Liz Gunn - 31 August 2023

I'm Liz Gunn with this Thursday New Zealand Loyal policy statement and tonight's one is called Re-educating the Educated.

Education is said to be a vital component in the development of any nation and I wholeheartedly agree with the principle behind that statement. However, of course, it is the type of education currently being employed in New Zealand and the type of information being disseminated through our schools and university that is causing me and many, many parents and many Kiwis, especially employers, grave concern.

So what do we know? Well, for one, we know the world is in one hell of a mess financially and despite the educated experts being in control no one has the first clue how to fix it, and secondly, you're all being conned and told one thing while the realities are, as many of us are working out now, by far a very different story.

So, today's policy announcement will deal with the very subject that underlines all others: Education. Education is a foundation stone of our society and it needs to be looked at if we are going to have a much healthier New Zealand society. I'll attempt to demonstrate the current situation and what needs to be addressed to bring a balance to it all. And I'm not saying that all currently “educated experts” have it wrong, no, not at all. What I am saying is many of them, although they hold degrees in various subjects, really do not seem to show the rest of us that they have any idea about the real world applications of that knowledge. And perhaps they don't even fully understand the need for the healing and the use of their knowledge in very different ways from the way it's currently being applied.

As we all know, there's a vast difference between learning from a book and learning through hands-on experience. And the following thoughts that I will share with you on the subject of education I believe to be valid, but as always at New Zealand Loyal, we are open for your ideas, Kiwi ideas, we are open for debate and challenge. That is what we will bring to this country once we get into government. We are a party that will listen to you, the people of New Zealand, and your views on education will be key.

So let's look at our education policy. Well, it's very unfortunate that New Zealand has fallen into the same trap as many Western countries that have continuously applied a one size fits all type of education system. Anyone with common sense knows that one size does not fit all when it comes to educating human beings. The one size fits all education policy is frankly a disaster and it does nothing to boost the confidence of those who are not academically minded. Quite the contrary really, it harms many of our children and it harms far more than it helps.

Some people will just never be suited to an academic pursuit of learning and therefore when they're at school they never achieve high grades. They will have a perception and some may be told that they have failed or, as has happened here in New Zealand, even worse, educational standards will be lowered across the board to accommodate them. And this dishonest lowering of educational standards does not serve the non-academically minded student. In fact, it morally corrupts the tertiary educational system that receives the student and is told to get them through, no matter what.

The only group this tactic seems to benefit are the highly paid denizens of the various overgrown, bloated university bureaucracies who get richer with each yearly increase in the numbers of “bums on seats”, to use the colloquial term, and that is what university insiders call it. This obviously constitutes a highly
incorrect, a wrong, a morally corrupted approach to education. In their hearts, I would suggest those academic insiders know that. But of course the lure of money has its power with many people who are willing to turn away from their own moral codes.

Every man, woman and child has a specific ability or a natural learning that should at the earliest possible moment be identified and nurtured. And as I said before, not everyone is academically inclined. This is not a pejorative statement. It's not putting anybody down. Back in saner times, Western societies regarded the academically inclined as gifted but somewhat restricted in their range of talents. Yes, they went on to university, but not because they were the best of society, but because it was really the only place
they could give expression to their often rather narrow gift which might be best described as a talent for more abstract forms of thinking and communication via often formal written protocols. Far from being put on pedestals as sort of omniscient experts and then empowered to dictate state policies to the wider public, the professor class was regarded by former healthy Western societies of years gone by as quasi-narrow in their application, useful but narrow. And there were some archaic expressions, the egghead professor, not again as a put-down, but to connote a very narrow view of how the society worked in the wider, more practical societal functions.

Of course, in contrast, in saner times, the great majority of people in Western societies declined to go to university precisely because they had within them a much broader range of talent and therefore the capacity to contribute to society in a wide variety of ways, not just in one or two. They would, in those times, get a baseline formal education in the public school system up to sometimes year nine, sometimes year twelve or thirteen, enough though to equip them to go out into the world and develop the specific talents that most spoke to their souls, as well as to continue learning their entire lives long in the mode and from the sources they considered the most valuable and dependent.

Believe it or not, there was a time when people learned history and science on their own. They were auto-didacts, they were self-learners. And this old way of approaching education, so infused with, well, common sense, and infused with wisdom and practicality, this worked. For example, how many people, despite not having any formal education, or the ability to even read plans, could build great structures that still remain standing and solid no matter what the climate throws at them, those structures today? How many could identify a problem with crop failure and despite never having attended a horticultural school know exactly how to remedy the problem and have a good harvest the following year? How many people have healed the sick and brought relief to the ailing and yet those people have never attended medical school? I mean these are just a few of many examples that many of you will identify with.

You might now be wondering how the system changed from that sane one of old to the sort of freakish one of today, one which features a grotesquely university top-heavy society, which is marred by a relentless devaluation in the value of academic degrees.

And by the way, the term “degree factory” or “degree mill”, we'll call it, is one that many academics are very familiar with, but few call out publicly. This may be because of the dirty little secret in academia, which is that academic promotion often depends on the number of masters and doctoral students an academic institution successfully pushes through the system.

But back to the reason for the deleterious change I was discussing. It's simple. Over the course of the last 30 years, our economy has been treasonously and mercilessly de-industrialized and outsourced. We don't produce the things we used to produce in this country. We all know about sending the production off to China. As that has occurred, the off-ramps into the real world out of high school have become fewer and fewer for our students, for our young people. Year 13s have for years now been told that the only viable option for them after high school is to go on to university. Of course what isn't openly stated is that university has become the number one option by default as other options have been eliminated through the elimination of much of our economy.

Going to university is not what many year 13s need or even want, but promoted by their so-called counselors at school, they go in droves and their continued enrolment keeps the sham alive and the money flowing into the coffers of the university class and the government aid bureaucrats and the grant bestowers down in Wellington. And so it has continued and built, unabated.

New Zealand Loyal will seek to end this morally bankrupt education system. We shall do so by first and foremost reinvigorating our economy and restoring it to full spectrum balance so that the off-ramps for students at the end of high school are many and they're varied. If you would like to know more about that, you can listen to my prior address on the economy for further details about this growth of our New Zealand economy.