My maori bro uses the harbour like his local shop, nothing new here. The thing that amazes me is that when the fish aren't biting he goes for cockles, pipis, oysters. No snapper doesn't mean no fish either. Mullet run in the estuaries, flounder in the shallow bays, kawhaii in the inner harbour, piper come out at night, whitebait, even parore in the creeks. I've seen my mate go for all these fish, enough to feed his family and a few mates, someone who calls in, or the whanau in the big smoke, its always all about feeding other people. When the fishing is crap i've seen my mate head to the creek for eels. Its a joy to watch, he just loves feeding everyone he can, the stories are rich, the recipes hilarious, and love for whanau unmistakable.
I am so lucky to be part of this whanau, not by relation, but by the fact I taught the kids 10 years ago. So when we go fishing together I just shut up and learn. Have you ever had a net in the water, full of flounder and then pulled up a stingray at least a meter across with a long tail? What do you do? Me I shit myself, my mate says nonchalantly "pass me the knife", he's a bloody legend. I've nothing to offer apart from steering the boat and rowing quietly which I can't do well enough.
So what can I do for him. His kids and now his grand kids face an education system that continues to fail them. The local school got the worst ERO report ever written. There is no other school in the area, all the others were closed under the Labour Govt. National are now saying they will fix it with testing and reporting on progress. Sorry guys this wont fix it either. By the way these are the exact kids who aren't even sitting NCEA level 1.
My mate Mr Russty says no one wants nat standards but no one offers any other solutions and something has to be done.
I have some solutions/ideas but the union wont like it. I want ERO to have the ability to sack teachers and principals who are a joke, the ability to pay some good people heaps, to sort out the schools that need it. I want principals who are doing great stuff to be able to take a break of two/three years, pick up the failing schools and return home after the job has been done. I want real principals to develop aspiring principals, not these w...kers in wellington running psychometric tests on potential principals. I want schools who have rubbish BOT's to be given autonomy to get the job done without communities interfering. I want leadership from the MOE/NZPF not "here is your property" - but leadership, leadership we respect, here is your performance on all sorts of levels, here is how you can improve, hey you're doing a shit hot job, go help Bob down the road or take this school and come back when you've nailed it.
Here is my absolute clanger:
There is no incentive for Principals who are doing a great job to move. Bring in eight year contracts. You must leave after eight years, full stop. It isn't fair that my mate up north can teach me so much and I cant help him.