Wednesday, 6 April 2005

Take These Two Fingers, Mr Mallard

What do you do when the Minister of Education closes down your school? If you're like most New Zealanders, you roll over and beg for more. But that's not the way with Orauta School near Moerewa in Northland.

Parents at Orauta face prosecution because they've thumbed their noses at the Ministry's announcement of the school's closure, and at what the Ministry calls 'quality.' Instead, they've demanded that they be permitted to make the choice over the education of their own children themselves.

As you might expect, this has made the Ministry of Mis-Education apoplectic, and school spokesman Ken Brown no less so; he charged that the Ministry "was using 'financial terrorism' to scare parents into sending their children to another school."

Them's fighting words, and it seems the parents of Orauta are prepared to fight. Stand firm!, say the Libertarianz, and it seems the parents intend to:
[The School's spokesman] welcomed the threat of legal action as the school community believed it had a "strong case" for proving that Maori had a right to govern themselves and therefore the right to run a school.

I would suggest that all New Zealanders have the right to govern themselves, and rather than issue hasty warning letters, the best thing the Ministry could do is simply give back the school to those who are using it, and rescind any prosecutions that have been issued.

We hear too often that parents take too little interest in their child's education. Now we see why: when they do they walk into trouble.


  1. Comrade,

    The local parents want more money from the govt to keep the schools going.

    The locals who want more govt cash complain that the govt is using 'financial terrorism' when the govt says it won't pony up with all the dosh the locals want to maintain two schools.

    Me, I'm moderate socialist: I side with the locals and think the govt should just spend more on educating the kids.

    But I'm very amused that you agree with me. When the shit hits and locals want more (not less) local services funded by the govt you side with them.

    Welcome, comrade! I'm pleased to see your practical views repudiating your silly libertarian theories.


  2. Icehawk,

    Firstly, I think you're a little confused over who is paying for 'public' education; the Government doesn't actually have any money to spend. They spend taxpayers money, that is your money and my money. The Government doesn't fund anything.

    Seondly, I don't think P.C. is advocating public education, rather, he is suggesting the Government ought to leave parents alone to educate their children how they see fit.

    Perhaps you should post a valid argument of your own, rather than deliberately misrepresenting P.C.s argument?

  3. No need to be either amused or confused Icehawk. But as you’ve asked the question, no I don’t agree with the taxpayer giving more money to help keep the school open – I maintain that if all title deeds to the school were transferred to current parents and teachers, then not only would it be the easiest way to resolve this situation, (and by far the easiest and quickest way to get government out of education altogether, and for good), but it also offers an opportunity to raise working capital by either borrowing against those title deeds, or selling or leasing portions of the site or buildings.

    As far as taxpayer money’s is concerned then, I see no reason why taxpayers should pay any more money for this school. I do however suggest that if these parents or any parents are paying for their children or other children to acquire an education, then they should not be taxed twice to pay for it.

    Ending double-taxation by giving tax-credits to those paying for private education would be the single-best transitional measure to get government out of education, and as I’m sure you know, Icehawk, for we libertarians that’s one of our explicit aims. 

    PC (Not PC)
    PS: Have a look at The Alliance for Separation of School and State who make many of these aims explicit.

  4. Duncan, I'm not misrepresenting PCs argument: I'm pointing out that he is being inconsistent, or at least disingenuous, in claiming to support the parents of Orauta.

    PC's claiming to support their opposition to the school's closure. But what PC's suggesting the locals should get is not at all what they're asking for.

    The locals are not asking for a chance to buy the school property with their own money, and to fund their kids schooling themselves.

    They're asking the taxpayers to fund their local school, and accusing the govt of 'Financial Terrorism' when the govt refuses to pony up the tax money.

    You can argue about removing govt funding from primary education. But if you are arguing that, then don't pretend to be supporting the parents of Orauta.


  5. 'icehawk' - apt name, as he's got water on the brain, and it's frozen at that....


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