This week I won a national writing award for my book for schools, The New Zealand Wars. The Storylines Notable Book lists included this title in its YA non-fiction category. I’m quite pleased about that. I wrote the book intentionally for the YA market, but it’s there for all ages and is intended as a … More I won a national writing award
New Zealand has a fantastic record of biosecurity. We are the only country in the world to have eliminated microplasma bovis from the cattle population. We eliminated hydatids from the sheep population. We got rid of fireblight from the apples. And recently we also eliminated pea weevil where it had arrived in the Wairarapa. New … More New Zealand’s looming failure to control Covid
This week Oratia Books released the third edition of my short book The New Zealand Wars. I wrote it originally in 2005 as a kids’ book, expanded into a version for high-school readers in 2014 – and now it’s been released in an all-new edition with further revisions, new picture selection, and more. It brings … More The New Zealand Wars – out now!
New Zealand is amidst a grave housing crisis just now. It was predictable. The National government that came to power in 2008 also initiated one of the largest immigration booms since the 1870s. But they didn’t alter neo-liberal era planning laws relating to land use – meaning new housing districts weren’t developed. And what was … More The way out of New Zealand’s housing crisis
Dear Jacinda, It’s nearly six months since your government came to power with the first clear majority any party has had since MMP began, on the public expectation that you would lead the country out of the neo-liberal framework that has driven so many social problems. Instead, all that’s happened is – nothing. And then, … More Kindness is not enough – an open letter to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
In the early hours of Friday morning a lot of people in New Zealand’s North Island, including me, were shaken awake by a significant quake about 100 km off Te Araroa, a township on the East Cape – magnitude 7.1, and a depth of 90 km, which is why it was so widely felt. Quakes … More Will New Zealand’s offshore quakes of 5 March 2021 trigger more?
New Zealand’s upcoming election is, without question, one of the most important the country has held in decades. It isn’t just a matter of policies to manoeuvre the country through the churning waters of Covid-19. It’s more fundamental. The neo-liberal paradigm that has essentially been the governmental ‘operating system’ since the 1980s is well past … More The most important election in decades
One of the things that has puzzled a lot of people about the Covid-19 is why it affects some people very severely – even to death – and yet others can be completely asymptomatic and not even know they had it. This very wide range of possible severity has fuelled a good deal of ill-informed … More Why Covid-19 affects some and not others – maybe
Back in 2019 New Zealand was listed on the EIU Democracy Index as the fourth best democracy in the world with a score of 9.26. That follows Norway (9.87), Iceland (9.58) and Sweden (9.39). To put that in perspective, the top twenty two countries of the 167 listed are classed as ‘full democracies’. And New … More What it’s like in the fourth best democracy in the world
It’s seventy nine years this week since the battle for Crete reached its bitter end with the defeat of an ad-hoc force of British, Australian, New Zealand and Greek troops at the hands of crack German paratroopers. Exactly how and why the island fell has been subject to a good deal of historical debate, not … More Remembering the battle for Crete