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Three years on, Christchurch people are still struggling with the aftereffects of the 2011 earthquakes – insurance, lives disrupted, homes damaged. Workers and the poor, struggling to get by with less and in an insecure, uncertain city, feel all of this particularly keenly. Schools – the centres of community – should be places that give some reassurance and stability. But that’s now how National sees it. Education Minister Hekia Parata is happy to threaten school closures and kick communities while they are still reeling. Take Phillipstown School, a decile one school supporting some of the poorest students in need. The damage to the school was allegedly too expensive to fix and so closure was concluded. This was a decision that would “destroy the community,” as one parent put it.  A High Court Judge has agreed and ruled that the Phillipstown School closure was “unlawful.”

 

So cost cutting and closures are National’s plans for public education. That’s not the whole story, however. When it comes to charter schools, National and Act’s joint vision for a “private-public partnership” model – in other words, for an attack on public education – then there is plenty of money to go around. [Read More...]

Recent articles

Web Round-Up: March

A round-up of interesting links and articles from March.    National Party Scumbags – Fancy Dinner Edition  Auckland Action Against Poverty held a protest outside the Young Nats’ ball early in April – see our report here. Judith Collins’ web of lies and deceit around her dinner with Oravida in China this month have finally […]

Protesting National’s War on Beneficiaries

The class divide in Aotearoa was open for all to see on Saturday night as anti-poverty protesters heckled and jeered attendees at the Young Nats’ ball.

Bludgers on a Binge

It’s a case for the Taxpayers’ Union: Two bludgers on a binge. He’s just come out of a couple of years running with a violent mob called the ‘RAF’ and is now scrounging off the public purse; she’s one of these women who thinks having babies on welfare is a career plan. Paula Bennett is passionate […]

Marching Against the TPPA

TPPA, No Way! We’re going to fight it all the way! Chants like this were booming nationwide against the government’s commitment to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – a secret agreement between 12 countries that will be so “beneficial” that the government has not disclosed a single iota of what will negotiated. Today organizations and groups like […]

Millionaires, Mana, and the Poverty of Politics

What the hell was Mana party boss Gerard Hehir thinking? When German millionaire Kim Dotcom picked up his Swarovsky crystal cellphone and dialled Hone Harawira, why didn’t Hone just hang up? If Mana aims to represent the poor, is a deal with a millionaire going to build the “brand”? Mana struggles to be taken seriously […]

Review: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Chadwick’s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is a biographical film about the late Nelson Mandela’s life. The film takes its audience through Mandela’s life from his early years as a lawyer to him eventually becoming president.   One of the first things which stood out to me about this film was the amount of violence. […]

Christchurch: No Place for Race Hate

For the last couple of years, Kommandante Kyle Chapman, New Zealand’s answer to Benito Mussolini, has been rallying the troops on the United Nations Race Relations Day. In what the ballheads no doubt consider a masterful stroke of strategy, the swastika-tattooed, jackbooted, blackshirts deny the march is inspired by racism, let alone Adolf Hitler, instead […]

Under Which Flag?

“Treasury tells us there are 285 000 kids living in poverty, the Ministry of Health tells us that 100 000 of them are going to school hungry every day… and the Prime Minister tells us he wants to change the flag! Eliminating child poverty, homes for all families and jobs for everyone – those are […]

From the archive

ISO Hui-a-tau 2013 – Learning together, fighting for socialism

ISOfistMore than 40 members and supporters of the International Socialist Organisation met at Waipapa Marae, in the heart of Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland, last weekend for the revolutionary socialist organisation’s third national conference, and first-ever Auckland conference.

A quarter of all children in New Zealand grow up in poverty. Austerity, cutbacks and exploitation remain the ruling-class agenda in Aotearoa and internationally. A sharp sense of the need for a socialist alternative united members and supporters from as far afield as Otepoti/Dunedin for two days of intense discussion and debate.

The whare Tane-nui-a-rangi, carved by Pakariki Harrison, combines in one house the tupuna and whakapapa of many iwi. We are grateful to the iwi kainga of Waipapa Marae for welcoming our people, who descend from Nga Puhi, Ngai Tahu, and Te Arawa, as well as from Haiti, Ireland, Scotland, England, China, Korea, Sri Lanka, Iran, Japan and South Africa together under the one roof of Tane-nui-a-rangi. During the powhiri, our kaumatua Paul De Rungs paid respect to Nelson Mandela and all the other freedom fighters of South Africa. Moe mai ra e te rangatira.

Thirty to forty people slept together in the wharenui, ate together and talked together, and though speech may be the food of chiefs, food was not neglected. A hakari on Saturday night was the highlight of the conference – complete with roast pork, tofu steak and aubergine (for vegetarians), and pavlova. We had tamariki as young as 3 all the way up to kaumatua as old as 78 participate in the hui-a-tau.

A high level of engagement and lively discussion marked the conference. Participants debated in sessions on national politics; the Arab revolutions; and Queer struggles after marriage equality. Educational sessions considered recent debates on socialism and feminism and the relevance of Trotsky in the 21st century. [Read More...]

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