The environment is changing – even for Greens

On Sunday the Greens will mull adjustments to their political clothing. They may need more than a nip or a tuck or slight change of shade. Technology is changing the Greens’ environment.
Greens used confidently to claim the future. Only by going green would humans escape an apocalypse of disease and poison as resources run out, ecosystems are decimated and food […]

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Kill the RMA!

giza2The government wants to reform the Resource Management Act, but… Take the Pyramids of Giza as an example. The original plan was for ten of these great pyramids to be built, a plan that would have provided many decades of work for Egypt’s slave population. But these plans were […]

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Miscellany

 New Zealand’s  Booker prize winning author  Eleanor Catton  talking  to  Indian media  about  the dominance of  political thought here:
‘At the moment, New Zealand, like Australia and Canada, (are dominated by) these neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians who do not care about culture. They care about short-term gains. They would destroy the planet in order to be able to […]

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Free speech and the enemy within…

je suis CharlieThe editorial assassinations at Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris could perhaps have happened in any newsroom. Above all they were, as the director of Amnesty International in France Stephan Obeirit said, ‘an appalling human tragedy’. He was right of course. Calculated killings like this and the […]

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Trusts

Chris HoranAn article in the Otago Daily Times caught my attention: According to Tony Marshall, tax advisor, there are an estimated 500,000 trusts in New Zealand. “Many people, especially in the farming sector where asset preservation is a key consideration, are trustees either personally or as the director of a […]

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Yes Minister – the Kiwi Way

Paul SmithThe murders of Charlie Hebdo editorial staff and others have invigorated what debate there is about freedom of – well just about everything in NZ.
Especially those which   Governments have steadily eroded   since Market philosophy began its destruction of the social contract. Here’s Dame Anne Salmond writing in the Dominion […]

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Encounters

He wombled through Bunnings’ aisle 27, where gardening tools and related odds and sods sprout from the shelves.   He was a elderly Indian, but his face with its distinctive pudgy nose, sleepy eyes and a smattering of hair, was familiar.
Like most of us there, his eyes had glazed over at the sheer choice in front of us. Which sprinkler to […]

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Along the Silk Road – Eating out in Urumqi

Kate Frost1Back on the main thoroughfare we headed for the centre of town, walking in the shade of trees that lined both sides of the wide street wherever we could. The heat was becoming intense and many pedestrians used colourful umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun. At several major intersections […]

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Listen to the bones: Hear the value of a full life

Humanity’s dark side has been on show this year: beheadings, aeroplanes downed, Americans torturing muslims, the Taleban executing children. Where is the good?
John Key’s entry into his party’s campaign launch on August 24 was amidst a phalanx of government and hired security guards.
If the Prime Minister is not free, how can we be? If he projects fear, how can we […]

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Getting it

IMG_8400A colleague I once worked with in an institution for boys gave me an insight into his mind one day when we were discussing the ethics of a certain practice. He wasn’t ‘getting it’ and innocently admitted as much. He was not popular with staff and hated by they boys in our care […]

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Let’s listen to SkyCity

Skycity-auckland-logoSky City agreed to build the convention centre in return for the government giving the casino a licence extension and allowing it to operate more gaming machines.
But the deal was based on a $402 million build cost. Now that cost has apparently blown out by tens of millions of dollars, and Sky […]

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