Blog

New Zealand's involvement in North Korea - TOP

One thing about North Korea (DPRK) – and for that matter South Korea (ROK) – is that hyperbole is stock-in-trade in political speak. The rhetoric more often than not gets in the way of the reality of what is being asserted or claimed. For us in the West, the Koreans use of the English language can often be quite funny because of its puffed up hyperbole.

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Responsible Immigration in New Zealand - TOP

On the back of National’s tinkering and the kneejerk reaction from Labour and New Zealand First, immigration looks set to be an election issue. It certainly is important, but we need to have a conversation based on the facts, rather than hysteria and xenophobia. Let’s review a few of the facts in light of the announcements in recent days.

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Pollution and Dairy Farming in NZ: A way Forward - TOP

In the late eighties and early nineties, New Zealand was virtually devoid of any type of overarching agricultural regulation. Conversely, regulation in agriculture was commonplace in most first world countries at this time.

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National’s Immigration Policy. Is it good for New Zealand? - TOP

It’s great news the Minister of Immigration Michael Woodhouse has indicated some tightening of immigration laws. That he has acknowledged that people on the median wage or lower are perhaps not as skilled a category of immigrant as New Zealand needs, is a long overdue admission that National’s immigration policy is about as far from a skill-based strategy as one could get. So that’s progress.

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New Zealand's Public Service Sector: Really That Public? - TOP

It is becoming increasingly clear that our public sector is shackled to their Ministerial masters. The Opportunities Party had our own, very innocent, taste of this last week. 

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From Trickle Down to being Trickled On

One of the often heard regrets from employers is how they can’t get labour from the local market. They resort as much as possible to getting the Immigration Department to approve the importation of labour from abroad. We’re not talking highly skilled labour here; we’re talking about those with middle-of-the-road or lower skill sets primarily.

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Is Climate Change Ruining Your Easter Weekend?

The question on everyone’s lips this weekend is whether this is bad weather or climate change? Of course we have always had bad weather but the evidence is clear; climate change is making bad weather events more frequent, and it is only going to get worse.

 

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TOP’s Social Housing Policy

We need more and better social housing. How would TOP’s policy achieve this? We’ve had a lot of questions on this. 

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Good Debt, Bad Debt

We’ve had a lot of questions about TOP’s position on debt. On one level debt is a pretty simple concept; borrowing money to invest is pretty normal. If as a business or household you can borrow money to buy something that makes your life easier, better or more productive, at least enough to pay the loan back, then it is a good thing. This is how investment, economic growth and the financial system interact. Lenders are in the business of assessing risk and measuring collateral (the assets that back the loan). 

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Immigration: Can be good, isn’t always

The comments by Auckland University Ananish Chaudhuri that immigrants are a gain not a drain need qualification. It is certainly not universally true and would be better phrased as immigration can provide a gain, rather than implying that is always the case. 

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