Category archive: Politics

Emergency powers and human rights 

We’re in a state of national emergency and it’s having a dramatic effect on how we live our lives.

I simply want to highlight a number of human rights issues that have arisen as a result of the lockdown. And I’d like to flag a number of my concerns about possible long-term human rights implications, after the pandemic is over.

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Miscellany – April

 “Words without actions are the assassins of idealism.” ― said  President  Herbert Hoover  nearly a century ago.   It was if he was addressing his present day successor Donald Trump’s inadequate response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Be kind she said…

At first  they nodded and smiled as usual on our daily walks. Nothing unusual there, it’s our neighbourhood.

But then the pandemic arrived and didn’t  leave.  For a few days  we were confused and offered the same  greetings, though we all knew nothing would  ever be the same.

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Once upon a Charter

A very long time ago when I was an NBR media commentator, a senior Treasury official asked me what I  thought about the  future of TVNZ.  I told him that its hyper-commercialism was  driving viewers away; that people were  sick and tired of ads and much of the network’s ratings-driven  programming.

He paused, stroked his chin and looked into the distance.  “Hmm” he said.  “Here, we would call that a long term strategic loss.”

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Miscellany – February

Bushfires still burn in Oz; Brexit vexited the Brits, and in America a new King was  crowned   by Republican Senators.  You could sense an uprising to  the elevation of  President Donald to King Donald. Tears flowed and jeers echoed on both sides of  the Atlantic, courtesy of  television. These were passionate  issues and sometimes you had to pause to  wonder who, or what, lay behind them.

But no worries,  because Down Under the Aussies showed that their sense of humour couldn’t be extinguished….

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High noon

High Noon, informally, is the when time the sun reaches its highest point in the sky.  It is traditionally regarded as a time for high drama, as in the 1952 movie High Noon.  At High Noon in New Zealand on Saturday, 1st February 2020, it will be 23:00 GMT.  It will be the moment the UK inflicts upon itself, perhaps the greatest self-harm in its long history.  It will break its 46 year membership of the EU.

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Bye Blossoms, G’day Geckos…

In South Auckland’s Ihumatao, a peaceful group of Maori activists continues the campaign it began in 2015. Their aim?  To stop Fletchers building 480 homes on what they believe is sacred land.

And a few miles away in the leafy suburb of Mt Albert early last month, middle-class Pakeha began their protest.

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A nation of landlords…

We do not have a housing crisis. The housing market works perfectly for those it was designed to serve. Landlords are now protesting because the precarious position of renters has (finally)  been acknowledged.

But who knows how long it will it take before the talk ends and the watered down action begins? And even then if the result resembles the government’s affordable housing fiasco where do we go from there? But we are not alone.

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Kiwi TV as we once knew it… Part two

Credit: ‘New Zealand Television – the first 25 years’, by Robert Boyd-Bell

The early television days were staffed by competent, experienced staff with mainly radio experience coping with second hand BBC equipment in small make shift studios with tape, lighting and telecine (film) operators in cramped uncomfortable cupboards/offices. Staff like Barry Warner, Colin Harrison, Geoff Eady, Robyn Petrie, Ian Hill, Stuart Murray and Russ Lambert and Bob Smith. We owe them so much.

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