by Andrew Geddis

Today the right thing was done for two individuals by public officials who were not forced into doing so. Let's just take a moment to savour an occasion when things worked the way they should.

Back in June I wrote a post about the Ombudsman's pretty damning report on the State Services Commission (SSC) Inquiry into leaked MFAT documents, and in particular the way that this Inquiry treated a MFAT employee, Mr Derek Leask.

Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Dr Andrew Butler propose that New Zealand should have a written constitution. If you're in Dunedin this Wednesday night, come along to the Museum and hear why.

As has been noted previously on this blog, Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Dr Andrew Butler  have published a book advocating that New Zealand enact a “written” constitution.

The Nation this weekend is telling the story of family carers of disabled adult relatives and the pretty shabby way they've been treated over the years. And it looks like Sam Lotu-liga just doesn't want to talk about that. 

[Make sure you see the update at the end!]

The courts really, really don't like the "three strikes" sentencing regime. And they're doing what they can to avoid having it force them into actions they think are wholly disproportionate.

New Zealand has had a "three strikes" sentencing regime in place for some six years now. It was controversial when introduced.

Is it a good idea for New Zealand to try and resurrect the Trans-Pacific Partnership without the involvement of the USA? And, if it does so, will the Government have to go back to Parliament and ask it to change a Bill it's just agreed to?

Donald Trump's election as President of the USA was interpreted widely as the death knell for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). That, anyway, was John Key's immediate response following the result.  

Leonard Cohen has died. His music won't. 

To get some idea of just how great the now-departed Leonard Cohen's musical legacy is, you can't just listen to his recordings. You have to look at how his works were standards for so many other artists. His songs were genius, and everyone wanted to make them their own.

A couple of interesting developments - one on the other side of the world and one here at home. Turns out that the UK's Parliament is still sovereign (who knew?). And I think Gareth Morgan should be given more praise than scorn for wanting to inject some thinking into New Zealand's political scene.

Kris Faafoi has stopped Tutehounuku (Nuk) Korako's frankly abysmal "lost luggage (but not really)" members bill eating up hours of Parliament's time. That's great ... but what will I do now for fun? 

So, according to this Act Party press release:

The Auditor General has found that Murray McCully (and the rest of his National Party cabinet colleagues) are not corrupt criminals. They just entered into a deal with a Saudi businessman without really knowing why, what that deal would do, or the basis for giving him some $11 million or our money. 

The Auditor-General's report on Murray McCully's "sheep-to-sand" deal (or, rather, her "Inquiry into the Saudi Arabia Food Security Partnership") is hot off the press.

The real scandal isn't that the Police set up a (probably) illegal drink driving checkpoint to get the names of elderly people interested in exercising control over the circumstances of their own death. It's that our law doesn't allow such people an option without having the Police stick their noses in to it.

I'm presently out of New Zealand, enjoying a family break at Joshua Tree National Park in the US of A before immersing myself in the joy and wonder that is end of year exam marking. I guess that means I should be writing you an insightful and searing critique of the US Presidential race, but really ... what's there to say?