Bill Clinton famously tried to redefine some of the English language to explain away previous denials of his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Political definitions can be quite elastic and so it may be with a few key words in John Key’s assurance to the Maori Party – "ownership", "rights and interests" and even "not".
More questions are raised than settled by the joint statement, writes Audrey Young: "Unless the Maori Party and the government agree on what ownership means, its concession in the joint statement is meaningless" – see: Water ownership remains ill defined.
Young also makes the point that what works as a soundbite has little bearing on the real decisions that will dictate the final outcome: "whatever agreements they reach, they have no control over other Maori to claim ownership rights over specific waters and have the courts uphold them".
The Greens will be much harder to keep onside than the Maori Party writes Jane Clifton – see Minority Report.
The first of the Government’s welfare reform bills have been passed by National, ACT, United Future and the Maori Party – see: Isaac Davison’s Welfare reform bill passed into law. But Danya Levy reports, Protests won't stop.
It’s not often that big corporates attempt to politicise their customers, but tobacco firm Philip Morris is attempting to get smokers involved in the political process with the establishment of a new website: www.myopinioncounts.
co.nz– see also, Teuila Fuatai’s Big tobacco fights to beat NZ's rules. The tobacco company says the website can be used to share views with politicians and lobby groups.
How much leeway should we be giving the police to film our everyday lives? Currently the police seem to take the view that "anything goes", but questions are being asked about citizen rights to privacy – see Joelle Dally’s Police filming raises privacy question.
Ngai Tahu won’t be too impressed with today’s Press column by Tahu Potiki – see: Iwi could do well to follow Apiata, Glenn. Potiki says that "Ngai Tahu has spent more than $80m since settlement on bureaucracy, political manoeuvring, governance and public relations. They have spent nothing like that on housing, health, welfare and domestic safety of their tribal members".
Light-hearted banter or political gaffe? "Morrisonsville girl" Jacinda Ardern has been offending Hamiltonians – see Nikki Preston’s MP's housing quip riles councilors.
Yet another journalist is departing for "the other side" – the Listener’s Joanne Black is taking a job as a press secretary for Bill English – see the report by the Herald’s Insider – MPs that just can't catch a break, which says that "Black will be able to commute with her husband [Grant Johnston], who is a senior policy adviser to the PM". The Herald’s "Insider" also reports that although Parliament is back at work this week, some MPs are off on parliamentary travel to Washington, Samoa, Tonga, Niue and New Caledonia. A barb is also directed at the Greens' Julie Ann Genter, for getting "stuck into the Government over the Transport Agency's big spend-up on consultants", while "in her past life Genter was a transport consultant who didn't mind doing work for civil servants".
Financial incentives for teachers are likely to see effort focused on those who need it least, rather than those who really need the attention, writes Jim Traue – see: Disadvantaged students at risk.
Life expectancy will rise faster than previously thought, with implications for the cost of supporting the retired –see: Eloise Gibson’s Longer lifespans lift Super cost.
- Kiwirail seems to have had the same experience many consumers have suffered when buying cheap Chinese goods – see: Paul Harper’s Brakes to be replaced on KiwiRail's new wagons. With plans to buy new locomotives from China as well Gordon Campbell wonders if Kiwirail and the taxpayers really are getting a bargain – see: On KiwiRail’s outsourcing bungle with the Chinese.
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