The other day I happened to be grocery shopping in a nearby supermarket that markets itself on ‘low, low prices’ that ‘save’ the customer money. In the fruit and veggie section they’d piled a fair quantity of telegraph cucumbers which were ‘extra low’. Apparently. Personally I don’t think $4.99 is ‘extra low’, especially when it … More How supermarkets lie to you
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
I have a new book out next week. The battlecruiser New Zealand – a gift to Empire is being published in Britain by Seaforth, and in the United States by USNI Press. A little later this year it’s also being published in New Zealand by Oratia Books. It’s a very special book to me because … More The battlecruiser New Zealand – a gift to Empire
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
A little ago I encountered someone whose arguments highlighted how conspiracy theorists get traction, and how they disable any who object. Let me explain. On the night of 16-17 January 1945, U-862 – under Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Timm – cruised across Hawke Bay on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island and loitered off Napier … More How conspiracy theorists get traction
To mark New Zealand’s memorial day this year I’m re-posting an except from one of my books, which I published a few years back. Enjoy. Today, 25 April, is New Zealand’s memorial day – Anzac Day. It’s the day when we remember all our war dead, more than half of whom died in just one … More Lest we forget: Gallipoli, the Western Front and war memory
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?
Just now the New Zealand property market has gone into turbo mode. It’s been hot for the past few years. Now it’s gone mad – and this in the middle of the deepest recession the country has seen since the 1930s. The country has long had a tradition of home ownership. Back in the nineteenth … More Why are houses so expensive in New Zealand?
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
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