Whaleoil transcript: Mike Hosking on PM’s announcement of an announcement

Mike Hosking.

Starts at 6:59, finishes at 9:16

The developing news this morning is that the prime minister has given her so-called state of the nation speech, in which she has flagged it is not an announcement, it is the announcement of the announcement. Which is what this government does a lot.

But the announcement of the announcement is that Chris Hipkins is going to make the announcement next week to reform the vocational education sector.

And what they appear to be doing, not that it doesn?t need it because it does, because the government spent $100 million dollars bailing these places out:

They are going to recommend turning the vocational sector into a flexible network that focuses on greater cooperation between institutions to meet the needs of business. Whatever that means.

One of the problems they?ve had, and this has been coming for a long time: duplication of courses. And I go back to the Labour government of Helen Clark, and what they did was, they operated a bums on seats policy.

And what they basically said was, if you can think of a course that you think there?s a demand for, and you can provide the details of that course and get NZQA qualification, you can run that course. And depending on what the government of the day does regards funding, well go for it.? Make some money out of it. And so that?s what happened.

And what you suddenly had was an explosion of courses and ideas and concepts, which in its pure form is probably not a bad idea because university used to be seen as old world and stuffy and not applicable or approachable for many. And so, by opening it up to the polytechs and the techs around the country and offering pristine, vibrant sorts of courses, you might attract more people into higher education. In theory, not a bad idea.

In reality, and this is where your theory versus reality comes in, the execution of the idea is where everything appears to have gone wrong. And she highlights this, does the prime minister this morning, duplication of courses.

So, in other words if you are in Invercargill and you want to run a DJ?s course, and if you?re in Whangarei and you want to run a DJ?s course, and you?re in Wanganui, Palmerston North, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru and Oamaru, you go along with a good robust course, you?ll get NZQA qualification; whether or not that ever makes any money doesn?t seem to matter.

You open it up and a few people turn up and a few people don?t. No one ever coordinates and goes ?I wonder how many DJs there actually are in this country??

And that?s the problem as far as I can work out, that you?ve got yourself in for. And, it?s a bums on seats idea which was Labour?s idea. So, it seems slightly ironic that Labour?s idea is now getting fixed. By Labour.