1. Thanks Alan

Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard is very clever, but apparently not politically astute. (Remind you of another Reserve Bank Governor?) He said yesterday what most people have thought for a long time - that New Zealand hasn't got a hope of catching Australia economically by 2025. But with Prime Minister John Key about to deliver his first speech in Parliament on Tuesday, setting out his plans and aspirations, it is what they usually call in political parlance "unhelpful", or in this case "extremely unhelpful".

Bollard's line on the Q and A interview about there being "a lot of crumbs" from Australia that New Zealand could take advantage of is hardly the sort of aspiration Key will be wanting to perpetuate in his speech. I can see a barrel load of twink being sent up to the PM's office.

2. Haere ra


Jeannette Fitzsimons' valedictory speech will be on Wednesday, 5.30pm, if you want to tune in.

3. Disappointing

What a disappointment John Key's response is to the calls to change the flag... "for the Government to set its focus on whether we need a new New Zealand flag I think would be a very foolish thing to do when you are trying to deal with big international economic issues", he said. That's not what he was thinking at the height of the global recession last year when he announced a consultation process for the Maori flag to fly next the New Zealand flag on Waitangi Day. I took a wander down to Parliament on Saturday to record the historic moment on my Cybershot [see above]. Hadn't realised how hard it is to get two flags fluttering at the same time. At least one of the flags looks bold. At the very least, the constitutional review Key is setting up at present in accordance with the Maori Party confidence and supply agreement could cover it.

4. Here to help

Professor John Hattie told Andrew Laxon

he wants to help design league tables around national testing that will satisfy everyone. I trust he includes the Newspaper Publishers Association in that as well. I've been looking at the Aussie league tables that have got the teachers over there in a lather. And their tables are based on national testing, not just national standards.

Have a look

. Scroll down a little and you can see the colour coding for this example in Sydney. (I have a couple of little relatives there). The comparisons are with similar schools (SIM), essentially schools in the same decile, rather than all other schools. The


Sydney Morning Herald

has compiled their own league tables from the public data available - which is against the law. Key said two weeks ago he would not stop New Zealand media compiling league tables. Last week he was not resolute and just said it wasn't a problem he needed to face yet.

5. Trevor bites back

Trevor Mallard takes issue

with John Roughan's column in the



about bad teachers.

6. Foreshore

Right wing commentator Matthew Hooton of Exceltium has produced a really good plain-language paper on the foreshore and seabed issue here, both past and present challenges.

Read it


It has a good background on the law - including the fact that it was not the result of media scaremongering. He warns National about the risks; he raises some questions about the secrecy of the Government's consultation process with the Iwi Leadership Group; and backs what National originally promised - restoring rights to go to court - though he suggests it should be through the Maori Land Court. I think if it's the right to explore common law customary title that is being restored, it should be the domain of the High Court only.


Interestingly he commissioned Curia to do some polling on it - the polling company used by National and run by David Farrar of Kiwiblog. Why, I wonder, when Hooton usually gets UMR to do his polling. Maybe he wanted he wanted National to take extra notice of the results.

7. Another view

An alternative-paper on the foreshore and seabed -



columnist Fran O'Sullivan, was written by Ngai Tahu general manager of strategy and influence, Sacha McMeeking.


The paper

was leaked to the


It would be a bit worrying if the paper were adopted by either the Iwi Leadership Group or the Government, but I hear there is no chance of either of those possibilities.

8. Broadcasting bits

I loved Paul Holmes' question on Q and A today to school principal Ernie Buutveld - "If we've got a problem with one in five crapping out at school, let's go, let's rock 'n roll."


Hone Harawira's no show on

at Waitangi on Saturday was a wonderful thing. She grabbed the nearest kid, a 16 -year-old student from St Paul's Collegiate in Hamilton, Sam Kaelin, who was visiting Waitangi with his history class had a great interview, on top of a couple of beauties with the waka kings from up north. If we must have knighthoods back, then surely Hec Busby deserves one for what he has done for the revival of waka.

9. Translations on Tuesday

From Tuesday MPs can a get simultaneous translation of anything spoken in Maori in Parliament.

10. Sevens heaven above!

Rugby politics - the IRB would be mad to ditch Wellington. As much as I love Auckland I don't see how any other city could possibly put on a Sevens tournament the way Wellington does. Personal favourites were the guys who played the cop in the short shorts, from Reno 911, and the Marge Simpsons.