My dream parliament by Susan Grimsdell

Sometimes we have to dream.  My dream is that members of parliament would show up in the House with one purpose in mind:  to work out a way to make New Zealand a better country. Bad behaviour By that I mean all of them, not divided into parties who in reality spend most of their time and energy trying to tear down each others’ ideas and make fools of one another.  Anyone who has listened to Parliament Live comes away shocked at the stupid level of so-called “debate”.  They’re like school kids,… Read More

A short history of justice by Trevor Plumbly

Most of the problems associated with criminal behaviour can be put down to the need for possession in one form or another. Them was the good old days In earlier time, litigation was a fairly simple concept. Bloke A would scoot out, armed with a club, grab the girl of his dreams and drag her back to his cave for a spot of procreative gymnastics. Sounds primitive I know, but that’s how we got here. But men being men, disputes occur. If Bloke A met Bloke B on the same mission, a… Read More

The miracle of the monarch butterfly by Angela Caldin

I’m in Pacific Grove, California, for a few days where I’ve witnessed a part of what has been called one of the greatest natural events on Earth. In a large grove of eucalyptus trees called The Sanctuary, clusters of monarch butterflies cling like glowing autumn leaves to the branches. They arrive in late October to overwinter in the mild climate here, escaping the harsher winters in the north. They travel vast distances to reach the California coast in the west and the mountains of Michoacan in Mexico in the east. Hardy butterflies… Read More

Climate change in action by Susan Grimsdell

A survey of how kids get to school found that of the sample number of approximately  800,000 young people, about 580,000 get there by car, 450,000 of those driving themselves, which means they were unlikely to be able to take a passenger.  About 100,000 took a public bus or train and just over 100,000 caught a school bus. Action not words I was interested in these numbers when I thought about the kids’ recent climate change march.  “What do we want?  Climate change action. When do we want it?  NOW!”  I’m all… Read More

The best medicine by Trevor Plumbly

It might be an age thing, but I reckon it’s getting a bit harder to laugh things off these days. Politicians used to be OK for a bit of a giggle, but now, despite their comic instability, there’s something scary about them. There’s little point adding to, or rehashing, any of the ridicule that’s been heaped on Trump and Johnson; it might provide us with a bit of spiteful comfort, but that’s about it. Once elected, they become satire-proof. Until quite recently, political leaders led by example; these days, it seems, integrity… Read More