Category: Weekly Column

Dr Muriel Newman

Charging for Water

Last month, during his regular Post Cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Bill English was ‘grilled’ about whether he intended putting a charge on fresh water that is being commercially bottled and exported.


Dr Muriel Newman

Supporting Free Speech

The freedom of expression is crucial to the healthy functioning of a democracy. The media, as the ‘fourth estate’ - the fourth pillar of a free democracy alongside the Executive, Parliament, and the Judiciary - plays a central role in defending free speech and holding the government to account. The Human Rights Commission has undermined media freedom...


Dr Muriel Newman

Addressing Child Abuse

Last week, Anne Tolley launched the new vulnerable children’s service to replace the Child Youth and Family agency. You can’t doubt the Minister's sincerity, but she's facing an uphill battle unless other laws that are contributing to the problem are changed as well.


Dr Muriel Newman

National’s RMA Changes - a major constitutional victory for Iwi Leaders

I have sent a letter to the Prime Minister appealing to him to stop the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill. We feel so strongly about this, that we are publishing the letter in the Sunday Newspapers - so the public can better understand what’s going on and add their voice to our appeal to the PM to stop the Bill.


Dr Muriel Newman

Education in Need of Reform

The performance of New Zealand school children in international tests has been falling over the years. Meanwhile, countries like Singapore have gone from strength to strength.


Dr Muriel Newman

An Abomination of a Bill

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.


Dr Muriel Newman

Climate change data fabricated

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.


Dr Muriel Newman

Hate Speech

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.


Dr Muriel Newman

Election Year Politics

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.


Dr Muriel Newman

Taxing Commercial Charities

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.