One of the things I appreciate most about broadcasting is I have been lucky enough to work in basically all aspects of it: radio, TV, print, commercial, non-commercial, government-owned, and private enterprise.

And the lesson is - nothing beats private enterprise. Private enterprise largely allows you to operate on your merits.

Which is why I feel so sorry for the schools right now who have had to form this coalition to fight the Government on the pending changes, the Tomorrow's Schools reforms.


What must it be like to be sailing smoothly, to be respected, liked, and supported by your community only to have the likes of Chris Hipkins come along with exactly no experience in a classroom (other than spending most of his life at school before he joined the Labour Party) and telling you based on nothing more than a bit of ideology he dreamed up on a whiteboard that what you're doing needs tipping on its head?

What Hipkins is after is centralised control of education. Boards at schools will be irrelevant, super committees will take over and tell you what to do.

And here's the frustration with this: even if they get it up and running the next government will undo it. So if you're a principal, or board member, or teacher, you're chopping and changing at the whim of policy wonks in Wellington.

And here's the further frustration: people like Hipkins aren't interested in your view.

They say they are, but you look at what he wants to do, and look at what comes to pass, and in between is the so-called "consultation period". And you look at what he proposes and what gets enacted, and just see how much is amended due to those who argued against it, most of whom are perfectly successful but sadly don't fit the communistic, centralised model favoured by Hipkins and his cronies.

And as a result the coalition that's been set up with these 40-plus schools and counting, how much time and energy will they put into what must ultimately, sadly be a futile exercise?

The common sense, or lack of it, is the infuriating part. Are there schools or techs that are struggling? Sure, there are.

So focus on those, help them, load expertise into them. But why you would want to go into a high performing school tech, or industry training organisation, and tell them they're changing for no other reason than change's sake - it literally does not make sense.


It doesn't happen here in the private sector, you know why? Because success and results are the measure of a good day's work.

You know what you need to do, you know where you are at, so you can get on and do it, it's not that hard. Why then, through ideology, make it so?