Let’s have more outsiders


John Allen was described as an outsider on Q&A this morning, the first non-diplomat to serves as secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

If he’s only half as impressive as he sounds, he’s a very good advertisement for recruiting more outsiders.

You can read a transcript on the interview by Guyon Espiner here or watch the interview here.

Aussie recession package helps NZ


“How’s business?” I asked the owner of a souvenir shop & cafe.

“We’re seeing lots of Aussies, and they tell me they’re spending the recession busting payouts they got from their government,” she replied.

Foreign aid wasn’t the intention of the Rudd government when they gave their citizens a cash boost to keep the Australian economy going. But it’s a wonderful example of unintended conseuqences.

Potential for savings confirmed


Paul Holmes interviewed someone on Q&A this morning.

I didn’t catch her name, I’m not sure of her title and the interview isn’t online yet. But she was from the Families Commission.

The interview confirmed my contention that the multi-million dollar budget allocated to would be better spent on other initiatives which make a positive difference to families.

And that was before Paul asked her why the Commission made a submission calling for Maori seats on the new Auckland council.

The interview will be online here soon.

UPDATE: The interviewee was Dr Jan Pryor, the Families Commission’s chief commissioner.

Scheduling shame


Q&A won the award for best current affairs series at last night’s Qantas Awards.

It’s a pity that it screens at 9 o’clock on Sunday mornings.

It doesn’t have a lot of competition. But if it’s the best current affairs programme in the country, TVNZ should schedule it at a time when it would be more convenient for more people to watch it.

Let’s have a referendum on . . .


. . . whether we should have a referendum on whether we should waste money having a referendum on whether or not referenda should be binding.

Or how about a referendum asking: is a man who wants a referendum on whether referenda should be binding more interested in furthering his own political career than in the outcome?

Larry Baldock doesn’t like the government’s response to the child discipline referendum. But if he wants to change the law he’d be far better gathering evidence on how it’s not working which might lead to a change, than grandstanding which won’t.

Oh and that’s real evidence of real problems with the law, not acting as cheerleader for a parent who administers anything more than a smack which is transitory and trifling.

September 6 in history


On September 6:

1522 The ship Victoria  returned to Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Spain and became the first ship to circumnavigate the world.

Replica of the Victoria, built in 1992.
1620 The Pilgrims set sail from Plymouth, England, on the Mayflower, to settle in North America.
1870 Louisa Ann Swain became the first woman to legally cast a vote in the USA.
1948 New Zealand citizenship was established by the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act. Before it came into force, people born in New Zealand were British subjects but not New Zealand citizens.
1963 USA author Alice Sebold was born.
1968  Swaziland became independent.

Sourced from Wikipedia & NZ History Online.

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