Murray McCully

People are starting to demand someone's - anyone's! - head over the Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail diplomatic immunity escapade. What's the rush?, I say.

Everyone just needs to calm down a bit about the whole Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail saga. Because some people who ought to know better, as well as some people who never will, are starting to make some pretty silly statements about the matter.

Words are easy. Don’t just ask the world to vote for New Zealand to get on the UN Security Council because “Our foreign policy has been tested by significant confrontations with some major powers, when we have proved our independence and resilience".

Show the world what we mean.  Show we deserve a position of global leadership.

We need to push strongly for the United Nations to stand up to Russia’s violation of international law and the sovereignty of Ukraine.

Ukraine is nascent democracy. New Zealand is a small one. There is only one side we can be on in a confrontation between a big bully and a small country struggling to make itself free.

Fiji is getting a strong dose of khaki democracy as its de facto military rulers shift from “go slow” to “go fast” on the road to elections they’ve promised next year. It’s a shift that could create big problems forNew Zealand.

This week, Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama is coming home to a stormy political scene in the country he’s ruled for six years after Fiji’s fourth and latest coup. He’s been in New York, for Fiji’s installation in the chair of the G77 group of 119 developing nations plus China– a move that marks his country’s growing international influence as the world moves into the Age of the Pacific.

The New Zealand-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan has been presented as a model for building security and stability in Afghanistan – but the cracks are showing as insurgents step up the pressure.

Saturday, 4 August 2011, is New Zealand’s blackest day – so far - in the longest war in our history .Two New Zealand soldiers have been killed, six of their unit wounded. Two members of the Afghan police squad they’d been sent to assist were also killed, 11 of their colleagues wounded.

The government has been as twinkle-toed as a winger five metres from the try-line in its handling of the opening night chaos down on the Auckland waterfront. Here's the government's playbook laid bare...

If only the government's event management was as good as its political management. Its performance in the days following the weekend's crowd chaos on the Auckland waterfront has been deft, comfortably outmanoeuvring the Auckland Council.