The week that was | The Jackal

10 Apr 2011

The week that was

The National Government offer to bailout AMI to the tune of more than a Billion dollars. The privately owned company has had financial difficulty since the Christchurch Earthquake and improper re-insurance measures. This decision to bail out yet another privately owned business was made in light of recent revelations that the Treasury advised John Key that South Canterbury Finance was never compliant with the bailout scheme…

SCF debt ballooned from $200 Million to as much as $700 Million once it was admitted to the Crown run scheme. This has resulted in a bailout to the tune of $1.7 Billion with a further $300 Million to follow. SCF was also subject to a Serious Fraud Office inquiry at the time. All this has prompted Phil Goff to make a request for the entire National Government to resign.

More than 750 principals have given a vote of no confidence in the National Government because of their educational standards, which have received a unanimous thumbs-down. The failure is due to Education Minister Anne Tolley inept management, an ill-conceived policy and a lack of consultation.

President of the NZEI Ian Leckie said:

"As professionals and educators we feel completely marginalised as the government pursues a political agenda for education rather than educational policy based on what's best for children, teaching and learning. Any attempts to raise our concerns about untried and untested National Standards are met with arrogant disregard."

Principals Federation president Peter Simpson said:

“The standards are too undeveloped to be of any use and principals should make a moral and ethical decision on behalf of the country's children to reject them” and “the Government has tried to manufacture a sense of crisis even though international studies show New Zealand's schools are among the best in the world.”

Despite this, the National Government continues to ignore these concerns.

On April 7, a 7.1 Magnitude earthquake hits the east coast of Honshu, Japan. It is considered to be an aftershock of the March 11, 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku earthquake. The aftershock sequence of that event has been ongoing since March 11 with 58 earthquakes of M 6 or greater up until April 7 2011. The aftershock has reportedly killed 3 and knocked out power in the northern part of the country.

Due to the earthquake, the Onagawa nuclear power plant north of Sendai, had a failure of power supply to the cooling of the plant's spent fuel pools. An emergency diesel generator functioned and radiation-monitoring devices detected no abnormalities.

Bill English tries to make the 30% lower wages comparative to Australia a good thing... He recently stated:

“One is the wage differential. We have a workforce that is better educated, just as productive and 30 per cent cheaper.”

Mr English’s statements refute the extensive electioneering by National to the extent that they were going to close the wage gap with Australia. This clearly points to the fact that the National party has no plan to speak of. New Zealand has a work force that is less educated because of National’s policies, has far lower productivity compared to Australia and a raft of subsidies and welfare because of those low wages. It is clear that the ideology within the National ranks does not understand that less turnover because of low wages equals less spending and a malfunctioning economy.

A bribe of $2 million dollars was given to the Maori party in the form of a plastic Waka to apparently progress Maori interests in the Rugby World Cup. With a 88% public vote against the tupperwaka, the Government continues to defend the project.