Blogs

Whether Coalition New Zealand is a Christian party or not (the Tamakis themselves are divided), the idea that they, the New Conservatives, an Alfred Ngaro-led vehicle or any religious party can get into parliament does not stand scrutiny

Three Christians walk into a bar. A Catholic, a Presbyterian and a Life Church member... None of them vote for the same party. No, it's not much of a punch line, I confess. But then the idea of a Christian Party isn't much of an idea.

Can we consume limited resources forever? Is economic growth just a Ponzi scheme in which we borrow from the future? Is economic growth as we know it coming to an end?

Over two centuries ago, the first-ever professor of economics, Thomas Malthus, predicted that levels of personal income would stagnate. He argued that there was a limited supply of land and that, given diminishing returns, additional farmers would produce less additional food until eventually they would not be able to feed themselves.

Two weeks out from the Budget, it's a good time to remember what is the means of economic management and what are the true ends

Those with a progressive agenda (and yes, I count myself as one) have been frustrated by our own inability and reluctance to engage head-on in the most important argument in political discourse – the role, function and objective of government.

The government has promised a ‘wellbeing budget’. No one seems to know what that means. We can set out some preliminary economic understandings.

There is a story of a little old lady who woke up after a close election and was told that the result was a ‘hung parliament’. She responded that she did not know what that meant, but it sounded like a good idea.

Across the globe, politics seems to be a battle between strongmen, populists and those eager to make socialism great again. But there is another way. A third way. And it's time not merely to resurrect ideas from the 1990s, but to reimagine them

The Giddens Project has its origins in my association with 'Third Way' politics during my time as a member of the New Zealand parliament between 1990 and 2008.

While Chris Lee’s “The Billion Dollar Bonfire: How Allan Hubbard and the Government Destroyed South Canterbury Finance” traces the rise and fall of the finance company, it also provides valuable insights into how the financial system works – or doesnt.

At the core of a successful economy is ‘trust’. Buy a can of beans and your decision depends on trusting a whole chain of suppliers. Admittedly, you also trust that the law is working in your favour too; it usually does.

Faced with substantial costs and waiting lists in fertility clinics, increasing numbers of NZ women are turning to ‘freelance’ sperm donors. Now some of them are complaining about the conduct of one of those donors. But is this a problem the law can fix?

This week, TVNZ’s Sunday programme led with a feature about sperm donation. Specifically, about a ‘freelance’ sperm donor, going by the name Tauranga Tony. Real name Tony Ross, he has donated sperm to a number of women. Quite a large number, apparently.

The Government's proposed model for the forthcoming referendum on marijuana legalisation isn't ideal. But the difference between it and the ideal really is pretty minimal.

Today we sort-of found out what we are going to get to vote on at this election’s “reeferendum”. We are going to get to say whether we want to have an as-yet-unwritten Bill allowing for the legalisation of cannabis passed into law by whatever Parliament gets elected at that election.

There's no way to guarantee safety in an imperfect world, but you would hope to have confidence in the Police's ability to keep guns under lock and key. It seems not

Sometimes you have to pinch yourself to convince yourself what you're reading is real. My previous column was on the gun debate – it solicited a number of sensible comments. Then, as if eager to underline one of my points, Police fumbled.

Big benefit increases and cutting sanctions have been recommended by the Welfare Expert Advisory Group, yet the Labour-led government has rejected the groups call for urgency. So is it running out of ways to be transformational this term?

Strike one: Capital Gains Tax. Strike Two: Welfare reform. The Labour-led government is running out of changes to be the "transformational" administration Jacinda Ardern promised in the 2017 election campaign.