by Brian Easton

The Prime Minister told the UN that she aimed for New Zealand ‘to be the best place in the world to be a child’. Once we said it was.

 I do not know whether we were once the best country in the world for children. Certainly when I grew up in the 1950s we thought we were – even if there were no systematic comparisons. We returned from our OE in 1970 with that belief.

Reporting a civilised conversation on the policy challenges of reducing carbon emissions.

I recently attended a roundtable on the political issues as New Zealand transits towards a low carbon emission economy. As well as me there were about two dozen experts. Chatham House rules, but I can tell you about my responses.

Are we confident that the proposed changes to State Services legislation will address the real problems?

The Minister for States Services, Chris Hipkins, has announced a review of the 1988 State Services Act with a six-week consultation period.

Are the claims of an imminent financial crash justifed or hysterical? (These are notes prepared for Nights with Bryan Crump. 18 September 2018)

A senior and respected economist recently remarked that he thought that there was a danger of an economic crisis precipitating a financial crisis rather than the other way around. He was reflecting on the current trade war which Trump is escalating by raising more tariffs on Chinese imports. Could it lead to a financial crisis?

Jacinda Ardern Did Not Say Enough at a Recent Business Breakfast.

[After introductory remarks] This morning I want to address the fact that surveys of business opinion suggest that business confidence is not high. This seems to contradict the reports in the same surveys that firms are expecting higher sales, taking on more workers and planning to invest to increase their capacity; that, is they are confident about the prospects for their businesses.

The Government’s proposed infrastructural entity in context.

From the earliest European settlements in New Zealand, economic strategy was dominated by the notion that the state should lead the development of the economy. There wasn’t really anyone else to install the facilities and networks that progress needed. In any case, the development state had been integral to the evolution of capitalism elsewhere.

Australian politics has been even more entertaining than New Zealand’s. But aside from the ambitions of the comedians is there something else going on?

One New Zealand MP explained the Australian political turmoil in terms of New Zealand having MMP which, he said, gave us greater political stability. In fact, since the introduction of MMP in 1996, Australia has had six prime ministers and so have we.

We need to give greater protection to the public assets of heritage value.

A rumour around Wellington in early 1994 was that there was a Treasury paper advocating selling off part of the holdings of the Alexander Turnbull Library, which contains manuscripts, books and artefacts reflecting New Zealand’s cultural, intellectual and historical heritage.

Trump’s interactional strategy – such as it is – is leaving opportunities that others are filling.

In the middle of the nineteenth century, England was the world’s greatest economic power and led the greatest empire the world had to then experienced. What was not understood was that its supremacy was already being challenged. At the core of the Great War was the contest between the British Empire and Germany, already a bigger economy than Britain’s.

It’s time we stopped looking at Winston Peters through the spectacles the Rogernomes gave to us

One has been amused by the discovery by so many right-wing commentators that Winston Peters is not the devil incarnate that they have portrayed for twenty-five years and their surprise that he proved to be such a successful acting prime minister while Jacinda Ardern was away.