Jane Kelsey's court victory over the evil MFAT/Tim Groser empire is probably too little, too late for her campaign against the TPPA. But it sends some important messages to a range of public actors in New Zealand's governing arrangements.
by Andrew Geddis
A couple of recent cases show that being right about the law isn't enough - you also need to get the courts to do what you want. Because if you can't, you may even end up worse off than when you started.
In any court case, there are (at least) two big questions. The first is, what does the law say about the matter? Then there is the second; given what the law says, what will the court do as a consequence?
If the Trans-Pacific Partnership becomes an Agreement, New Zealand will become bound by a set of "Investor State Dispute Settlement" procedures. What are these, and why should anyone care?
I write this not knowing whether the Trans-Pacific Partnership will become an Agreement or merely a very long, stressful yet ultimately fruitless set of negotiations. I also write this with an admitted lack of expertise in the issue of international trade and economics.
Parliament's powerful Privileges Committee has had a hard look at how social media is being used to report on Parliament ... and decided that everything is working pretty much fine as it is. Hooray!
Parliament's powerful Privileges Committee – it is, apparently, mandatory to refer to it as such in print, so I shall shorten the term to PPPC or P3C – has just put out a report on "the use of social media to report on parliamentary proceedings".
Will taking the Union Jack off New Zealand's flag "open the gates of hell" and give John Key absolute power? No. No it won't.
So last night I had a bit of fun on TV3's Story, commenting on the conspiracy doing the rounds in cyberspace about the real reason behind the push to change New Zealand's flag.
The reasons given for imposing an order stopping anyone from being able to access Into the River do not justify it. The order is wrong.
Yesterday I wrote this post on the decision by the President of the Film and Literature Board of Review, Dr Don Mathieson, to issue an "interim restriction order" in respect of the young adult novel, Into the River.
Just how dangerous can a book be? And in order to combat that danger, how far should our expressive freedoms be restrained?
The young adult's novel, Into the River, certainly seems to divide folks. I should note at the outset that while some unkind souls may say that I behave as if I'm smack in the middle of the book's target demographic market, I haven't read it.
New Zealand is a country that stands up for its values - unless it involves the inconvenience of bringing a few more desperate people into New Zealand for a new life.
Back in February of this year, the House debated a Prime Ministerial statement on New Zealand's contribution of some 143 military personnel to help combat ISIS in Iraq.
Apparently, we have to vote twice to decide whether we prefer the current flag to something else. So why was one vote enough when we were voting on our electoral system?
I really don't care very much about the whole debate over changing the flag. It just doesn't move me all that much. I have no great fondness for the current design, but equally none of the forty alternatives particularly grip my emotions or imagination.
The only reason that makes any sense for giving a Saudi sheep breeder an $11 million farm is because we thought it might buy us a Free Trade Agreement with his country. It's a good thing that we're not a corrupt nation, isn't it?
Let's start off by giving the National Government a bit of a lifeline on the whole "Sheep-to-Sand" saga. Bacause by post's end I'll be using it to hang the Government's handling of the matter.