Tuesday, July 27, 2021
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National climbs into the Maori science debate

In what appears to be a follow-on from Judith Collins’ criticism of the He Puapua document, National’s education spokesperson, Paul Goldsmith, is now joining criticism of a proposal to apply the principles of the Treaty to science education in New Zealand. Goldsmith has waded into a debate that has been...

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Why Ardern and Woods need Tiwai Point to close

Contact and Meridian Energy’s announcement yesterday that they are proceeding with a plan to use the power Meridian currently supplies to the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter to make hydrogen has the potential to raise everyday power prices by as...

Gerry Brownlee: Podcast star

In what is one of this year’s most unlikely political phenomena National MP Gerry Brownlee is emerging as a podcast star. Brownlee has launched “The Backroom of Politics", which so far has consisted of 20-minute chats with Golriz Ghahraman and...

GCSB accuses Chinese state security of cyber attack on NZ

Security Services Minister Andrew Little last night accused Chinese "state-sponsored actors" of malicious cyber activity in New Zealand. “New Zealand has established links between Chinese state-sponsored actors known as Advanced Persistent Threat 40 (APT40) and malicious cyber activity in New...

Superpowers put squeeze on Ardern’s summit

Superpower rivalries were never far from the surface during Friday night’s APEC Covid summit. The summit. presided over by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern from a customised TV studio high above Wellington's Willis Street brought in 21 leaders via audio-visual ...

Ardern chairs APEC summit with Biden, Putin and Xi

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said last night’s informal APEC summit heard from the World health Organisation that the current Covid pandemic had “a while to run.” And she said that after hearing from the WHO, the 21 leaders understood this...

Biden’s “Asia Tsar” woos New Zealand

The Biden administration yesterday defined what it wants its relationship with New Zealand to be. It might be summed up as “close friend” rather than ally. That will ease fears in Wellington that the country might be pressured to join the...

How Megan Woods wants to change science

The Government’s big shake-up of the science sector will see the Crown Research Institutes “co-locate” on University campuses. With that will come a restructuring of the CRI business model away from the current company model to something which stabilises the...

Ardern tries to calm farmers

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is starting to sound conciliatory as farmers gear up for a 50-town protest this Friday. The protest started as opposition to the Government’s feebate proposal to impose a levy on petrol-powered utes. But it has moved beyond...

The politics of Covid and how the Government is winning

The Government's release of its Covid-19 survey on Friday offers a remarkable insight into how much market research impacts policy formation. It is widely known in Wellington that the Ardern government has long made an intensive use of focus groups. But...

Challenge to health reforms

A damning report about Pasifika health is raising questions about the thinking behind the Government’s health reforms. The report, Bula Sautu, by the Health Quality and Safety Commission shows that in many cases, Pasifika health statistics are far worse than...

A nice problem to have – for some

New Zealand's longest-serving economics think tank says the current labour shortage is the worst it has ever observed. The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research began its surveys of business opinion in 1961, and its second quarterly survey for the...

Labour’s Covid honeymoon ends

A poll published yesterday shows support for Labour has slumped. The Roy Morgan New Zealand poll of 951 New Zealanders interviewed during June shows support for the Government is down 5% points on May 2021 and represents the lowest support...

Muslim butcher shortage causes meat industry crisis

The New Zealand Meat Industry is so short of workers it is likely to have to cut production this coming season. Meat is the country's second-biggest export, worth approximately $8.2 billion in exports a year. In a direct challenge to the...

Mahuta’s reforms will shrink Councils

Cabinet papers released yesterday concede that the Government's proposed water reforms will have a "significant impact" on the future of local Government. That will be because they will take a core function away from Councils and with it staff and...

Getting Council planners out of the way with the new RMA

Environment Minister David Parker’s sweeping reforms of the Resource Management Act unveiled yesterday will move significant aspects of the planning process from Councils to the Government. Parker --- and many critics of the RMA --- have consistently argued that the...

PM confused (or confusing)

The Prime Minister yesterday added more confusion to what was contained within the Government’s discussion document on hate speech. It quite clearly proposes that inciting hatred or hostility against a group on the basis of its political opinion would be...

Unholy alliance opposes hate speech proposals

An unholy alliance from the left and the right is already attacking the Government’s hate speech proposals unveiled last Friday. Under the proposals, the current offence of exciting hostility or ill-will against or bringing into contempt or ridicule any group...

What Muller’s “retirement” means for National

Judith Collins appears to be now crushing her opposition within the National Party. First she forced Nick Smith to resign and now she has done the same thing to Todd Muller. She is removing opponents and bolstering up her supporters. Both the...

The speech he should have given on the campaign trail

Winston Peters speech to his party conference at the weekend was the speech he should have given on the campaign trail. It was Peters at his populist best ripping into both the Government and the Opposition. And there was the "Winnie"...

So now the economy is booming when can we open the...

Yesterday’s boom GDP figures appear to have caught much of official Wellington by surprise. Only hours before the 1.6 per cent for the March quarter figure appeared, the Ministry of Primary Industries was assuring Field Day farmers that economic growth...