it was (is) essential that the general public has faith in it. And the best way to maintain that faith is by mystifying it so that people don’t try to understand what it actually is and just accept and use it. It is not nearly as hard to understand as it is made out to be. IMHO
          D J S

        • @Rodel – if you studied economics you would possibly find this even harder to understand 🙂 In 2014 the central bank in England released a paper explaining how money comes into existence – essentially saying that banks create it. I don’t have a link but I imagine it’s out there somewhere

          • Aaron the CBoE link says that then weaves of into a miasma of complications to create confusion and so attempt to justify their hold on power. A corrupt cabal of criminal vagabonds with well paid friends in high political places.

    • Agreed David.
      Its an old rort established here by The Bank Of England.
      John A Lee a extremely popular and clear sighted radical Labour MP campaigned against the debt creation of money but was let down by Savage And Frazer.
      Anyone who seeks to change it usually is made to suffer in the end.
      A petition recently given to parliament was discussed at select committee.

    • Good sense DJS. You’ve turned a blog about the rights and wrongs of the booed and the booers, into a decent discussion about how our government can sort out finances to our advantage. Interesting points generated, the best backed your ideas.

  5. Chris;
    Your history marks your solitude and dedication to this land and her people, so we solute you for caring for our people Chris.

    My one and only experience of god people of Dunedin was during the first strike I joined in while as a North Islander was down there working at Manapouri west arm dam site in 1996 when the site works went out on strike about low wages and work conditions so a Maori mate on site and me went to Dunedin to see the pubs during the UK Loins rugby tour.

    We had such a warm people experience and a wet time we had in those pubs with 23 hr service. (one hour closed to clean out the pub)

    Afterwards I have loved the friendly Dunedini folks always.

    • And the Captain Cook and several other pubs were open on Sunday so the local cop could get a drink too.

  6. From time immemorial it has been man’s duty to pass on the knowledge gained to the next generation. Selling it to them is reprehensible.

    • please don’t reframe this snivelling boomer fest for common sense. Everyone knows there is only one way, and the people who refuse are just meanies.

  7. Well done, getting booed. I didn’t know they still did that. If I’m right, that may have been the period that ACT was very active and fairly successful on under-grad campuses; I’ll try to check that out; it may have only needed a couple of triggers.

    In 2005 I faced a hostile audience in a govt dept for suggesting foregoing the usual cheapie Christmas gift, and donating to the tragic Pakistani earthquake relief fund; they didn’t boo, they just sat in rows suspiciously silently glaring as if I’d suggested stealing kids’ moneyboxes.

    As Forget now comments, the booing’s transitory; so is the public’s fickle memory, and Grant Robertson is fickle too, and betraying the future if he uses current glitches as an excuse to cold-store necessary programmes – there will always be unexpected glitches, and one learns to factor them in.

  8. Good article Chris

    I thought the photo nailed it though: The expectation that the taxes of those guys working in the street should be paying for middle class students to attend university and so entrench the advantages of the next generation.

    Now I think about it, isn’t that coincidentally about the time that the Labour Party shunned actual working class people from its upper ranks?

  9. All the fine ideas about overcoming child poverty, humanising the welfare system, building state houses, tackling mental illness and doing something real about global warming will, to use Grant’s own words: “be put on ice”. If politics is the language of priorities, then almost without exception it speaks with a middle-class accent…..

    Are you sure about that “middle-class accent” because increasingly NZ policy and lobbyists speaks for the ponzi of getting low skilled people into NZ from overseas with skills and degrees and diplomas so laughable, and communication so poor, the majority will spend their entire future on benefits or low wage top ups while bringing over their love interests and relatives into NZ on the backs of the 1 year diploma or ‘masters’….

    Not to mention the corruption in NZ is increasing as our economy turns from a focus on educating young people for skills and decent citizens of the future, into one of whoever has the money goes to university not for an education but for an ulterior motive, our universities prioritising courses for bums on seats and lowering standards for easy short term money from foreign students, to be paid back by future generations as they top up the large and growing amounts of new residents into NZ with practically zero skills (as seen by the rise of ‘faux managers into fast food, hospitality and retail sector) and poor education levels like a 1 year ‘diploma’.

    What happens when you create a paid for education system with lower and lower standards, chaos, corruption, brain drain, faulty everything from labour to materials to supply chain, not being able to get anything done anymore from building a house to designing software, being a doctor with morality, to being a journalist (which in NZ is really just a paid for spin doctor or ‘presenter’ in modern NZ with zero public good attached to the role) …

    Education in NZ is now related to visa scams. Just like jobs are. Perfectly illustrated by the tale of a typical way to scam residency into NZ…

    “Lovepreet Brar arrived in New Zealand from the Punjab on 13 November 2010, less than a month after his 18th birthday. He enrolled in a management diploma at ICL Graduate Business School for 1 one year diploma.

    The main attraction was what came with the education: the opportunity to work while studying, and a path to residency on the other side.

    Brar had one singular objective through all this: New Zealand residency. To become eligible he needed to tick a number of boxes, including English proficiency, a tertiary qualification, and a level of income – as well as a managerial title. So when his former boss at Layaway Depot contacted him to ask why he’d left, he levelled with him about what he needed for his ultimate goal. By the week’s end Brar was a store manager at Layaway Depot Otāhuhu.

    “I applied for my residency and I got my residency sorted in three months.”

    After a few years he got a job AA at Meadowlands in east Auckland and was the go-between for applicants willing to pay bribes to corrupt testing officers.

    He liked the work, and his colleagues. “I was the only Indian guy there,” he says, “but there were testing officers too.” They were older and employed by Vehicle Testing NZ (VTNZ), but worked out of the AA offices and shared staff facilities. Brar became friendly with a pair of testing officers, Vinesh Kumar and Mohammed Feroz, often having lunch with them.

    One day he pulled into work when he saw a friend outside the office. The friend told him he’d just passed his driver licensing test, and Brar congratulated him on the achievement.

    “Bro, do you know it’s so easy to get a licence here?” his friend asked. “I paid $80 to the testing officer and he just gave me a licence – even though I did so many mistakes.”

    The scheme Brar had stumbled upon was run by Kumar and Feroz, who would pass those who had failed their tests in exchange for bribes. The pair suggested Brar join them as a sales funnel. Brar says he agonised, but was eventually persuaded. “I know it was my fault. I should not have been convinced, I should not have got involved,” he says. “It was the biggest mistake of my life.”

    “It was a mistake that made him a lot of money. In less than two years he received over $56,000 into his bank accounts, spread over 107 transactions. He says the amount he retained was less, but it’s also true that many applicants paid in cash. Police are still unsure of either the total number of licences issued, or the amount of money the scheme netted those involved, but a police source close to the investigation believes it was likely more than $100,000.”

    He is now resisting his deportation from NZ costing our country a fortune while he beomes a YouTube sensation, starring in videos that attract millions of clicks and often involve guns, flash cars and women.

    “One of his videos, titled Jail, shows Brar at a mansion surrounded by prestigious cars. He has a wound in his right arm but when the female character gives him first aid, armed with a knife, she appears to remove a bullet.

    The video has over 8 million views.

    Immigration New Zealand has told Stuff that Brar was issued with a deportation notice back in April.

    He has since appealed the decision to the Immigration Protection Tribunal.”

  10. It may seem odd but what you say brings to my mind an old Huckleberry Hound cartoon. It was about a Scarlet Pimpernel inspired character called the “Purple Pumpernickel” in which a disguised HH overthrew an unpopular mayor who charged everyone too much for essential services. HH promised free schools, free health services, pretty much free everything….everybody cheered. Then he added: “Of course this will mean taxes….” everyone booed and then HE got overthrown.
    The moral of the story: everyone wants the best, but no one wants to pay for it.
    The other moral of the story: there is no such thing as a free lunch, it is simply a question of who pays for it.
    I guess that is human nature Chris.
    Thousands of years of evolution and our basic selfishness has stayed the same.

    • The important point about progressive tax is that those who get greater income out of society pay taxes at a higher rate than those who get little. Its a healthy redistribution structure the helps cash flow and if properly implemented helps address the equity gap.
      Flat tax in an ACT instrument for the wealthy thats why TOP promote it.

    • …’ Thousands of years of evolution and our basic selfishness has stayed the same’…


      Yep, pretty much , but one must ponder , before the deregulation and relaxation of tax laws occurring in the mid 1980’s,… how was it done? Well for one thing, large corporate’s payed a much , much heavier proportion of the tax pie in the form of company tax, more equating to the real time earnings they actually made.

      Now, they pay a ( as we’ve heard a thousand times before and thanking John Minto for constantly reminding us ) disproportionately low amount of their share. And thus that tax burden is shifted onto the ones who can least afford it: the working poor and in many cases the middle classes.
      GST is a classic example.

      People ask how it was we had a world class health and education sector? That was how it was done. But as we all know, neo liberalism is the ideology of greed and personal enrichment, and , – along with odious legislation such as the Employment Contracts Act 1991 which really has only been tinkered around the edges with, – and which has bottomed out wages in this country , … has enabled the obscenely wealthy to line their pockets at our expense and laugh at us all being at each others throats for the crumbs under the table…

      And they are still having a good laugh, despite a pandemic. And they laugh at our gullibility and naivety as they observe us scratching our heads and pondering why there is not the quality infrastructure and wealth in the community we once had. They laugh at our inability to demand better from our politicians. They laugh at our rigged news-media who were paid for by them to spoon-feed us bullshit and to repeat the lie often enough that we now accept it as truth.

      If we really want to silence the laughter, – try kicking out the Australian banks monopoly here and the billions of dollars flowing out of this country and into Australian banks. Try overturning the Reserve Bank Act and bringing capital regulation back under direct govt control. Try dismantling any form of employment contracts and instead having an award rate, – and horrors!- tied to the rate of inflation and the costs of living!. Try govt subsidies to businesses that will train apprentices. Try reinstating large coordinators such as the old Ministry of Works. Try reintroducing sliding rule tariffs at our borders to protect our own industry’s and thus employees. And that’s only the start of things to do !!!

      OUT with the Old and in with the OLDER!

      Pre 1984, pre Rogernomics.

      The problem is, far too many people have made fortunes off other peoples backs while impoverishing them and have ingratiated themselves with politicians with generous donations and bogus financial reports and recommendations ( looking at YOU , NZ Initiative ) to want things to change.

      Just look at Labours uselessness in ever changing what ‘their boy’ Rodger did – let alone ever apologizing for it ! And then there’s the National party who have ingratiated themselves so far up China’s butt all you can see is their toenails!

      America- land of the free.

      NZ – land of the corrupt.

      Both of them self delusional jokes and oxymoron’s. A medieval court jester would have had a field day with both of them.

  11. Type of courses we now offer in NZ…

    Does this sound like a quality masters program at Auckland University which is relentlessly promoted online….

    Further your career with a Master of Public Policy. Study online and complete in 2 years

    The comments section has things like

    “Public policy learned privately in your bedroom. Seems scammy”

    “Like the public policy that the Department of Building and Housing does not recognise Auckland University’s architecture degrees, even the post graduate one. Paid those idiots for nothing but a scam.”

    “It’s appalling that such a qualification even exists. It’s a nothing job that contributes nothing to the world and only costs money paid by people who actually do stuff.”

    “God, I can imagine the bullshit in this degree. Is it run by the humanities? University has become a farce”

    “Well that will get you a job at McDonald’s”

    “Education has become a for profit, sheople control business, ruining education from the inside out. Greed is ruining this world.”

    So why would Auckland University sully their name and everyone who has a degree there with this online degree… well someone has to pay for the Parnell Mansion … and they have shredded all the specialist books

    You wonder how you can prevent cheating with an online course like this. But of course if your turn a blind eye, wink, wink…

    Types of workers we now get
    Auckland Council official who took bribe gets home detention

    Type of engineers who work at the councils while they design faulty buildings..

    230 High Street: Christchurch Council distances its engineer from unstable building

    Weird how councils did not think there was seawater when approving the plan even though well below sea level but now post investigation there is salty groundwater “may have a high risk of corrosion”. Wonder what would happen in 10 years if they had not noticed and how many more are effected by incorrect paid for reports.

    The state of NZ senior public service managers…

    Whistleblowers tell of ‘incredible’ day their jobs were axed

    ‘I did ridiculous things with the money’ – Ministry fraudster

    NZ Treasury says systems ‘hacked’ ahead of Budget

    Gabriel Makhlouf’s Already Had Three Strikes. Can He Really Avoid Being ‘Out’?

    • Wash your hands, wash your hands, and wash them again. BAM! Twirl around like Wonder Woman! You are an Epidemiologist at Auckland Uni.

      • @Angie Marino, Being the Mayor’s mistress worked for Bevan Chuang to get a job at Auckland Art gallery without a fine art degree or being an artist…

        How to get a job in NZ? Don’t worry about qualifications or having any experience, just sleep with the boss, and if that doesn’t turn out, psychic reader career or dragon baby mommy…. the choices of NZ new workforces skills are endless with a NZ tertiary education these days…

        Now the Burger King jobs are now taken by our new graduate ‘managers’ working minimum wages for residency…. there’s new ways for students to pay for their studies!

        Sugar Daddies come to NZ!
        Confessions of a sugar baby: The NZ women who accept gifts for dates

  12. There are many sad things about NZ now, but one of the saddest and most difficult to overcome is 30 years of putting very short perceived money gain over the future of our human capital and education system in NZ.

    We are now in a particular low point, of selling poor quality diplomas and degrees for NZ residency aka, NZ’s universities are increasingly seeking to create diplomas and degrees often involving a ‘masters’ of business to secure a faux burger manager jobs to residency, as our government and university chancellors main objectives of NZ tertiary education in 2020.

    From Martin Luther King.

    “If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful, ‘brethren!’ Be careful, teachers!”

    The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.

    To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education.

    education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society.

    “True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”

    —Stride Toward Freedom, 1958

    “Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”

    —Speech before a group of students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia, October 26, 1967

    “All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper.’ If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.”

    —“I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, April 3, 1968

    • ” The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.

      To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education.

      education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society.

      “True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”

      Yes Save NZ times have changed but not the intent of the message.

      Your insights keep us all grounded.

      • +1 Martin Luther King’s quotes about education is particularly apt in NZ. It is particularly apt for wokies, who seem to be more interested in promoting Lovepreet Brar types whose actions destroy functioning society than those like Luther King whose actions and vision are beneficial to society.

        Personally tired of the woke enablers. The message should be, corruption, fraud, obesity causing burger/takeout careers and laughable diplomas and degrees to “close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts” that are starting to fill NZ’s residency halls (starting with the university chancellors running the universities on behalf of the government and multinational Forprofit residence halls, who fail to notice dead students these days but don’t forget to bill

        Some thing other than the dead bodies stink, in the NZ education system that is now 100% about money not education and it’s led from the top.

  13. All the promises of the 2017 election campaign, “Lets Do This!” is now going to become. “Lets Do This Another Time Because its All Too Hard!”
    Housing Crisis
    Homeless Crisis
    Health Industry Crisis
    Poverty Crisis
    Education Crisis
    and now C19 Pandemic Crisis as well as the economic crisis.

    Top priority in 2020? “Feed the Machine!” None the above matters other than the economic crisis as the advice from Roger Douglas would be to Robo & Cinders to take on board.

    The number two priority will be, more media photo op’s and international headlines of meaningless vacuity, again.

    • could you imagine how only the most die hard could stick with a Labour Party after Rogernomics AND failing on such fundamental policy? Neoliberalizm has effectively destroyed and neutered anything unique about the Labour Party ultimately becoming a bunch of generic naval gazers with ideas and aspirations far in excess of any of their skills or abilities. Labour runs the risk of becoming just another sad entry in a once promising era in New Zealand’s economic achievements only to be let down by hubris and divisive politics. I know that pride and hubris won’t allow anyone to learn from this experience but hopefully the people will and they’ll vote with there wallets. Yknow if people don’t, especially poor and disabled people don’t make an effort to interact with there local MP’s then there’s nothing anyone can do to help.

  14. I think you have to be pretty thick skinned to be a politician . It probably helps to be autistic so you are isolated from what other people are feeling. I’m sure that applied to John Key. Also many great and successful politicians as I have read , including David Lange and Norman Kirk were socially almost dysfunctional in an informal situation.
    Perhaps these individuals are so far in advance of the intellect of us ordinary people that they just can’t relate, but I think it’s a lack of emotional sensitivity rather than a surfeit of anything.
    D J S

  15. The only way you can remove poverty from a country is through education.

    Best book in my view about what went wrong on Auckland Universities highlighting Rogernomics 2.0 – 2.2….

    Tertiary fees were Rogernomics 2.0

    Student loans with eye watering interest rates which is why we have such a brain drain in NZ was Rogernomics 2.1

    Creating the Foreign student for fees to change education to grow a profit objective in NZ education was Rogernomics 2.2

    And now lowering the standards for laughable degrees and diplomas (and since that in itself is worthless to anybody), throwing in NZ work permits and residency for the entire unskilled family in NZ for years, to go with the fake education, is Rogernomics 2.3

    Part of Rogernomics 2.2 – 2.3 is removing the ability for anybody to question the insane policy which is why we now have no books on the subject that I am aware of, but plenty on promoting the Rogernomic 2.2 – 2.3 methods of academic takeover to mush under the umbrella of diversity….

    The interesting thing about real academics on this subject, is that Martin Luther King, Gandhi and Nelson Meldela is that they stayed in the country they were born in, and their community, to make it a better place, not take their cash, leave on a flight with inflight nuts and then spend the next decades setting up exploitative businesses and lobby groups to get more welfare, grants, corporate welfare and benefits off their new country, while telling everyone how hard done by they are and how racist everybody is to them!

    While the migrants lobby machine, and Melissa Lee types, pontificate how their Air Korea journey is the equivalent of Maori migration and become the new beneficiaries of numerous government grants and handouts while giving advice like “SH20 Waterview Connection could divert criminals from South Auckland away from the electorate” … vomit! NZ as well as importing in poverty is also importing in racism!

    Another pearl of wisdom from another migrant led discourse at work demanding more housing…

    “Multicultural Council of Rangitikei and Wanganui president Pushpa Prasad said Māori should work on helping themselves get out of poverty rather than worrying about a small number of refugees.

    “We are chucking money in a leaky bucket or in a bottomless pit,” she said. “Never mind how much you dump in there it still won’t be enough unless people stand up by themselves and go and start fixing things for themselves or looking after themselves.”

    Ms Prasad, who moved to New Zealand from Fiji about 30 years ago and lives in Whanganui, said the city was putting in the work and would be prepared to accept refugees next year – housing crisis or not.”

    Meanwhile no bells ringing to the woke and government, as the immigration machine of fraud continues to create NZ as an exploiter paradise for the neoliberals as their new Pacific paradise full of Meth, immigration fraud, and obesity from the union led explosion of NZ takeouts.
    New Zealand’s first human trafficking convictions found guilty of fraud

  16. Shoot the messenger has been a commonplace response to unwelcome news or unwelcome comments for thousands of years.

    Sadly, The Daily Blog, despite declaring itself to be a forum for discussion based on the best scientific, economic and social evidence, has adopted the same [shoot the messenger] strategy for dealing with fundamental truth the operators of the blog are uncomfortable with.

    It behooves us, as busy people, to not waste our time composing well-researched comments based on well-established facts and the best available evidence if those comments are to be blocked by the censors -just as occurs with the corporate media, various political parties, city and district councils, the government, etc.

    Indeed, if we are not permitted to challenge inaccurate or badly-thought-out narratives presented on TDB there is little point in reading them, and TDB establishes a self-defeating feedback loop (as per The Standard) where only those who agree are given voice.

    • +1 Afewknowthetruth – I agree with you in terms of, “what is the point if people are not permitted to challenge inaccurate or badly-thought-out narratives”.

      Saying that, I notice a tendency to attack the person themselves in rebuttals, not the ideas in the comment….

      Also sad to see The Standard going down the self-defeating feedback loop where only those who agree are given voice and to my mind it’s sad that The Standard appears to be heavily preyed upon, by the Auckland councils and COO’s marketing lobbyists. (Auckland Council was paying $45.6 million a year on communications in 2017 and employing the equivalent of 234 fulltime staff across 5 agencies) aka nearly 50 Comms people each per agency and nearly $200k per person averaged (what do they all do in NZ when all NZ media all says the same thing, go on the blogs to use them as propaganda…) If only the council deployed that money on quality control instead of spin, they might actually get more than a 17% satisfaction rate from the ratepayers and not screw up everything, again and again.

      Hopefully TDB does not go down that track of becoming a propaganda coms spin, although I really see more signs of neoliberalism woke ness coming to TDB, as on of the last resisters.

      Resist, Resist TDB,

      AKA don’t turn into the modern Green Party who fails the environment, Unite union where the message has become decoupled from helping NZ workers into a niche area of more benefits to the migrants workers immigration status, or Dr Liz Gordon who finds herself surrounded by white supremacists where ever she goes.

      Sadly former good organisations and people, start to become infected by the sister woke virus rampaging in their veins, and their messages and blogs increasingly become about themselves and less and less based in any sort of statistical reality, helping the neoliberal system by losing yet another previously well regarded voice or organisation from the former left.

  17. TBH I dont think the students back then, had any objection to contributing toward the cost of their education.

    The main issue was being squeezed for every cent, which sadly the practice of which was well underway by then, as can be seen with hikes in state housing rents, electricity, water, etc.

  18. saveNZ, I like your well-reasoned arguments and extensive use of links to reference to points you make.

    Further up the thread there were comments and quotes about education.

    Several years ago I recognised that the purpose of state education was to provide pupils/students with enough knowledge and skills to be useful to the empire* whilst denying them the knowledge and skills that would result in them becoming a threat to the empire.

    Initially education was primarily about basic mathematics and basic reading and writing, so the potential workers could operate machines, tally their production, follow written instructions and record their productivity etc.

    As western societies became more technological, new skills and knowledge were required: people who could repair the machines, carry out chemical and physical tests on raw materials and products, develop new products, increase the output from machines or from agriculture, and increase the length of the working life of the wage-slaves. The history taught in ‘educational’ facilities’ was the particular version that the empire sanctioned, i.e. that while people brought civilisation to ‘primitive savages’ and saved them from the ‘evils’ of their own cultures.

    In the British system, established throughout its empire, glorification of militarism and superiority of things British was implied, insofar as ‘we’ saved the world from the ‘evils’ of French domination by taking the Northeast States and Canada (and arguably NZ) from the French), ‘we’ defeated Napoleon (and his ‘equally awful’ Spanish ally at Trafalgar), and went on to put an end to his domination of Europe at Waterloo; ‘we’ invented steam engines, steam trains, railway systems, sewage systems, electricity etc. and ‘we’ had an empire on which the Sun never set. ‘We’ brought ‘law and order’ to warring tribes and ‘we’ brought the ‘benefits of civilisation’ to ‘savages’ whilst freeing them from the ‘odious’ superstitions and false gods of their own cultures. ‘We’ showed them how to dress, how to live, how to eat, what to eat and what to think etc.

    Rarely, if ever, mentioned in the traditional ‘education’ narratives were: the land thefts, the depopulation of the land via genocidal wars, the theft of natural resources (particularly timber and gold, and in some cases meat and skins minerals), the slavery the empire was founded on, the deforestation, the conversion of forests into pasture and the obliteration of the native flora and fauna etc.

    Throughout most the twentieth century trade and technical training came to the fore, as the demand for builders, plumbers, electricians, engineers, chemists, geologists and healthcare professionals etc. increased.

    And in the latter part of the twentieth century, there was suddenly a surge in courses in ‘economics’, accountancy, business studies, business administration, human resources management etc., and in the past 15 years or so, tourism, catering, cultural sensitivity etc.

    I put quote around economics because what has been taught as economics hasn’t been economics at all, but has been a travesty of economics [in the true Greek origin of the word], and a system has been established in which many fundamentals have been ignore or severely distorted: mathematically impossible theories have been promoted and accepted as truth, i.e. the ridiculous notions that resources are infinite and will always arrive when needed; the Earth has an unlimited capacity to absorb/process pollution and the therefore the effects of pollution do not need to be taken account of in economic measurement or theory; growth is good.

    At no stage in the ‘education’ process are the phony and unsustainable nature of the banking system and monetary system (creation of money out of thin air and the charging of interest on that money) ever mentioned.

    In recent times ‘educational’ institutions have been commercialised to the point that anything goes. I personally witnessed this when Chris de Freitas (supposed professor of environmental studies at the University of Auckland) declared that ‘carbon dioxide was nutrient’ and that we should ‘burn more coal’!!!

    Complaint to the Vice Chancellor’s Office elicited the response that the outrageous, anti-environmental stance of Chris de Freitas was not subject to reprimand, and that “he was entitled to teach whatever he liked” under the protection of ‘academic freedom’.

    By the same token, it has been noted elsewhere that pure research for the sake of knowledge has declined markedly in recent decades and that market-driven research sponsored by commercial companies has become the norm. The public good has fallen off the agenda, as has the sustainability of the entire system. Short-termism reigns supreme, with the unspoken trashing of the environment and promotion of phony ‘feel-good’ ‘solutions’ that exacerbate our predicament being the underlying principle of almost all government policy

    By the same token, as noted in this thread, bums on seats has become the driving force of tertiary ‘education’, whilst standards fall precipitously.

    And in primary and secondary schools, commercial sponsorship has crept in to the point that commercial organisations are free to advertise within school grounds and may even set the course content to some extent.

    * the empire being the military-industrial-financial empire that dominates western societies to the point that outrageous lies promulgated by the public media cannot be challenged and politicians kowtow to it and implement policies designed to enhance its agenda ( capture and enslavement of the minds of the general populace in order to influence purchasing decisions, as a source of short-term revenue).

    • + 1 Afewknowthetruth – good analysis of education through the last 100 years – the only thing to add, is to the western societies credit, they did teach that education is a social good…

      and from that we have had significant beneficial change in terms of

      the right to an elected democracy,
      habeas corpus (the right of presumed innocence before you are found guilty in court),
      civil and human rights,
      40 hour working week,
      modern welfare state….

      My fear is that all that good from the west, is being eroded as the modern lefties have their heads up their arses in terms of niche identity politics distractions and propping up dictatorships, while the really big ticket items that people fought for over 100 years ago (for all) are now being eroded and often by the lefties “third way” Blairite/Rogernomics types to the delight of the right.

      Don’t forget slavery was not just about race, it was also about gender and age aka women and children were considered property up until the 20th century. Providing for the next generation is about changing for good, but I’m not sure that the changes in NZ are beneficial, aka rise of Meth, liquor stores, obesity from poor food and takeouts, increased fraud and corruption that is being swept under the rug, massive incompetence and disinterest in taking a closer look at why that is increasing, less freedom of rights and freedom of the press, decreased educational outcomes, homelessness for practically the first time in NZ history….

      How you disable a society, to take it over, is to disable at every turn. Stop people thinking or even having a voice. You see this with the RMA which is a joke and the community is locked out of any decision making and paid for reports, that are inaccurate are being used to push through socially, financially and environmentally disastrous projects. From Pike River to the farce of cutting down 500 year old Kauri trees buried in 70 page reports and presented to a bovine system that fells history and the environment while marketing the opposite to the world as being clean and green,

      NZ is being impoverished from the inside out and that is what is ballooning in NZ, dysfunction everywhere.

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