Category: Weekly Column
Last week I received an anonymous copy of a Memo the Environment Minister Nick Smith had written to his caucus colleagues on 26 January this year, defending his Resource Management Act reforms. It advised National Party MPs on how to respond to concerns raised by the New Zealand Centre for Political Research.
Trying to stop humans producing carbon dioxide is very big business. Trillions of dollars a year are ploughed into projects linked to man-made global warming.
Sir Salman Rushdie understands the importance of free speech more than most. In 1988, the British writer was accused of insulting Islam in his fourth novel, The Satantic Verses. A year later a fatwa calling for his death was issued.
With an election just seven months away it’s useful to reflect on the changing nature of politics - on both the left and right of the political spectrum - and what influence it might have on New Zealand.
Over recent years Google and Facebook have become targets in a campaign questioning whether such successful international companies are paying their “fair share” of tax in the countries in which they operate.
If US President Donald Trump was the Prime Minister of New Zealand and heard what the Ministry for Primary Industries is doing to Biddy Fraser-Davies of Cwmglyn Cheese in Ekatahuna, he would undoubtedly call the head of that agency and say “You're fired”.
Waitangi Day has been steeped in local protest and controversy for years. That’s why Prime Minister Norman Kirk named it New Zealand Day when he turned it into a national holiday in 1973 - to signify that New Zealand was moving towards a broader concept of nationhood.
The carnage on New Zealand’s roads is continuing, with 326 fatalities last year - seven more than in 2015, and 30 more than in 2014. While one in four of the drivers were going too fast for the conditions, drugs and alcohol were factors in 40 percent of the crashes.
Political Correctness is being used by vested interest groups to force new norms of thought and behaviour onto society. Nowadays if you are not “sensitive” enough in embracing values such as “tolerance” and “diversity”, then you will be aggressively attacked and stigmatised by activist critics - including in the media.