People living in Takanini, South Auckland, are talking on Trademe about the local primary school being put into lockdown this morning by armed police. As yet we don’t think there are any media reports about the incident.
Takanini – What’s going on?
10.39am – “My kids saw armed police go in to school and have been told armed person around. They live right by school and are freaked out about their children. Anyone have any real knowledge”
10.55am – “The Takaniniprimary school is locked down and children are safe. That is why the armed pokice went in – to get it locked down. Repeating _ children are all safe.”
11.12am – “It seems that there is or was a person roaming the community armed. BUT was not at the school itself. That was a precautionary measure.”
11.25am – “choppers just gone back to town so im assuming its over..”
11.28am – “I really hate reading things like this, our son was on lock down earlier in the year because of some half wit wandering school grounds with a gun…taffsgirl glad your babes are safe, glad to hear the children from the other school are safe also, very stressful”
11.31am – “Living right next to school and seeing it was avery terrifying event for grandaughter. She was frantic.”
Update: Video and News of the arrest
the NZPA issued the following report via Yahoo News NZ, leaving out any mention of the consternation caused at the school:
“Armed police were this morning called to help search for a man wanted on firearms charges in south Auckland.
Armed offenders squad members joined police just before 10am at the address in Airfield Rd, Papakura after believing the wanted man was present.
“Some staff that were deployed were armed as a matter of precaution,” Inspector Matt Sillars of police northern communications told NZPA.
He said the deployment passed without major incident.
A man was taken into custody during the incident, The New Zealand Herald website said.
There’s an interesting thread on the Trademe boards today, it’s concerning the ability of nursing students to pass tests set for them in New Zealand and the requirement for them to pay to re-sit those failed tests.
It caught our attention as it ties in with what student nurse Linda Tang said a while ago and it also adds further weight to the argument of a leading academic at Auckland University, Professor Manying Ip, that international students “are seen only as cash cows”. Professor Ip said the value of international students are being equated by schools to getting a new IT room or a swimming pool, rather than any of the non-monetary benefits they bring.
If you are an international student planning to study in New Zealand you may find the following interesting too:
“How can 50% nursing students fail the same paper
and it not be a reflection on the lecturer and the institution? Our friend is a 3rd year nursing student at AUT and she tells me today that 50% of her class have failed a presentation paper for one of her subjects. She seems resolute and is planning to work really hard to cream the nest assessment point, which will enable her to then still pass the paper. I am a nurse with post grad quals and I read her presentation and it was fantastic and much more than what I think is realsitic from an undergraduate student. I recall our lecturers, and they were by no means perfect, offering to review our draft assignments and then offer constructive advice on what needed remedying. I was fortunate and was fairly good at assignments, so never utilised this option, but more than 1/2 of my class did so routinely. This is not on offer to my friend or her cohorts. They are pretty much cut adrift. It smacks of just give us your money, and for alot of these students who are non New Zealanders, we are talking alot of money, we wont support you, then fail you and you will have to pay again. It very much reminds me of the Asian student who took the Uni to court last year (ed. Linda Tang) after they failed her for her poor English, in her last semester of her 3rd year!! Whats up with that. I’m all for having students to meet preset English standards but these needs to be identified pre registration in year 1! These Unis are a blardy law unto themselves and it makes me ashamed and angry.”
“They fail people in their third year as they have then creamed three years of fees off them, all about bums on seats.(=money in the bank for the educational institution)
It certainly smacks of that, doesn’t it? I rememeber hearing that about 70% of nursing students never complete their degree. Not sure how you could validate that but I recall it being touted as being the highest percentage of any undergraduate programme and had been for years. And still is today, as I understand. So why is that? And what are the Unis doing about it? Are their lecturers so bad that they cant teach the students what they need to know? Are the entry standards too low? I think the issues are multi factorial for sure but certainly stories like I shared in post 1 leave a very bad taste in my mouth!
I had the same thing with a management paper, where everyone failed.
BUT, my dad was a lecturer in Business and Management and he had to fail students if their English was so bad that they couldn’t get anything across on paper. It’s all very well saying “but they have the skills” – if they are unable to communicate anything on paper, then they cannot fairly pass a course where a large componant is written work. That’s what academic IELTS results are for and that’s why some universities have a better reputation than others. It’s not fair on a limited entry course for someone who can’t do the assignments gets let in (without evidence of IELTS results) when another equally skilled student without these issues misses out.
think with those numbers of failing the same subject would have to fall on the lecturer and subject at hand. Obviously they never covered it properly or it wasnt presented so that the students unserstood it. Think theyre just trying to blame students but with that high percentage the real prob should be staring them in the face.
My friend was a lecturer at AUT and was told that a certain number of students HAD to get a pass mark, otherwise they would get less funding, so she had to pass people who were totally crap, or get fired. She quit.
So clearly if people are “totally crap” as you suggest, they should have been stopped at application time, dont you think? Very bad practice and one that would surely be open to legal challenge, to allow students who were clearly not capable of passing because of their English for example, to enrol and then fail them 2-3 years down the track for poor command of the English language.
Like i said, some tertiary institutions have a better reputation and that kind of thing is a criteria involved. Every year when they list the highest rated universities, entry criteria is a measurement of quality for that exact reason. I used to work at the Overseas Admissions office at Auck Uni and I had to do a lot of comparisons on overseas unis, so I could do the credits, and they base some of that stuff on the yearly reputation results.
So if a teritary institution does not insist on academic IELTS as a pre-requisite, or has a system like AUT did where a certain number of people HAVE to pass, then there is a bad association for that institute.
hmmmm are you sure that is correct? how would your friend know this?
All nursing programs have to be certified by the nursing council so all will be similar.
We need to have exceptional standards to produce good nursing grads. Some international students who struggle with English, need to be proactive and get the assistance they require – its not up to the UNi to get them up to standard
Also see our blog post -
“International Students as Customers“:- 18 June 2009
“We thought it would be good to look into the problems and expectations that international students have whilst studying in New Zealand, specifically at UNITEC.
I’ve dug up a document released in 2004 by the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) who promote the “development of higher education policy, practice and the study of teaching and learning”
The report talked about how the numbers of international students have increased dramatically in New Zealand – a three fold increase in the last eight years. With such a dramatic increase the challenge is to measure the legitimate needs and expectations of this group of students so that steps may be taken to meet, or exceed, them whilst still satisfying the needs of local students.
UNITEC didn’t meet student expectations
“The survey found a significant difference between students’ expectations of the service that an excellent tertiary institute should provide and the perception of services being provided at UNITEC….”
International students not getting value for money or adequate support
“….this study also confirms concerns of the international students with issues of assurance. The students in this study are not confident that they are getting value for money, or that the skills they are being taught will get them good results both academically and for future employment. They are also unsure of lecturers’ knowledge in their subject area and do not feel that an adequate range of support services are being offered to them. These are all issues that should concern the management at UNITEC… more
Voxy has published an ACT press release announcing that the Three Strikes Bill is to become law, and not before time (see below)
One little known about provision in the bill is that courts will be able to order a life sentence without parole for the worst types of murders, even if the offender has no previous convictions. It is thought that would apply to the the type of brutal murder that Clayton Weatherston committed and we also suspect that it will be used to sentence cop and child killers. For an update to this story please scroll down)
here’s the press release
“Tuesday, 25 May 2010, 4:22 pm
Press Release: ACT New Zealand
Historic Day As Three Strikes To Become Law
Today is a very significant day in the history of New Zealand’s criminal justice system with ACT’s ‘Three Strikes’ legislation incorporated into the Government’s Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill passing its third and final reading, says ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman David Garrett.
“Since ACT campaigned for ‘Three Strikes’in the 2008 election, four more people have been killed* – who, had ‘Three Strikes’ been in place at the time of the killing, would be alive today. The passing of this Bill is a huge step towards keeping violent, repeat offenders off our streets and keeping New Zealanders safe, Mr Garrett said.
“Both the ACT and National parties are committed to taking a tougher stance on crime, but we also realise that a focus on rehabilitation is equally important. That is why Budget 2010 more than doubled the funding available for rehabilitation programs. One initiative worthy of further enquiry is the concept of a ‘Drug Court’which sends non-violent offenders to rehabilitation rather than jail.
“While rehabilitation is an important step, regrettably, there will always be a number of repeat violent offenders who can’t be reformed. It is these people who, due to their violent history and recidivist behaviour, must be locked away to keep our communities safe. This is the purpose of Three Strikes.
“Today proves that ACT has helped National become a Government of action – one that does not merely talk tough on crime, but is truly committed to keeping New Zealanders safe,” Mr Garrett said.
Strike One: the offender receives a sentence, as determined by the judge, with parole. The offender will be warned by the judge of the consequences of committing another violent offence.
Strike Two: the offender receives a sentence, as determined by the judge, with no parole. Again the offender is warned of the consequence of committing another violent crime.
Strike Three: the offender will receive the maximum sentence for the crime with no parole unless it is manifestly unjust.
There are 40 listed serious violent offences.
Update 30 June 2010
The first person to receive a strike under the new law has just been revealed, as was the nature of his crime – indecent assault, although he is also facing sentence for assaulting his mother.
“An Upper Hutt man has been served with New Zealand’s first warning under the controversial “three strikes” law after being convicted of groping a woman.
Dwyane Christopher Mercer, 32, was convicted in Upper Hutt District Court last week after pleading guilty to indecently assaulting his friend’s partner. Indecent assault is one of 40 serious violent offences that attract “strikes” upon conviction. The law came into force on June 1…
Mercer was also facing sentence for assaulting his mother while he was drunk, she said. His offending over the past 16 years was all alcohol-related. The judge remanded Mercer in custody until the sentencing hearing…
Judge Tom Broadmore warned Mercer he would be given a second strike if he committed another of the 40 offences, and would consequently serve a jail term without parole. A third strike would bring a mandatory maximum sentence for that crime, also with no parole. You will have to tread very carefully in the future,” the judge said.”
Time will tell, this is a guy who thinks nothing of assaulting his own mother. Let’s see what sentence he gets this time before leaping to any conclusions about the efficacy of the new law.
For more about Crime in New Zealand take a look at our Crime Stats page.
*New Zealand has the fifth highest murder rate in the OECD, there are about 100 murders and manslaughters in the country every year.
See also blog posts tagged Violent Crime
A few days ago we published a blog about the road side killing of a young boy in an area of Christchurch infamous for its attraction to ‘boy racers’, or ‘hoons’ as they are called in New Zealand. See Hoon car kills kid – boy racers your time is up
But Christchurch isn’t the only place in New Zealand to be plagued by this menace, the widespread activity attributed to bored youth in New Zealand being allowed to drive powerful cars, often without insurance, at a young age and with a lack of anything better to do with their time.
The residents of Mosgiel (see points of interest) have had a gutsful of their hoons, with one saying the noise is driving her insane but the police have issued them with a strange response, according to the ODT
“We can’t be babysitting them all the time.” Police are up against it
Residents and businesses on Dukes Rd, near Mosgiel, say they have “had a gutsful” of boy racers damaging and littering the roadside and their properties and keeping them awake.
And they say they have also given up on the police doing anything about it. Police say they take boy racers seriously and target them continually, but have to prioritise what they respond to.
Dukes Rd business Store Safe owner Murray Nash said he was fed up with cleaning up after boy racers every Saturday morning. Both sides of the road for about 100m near his yard were usually littered with bottles, glass and empty alcohol packages, he said.
The road was covered in black marks and roadside grass and gravel were ripped up. Last Saturday, he filled two 20-litre containers with broken glass from inside his property, from bottles apparently lobbed over a 1.8m-high fence, he said.
“It’s been going on for two or three years, but it’s getting a lot worse.” He had complained to police, but said he found their response disappointing. One police operation he was aware of failed to result in any prosecutions.
Another business owner in the area said the noise was unbearable every Friday night and the road on Saturday morning was a “hell of a mess”. A nearby resident, who did not wish to be named, said the noise was driving her family “insane”.
Up to 60 cars would congregate in Dukes Rd every Saturday, from about 12.15am to 2am, she said.Boy racers also visited on other nights. “I’ve got to the stage where half the time I don’t go to bed until they’re gone.
“You don’t really know what they are going to do, that’s the thing.” For a time, she complained to police every night it happened, but they would send out one car to look at what was going on and that was “useless”, she said.
“I feel sorry for the cops, with everything they have to do, but we’ve had a gutsful.”…
…Police regularly monitored boy-racer activity and were well aware of the so-called Friday night drag trains which left from Andersons Bay Rd at midnight.
Police visited Andersons Bay Rd before the convoy left and sometimes took part undercover, but it was difficult to go undetected. “
The convoy usually went to one of about five destinations, but it often became a game of “cat and mouse”, with boy racers using spotters, cellphones and police radio scanners to evade patrols.
“We are up against it sometimes, but we will continue to do operations targeting them.”
If someone reported problems with boy racers, officers would be sent to investigate, but police also had domestics, accidents, disorder and other crime to deal with each night, and could not always respond immediately.
“We can’t be babysitting them all the time.”
In other words, there are more important things to deal with in sleepy Mosgiel.
It’s now up to citizens:
“Noting registration plates and descriptions of drivers was helpful.
The officer in charge of Mosgiel police, Senior Sergeant Darryl Lennane, said anyone with serious concerns about boy-racer activity should contact him at the Mosgiel police station.”
Come on! the people of this village have been suffering with this problem for almost three years, up to 60 cars congregate in Dukes Rd every Saturday, from about 12.15am to 2am, residents were complaining to the police every time it happens and all they got was a patrol car sent out to watch what went on?
Is it any wonder that people are organising themselves into vigilante groups in New Zealand? is this what is comes down to at the end of the day, if you want it sorted out you’ve got to do it yourself because no one else can?
Vigilantes in Martinborough were praised for “cleaning up the town” and let off without conviction despite them admitting to possessing an offensive weapon and recklessly discharging a firearm during a violent street fracas on May 21 last year. Vigilantes were needed there because of a lack of police officers.
Christchurch has the same problem, police are stretched there too. Even the death of a child isn’t enough to make to make people acknowledge there’s a serious problem with street racing and drifting in New Zealand (what are kids supposed to do?)
It’s time to find the funds to adequately resource the police to stamp out the problem, if only in the urban areas.
See also “NZ- the most boring place on earth“