Letter from...

After a wee holiday, some thoughts on how the new government should play its hand... and reflections on some good decisions that laid the ground for the 'coalition of losers'

In case you've been wondering, yes, I've been away for a bit. Taking Winston Peters at his word, I felt comfortable planning a holiday in the US from October 13. Well, that'll learn me! I got to watch him announce New Zealand First's choice of coalition partner sitting up in bed in Los Angeles.

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 Young is happier even than Sue Bradford and Deborah Coddington were to leave parliament. More satisfied than Nicky Hager was when Don Brash stepped down. He is chirpier even than… Tim Watkin.

I left my job at TVNZ eighteen months ago to move to Denmark. It was not such a culture shock: just like New Zealand’s state broadcaster these days, Denmark is mainly occupied by beautiful blondes.

The case of a "Holocaust Denier on Campus" offered Waikato University some important, difficult lessons. Did it take them onboard?

How is it that Waikato University, that famous bastion of political correctness, finds itself repeatedly embroiled in controversies involving members of the unpalatable far right?

The simple and obvious answer to this question? Because Waikato University's management keeps mucking up.

Education bureaucrats want to dump the only spelling rule that I can remember

The stuff filling the newspapers in NZ has seemed a bit predictable over the last few days.