Opinion

Camera footage defies belief

Demonstrators march toward the Ferguson Police Station in a protest against police brutality in the wake of 18-year-old Michael Brown's death.

Twenty-three years after Rodney King we are being confronted, almost on a daily basis, with footage of American police brutality.

Key shows ignorance

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 10:  New Zealand Prime Minister John Key talks to the media while Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy looks on at Parliament House on March 10, 2015 in Wellington, New Zealand. Fonterra and Federated Farmers received anonymous letters in November last year, threatening to contaminate baby formula with 1080 unless New Zealand stopped using the poison for pest control by the end of March.  (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

John Key picked a bad time to forget the name of the ISIS leader. And he picked the worst time to not care he didn't know.

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Zero-hour contracts shameful

15042015    News    photo: Warwick Smith/Fairfax NZ  
Protest against zero hour contracts outside McDonalds on Rangitikei St.

The wonder about zero-hour contracts is that more of a fuss hasn't made about them before now.

Talking about climate change

The Sanford mussel processing facility in Havelock.

Climate change came into consideration when Sanford announced it was likely to close its mussel plant in Christchurch.

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The spirit is still there

Trevor Chappell rolls the underarm delivery to Brian McKechnie, one of New Zealand's most controversial sporting moments.

You don't want to be too tediously anti-Aussie when it really matters. Or insufficiently, either.

Put closures in context

Police are closing 30 stations across the country.

The number of police stations is not a measure of public safety; the efficiency and effectiveness of the force generally is what matters.

Balancing risk and safety

Baillie Allison-White, 11, swings on a rope swing at Roly's Rock on the Waikaia River, watched by Douglas Hackett, 7, Vanessa Frederic and Margaret Hackett, 9, all of Invercargill.

People do need to remember that experience can be a cruel teacher.

Frustrated by property rules?

03042015 News Photo:Dean Kozanic/FairfaxNZ. Generic houses under construction and properties for sale in the Prestons development.

I am frequently made aware of rules and regulations that on the face of it appear to be confounding New Zealanders, especially in the housing sector.

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Ageing population matters

Finance minister Bill English's hopes of a surplus are slipping away.

A newspaper headline, "Ageing population doesn't matter: Bill English", suggests our Finance Minister is losing his political marbles.

Irony rules the waves

Team Luna Rossa boss Patrizio Bertelli withdrew his syndicate from the 2017 America's Cup after a controversial change of racing protocol.

Team NZ will be challenging the decision not to race in NZ but - like other teams - it recognises the wisdom of reducing costs.

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Housing plan in the balance

Housing New Zealand seems to be preparing to sell its Huntly housing stock, with locals reporting that properties are being done up and then boarded closed in preparation for sale. 58b Harris street (supposedly a Housing NZ house empty).

The priority given by the Key Government to housing in its third term was reflected in the post-election Cabinet reshuffle.

Unintended consequences

People identified by the mayor of Le Vernet as family members of the pilot of the Germanwings Airbus A320 react as they pay their respects at the memorial for the victims of the air disaster in the village of Le Vernet, near the crash site of the Germanwings Airbus A320 in French Alps March 28, 2015. The co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing a passenger plane in the French Alps told his girlfriend he was in psychiatric treatment, and that he was planning a spectacular gesture that everyone would remember, the German daily Bild reported on Saturday.  REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier       
ATTENTION EDITORS - FRENCH LAW REQUIRES THAT FACES OF MINORS ARE MASKED IN PUBLICATIONS WITHIN FRANCE

The "law of unintended consequences" is often invoked by advocates of small government and minimal regulation.

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Say it out loud, Charles

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 26:  Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attends a reception to launch 'Travels To My Elephant' at Clarence House on March 26, 2015 in London, England. In November 2015 a fleet of thirty rickshaws will journey 500km across Madhya Pradesh, India, in a race to save Asias elephants from extinction.   (Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool /Getty Images)

Prince Charles was hardly writing to Government powerbrokers to chat. His "black spider memos" apparently sought to champion his causes.

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Six and not out

New Zealand's Grant Elliot reacts after hitting a six to win their Cricket World Cup semi-final match against South Africa.

Who flinched from the cricket? Lots of us did.

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Skill of keeping options open

Daniel Vettori takes a one handed catch to dismiss Samuels during the ICC Cricket World Cup quarter final match between New Zealand Black Caps and the West Indies, Wellington, New Zealand. Saturday 21March 2015. Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.co.nz

Former Express editor Lance Dodd considers his loyalties as the Cricket World Cup gets to the pointy end.

Litigation row

ST BEDE'S ROWERS: Jordan Kennedy and Jack Bell

The parents of St Bede's rowers taking the school to court should think good and hard about the pyrrhic nature of this victory.

The wind-down from summer

Autumn is beckoning but my thoughts are still with summer and our annual family pilgrimage to Golden Bay. It's a ritual we've observed for 50 years and now there is a third generation enjoying the best swimming beach in that region (which shall remain nameless to discourage an increase in people using it).

Religion not cause of wars - scholar

Religious wars have been fought for millennia but a visiting scholar says religion isn't the cause.

Quick response not enough

17032015. News. Photo supplied / NZDF
Two New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) C-130 Hercules aircraft from No. 40 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), arrived in Vanuatu with consignments of aid for the stricken country in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Pam. The consignments included first aids kits, tarpaulins for emergency shelter, water containers, chainsaw packs and generators. Specialist personnel the NZDF Deployable Joint Inter-Agency Task Force (DJIATF) and from New Zealand Government agencies and the New Zealand Red Cross were also aboard one of the Hercules, to assist in providing advice to the High Commission and to help carry out a needs assessment which will shape further assistance. On the return flights to Auckland, both Hercules aircraft repatriated New Zealanders caught in the devastation in Vanuatu.

Scenes of devastation in the area around Port Vila in Vanuatu. A local villager who was injured when hit by masonry caused by a shipping container breaking through a concrete wall.

New Zealand still has a lot of stepping up to do for storm-tossed Pacific nations, particularly Vanuatu.

Make sure you are well represented

A fisherman casts his rod in the hope of catching a blue cod in the Marlborough
Sounds. Regulations covering cod fishing are being discussed at consultation
meetings in Nelson tonight and Picton tomorrow.

Blue cod regulations commentator Hugh Shields asks some questions before consultation meetings in Nelson and Picton.

Lest ye be judged, eh?

Beau Monga, Nofo Lameko and Joseph Irvine were among those who auditioned for the second season of the X Factor.

X-Factor has all the integrity, and just a bit of the methology, of pro-wrestling.

Community with a healthy heart

If you want to get sick somewhere, you might choose Kaikoura.

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