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

Alphabet Soup by Susan Grimsdell

There’s a whole alphabet to describe people’s gender identities, but there’s another letter that in my view should be included in there.  All the letters – LGBTQI  – describe one aspect of people – their sexual preferences.  What about the way people think and what they like to do (other than sex)?  I think we need another letter:  M. And it stands for Misfit. Not conforming to the stereotype I’m a misfit.  I’m female, but I am just not interested in the things women and girls are stereotypically supposed to be interested… Read More

Kindness by Angela Caldin

I had a video call the other day with my family in Auckland. My youngest granddaughter ran towards the camera in a stripy nightie with the words be kind in white lettering on the front. Nice, I thought, better than so many of the annoying slogans on girls’ clothes such as: little miss attitude, cool kid alert, girls rule, princess, j’adore and totally in love with today. Then I thought about the sort of slogans we see on boys’ t-shirts such as: here comes trouble; young, wild and free, roarsome dude and… Read More

But for the grace of God by Susan Grimsdell

Our local paper is doing a series on lost children; those terrible cases where the child goes missing and is never seen again. Today’s story is about a two year old whose parents were visiting a friend.  The mother was a former drug addict, the father a gang member.  The friend had a house on a lake, very close to the water.  There were several kids, the adults were getting a barbecue together, lots of activity going on.  The child was seen near the driveway when one of the adults went off… Read More

Human spillage by Trevor Plumbly

Growing pains Over recent years I’ve noticed an increase in the number of ‘street people’ in my area of Auckland. Most (including me) either avoid them where possible or buy our way out with a couple of coins. In one form or another they’ve always been with us, but the recent increase in numbers should raise greater concern. In the past, they were dismissed as ‘deadbeats’, ‘addicts’ and ‘alkies’; thus the authors of their own misfortune, best left to the Salvation Army or, if things got out of hand, the Police. The… Read More