Teaching higher standards

With great temerity I would like to discuss the national standards introduced into primary and intermediate schools this week. There has been criticism from a number of quarters that the introduction of the standards will lead to a narrowing of the curriculum and the labelling of children as failures. On the other side there are arguments that greater information is required for parents who wish to know more about the performance of their children.

A silver lining to jobs lost to Asia

The rampant Kiwi dollar is likely to encourage more manufacturers to relocate production to low cost Asian countries. In fact, several manufacturers had already announced plans to move production before the latest Kiwi dollar rally. This will mean more job losses in an industry that has been shedding jobs over the past few years. In April our iconic whiteware producer Fisher and Paykel signalled their intention to relocate 350 jobs to Thailand. Next was Sleepyhead with a possible 250 jobs, followed by Dynamic Controls with another 200 jobs, both to China.