Dirty Politics

DP How attack politics is poisoning New Zealand’s political environment
by Nicky Hager 
(Published by Craig Potton Publishing.  Reviewed by Paul Smith)
This book flew off the bookstore shelves in its first week and the second print run did the same. Most of us had heard a [...]

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More than just one inquiry

Judith Collins’ resignation has, it is suggested in some quarters, allowed a line to be drawn under the whole dirty politics saga. We can, it seems, get on with the “real issues” of the election. Such optimism, however, seems entirely misplaced.
First, there can surely be no more important issue than the fitness to govern of some of these pretending to [...]

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The health pillar of good government

Whatever the result on September 20, John Key will start the next term with diminished personal authority. Our democracy’s health is also diminished.
Key’s inch-by-inch retreat to the point where his imagined left-wing conspiracy turned into a right-wing one and he had to sack — sorry, accept the resignation of — Judith Collins has reflected a trading-floor culture, not the disciplined [...]

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On dishing the dirt

Paul SmithOn stage they looked like an odd couple. At the podium an elderly  man in an everyday suit and tie. To his right the speaker, in jersey and jeans, looking shy as if he didn’t really belong in the spotlight, didn’t deserve the thunderous [...]

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Ah, paprika!

panni_palastiAh, paprika! When she was young and arrived in a new country, above all, she wanted to please. She wore the socks everybody wore, carried the bags everyone carried, abandoned handkerchiefs in favour of paper tissues.
Anything to fit in.
She enrolled in a class to polish [...]

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In Praise of Ageing – Part 3

Successful elders maintain belief in themselves and remain motivated to contribute to society. It is not easy to do this if the see no evidence that they are valued as individuals, and for the old this is often the case. The bad press the elderly receive is evidence of pervasive ageism and its effects are as sinister as racism or [...]

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This month in History – September

*  New Zealander sentenced to death in Malaysia
*  Golden day for Kiwi runners in Rome 1960
*  First open-heart surgery in NZ – Brian Barrett-Boyes
*  New Zealand citizenship established
*  Wanganui Computer legislation passed
*  Te Maori exhibition opens in New York
*  First trans-Tasman flight 1928
*  Flour-bomb test’ ends Springbok tour
*  NZ’s first woman MP elected
*  Social Security Act passed
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Names and dates, people [...]

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Kiwiosities

An A-Z of New Zealand traditions & Folklore by Gordon Ell
(Published by New Holland)

The Main Drag
Most of New Zealand’s smaller towns grew up by an anchorage, around a crossroads, or by a river crossing. As roads linked these towns, settlement spread along the main artery. The main road became known as the main drag, possibly because of its potential for [...]

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