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The bubble pops

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, July 24th, 2021 - 32 comments

The appearance of community spread Delta variant Covid in Australia has caused New Zealand to suspend the trans Tasman travel bubble.

The Covid Crisis – the perils of half hearted responses

Written By: - Date published: 4:59 pm, July 11th, 2021 - 40 comments

The New South Wales’ half hearted response to community outbreak has seen infected numbers increase while in the UK Boris Johnson is planning to remove all restrictions something top scientists describe as “dangerous and premature”.

The Pausing of the Travel Bubble

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 am, June 28th, 2021 - 81 comments

So far there have been no discovered cases of community spread of the Covid delta variant in Wellington following the recent visit by an Australian tourist who was infected with the variant.  Meanwhile in Australia the authorities are trying to stamp out community flareups that are appearing in different parts of the country.

The week when Scomo came to visit

Written By: - Date published: 11:12 am, June 6th, 2021 - 5 comments

This week has seen the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to suggest that Australia is adopting a principled stand and New Zealand has sold its soul to China for trade.  But the comments by Morrison and Ardern made after their Queenstown meeting suggests the opposite.

The problem with coal

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, May 1st, 2021 - 38 comments

New Zealand is about to enter a transition phase in energy that’s going to affect absolutely everyone.

Australia is picking a fight with China

Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, April 28th, 2021 - 53 comments

I am pleased that Nanaia Mahuta and the Government have distanced ourselves from joining in with five eyes attacks on China.  Because when you look at that aggressive rhetoric that is emanating from Australia you have to be worried.

The five eyes beat up

Written By: - Date published: 1:50 pm, April 24th, 2021 - 33 comments

There has been a conservative sourced beat up of Aotearoa New Zealand for not using an intelligence gathering treaty grouping to publicly attack China.

Putting Five Eyes in its place

Written By: - Date published: 10:25 pm, April 20th, 2021 - 19 comments

Following her speech to the NZ China Council, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta wanted to be very clear that in speaking out about issues with other countries, New Zealand would not be doing it in concert with Five Eyes partners. She expressed a view that New Zealand did not agree with Five Eyes remit encroaching beyond intelligence, and that this had been communicated to Five Eyes partners. Good.

Bubble bubble toil and trouble

Written By: - Date published: 8:43 am, April 6th, 2021 - 42 comments

An announcement on the Trans Tasman bubble is expected this afternoon.

The Australian Parliament and Women

Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, March 24th, 2021 - 14 comments

To understand how power and misogyny and democracy all flow from the one stinking head, one need look no further than the Australian Parliament right now.

West Australia result

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, March 15th, 2021 - 8 comments

The weekend state elections in West Australia are a astonishing landslide. On top of nearly a 13% two party swing swing for Labour in 2017, there appears to have been about a 17% swing to Labour in the weekend election in preliminary results. The Liberals are likely to be left with just 2 seats in a 59 seat Assembly. The main opposition party, now the National party, with 3 seats.  

The trans Tasman bubble

Written By: - Date published: 7:31 am, March 11th, 2021 - 72 comments

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said New Zealanders have an unfettered ability to travel to Australia for a holiday.  Reality would suggest that he is wrong.

We must resist US pressure on China that could lead to war

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, February 20th, 2021 - 41 comments

In February 2002 I was at a union-NDP conference in Ottawa watching US television in my hotel room. Back home I reported on the conference to the Labour Party caucus and stated as an aside that the US was going to war with Iraq. Helen Clark stood up straightaway and said “we won’t be going with them.” Jacinda Ardern needs to do the same now.

Zucked in

Written By: - Date published: 7:38 am, February 19th, 2021 - 19 comments

For a while the Australian Federal Government has been proposing legislation requiring Facebook and Google to compensate Australian media interests for posting links to local media stories.  Facebook has just replied by giving the Australian Government the middle finger.

The Very, Very Lucky Country

Written By: - Date published: 8:18 am, February 17th, 2021 - 5 comments

While Australia is rightly branded The Lucky Country, it looks like we can reasonably be called the Very, Very Lucky Country.

Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi …

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, February 17th, 2021 - 144 comments

Yesterday Jacinda Ardern chose to use decidedly undiplomatic speech to address Australia’s removal of its citizenship from a Jihadi bride leaving her as New Zealand’s problem, even though her link to New Zealand was tenuous and she was for all intents and purposes Australia’s problem.  And even though Ardern had previously asked Scomo to be careful with the issue.

Reasons to abandon NZ’s Five-Eyed Folly

Written By: - Date published: 2:35 pm, February 4th, 2021 - 29 comments


Wayne Brown’s recent suggestion “Is it time to sell our seat on FiveEyes?” is from someone well placed by experience to form an educated opinion. “Trade sanctions of the type Australia is facing are a weapon used by both USA and China. So let’s have a debate on whether we need Five Eyes, or whether it’s time for us to trade on independently.”

Covid19 Vaccine Rollout and Global Inequality

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 am, February 2nd, 2021 - 24 comments

2023-2024 for a global rollout 0f the Covid vaccine will put stark lines of demarcation between which populations can trade and travel easily, and those who can’t. 

Hong Kong arrests uncovering an ‘ugly plot?’

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 pm, January 25th, 2021 - 6 comments

Retired Hong Kong Final Court of Appeal Judge Henry Litton raises some important questions about the motivations of the 53 would-be legislators recently arrested in Hong Kong. Five Eyes countries including New Zealand were quick to condemn the arrests, but Litton states their aim was to implement a wider plot called “10-steps to mutual destruction,” and to use their powers as legislators to create chaos.

Nanaia Mahuta – Peacebroker

Written By: - Date published: 6:07 pm, December 16th, 2020 - 22 comments

“Do I believe that there might be an opportunity for New Zealand to create a different environment and have a conversation? Yes, I do.” Nanaia Mahuta told Reuters on Tuesday the country would be willing to help negotiate a truce between neighbouring Australia and regional heavyweight China, who are caught in an escalating trade and diplomatic spat. Great idea.

Blind-sided by Five Eyes

Written By: - Date published: 2:34 pm, December 12th, 2020 - 13 comments

It has been good to see some pushback in the media questioning the wisdom of  Mahuta’s FiveEyes alignment as the first public act of her tenure as our Foreign Minister. Chris Trotter writes in interest.co.nz that upsetting New Zealand’s most significant trading partner seems like a very silly thing to do. Others include Bryce Edwards […]

Power across the Tasman

Written By: - Date published: 8:22 am, November 30th, 2020 - 25 comments

Australia is likely to have less of an issue with raging bush fires this year. La Niña is likely to give a break to the droughts with a wetter East Coast. Doesn’t stop record heatwaves as is happening at present. Climate change in action. What is also happening is equally predictable – the power systems get affected as well. Interesting to consider for similar climate issues here hitting our power. 

Melbourne gets on top of Covid

Written By: - Date published: 8:36 am, October 27th, 2020 - 15 comments

Yesterday the city of Melbourne recorded its first day of no new reported covid infections in nearly five months. At the same time in America the White House has effectively said that control is too difficult and that it is giving up.

New Zealand, Biden, Trump, and Australia

Written By: - Date published: 3:47 pm, October 5th, 2020 - 6 comments

If Donald Trump is re-elected in 30 days’ time, he will be vindicated and emboldened.  What will the implications be for New Zealand?

US v China: new Cold War or new Opium War?

Written By: - Date published: 10:27 am, August 25th, 2020 - 23 comments

The Trump administration has declared war on China, and there is much speculation in the punditry as to whether or not this is a new Cold War similar to that waged post World War 2 against Russia. In my opinion, the 19th century Opium Wars may offer a more appropriate analogy, albeit with a likely different outcome.

Here comes the vaccine

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, August 21st, 2020 - 46 comments

Australian Prime Minister Scott Malcom has indicated he’s getting close to the deal of a lifetime for Australians with a letter of intent from Astra Zenica, who are in third stage clinical trials.  Will New Zealand benefit?

Payne snubs Pompeo on China regime change

Written By: - Date published: 12:52 pm, July 30th, 2020 - 15 comments

Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds traveled to the US this week to meet face-to-face with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Minister Mark Esper. In what was clearly meant as a follow-up to recent speeches on China by the Americans, Payne firmly declined to join Pompeo in in his call for regime change in China.

Pandemic: a flourishing enterprise. Business needs to get real.

Written By: - Date published: 9:49 am, July 28th, 2020 - 40 comments

A few weeks ago we were at 14 million cumulative confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide. A million more cases in just 4 days. Now a few weeks later, we are at 16 million confirmed cases worldwide. The lobbyists and business groups affected by our blocked borders need to get real. We won’t be opening our borders until we get a widely used vaccine later next year (at the earliest). It is too expensive to do so.

Unthinkable Things

Written By: - Date published: 8:41 am, July 22nd, 2020 - 29 comments

With the government clearly watching the unravelling of Australia’s Covid-19 response and putting in place $14 billion in preparation for a second infection wave, we are clearly now in a history-in-making territory of the highest instability outside a world war.

In defence of Ashley Bloomfield

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 am, June 22nd, 2020 - 155 comments

National and elements of the media have gone full on attack on the Government’s and Ashley Bloomfield’s Covid 19 performance.  Which is unusual given that there is still no examples of community transmission and all recent infections have been picked up through the quarantine system.

Strike Force Raptor is no more

Written By: - Date published: 12:20 pm, June 11th, 2020 - 10 comments

National has backed away from its policy of creating Strike Force Raptor Police Unit, a unit based on an Australian force dedicated to terrorising possible gang members.

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