I write to express my concern about a letter published in the Whanganui Chronicle on September 28 following the release of the Education Review Office (ERO) report Promoting wellbeing through sexuality education.

F R Halpin is entitled to his or her opinions, however, I am upset the Chronicle chose to publish such a letter. It cast bigoted slurs on the personal and professional integrity of ERO staff involved in this study and the preparation of our report.

ERO staff are highly professional and do not allow their personal opinions or beliefs to colour their evaluation work, which is focused on promoting quality education for all New Zealand's children and young people.

The report F R Halpin referred to details findings from ERO's evaluation of how well schools have been promoting and supporting student wellbeing through sexuality education. It includes high-level findings, examples of good practice and recommendations for schools and policy audiences.


Sexuality education is a long-established and important part of the New Zealand curriculum. It has a critical part to play in student wellbeing, in supporting students to have respectful relationships and, when done well, to challenge discrimination and stereotypes.

The wellbeing of our children and young people depends on these messages being taken up by the wider community and I would like your readers to consider what that means for them.

Chief review officer, Education Review Office

Hit and miss

My hit of the week was Mrs H Codlin's letter explaining what love and good upbringing of children is all about.

My miss of the week was Sir Michael Cullen's ever-expanding tax grab to fund Labour's pork barrel policies, remembering it was a Labour Government that brought in GST along with Rogernomics, and who sold Motunui to the Canadian Methanix Company (Motunui was viable at $2 a gallon).


More democracy?

Interesting to read Steve Baron's opinion piece in your issue of September 25 after reading a few pages back that a regional council byelection in Palmerston North drew a voter turnout of 27 per cent.

More democracy? I don't think so.

Steve opines that in the real world $70,000 to $80,000 a year is "not a lot of money" for a councillor.

Well, in my real world it's about twice what I ever earned in my working life.

If district councillors want that kind of remuneration, we need to abolish the regional council and pay it to district councils instead because, let's face it, regional councils were one of the biggest political con jobs of the 20th century.

Politicians of all stripes absolving themselves of responsibility for the regions to concentrate on Auckland, where elections are won and lost while picking up the extra GST taxes from another tier of needless bureaucracy.

As for local body elections being a glorified popularity contest, so are our national ones — just ask Gareth Morgan.


Think ahead

Te reo is not going to get you a job. Keep it alive but not forced down people's throats.
We all have our language and customs; we have students from all over the world who come to our country to learn English, as all business transactions are in English.

Today and tomorrow in technology is going so fast. Learn something that will take you and your family into the future — sign language and lip reading, even. Not the old saying: "You are becoming too Pākehā-fied."

Think ahead. Tomorrow is another land and a new future to look forward to. There is a whole wonderful world out there and the answer is simple — education and learning, plus respect for other people.


Bird stress

Re: The school sports event at Virginia Lake. Of course, you are right, Ray Watson, and to all the replies, apparently, that were nasty.

I was a noisy, happy, sporty teen in my day. The only reason was the timing of the event, which would have caused the beautiful birds great stress at their breeding time. I can't help it if I'm a lover of all animals and just sad for them all.

And again, I reiterate, we have great sports grounds in Whanganui which could have been used. That was my point also.


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