Columns

Faith, and faith rewarded

Pat Veltkamp Smith

OPINION: While we find ourselves joining in the annual sigh - Christmas earlier every year - we know it is just not so.

Sad farewell to local govt mate

SOUTHERN FOCUS

Southern Focus

OPINION: It's not "The Big C" or any other macho terminology that sounds like a Texas ranch in a John Wayne movie. It's simply cancer. A word we should all feel familiar with.

Spotlight for Owen Gerrard was backstage

AND ANOTHER THING

Pat Veltkamp Smith

OPINION: It's true that cool climates produce some good theatre, Southland being a case in point.

Hall's demise marks era's end

AND ANOTHER THING

Pat Veltkamp Smith

OPINION: Isn't it weird how anticipatory we are getting and how apprehensive too?

Growth crucial, not optional

Southern Focus

OPINION: With the election over, we wait to see who will become ministers of the Crown and lead the various streams of work the new Government will focus on.

It's time to put down the put-downs

AND ANOTHER THING

Pat Veltkamp Smith

OPINION: Look, it might be OK to crack "seen better" to an idle flasher in the park but honestly, how often should we be using these put-down phrases?

Too many mis-steps for Labour

SOUTHERN FOCUS

Southern Focus

OPINION: It was with a huge collective sigh of relief that the most bizarre elections since Muldoon's gin-soaked snap election of 1984 finally came to an end.

Let's clear air on new rules

SOUTHERN FOCUS

Southern Focus

The recent introduction of proposed rules to improve air quality has got people's attention not just because we're taking action, but because it affects so many.

Doubts about internet voting

SOUTHERN FOCUS

Southern Focus

OPINION: Recently a bevy of beauties, celebrities and film stars appeared topless on the internet after a hacker got into "the cloud" and exposed them.

Fair wages won't make the sky fall in

FROM THE BEEHIVE

From the Beehive

OPINION: Last year, 46 per cent of working New Zealanders didn't get a wage increase. More people didn't get a pay rise last year than in the year before, even though we have been told things have got better.

Cup equation adds to zero

America's Cup

OPINION: New Zealand's dysfunctional relationship with the America's Cup is coming to an end.

Jolly bad show wherever you go

Rolf Harris at his trial

OPINION: Everyday Housewife Danyel Southwark shares her thoughts on the week past, as relayed by satirist Steve Braunias.

Water supply under threat

old man range

OPINION: Central Otago's horticulture and viticulture industries are critically dependent on a reliable supply of irrigation water.

Pest problem put on the table

Bruce Wills

OPINION: In making Time Magazine, Hell Pizza has achieved what New Zealand's Emissions Trading Scheme has so far struggled to get; global attention.

Southland economy among NZ's best

Bill English

OPINION: Economically, Southland has performed ahead of many other regions around New Zealand in recent years.

Cats and rugby pet subjects

Tim Shadbolt

OPINION: Poll: Life never seems to go to plan.

What's in a name?

Southland Times letter to the editor

OPINION: Ever since the Gore council did its rebranding and changed the district name to Go Re District, as indicated on sign as you enter the district and letter heads etc, it got me wondering why?

What came first?

Joe Bennett

OPINION: In the beginning was the word and the word was bang. Or so the boffins have been telling us since the 1920s, and the more they look into it the more it seems that they are right. The universe began with a bang about 13.8 billion years ago.

Let's milk that Aussie mateship

OPINION: What Shane Jones told Parliament regarding Countdown will probably not be news to thousands of current and former Australian dairy farmers. You see they're the ones who have footed the real cost of Australia's A$1 a litre supermarket milk war.

Making time for a catchup

SOUTHERN FOCUS

Southern Focus

We're known for being friendly in the Deep South. Visitors are always surprised by the warm welcome and cheerful nature of Southlanders. It's a great thing to be known for.

Low pain, low music tolerance

Joe Bennett

OPINION: Boffins in Kentucky confirmed what I'd known for 50 years, which was that I had a low pain threshold.

Needless invocations against disaster

Joe Bennett

OPINION: Thirty years ago on a flight from Vancouver to London I dropped a pen. Bending to pick it up and leaning into the aisle as I did so I collected a drinks trolley in the back of the skull.

Bill aims for safer workplaces

FROM THE BEEHIVE

Beehive

The biggest health and safety reforms in 20 years are one step closer with the introduction of the Health and Safety Reform Bill.

Health system in crisis

FROM THE BEEHIVE

Beehive

OPINION: Pearl Buck, winner of the 1938 Nobel Prize in Literature for her raw depiction of Chinese peasant life, once said "The test of a civilisation is the way that it cares for its helpless members."

Benefits should come our way

Tim Shadbolt

OPINION: Once again we have the opportunity to experience a wide range of events in and around Invercargill.

Going back to class

Joe Bennett

OPINION: Tomorrow I'm going teaching again. It's years since I did it. I accepted the school's invitation with delight.

Pest strategies crucial to region

SOUTHERN FOCUS

Southern Focus

OPINION: Given that Southland's economy is underpinned by agriculture, it's no surprise that the Southern Field Days at Waimumu is such a major biennial event.

The rate of change is accelerating

Joe Bennett

OPINION: I stopped in a country town to stretch my legs and eat a heavyweight pie.

Democratic process will decide candidate

FROM THE BEEHIVE

Beehive

At the next election, as most of you know, there will be a new MP for Southland. The question that I have been asked most since announcing I was standing down as MP is "who will be the next National candidate for Clutha- Southland?"

SIT get it right in Queenstown

SOUTHERN FOCUS

Southern Focus

O nce again the Southern Institute of Technology has made a brilliant strategic move with the construction of a large new luxury student apartment complex right next door to its campus in Queenstown. I was invited to stay a few nights to engage in a little quality control.

Focusing on child poverty

FROM THE BEEHIVE

Beehive

I am writing this in the evening of Waitangi Day, having spent the past week flying between Wellington, Christchurch and Ratana Pa twice in two weeks, Waitangi, and finally today at Otakou Marae outside Dunedin.

Suu Kyi's presidency dilemma

Gwynne Dyer

OPINION: Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner and champion of Burmese democracy, declared last June that she would run for president in the 2015 election.

Interrogating an eco-warrior

Joe Bennett

It isn't every day that I get to interview an eco-warrior, and today isn't every day.

Our history, our future

SOUTHERN FOCUS

Southern Focus

OPINION: T his week New Zealand took pause to recognise Waitangi Day, one of the most important days in our nation's history.

Peacocks leave feather bounty

Joe Bennett

OPINION: When I stopped smoking, peacocks arrived. I wrote about them and a few people wrote back expressing disbelief, either that I'd stopped smoking or that I had peacocks. But both things were true, and they remain true three months later.

Roads, drains, water and earthquakes

SOUTHERN FOCUS

Southern Focus

OPINION: What a magnificent week it was last week. The weather was kind. Crank Up was glorious.

Thanks for letting me serve you

FROM THE BEEHIVE

Beehive

OPINION: I made the decision earlier this month that I will not be seeking re-election to Parliament this year.

'The game's not over'

Gwynne Dyer

OPINION: It has taken a little longer than it did after the 1848 revolutions in Europe, but on the third anniversary of the Egyptian revolution we can definitely say that the "Arab Spring" is finished.

News eclipses Bieber's arrest

Joe Bennett

OPINION: I was going to write about the arrest of Justin Bieber. But I've just learned how a friend and former teacher died, and Bieber has shrunk from view.

French forestall CAR genocide

THE WORLD

Gwynne Dyer

OPINION: The Central African Republic (CAR) is one of the poorest and most inaccessible countries in the world.

Talking the talk

OPINION: Poll: Chit-chat matters. Small talk isn't so small if you are inept at it. Not only does life have far more awkward moments, but it can be a barrier reaching more comfortable, useful conversations.

A rich year of winners and sinners

Tim Shadbolt

OPINION: As January and the holiday season draws to a close and we prepare for the challenges of 2014, it is important to reflect on the year that was.

Survival of the flitted

Joe Bennett

OPINION: If there's a moral to this story I'd be surprised.

Passport's tyranny of time

Joe Bennett

OPINION: It happens perhaps half a dozen times during a life, and every time it's like a mini death. It happened to me last month. My passport expired.

Clean water up to urban areas too

SOUTHERN FOCUS

Southern Focus

OPINION: The rural activities that can and do have impacts on water quality have received plenty of attention and associated response from our council. It is good to see that most people who live and work in our rural areas are getting on board with best practice, which will minimise the impact they have on our rivers, streams, lakes and groundwater.

Celebrating unspoken manlove

Joe Bennett

Fifty years ago a florist tried it. Now it's the turn of a fast food outfit. To compare the two is to see how far we've come in half a century.

Migrant policies revisited

FROM THE BEEHIVE

Beehive

OPINION: The latest census reveals that Southland now boasts a diverse mix of people from around the world, enriching and enhancing our communities.

Stadium a great present for Southland

SOUTHERN FOCUS

Southern Focus

OPINION: As this will be my last column before Christmas I'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a relaxing New Year.

It's time dairying dumped denial

Bryce Johnson Fish And Game New Zealand

BRYCE JOHNSON

OPINION: It is time to stop bashing the messenger and avoiding the message to dairy farming over water quality.

Southland spirit to fore again

Southland Times photo

OPINION: The first six weeks of my time as Mayor of Southland have been a whir, with so much to learn and so many people to talk to.