Category archive: Viewpoint

Should We Worry About Surveillance?

Bansky_one_nation_under_cctvSurveillance is back in the news again, now that the government has received the Independent Review of Intelligence and Security Services by Sir Michael Cullen and Dame Patsy Reddy. Later this year there may well be a new law in place with enhanced surveillance capacity for our intelligence agencies.

So, what is ‘surveillance’? Why should we be concerned about it?

Continue reading

Seeing ourselves more clearly…

For a long time, my friend, a former journalist and writing pro used to be on my case.

Every few months we would catch up for a coffee at the local and have a rant and rave about all things that either fired us up or depressed us including injuries and accidental mishaps!

That is what you do with your friends, right?

Continue reading

Unfinished business

Ohau cyclewayI met a group of fellow cycling tourists at Lake Ohau Lodge, a stopover between Twizel and Omarama on the Alps to Ocean bike trail. One of them wore an exasperated frown when she said, “Why do New Zealanders not tell the truth about the standard of the trail? What are they afraid of?” I was taken aback, as much by the irony as the question.

Continue reading

When neighbourhoods sleep

Where once four bungalows stood

They came when the neighbourhood slept – just after 2 in the morning. And though they were anything but burglars they took from our collective identity yet another valuable: an entire house.

Where once the street below us had two  rows of compact, well maintained bungalows, it now seems as if this was some suburban mirage.

Continue reading

What do you enjoy about what you do?

Have you been asked a question recently – a simple one at that – which caused you to stop and think.  Your mind flicks into another gear as it goes through the search and inquiry process until it connects with some semblance of an answer.

But what is interesting is that long after you have responded, you find yourself still mulling over the question!

Continue reading

Three free years…

students in lecture roomWhat a can of worms Labour has upended with its policy on tertiary education. It promises to turn the clock back to the conditions most of our current politicians enjoyed when they were students; a free university education.

But how will the thousands of student with huge debts feel about this proposed policy? Bitter, is my guess, and with just cause. On the other hand the parents of young, achieving teenagers will be relieved, possibly to the point of considering changing their vote at the next election.

Continue reading

Rangi Walker – visionary

Rangi WalkerIn the protest decade of the 60s and 1970s, my reporting beat covered Auckland University where, being the Sixties, full-time students were also part-time protesters.

Their activism embraced everything from feminism and environmental issues to the most riveting of the time – the growing protests against the Vietnam War and Apartheid.

Continue reading

February miscellany

You just know things are getting dire in the change-the-flag camp when its promoters have to rely on the candlelight of celebrity.

Richie McCaw supports the change. Wow. Well that’s a must-vote for the new one then. And Dan Carter too. Double wow – it’s pretty much a done deal, but some obstacles remain.

Like the quasi celebs who are also in their camp – Mike Hoskings, TVNZ newsreader Peter Williams among others. They’re all flag-happy and flapping behind the PM, our flag change leader-in-chief (he sometimes sports the new version as a badge – subtle huh?)

Continue reading

Beware Greeks bearing gifts….

130207-billboard-morning-hold-2A bus strike in Auckland  – how strange that  was  when  media  reported little in the way of carpooling,  the tactic which served locals well  in the oil shocks of the 1970s.   Another hint of the collapse of community?  Aucklanders  were warned  about the obvious traffic jams ahead – as if there aren’t any most other days.   The city’s woeful dependence on cars is its major failure and in Wellington that hasn’t been helped by a lack of vision.

Continue reading