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John Armstrong on the politics of ChCh’s quake

Written By: - Date published: 11:55 am, September 8th, 2010 - 14 comments

John Armstrong provides an insightful analysis of the politics around the aftermath of Christchurch’s earthquake, saying “The chaos and destruction wreaked on Christchurch by Saturday’s earthquake leaves no room for playing party politics….The politicians are already playing politics, however, though not too flagrantly. Saying you are not going to play politics – as Goff effectively did – is itself a political statement. As was John Key’s decision to cancel his trip to Britain and France.”

Roy calls Rodney’s bluff

Written By: - Date published: 1:41 pm, August 26th, 2010 - 9 comments

From John Armstrong: He [Hide] stared at the ornate ceiling. He stared at the wood-panelled walls. And when he wasn’t staring at those things, he just stared into the void in front of him. The only direction Rodney Hide was not looking was two seats to his left….

Roy enounters changeable Mr Hyde

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 pm, August 24th, 2010 - 24 comments

Is Heather Roy to depart the ACT caucus? According to TVNZ, Act Party leader Rodney Hide is signalling his dumped deputy Heather Roy will find it extremely difficult to stay on as an MP, despite saying last week that she would be welcomed back into the caucus.

Douglas adds to Key’s ACT headache

Written By: - Date published: 4:07 pm, August 19th, 2010 - 34 comments

ACT’s meltdown continues, with comments from ACT founder and current MP Sir Roger Douglas illustrating that all is not well in the caucus. According to Stuff,  Sir Roger Douglas is saying he is not sure he will stand at the next election. He also said the party had to show it was stable. “I don’t […]

Corrections boss not sure about private prisons

Written By: - Date published: 4:42 pm, August 13th, 2010 - 17 comments

We’ve already seen criticism of the move by National to introduce private prisons (eg. NZ Herald editorial). Now the soon-to-depart prison boss, Barry Matthews has indicated that he too has his doubts.

The cost of National’s health care cuts

Written By: - Date published: 3:35 pm, August 6th, 2010 - 15 comments

What’s going on in our health care system when the well respected head of a DHB resigns, saying he cannot cut costs any further without undermining patient care. The Dom Post is reporting: Ken Whelan (chief executive of Capital & Coast District Health Board) announced his resignation yesterday as chief executive of Capital & Coast […]

Why life in Labour is complicated

Written By: - Date published: 3:02 pm, August 3rd, 2010 - 73 comments

From Gordon Campbell, who offers useful some thoughtful observations on the challenges ahead for Labour when figuring out what lies ahead with Chris Carter: “It is now up to Andrew Little to find a way through this morass in a way that will not do further damage to his party and his parliamentary leader. That path now looks a lot less clear that it seemed last Friday”

Nats try ‘thinking green’ on for size

Written By: - Date published: 3:26 pm, July 29th, 2010 - 4 comments

It’s taken me a few days to post on this opinon piece from Pattrick Smellie but it’s still worth reading! There are signs that Nick Smith is trying hard to improve the Nats environmental credentials, Gerry Brownlee notwithstanding. But Pattrick Smellie suggests it is not that simple:

Brownlee backdown predicted on mining

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, July 20th, 2010 - 23 comments

Predictions abound that the Government are today to announce a backdown on plans to mine Schedule 4 land..

Key due to release mining decision today

Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, July 19th, 2010 - 18 comments

Today we should find out the fate of Schedule 4 – the precious Department of Conservation land that Key put up for mining. RNZ reports that the Cabinet are looking at the proposal today…

Brash blows budget on 2025 taskforce

Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, July 16th, 2010 - 32 comments

I wonder if Dr Brash thought close scrutiny would have faded once he left the political limelight?  He certainly sounds entirely comfortable with spending the tax taskforce’s entire three-year budget for his meeting fees as chairman in just one year, reported in today’s Dom Post: Dr Brash was paid $1200 a day to chair the […]

Right to protest up for change

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, July 15th, 2010 - 38 comments

RadioNZ is reporting that one of the men who avoided a conviction for his attack on the Waihopai spy base says a proposed law change is aimed at shutting down legitimate protest.

Climate change, bikinis, climate change, bikinis

Written By: - Date published: 10:19 pm, July 14th, 2010 - 16 comments

Are swimsuit specials a thoughtful, clever way of arousing interest in climate change? Or are they little more than sexist idiocy? Are you curious enough to find out? Read this from the Guardian…

NZ Herald tells Collins to reset compass on private prison

Written By: - Date published: 11:51 am, July 14th, 2010 - 29 comments

The NZ Herald editorial criticising National’s pursuit of a private prison in Auckland should make Judith Collins and her cabinet colleagues sit up and rethink.

No SOE saviour for Key over Crafar farms

Written By: - Date published: 4:28 pm, July 13th, 2010 - 36 comments

Just spotted in the NZ Herald that receivers for the Crafar dairy farm empire have announced that state-owned farmer Landcorp has been unsuccessful in its attempt to buy the properties…

Yes, next Roy Morgan out

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, July 12th, 2010 - 93 comments

In case you didn’t spot it in the papers (who for reason seem to be covering it this time), the latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows support for John Key’s National-led Government has strengthened to 58.5% (up 3%), comprising National Party 53% (up 2.5%), Maori Party 3% (unchanged), ACT NZ 2% (up 1%) and […]

Appreciating parenthood

Written By: - Date published: 3:26 pm, July 4th, 2010 - 10 comments

A thought provoking piece from Bryan Caplan ponders “”Having kids—what’s in it for me?” An economic perspective on happiness, nature and nurture provides an answer: Parents’ sacrifice is much smaller than it looks, and much larger than it has to be.”

KiwiBank boss wants leadership from National party

Written By: - Date published: 7:34 pm, July 2nd, 2010 - 7 comments

KiwiBank boss, Sam Knowles wants the Government to step up to the plate and improve NZs saving rate, through making KiwiSaver compulsory.

Beware the politics of gender

Written By: - Date published: 11:01 am, June 27th, 2010 - 5 comments

An article in the Guardian puts gender politics into perspective, with 1,000 “honour killings” a year in India, according to one recent study. For those who think that the world has moved on – it hasn’t.

Petitioning for education

Written By: - Date published: 6:32 pm, June 22nd, 2010 - 4 comments

Good to see that the Greens presented to Parliament today a 37,000 signature petition expressing concern about the Government’s National Standards policy…

Latest polls

Written By: - Date published: 4:53 pm, June 21st, 2010 - 38 comments

Two polls: Roy Morgan who say “The latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows support for John Key’s National-led Government has weakened to 55.5% (down 2%)” and TV3 “National are up 3.2 percent to 55.3 percent, Labour are down 3.3 percent to 30.5 percent and the Greens are down to 7.7 percent.” Wish I was a pollster…

Losing confidence in education

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, June 15th, 2010 - 37 comments

I really like my children’s school – I think they work hard to keep those young minds engaged and bodies active. I know it’s a job that is pretty demanding, and hugely important. So when I hear that three-quarters of teachers are feeling unprepared and rushed as they work to implement National’s new national standards (according to a NZEI survey) I start to feel apprehensive.

Serious Humour – Greenpeace challenge

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 pm, June 13th, 2010 - 8 comments

Greenpeace are running a competition to rebrand BPs logo – have a look at the latest ideas…

Lazy Sunday viewing: viral video chart

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, June 6th, 2010 - 2 comments

Fancy wasting a little time on a slow Sunday? Some viral video, courtesy of Guardian blogger, Jemima Kiss.

Roy Morgan poll

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, June 5th, 2010 - 70 comments

Latest Roy Morgan poll shows support for John Key’s National-led Government has strengthen considerably to 57.5% (up 3.5%)

Fascinating magnetism: a bit of science

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 pm, June 2nd, 2010 - Comments Off on Fascinating magnetism: a bit of science

Audio from an interview by Kim Hill with Gillian Turner, Senior Lecturer in Physics and Geophysics at Victoria University, and author of North Pole, South Pole: the Epic Quest to Solve the Great Mystery of Earth’s Magnetism.

Armstrong column: Nats and polling

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, June 1st, 2010 - 35 comments

John Armstrong in today’s NZHerald asks whether the love affair with Key is over: After an 18-month dream run during which National had polled consistently above 50 per cent – and as high as 57 per cent – Sunday’s poll may be viewed as a watershed and the end (finally) of the honeymoon with voters. But that may be too simplistic.

Sweeping the ETS under the carpet

Written By: - Date published: 4:01 pm, May 25th, 2010 - 11 comments

According to Newsroom [currently offline]: No money has been budgeted to pay for New Zealand’s contribution to a $44 billion component of the Copenhagen Accord on climate change or to withstand losses from the emissions trading scheme beyond Kyoto’s lifetime.

Mining continues to gather criticism

Written By: - Date published: 11:55 am, May 24th, 2010 - 16 comments

More bad news for the Government’s mining plans. The submission from the Committee of New Zealand Members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and a Shape NZ survey both indicate the need for them to back off. How long until they admit it?

Has climate change been trumped?

Written By: - Date published: 10:11 am, May 23rd, 2010 - 32 comments

We are so used to hearing that climate change is the most important environmental issue of our time, that to hear that biodiversity may require more urgent attention made me sit up and pay attention. As reported in the Guardian…

Childcare costs ahead

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, May 21st, 2010 - 16 comments

Have you figured out what the Budget means for you? I’ve been looking at the media statements, reading the spin, deconstructing the commentators and trying to work out where it gets me as a parent with young children….

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