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...


Professor Paul Moon

Freedom of speech in New Zealand's universities under attack

A plea for free speech in our universities might seem about as unnecessary as a demand that all people be treated equally under the law. After all, the Education Act asserts clearly the right of academics to speak as critics and consciences of society – supposedly securing universities as bastions of independent thought and open expression.


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.


Bruce Tichbon

Our Family Law – times are changing

Our family law system has the characteristics of a cultural and ideological war, where the ‘facts’ too often have the properties of propaganda and policy is seemingly developed politically rather than by sound social research. We urgently need a total change of direction.


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.


Rodney Hide

State subsidies worsen tribal favouritism

The approach by successive governments to Maori economic development is a triumph of hope over understanding and experience. More darkly, it’s the triumph of politics over what is good and just.


Stephen Franks

Resource Legislation Amendment Bill: Mana Whakahono a Rohe

The new Mana Whakahono a Rohe provisions in the 2nd reading version of the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill could result in iwi decision-making and enforcement powers on resource consent applications.


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.


Professor Sing-Kong Lee

Singapore's Education System: Some Key Success Factors

The key question asked by many educators and policy makers alike is, how did students in Singapore managed to perform well in both the PISA and TIMSS? What are some possible success factors? To excel in these internationally benchmarked assessments, students have to demonstrate knowledge and additionally, they have to demonstrate the ability to apply their knowledge well to solve real-life problems. How did this happen?


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.