“New Zealand democracy at work! Today the politically powerful, the corporate and the wealthy dominate our society, economy and government. I believe that the charter school debate has become a test case for our democratic rights.
“Over the past weeks thousands of teachers, pupils and their parents, across the country have taken to protest marches against Novopay, charter schools, national standards and other education issues. Separate marches were held in several towns and cities around New Zealand, including Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Christchurch, Dunedin, and Invercargill. The message coming across loud and clear is that the teachers and parents of New Zealand are not happy with the National Government’s agenda in relation to education. But instead of the cries being heeded what we actually see emerging is a new reality – and this new reality is being forced upon us. A reality being shaped by the ‘powers that be’ who seemingly care little for the common good and the success of New Zealand and its citizens.
“Those currently making the rules are often the ones breaking those same rules and I think it is fair to say that they have probably never been less representative of the wishes of the people of our Nation than at any other time in our short history. Their arrogance and indifference is shown clearly through their abuse of power- their policies clearly driven toward attaining power and money and in the process depriving other socio-economic groups of equal opportunity.
“I find myself deeply saddened and angered by that which I experience in New Zealand today.
“The truth is that in these days even our universities are rarely, if ever bastions of independent thinking, social scholarship and activism. Instead they tend to rely upon either government hand-outs or the favour of corporations and the wealthy for funding. Surely the preservation of equality is worthy of resisting the forces that would attempt to diminish or destroy it. There can be no more worthy cause for our traditional institutions and for all of us who care deeply about democracy and the way of life it represents? These deliberate and planned educational changes will have a disastrous impact on us all.”
Read the rest of this very thoughtful article here…
About the author: Sarah Miles
Hi, I am the author of “The Christchurch Fiasco: the Insurance Aftershock and its Implications for New Zealand and Beyond” I have a diverse educational background having trained and worked in the following fields: law and dispute resolution (mediation); psychology and gestalt psychotherapy; viticulture and oenology. I believe in the multi-disciplinary approach to problem solving and idea creation. My goal is to make my voice heard for the causes in which I believe so as to improve and contribute to a more sustainable and equitable society. I am an experienced international lawyer in the field of corporate and commercial law in a global market. During the past years my husband and I have run a psychotherapy practise in Christchurch. Since the earthquakes our usual business routine has been disrupted. During part of 2011 and most of 2012 I have dedicated my time to writing. It was my intention to expose the insurance industry and its’ actions during Christchurch’s post earthquake recovery. I believe in the enormous power of the human spirit and the power within each of us to effect major change. “The only triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing”. Namaste!