OPINION: Further abusing those whose lives have often been long sequences of abuse and addiction is no answer.
OPINION: There's no need for panic, but the sector does seem to have lost steam.
OPINION: Considering the urgent need for action on climate change, can it really be wise to bet on diesel trains?
There is a strong case for banning liquor ads in sport. This is not wowserism or ivory-tower puritanism. It is a rational response to the dreadful harm caused by abuse of alcohol.
President Obama's final speech reminds New Zealand that its relationship with the United States is about to become more difficult. Just how difficult, remains to be seen.
OPINION: Everyone knows about Australia's aggressive trawl to find foreigners on its soil with a criminal history, so it can boot them out.
Say something is "unfair" and a stiff argument will always follow. And the most damaging form of unfairness is the double standard.
Dairy farmers hate the "dirty dairying" tag. They claim they are doing their best to clean up our rivers and lakes and that the critics are being unfair.
OPINION: It is not acceptable to ask the country's leader to such an event and then ban him from speaking.
Democracies don't like banning books. The proof of this is the recent decision in Germany to allow the publication of Hitler's Mein Kampf for the first time since World War II. Hitler and his book are the enemies of democracy and everything it represents. Yet German democracy has finally allowed his voice now to be freely heard in its original tongue.
The holiday road toll was shockingly high and the human cost was awful. All the 19 who died left grieving friends and family. Seven more died than in the same period last year.
The sight of a pregnant woman smoking is not only sad in itself. It is a poignant sign of the addictive power of tobacco, since everyone knows how dangerous smoking is to the unborn child. Nearly all mothers-to-be understand that the habit is harmful. Yet some 15 per cent of Kiwi women still smoke during pregnancy.
Russian hackers tried to subvert the American election, and now outgoing president Obama has decided to do something about it. His sanctions against Putin's hackers come much later than they should have, but they are certainly justified. The hacking is an attack not just on American sovereignty but on American democracy itself.
This year is election year, and two questions arise. Can the National-led Government pull off the almost-impossible by winning a fourth term? And will some form of Trumpism come to New Zealand?
OPINION: This was a year of rejections - and dashes for the exit.
OPINION: Who lasts most vividly in the memory of the endless franchise launched by George Lucas? The princess, of course.
OPINION: Bill English is the first list MP to become prime minister. This is a good thing and should become the norm in future.
OPINION: It's not unfair - such taxes are a dime a dozen internationally.
OPINION: Every place needs its great shared institutions.
OPINION: The garden would be a welcome addition to the city, but not on the waterfront.
A ferry which loses a propeller is like an airliner that sheds an engine. These are not only spectacular failures, they are a PR disaster. So it was with the notorious incident when KiwiRail's Aratere dropped its propeller near Tory Channel in November 2013.
The Mt Albert by-election has caused an outburst of predictable blustering by the politicians. Prime Minister Bill English says National won't stand a candidate because it's focused on winning the 2017 general election. Labour's Annette King cries "chicken" and says National should call an early election.
Bill English's "refreshment" of Cabinet amounts to very little. Those who wanted real changes in personnel and policy will be disappointed. But English has clearly decided that his government will be much the same as John Key's and that this is his best hope for a fourth term.
The stiff jail setnence for a man convicted of human trafficking is a welcome punishment for a horrible crime. Faroz Ali, 46, is the first person convicted of this offence in New Zealand, and will serve nine and a half years.
OPINION: He's got one of the hardest jobs but Gerry Brownlee should know by now how to treat people.
NZ Rugby now has a woman board member for the first time in its 124-year-history. That's a good start, even if it comes absurdly late. It also shows how much further rugby has to go.
Bill English says the Government can do a better job of supporting "the most vulnerable." It can and it should. But exactly how does the new prime minister propose to do that?
Ageism makes no sense when the economy needs older workers. But still the prejudice persists, as Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell points out, even though it's both stupid and destructive.
OPINION: Each project that is shouted down, or sneered at, is a blow to affordability.
Prime Minister-elect Bill English promises renewal of the National-led Government. One place he could start renewing things would be in Cabinet.