Reflections from the Inquiry on Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Autism in Schools

This year I had a huge breakthrough in getting the Education and Science Select Committee to open an inquiry to investigate the identification of and support for students facing the significant challenges of dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum disorders. We put the call out for submissions and were overwhelmed by the response. On the very […]

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Inquiry Reveals Inequality, Neglect and Inspiration

We are well underway hearing from submitters to the Select Committee Inquiry into Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Autism issues in schools. The testimony has had considerable media coverage because it has been compelling and intense. The students and parents who have spoken to us have given us sometimes gruelling accounts of bullying, neglect and ignorance as […]

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People Surge: the Philippines’ Climate Survivors

Yesterday I had the great privilege of hosting Efleda Bautista from People Surge at Parliament. People Surge is a group of 2o,ooo people who are survivors or supporters of communities impacted by Typhoon Haiyan. For Efleda and her communities, climate change is a daily threat as the consequences of this devastating event continue to impact […]

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Inquiry into Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Autism – Screening and Support in Schools

Submissions have now closed into the inquiry into the identification and support for students with dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum disorders in schools, that I initiated, at the Education Select Committee. The 417 submissions, mainly from affected families, are publicly available on the parliamentary website. 91 people and groups from Auckland to Otago have asked […]

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Holding onto Pacific Culture and Language?

The Minister for Pacific Affairs is supporting the value of Tuvalu’s language and culture this week – but in words, not deeds. Despite Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga stating he’s “committed to creating opportunities to share and promote Pacific cultures,” the value of Pacific heritage is consistently being undermined. A single celebratory week does little to […]

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Professional development of teachers will fix poverty, huh?

The Minister of Education Hekia Parata recently acknowledged the hardship of “persistent under underachievement and poor employment outcomes”. Her solution is to roll out targeted Professional Learning and Development (PLD) for teachers in Northland and East Coast. Like Hekia, I think PLD is very important, but we don’t think that targeting the teachers in regions […]

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Coromandel rallies against the TPPA

  On Wednesday, John Key visited the southern Coromandel area with local National MP Scott Simpson and was challenged by citizens who spontaneously organised protests against the Government position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). I went down to Waihi expecting a handful of people but in fact there were 50 locals, many of […]

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Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large increases in cow numbers are resulting in excess nitrogen and thus pollution in water ways. […]

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Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees

This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as overtly destructive as its gets. A number of remote communities threatened with closure are, perhaps […]

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Smarter thinking, not bigger thinking, needed to manage our water resources

Right now there is a perfect storm for some farmers, but no rain. Drought and commodity prices are hitting hard and creating stress. This is not a new experience, but if drought in particular becomes the new normal, pressure on water resources will increase. It is a challenge to everyone but particularly in Canterbury and […]

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Manus Island and the New Zealand Government

This week the Greens have participated in awareness activity about Manus Island, the refugee camp on an island in Papua New Guinea where Australia dumps asylum seekers. John Key says that he has every confidence in the Australian Government’s claim that people are well treated, but the evidence is that these camps are sites of […]

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