Latest Column

Dr Muriel Newman

Race-based Water Rights a Step Closer

While no-one can own freshwater in New Zealand, iwi leaders are pushing the government for race-based rights akin to ownership. They know that control of water brings power. They also know that water is big business. The Ministry for the Environment puts the economic value of New Zealand’s water at $34.85 billion a year – iwi corporations want a permanent share.

Latest Guest

Judge Anthony Willy

Water yours mine or nobody’s

The ownership of water is coming to the top of the political agenda with sinister connotations that it can be bought and sold and allocated on the basis of race. Before public opinion is led down this road to hell it is timely to revert to first principles and to consider just what it is the politicians and their in house advisors are dealing with.

This Month On NZCPR

Dr Muriel Newman

Drunkenness is no excuse

If New Zealanders continue to believe that alcohol causes people to behave badly, we should expect undesirable conduct in and around drinking venues. The script needs to be changed from excusing such conduct to, “You are in control of your behaviour at all times. Drunkenness is no excuse.”


Dr Anne Fox

Alcohol and behaviour in New Zealand

One of the strongest and most universal beliefs we encountered in our research among adult New Zealanders is in alcohol’s transformational powers. A belief in the ‘disinhibiting’ power of alcohol runs through New Zealand society from the youngest to the oldest.


Dr Muriel Newman

Law Making Pitfalls

One of the roles of the New Zealand Centre for Political Research public policy think tank is to keep an eye on the government’s legislative agenda and to remind readers of their opportunity to contribute to the law-making process.


Ian Harrison

Error Prone Bureaucracy

In December 2013, draft legislation was introduced into Parliament to amend the way the Building Act deals with seismic risk to buildings. The key element in the legislation is the ‘earthquake prone’ building definition.


Dr Muriel Newman

Irony in Northland By-election Result

The Northland by-election is a significant win for Winston Peters. In the short-term it takes away from National the luxury of being able to pass legislation without having to kowtow to Peter Dunne and the Maori Party.


Dr Phil McDermott

Resource Management for the 21st Century

The 1991 Resource Management Act (RMA) is under fire because it is seen in many quarters as an impediment to much-needed investment in housing and business. At the same time, communities are concerned that the Act is not serving the environment well,


Dr Muriel Newman

Public say NO to Maori seats on Council

The result of the Far North District Council’s referendum on the establishment Maori seats was released last week. Voters in Northland have said a resounding “No” to Maori seats on their local council, by a two to one margin.


Judge Anthony Willy

Sovereignty in New Zealand

The official British Government position concerning who exercised sovereignty over New Zealand at the beginning of the ninetieth century is summarised in the instructions given by Lord Normanby to his appointed Consul Captain William Hobson before he sailed for New Zealand on the 25th August 1839.