How safe is New Zealand? By Angela Caldin

‘On behalf of New Zealand, I would like to apologise to Grace’s family; your daughter should have been safe here and she wasn’t and I’m sorry for that.’ These are the words of Jacinda Ardern, prime minister of New Zealand, speaking about the recent murder of Grace Millane. She continued, ‘We pride ourselves on being a place where people are welcome, where they are safe and this hasn’t happened. I feel a sense that New Zealanders are carrying this quite personally.’ Homicide rates I was intrigued by her claim that Grace should… Read More

Matters of life and death by Susan Grimsdell

Choice is the word of the week it seems.  Voting in Ireland about whether or not to permit women to choose to have an abortion in their own home town or to be forced to go overseas for it, and voting here in New Zealand about whether to let everyone choose when they want to die. It seems a no-brainer to me.  I wouldn’t for one moment assume I have the right to make those decisions on behalf of anyone else, when that person is perfectly capable of making their own decisions. … Read More

Oil – the bottom line by Susan Grimsdell

Our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, is under pressure to make a decision about whether to allow oil companies to drill off New Zealand’s coast. My attitude is – what’s her problem? We’ve been told time and again over a period of years now that the oil already stockpiled in reserves has to stay where it is, unused, forever.  If we use any of it, the climate will be toast. Oil and global warming According to the London School of Economics, with the support of HSBC, Citibank, Standard & Poor, and the International… Read More

The confession of a cunning old fart by Trevor Plumbly

Culpa! Mea? This aging biz isn’t turning out to be the doddle I thought it would be; there’s lots of stuff to adjust to. The nights of six pints of lager and a curry have been replaced by a glass of wine, rabbit food and easy access to the toilets. It does, however, have some compensations: the old standby ‘he’s getting on a bit’ allows me to avoid inconvenient disruptions to my routine by resigned martyrdom rather than open defiance and as a result I’ve mastered a strained patient grimace along with… Read More

Aggression as first response by Susan Grimsdell

When we all hear about Trump ranting and raving over North Korea, I’m sure there would hardly be anyone on the planet who wouldn’t think how stupid it is to poke and prod at a guy like Kim Jong-un; a bit like poking a cornered possum or an angry grizzly bear. My thought always, when I hear this kind of aggression is, why can’t they just discuss whatever it is in a calm, rational way, and come to some sort of sensible agreement using brains and words, not weapons of mass destruction.  Why… Read More