Thursday, September 05, 2013

Show him the money!!!

I generally keep my political opinions to myself and my friends, but on this occasion I cannot be quiet about how sad, angry and horrified I am about the closure of Learning Media. Our Government seems to know the price of everything and the value of nothing. 'Show me the money!' is the exhortation. The primary reason for Learning Media's existence (formerly School Publications) in the first place was to provide educational resources to New Zealand territories, not chase international markets and distribution in a profit making capacity. I'm sorry but an ROI is not necessarily measured in dollar terms.
Bill English says Learning Media is not financially viable anymore. I'm barely financially viable myself after work has been stripped away systematically from my career path. Advertising agencies losing government work = no illustration and design work, TVNZ's Good Morning Show moving to Auckland in a scaled down version of it's former self = no TV work. Learning Media closing down = no writing and illustration work. And that's just me, never mind the hundreds of other writers, illustrators, designers and TV production people out there. In 2011 the RH Paula Bennett said in relation to the arts:
'Now's no time to be thinking about a dream job.'
"This Government's priority is getting people off welfare and into work and right now that means get a job, any job because that's the first step to a better job." 

I'm sorry, how exactly is shutting down Learning Media getting people off welfare and into work?  At 53 years old with two tertiary degrees and 33 years of hard work forging a career for myself, I am not interested in having a 'dishy' job at $14 per hour, working alongside my son in a local cafe. We are hardly going to pay off his student loan like that now are we?

So, Mr English. What do you propose we all do in this latest slash and burn? Retrain? Sorry we can't get financial assistance to do that under the new rules. Work in elder care? What don't YOU wipe 90 year old bottoms? You've already wiped the floor with us.
For more on Learning Media's demise read Mandy's blog here:


Mandy Hager said...

so true Fifi - well worth speaking out!

Bigfoot said...

You are so right Fifi. This is shameful and yet another thing to loathe about John Key's New Zealand. I am horrified to think of the talented publishers, illustrators, authors and CHILDREN who will be hurt by this. If I worked at Learning Media I would be leaving the country and I wouldn't be coming back. Why stay in a place with so little respect for cultural wealth?

Unknown said...

It is a sad day in NZ publishing and education indeed. Thanks for your voice on this matter!

Anonymous said...

Yup, I hate this with a vengeance, kept waking in the night and angsting over what will be left for our children and grandchildren that truly reflects their lives as New Zealanders and is of good quality.

DeborahHinde said...

Thanks Fifi, you've expressed exactly how I feel about the whole situation..