David Clendon
Academic Freedom or Free Market?

The Minister for Tertiary Education seems determined to see our universities and wananga reduced to organisations whose purpose it is to sell a commodity called education to ‘consumers’ whose primary relationship with such organisations will be a  commercial one. The National Government today stayed true to their destructive agenda for the tertiary sector,  announcing their […]

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David Clendon
Improving productivity – one research paper at a time?

The latest report from the Productivity Commission, ‘Productivity by the Numbers : The New Zealand Experience”  offers a snapshot of the productivity performance of New Zealand’s economy.  Sadly, it confirms what is generally well known, that as a country we feature at the wrong end of the relevant statistics. We are told that “New Zealanders work about 15% […]

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David Clendon
If New Zealand was a banana, would we be getting sued?

There is a bit of a David and Goliath battle shaping up in the intellectual property domain, with NGO Fairtrade New Zealand and Australia taking on one of the world’s largest fruit suppliers, Dole bananas. Dole has been on notice that its so-called ‘ethical choice’  label is misleading.  A consumer might reasonably believe that it […]

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David Clendon
Round(ing)Up Auckland’s weeds? Who decides?

A couple of recent articles in the Aucklander  reveal that we might once again have to fight a battle that we thought was  ‘won’ more than a decade ago.   The old Auckland City and North Shore City councils had a largely chemical-free regime in place to manage roadside weeds, following many years of public concern and […]

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David Clendon
Anal-ysis, Corrections Style.

Most New Zealanders would agree that we live in a country where human rights are  protected, where we willingly comply with international agreements to treat people fairly and humanely, and civil rights are respected. Most of the time, they would be right.  Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly evident that in the case of people convicted or even accused of crimes, we are not […]

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David Clendon
Repeat after me: no environment, no economy…

The Government’s Minister in Charge of Many Things, Stephen Joyce, has become repetitive in his claim that those who oppose his economic agenda are simply anti-business, anti-jobs, anti-science,  anti-New Zealand making its way in the world.  This claim, most recently recounted in relation to the dirty deal being proposed to increase problem gambling in Auckland, is in equal […]

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David Clendon
New (private) prisons for old?

The Government’s announcements about prisons old and new are becoming more and more difficult to comprehend. We recently heard that despite a levelling off of the prison muster, and the government’s professed confidence that they have in place strategies to reduce offending and recidivism, Ministers Tolley and English have  nevertheless determined that we need yet […]

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David Clendon
Corrections fail to correct, justice perpetuates crime

Two reminders today that this (and  previous) governments’ punitive approach to crime and punishment is failing dismally, at enormous economic and social cost, and it needs to change. The Herald highlights the massive cost of building new prisons, with the proposed Wiri project having cost us over $20 million before construction even begins.  The prison […]

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David Clendon
Boom times for oil and gas?

This morning’s  Dominion article about ‘boom times’ for the gas and oil exploration industry is an intriguing, even slightly funny, mix of boosterism, drum beating and dissimulation. The Chair of PEPANZ appears almost breathless with excitement as he seeks to fulfil the primary objective of his organisation, “to publicise, promote and advance the interests of […]

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