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Med school backdown the “right thing” says Seymour

One of National’s showpiece election promises appears to be in more trouble with Waikato University yesterday withdrawing its call for tenders to develop a new medical school. The move will delay any substantial increase in the number of doctors being trained in New Zealand. The University’s decision just over a week...

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Beijing troubleshooter’s surprise visit

The importance of New Zealand's relationship with China was surely demonstrated yesterday with the surprise arrival in the capital of top Chinese foreign policy...

Orr’s warning; two more years of austerity

Yesterday, the Reserve Bank confirmed there will be no free card for the economy to get out of jail during the current term of...

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The Ambassador and Luxon – eye to eye

New Zealand's relationship with China is becoming harder to define, and with that comes a worry that a deteriorating political relationship could spill over...

It’s up to Willis now

Maybe the Prime Minister and his Finance Minister expected the worst, so they mounted a stout defence of the Budget tax cuts to their...

Controversial proposal could threaten coalition

The University of Waikato has reworded an advertisement that begins the tender process for its new $300 million-plus medical school even though the Government still needs to approve it. But ven the reworded ad contains an architect’s visualisations of what...

Our slow regional councils

The Select Committee hearing submissions on the fast-track consenting legislation is starting to become a beat-up of regional councils. The inflexibility and slow workings of the Councils were prominent in two submissions yesterday. One, from the Coromandel Marine Farmers Association, simply...

Labour’s chickens come home to roost

The Ardern Government's chickens came home to roost yesterday with the news that the country is short of natural gas. In 2018, Labour banned offshore petroleum exploration, and industry executives say that the attendant loss of confidence by the industry...

Top OECD economist puts Willis between a rock and a hard...

The OECD’s chief economist yesterday laid it on the line for the new Government: bring the deficit under control or face higher Reserve Bank interest rates for longer. And to bring the deficit under control, she meant not borrowing for...

Willis on defence

The price of the foreign affairs "reset" is now becoming apparent, with Defence set to get a funding boost in the Budget. Finance Minister Nicola Willis has confirmed that it will be one of the few votes, apart from Health...

Peters’ real foreign policy threat is Helen Clark

Winston Peters’ much anticipated foreign policy speech last night was a work of two halves. Much of it was a standard “boilerplate” Foreign Ministry overview of the state of the world. There was some hardening up of rhetoric with talk of...

“Feel good” school is out

Education Minister Erica Standford yesterday unveiled a fundamental reform of the way our school pupils are taught. She would not exactly say so, but she is all but dismantling the so-called "inquiry" "feel good" method of teaching, which has ruled...

What did Melissa Lee do?

It is hard to see what Melissa Lee might have done to “save” the media. National went into the election with no public media policy and appears not to have developed one subsequently. Lee claimed that she had prepared a policy...

What is really holding up infrastructure

The infrastructure industry yesterday issued a “hurry up” message to the Government and told it to get cracking on developing a pipeline of infrastructure projects. The hiatus around the change of government has seen some major projects cancelled and others...

Clearing up confusion (or trying to)

Foreign Minister Winston Peters is understood to be planning a major speech within the next fortnight to clear up the confusion over whether or...

Fighting poverty on the holiday highway

Turning what Labour called the “holiday highway” into a four-lane expressway from Auckland to Whangarei could bring an economic benefit of nearly two...

Who is running New Zealand’s foreign policy?

While commentators, including former Prime Minister Helen Clark, are noting a subtle shift in New Zealand's foreign policy, which now places more emphasis on...

A government department that can’t cut

As the public sector redundancies rolled on, with the Department of Conservation saying yesterday it was cutting 130 positions, a Select Committee got an...
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Why Rod Carr is optimistic farmers can beat climate change

The future of farming went on the line yesterday when the Climate Change Commission presented its first review of New Zealand’s target of net...

Mr Peters goes to Washington

Foreign Minister Winston Peters is now going to Washington next week for talks with US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. He is currently in Brussels...

Beehive bloat

While the new Government repeatedly vows to cut waste from within the Government, it has created seven new ministries and abolished only two left...

Willis’s tax cuts dilemma

Treasury's first report on the economy since the change of government presents a damning indictment of Labour's economic management. The problem for National is that...

Willis is not for turning

Faced with a barrage of criticism over the promised tax cuts from usually supportive commentators, Finance Minister Nicola Willis yesterday reaffirmed her intention to...

The Beehive Budget battle

Winston Peters’ headline-making actions over the past week look like having been a show of political power intended to strengthen his hand in Budget...