New Zealand’s loss of innocence by Trevor Plumbly

A time to learn New Zealand is a special place, comfortably populated and insulated from tragedies that ethnic and religious radicalism can inflict, until, of course, the recent massacre in Christchurch. By the time you read this, the initial shock will be fading and, as is the case in today’s world, there will be fresh horrors thrust at us from elsewhere. Laying aside the theoretical excursions of countless analysts, specialists and even the odd apologist, we owe the victims and our society a lot more than months of political pussyfooting. Hard decisions… Read More

Shamima Begum, a dangerous threat or a victim? By Angela Caldin

It’s difficult these days to avoid commentary on the plight of Shamima Begum who is living in a tent in the al Hawl refugee camp in Syria with her new born baby. She wants to come home, but the problem is that ‘home’ is what she joined Isis to destroy. The standard of living, the healthcare, the housing and the developed infrastructure are what she now wants for herself and her child, not the hard life on offer with Isis which she has fled. A tough decision The Home Secretary has taken… Read More

Marijuana and pain by Susan Grimsdell

I’ve been obsessed with pain lately.  Not mine, but two of my friends who’ve both broken ribs.  Panadol doesn’t cut it.  Morphine’s good, but not something you want to take too much of.  The best thing, I’ve heard, is marijuana, often called cannabis.  We’ve all heard how effective it is for crippling pain.  But in NZ it’s not on the list of options. Decriminalisation and legalisation I had a look to see if there are places that do allow people to buy and use marijuana, and it’s truly mind-boggling how many there… Read More

Going round in circles by Susan Grimsdell

I’ve been feeling giddy lately – my brain is spinning, and here’s why.  It has come to my attention, through an amazing book I’ve been reading, that most of the problems of the world – and there are many – are caused by us poor humans not realising that we think in circles and vicious ones to boot. Cause and effect Starting with a very obvious example – black people in America were all slaves at first.  When slavery ended in 1865 do you think black people then started to flock into… Read More

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