Political reports and reaction from the Parliamentary Precinct, Wellington.

2007 Treaty Debate Series at Te Papa

6.30-8.00pm. Soundings Theatre, Level 2, Te Papa Tongarewa.
Free entry.

Thursday 1 February: Fishing for answers - Māori and the Fisheries

In the three decades since the widening of the Waitangi Tribunal's powers to investigate historic claims we have heard the contemporary meaning of Article 2 of the Treaty debated extensively, culminating, in part, in the passing of the Maori Fisheries Act in September 2004. What does this development mean for Maori commercial fishing and the future relationship of Māori and Pākehā with the sea?

Thursday 8 February: The Big Picture - Where is the Treaty?
The term 'living document' has become synonymous with the Treaty of Waitangi in this country, with its three short articles being debated in contexts their original signatories could never have imagined. With so much interpretation and analysis, will the original intentions of this document remain, and does it have a place in the multicultural society of our future?

After attending last year's series, I highly recommend going. Details on the speakers are here.

The Dom on the money with political apathy

From today's editorial:

"In a settled democracy like this, voters rarely take their right to vote seriously. It is usually only when their little world is on the verge of being up-ended that they get involved. By then, it can be too late, leaving unrealistic expectations and over-the-top invective in its wake. But, if residents and ratepayers want a city, district or region that allows easy living and creates a healthy, wealthy local economy, they need to be prepared to shrug off their apathy. Posting a ballot paper to local voting officials every three years is just not enough."

Decisions are made by those who show up. Although I don't know about a wealhty local economy (maybe it's the socialist in me)

Australian Universities beat NZ at level of investment

And yet somehow, I am not surprised by the report. In fact, the only surprise I have is the opinion I share with the NZVCC with the need for the Government to take University investment seriously. The level of investment, particularly building depth in existing programmes is something I am in favour of, and recent reforms have only hinted at it.

The rhetoric supports “economic transformation”. This transformation requires a commitment to fresh, new ideas, nurtured in high quality research institutions like universities.

But of more importance is the challenge to improving the quality of research and courses within the university. Even the argument “it’s not how much we spend, it’s where we spend it” does not hold water: eventually a severe lack of investment will lower the overall quality of university study. It is time to stop the rot, and give students, current and future, an assurance that the government will be as diligent to improving our universities, as students are in improving their grades. When buildings crumble, so will test scores, and who will take the blame for that?


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