If the Government is serious about redirecting policy towards wellbeing, it is going to have to do a lot more than making the odd statement in the budget.

On the Friday morning previous to Budget Thursday, the Prime Minister gave what amounted to a pre-budget speech. It was not welcomed by the listeners, even though most New Zealanders may have found it promising But the audience was from the Auckland Business Community (ABC) and the speech gave little acknowledgement to them or their concerns.

The flag debate tells us something about the quality of design in New Zealand

I am not going to tell you about the right choice for New Zealand’s flag. That would invalidate the point of the column. Certainly I shall vote for one; much of my response will be an instinctive opinion. What I shall probably miss – what we are currently missing – is expert guidance on the characteristics of a good flag.

When science joins journalism, good things happen, as Mike Joy and Stephen Sackur showed. It was a big media science story, that should have been a bigger economic one: how to reconcile dairy’s growth industry with our “100% pure” brand

It’s an august line-up, on this Thursday’s Media 7 science special: Professor Sir Peter Gluckman; Robert, Lord Winston. Me.

An examination of the strange suggestion, spread by the Green Party, that our native ecosystems are at a greater risk than those of any other country on Earth except for Burma.

Part of living away from New Zealand is accepting that things change back home. Last week, for example, I learned that my favourite coffee shop, 32 The Terrace, has changed hands. I can no longer look forward to a latte made by Marg and Owen on my next trip to Wellington. On a grander scale was the discovery that New Zealand's indigenous forests have started vanishing.

David Cunliffe offers personal observations from the Greens’ economic conference, on how to do good — “to do good, first we must win” — and possibly, also on how to win

The convenor fires off two cheap shots, one not quite appreciated by his audience (a snipe about burning coal at Huntly, to air-condition the chilly late-afternoon room) and the other hugely enjoyed, including by butt of the joke Nick Smith.