Stray­ing coun­cil­lors

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Edi­tor,

I am writ­ing to ex­press my dis­ap­point­ment in the new Porirua City coun­cil­lors.

We are ‘five min­utes’ into a new lo­cal govern­ment term and the coun­cil­lors (bar two) have al­ready started to go be­yond their role by de­bat­ing cen­tral govern­ment pol­icy is­sues, with re­spect to Na­tional Stan­dards.

This coun­cil has enough on its own plate with the chal­lenges ahead of mak­ing the city more at­trac­tive to live, work and play in. I call upon this coun­cil over the next three years to stick to its own knit­ting and make sure what they have been voted in to do is achieved.

- SIMON CALVERT, Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Porirua

Cham­ber of Com­merce. teach­ers are highly sought af­ter. De­spite this, how­ever, many of our chil­dren are fail­ing to achieve.

The so­lu­tion to this is­sue will not be gained by im­ple­ment­ing Na­tional Stan­dards, be­cause teach­ers al­ready have many as­sess­ment tools that ac­cu­rately in­di­cate stu­dent per­for­mance.

The is­sue is one of eq­uity, not qual­ity, which is clearly demon­strated by the fact that un­der­achiev­ing stu­dents are pre­dom­i­nantly of a spe­cific so­cioe­co­nomic de­mo­graphic.

Na­tional Stan­dards were rushed through, against ex­pert ad­vice and with no tri­alling to en­sure that they will ac­tu­ally im­prove achieve­ment.

Wouldn’t the hun­dreds of trained teach­ers and prin­ci­pals with pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­ence, who know and care about their stu­dents, be bet­ter placed to say what is needed to ad­dress the short­com­ings in ed­u­ca­tion than vote-hun­gry politi­cians and brown-nos­ing bu­reau­crats?

Show me the ev­i­dence that Na­tional Stan­dards will ad­dress eq­uity is­sues in ed­u­ca­tion, and raise the achieve­ment of all New Zealand chil­dren, and I will gladly eat my words. - WENDY BARRY,

Ti­tahi Bay. con­cen­trate on high­ways and light rail.

Pro­fes­sor of Man­age­ment at the Uni­ver­sity of Syd­ney, David Henshaw, sup­ports sev­eral op­tions, in­clud­ing a rapid bus trans­port sys­tem, as be­ing more flex­i­ble and less costly than light rail.

A bus rapid trans­port ser­vice would run on ded­i­cated bus lanes. Such a ser­vice would look like a train and op­er­ate like a train, and there­fore be more ap­peal­ing than the buses we know.

With a load­ing of up to 120 peo­ple, pas­sen­ger move­ment would be greater than any con­ven­tional road trans­port method.

He also pro­motes the idea of road pric­ing through GPS. Some peo­ple may be hor­ri­fied at such a sug­ges­tion, but there are ben­e­fits. The biggest one is that the road tax we pay through ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tion, charged at the same rate for all cars, could be var­ied ac­cord­ing to ve­hi­cle type. A small, eco­nom­i­cal car could be charged a lesser rate than, say, a large, heavy SUV. Con­ges­tion charges could also be set to op­er­ate at dif­fer­ent times, to en­cour­age a spread of traf­fic vol­ume in con­gested ar­eas.

David Henshaw’s well-ar­gued case, well worth lis­ten­ing to, can be heard in an in­ter­view that took place at 9.29am on De­cem­ber 2 on Nine to Noon and is recorded on the Na­tional Ra­dio Au­dio Ar­chive. It can be down­loaded from ra­dionz.co.nz/na­tional/ pro­grammes/ninetonoon/ 20101202. - BRYAN HELM,

Pare­mata.

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