Blogs

New Zealand has got itself into a right proper muddle over methane emissions and their impact on climate change. A simple change to the proposed legislation would sort it out.

The proposed Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill treats biogenic methane emissions differently from all other carbon emissions. The latter are to be measured net so that emissions from fossil fuels can be offset by carbon stored in trees. However, methane from livestock is measured gross.

The issues surrounding child uplift are complex, but we won't make progress without a better understanding of whānau and the tikanga behind it

Later this month, thousands of people are expected to march to parliament as part of the #HandsOffOurTamaraki movement. At its heart, the movement is about preserving whānau and demanding that the state stop removing children from their whānau, hapū and iwi.

Many foreign appointments to leading public agencies have proved disappointing. Is that inevitable?

The discussion on the quality of economic advice, which we reported last week, has spilled over into a discussion about whether so many senior appointments should be of non-New Zealanders. Recall I discussed the failure to develop career paths within the New Zealand public service.

Conscience and consultation are good paths through the mire of emotional and controversial policies such as euthanasia. But referedums are key to ensuring voters are heard

The End of Life bill has been read a second time and is now heading for the House for further debate. Personally, I support the proposal. I don't ever epect to take advantage of the Bill's provisions myself, but as I see this is it my life – inasmuch as it is possible, how I end it should be my decision and mine alone. 

The kerfuffle over the budget leaks precipitated a public exposure of a simmering concern about the quality of Treasury’s work.

Before the substantive issue which this column is about – whether there has been a deterioration in the economic advice given to the government – a paragraph about the budget leaks.

In part three, after the new right revolution of the 1980s, social democratic parties such as Labour were searching their souls. Then came new ideas and new 'third way' leaders such as Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, with answers to the identity crisis

First way – the state, Keynesian demand management, the working class as the base of support. Second way – free-market, reduce the scope of the state and cut taxes, relative indifference to social justice. Third Way – well that's the question.

It may be that higher levels of inequality have increased the incidence of poor mental wellbeing in the community. A recent book suggests a causal mechanism from one to the other.

International research shows that there is a socioeconomic status (or class) gradient, in which those with low SES experience higher morbidity from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, ulcers, rheumatoid disorders, a number of cancers, psychiatric diseases, dementia and so on.

Would permitting terminally ill people to obtain a consenting doctor's help to end their life really undermine our entire system of law? Yeah ... nah.

Grant Illingworth QC is concerned that if David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill is enacted, we somehow would be breaching the social contract on which our entire system of law rests.

Despite its manifesto promise to make the Chief Archivist an officer of Parliament, the government has not yet announced its decision. It is taking so long there must be a problem. Let’s guess an outcome if the officials have their way.

One of the major issues which face a democratic nation is the challenge of keeping its bureaucracy accountable and responsive to the public. Over the years a variety of arrangements have developed with this objective.

The ACT Party's "plan to protect freedom of expression" is long on aspiration, short on detail, and would usher in an extremely unpleasant society should it ever be put into place.

This morning I had a chat to RNZ’s Morning Report about the ACT Party’s “plan to protect freedom of expression”.