Home' The Tribune : June 20th 2012 Contents 16 THE TRIBUNE, JUNE 20, 2012
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LISTEN TO MIKE
Cuts to education budget still coming
despite Hekia's class size backdown
There was an immense sigh of
relief across the country when
John Key and Hekia Parata backed
down on their ideologically driven
scheme to increase class sizes and
cut science, technology and art
teachers out of intermediate
And that sigh didn t just come
from teachers. Boards of trustees,
principals, teachers in both pri-
mary and secondary schools,
students and parents all
participated in the response to the
Hekia Parata should almost be
rewarded for uniting the education
It s no mean feat!
And while the National Party is
no great fan of teachers, there is no
way it could stand up against such
overwhelming public opposition
with all those groups on board.
So for political reasons, the Gov-
ernment backed down. Not that
they realised what they planned to
do was wrong.
In fact, both Key and Parata
have stated since the back-down
they still think increasing class
sizes was the right thing to do --
they just didn t get the spin right.
Given that they still plan to
make cuts in the education budget
that kind of thinking should still
have us all worried.
I have visited our local inter-
mediate schools several times.
I have seen first-hand exactly
what we very nearly lost.
In fact, stepping into the wood-
work, cooking, metalwork and art
classes brought back strong mem-
I think those classes are the ones
that stand out in every Kiwi s best
memories of school.
They were different.
They were fun.
They were engaging and were
where many young New Zealand-
ers found their niche.
Those classes kept thousands of
kids in school.
These days technology classes
offer so much more.
Subjects like information tech-
nology, media and robotics are on
offer to capture young minds.
That s exactly what we need our
youngsters exposed to if we are to
make more of our nation s
You could say we have dodged a
But we did much more than that.
We fought back, made our voices
heard and forced the Government
to do the right thing, despite them-
selves. That s democracy in action.
We will find in the near future
that more of that is needed as this
Government shows more of the
cards it wasn t willing to show
before the election.
It's good business to
think like an Aussie
Oi, oi, oi: Doing business in Australia means you
have to think like an Aussie.
Australia is a great place for busi-
ness. That s apart from the
snakes, cane toads, crocodiles,
poisonous jellyfish, flies, ticks,
heat, fires, floods, etc. There are
more people (22 million) and
many more rich people -- indeed
they all have more money. It s
logical that exporters give serious
thought to Australia.
Australia has two other major
advantages. They nearly all speak
English, apart from the Chinese,
Japanese, Italians, Greeks, Pol-
ish, Indians, Irish and Welsh. And
they re just across the ditch. So
the opportunity is large and com-
munication is not a problem.
As a business environment,
Australia is definitely not the
same as New Zealand. Businesses
are run by Australians, except
really successful ones run by ex-
pat Kiwis who always seem to rise
to the top wherever they go --
something to do with hard work
and being nice. Australians are
very pro-Australia, they are more
aggressive, sometimes ruthless
and they play hard at sport,
drinking and having a good time.
If you re a trusting, teetotalling,
likes to go to bed
early, don t bother
don t bother going
need to become
learn to think like
an Aussie. Learn-
boxers may help.
ralia is hugely dif-
ferent from New
politicians are a
characters in a
Mad Max movie
and clowns in Circ
de Soleil. They are
ive and possibly
Every state must be approached
as a separate country.
When you export to Australia,
you will be fitted with concrete
slippers when you arrive to slow
you down. Unlike in New Zealand
where unions have been bashed
into submission, unions still have
the upper hand in Australia. And
if the unions don t get you, in cer-
tain industries, the underworld
will. But far worse than unions
and gangsters, are the bureau-
crats. The city, state, and federal
infrastructures are very compli-
cated and slow moving.
If you can, hire a trustworthy
Australian to help you as it could
take 2 to 3 years to learn how to
play the game. And be prepared to
invest significantly in getting
going ($200,000 a year or more).
But the rewards of exporting to
Australia are huge. The more you
embrace their culture, the more
Australians will embrace you.
Before you know it, you will
become rich by exporting from
paradise to Aussie, Aussie,
To ask Dave a question about
your business go to
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