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

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

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