Homelessness by Susan Grimsdell

Homelessness is getting a lot of attention in New Zealand nowadays, particularly in Auckland. People who live in so-called leafy suburbs rarely come across it, I imagine, whereas I live in the Central City and have homeless people sleeping outside my building and in doorways and on benches all the way up Queen Street, so I see them every day and it’s hard not to think about and care about their plight. Where has kindness gone? What our society needs is a good helping of kindness.  New Zealand used to have kindness… Read More

Short and Curlies by Emily Smart

It’s been a bizarre couple of weeks which have left me pondering whether there is any sanity left in the world. I was hoping Facebook might get its comeuppance with the latest data breach news, but unfortunately, no. It would appear that (to borrow a quote from the Zuckerberg himself) “A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa”. Is he a genius or is he Machiavellian? I suspect the latter given an exchange of instant messages between the… Read More

New brooms, same old dust by Trevor Plumbly

Political bigamy Fine words are always spoken prior to elections. That’s certainly no different down here in NZ, nor is what follows. Stentorian rhetoric gets watered down by the appeasement that comes with the MMP system.* The leader needs to ‘consult’ with two other leaders before actually ‘leading’. It’s ironic that a system touting broader representation looks like poisoning itself with its own prescription. Courtship At the ballot box, we were swept up in a flurry of expectation; our new prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, was all we’d been dreaming of: young, idealistic… 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

Baby gender by Susan Grimsdell

The Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, is going to have a baby.  She and her partner Clarke Gayford have known about the baby for four months, but chose not to tell us, the public.  I don’t think anyone would question that decision, considering that it’s a private matter for a start, and also that a percentage of pregnancies don’t make it past the first three months. Gender privacy Jacinda and Clarke know the gender of the baby, but have chosen to keep that as a private matter too.  I… Read More