Dunne Speaks – Panama Papers highlights unintended consequences

New Zealand’s tax system is generally well-regarded. In part that is because of our focus on a broad base, low rate approach to personal and corporate taxation, and in part it is because our system is relatively easy to comply with as a consequence. While businesses can offset some of their expenses against their tax […]

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Dunne Speaks: UNGASS 2016

This week I have been attending the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS), the first such meeting since 1998, and the first major international review of drug policy since 1998. A great deal has changed in that time. The advent of more than 600 new psychoactive substances alone is evidence of that. […]

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Children must be at the heart of public policy

1978 was a most extraordinary year. It was the year when in just over a month there were three Popes. Also, it was the year the racist white regime in Rhodesia finally agreed to African majority rule in the new nation of Zimbabwe. Jim Jones gave new impetus to the dangers posed by religious cults […]

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Has the last Governor General been appointed?

Congratulations to Dame Patsy Reddy on her appointment as New Zealand’s next Governor-General. She is another outstanding selection in that now long line of impressive New Zealanders to hold the office, and I have no doubt she will do a superb job and quickly earn the respect of New Zealanders. However, she should be the […]

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Cullen Report Rates Just a ‘B’

The long awaited report of the first ever full and independent review of our security services has just come out. But despite the prudent calls last week from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Judge Cheryl Gwyn, for as much openness and transparency as possible about the review, things did not get off to a […]

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The Student Loan Debt Monster Rampages On

Student loan debt has just hit $15 billion and is likely to increase further. Despite various efforts by successive government over the years to curb debt levels, and significant progress along the way in tracking down recalcitrant borrowers notwithstanding, the debt monster rampages on. The problem is what to do about it. There have been […]

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What have Amnesty International and the Family Violence Review Committee Have In Common?

Two reports caught my eye this week. First was the Amnesty International Report on Human Rights in New Zealand, and the second was the report of the Family Violence Review Committee on the state of domestic violence in New Zealand. Amnesty International was critical of a number of aspects of human rights in New Zealand, […]

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Funding the Health Service

One of the more pointless but recurring debates, no matter which government is in office, relates to the level of spending on the public health system. Currently, Labour says there have been $1.7 billion of health cutbacks over the last five years, which National counters by pointing out that health spending has gone up by […]

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I agree with Labour on the TPP…

I agree with the Labour Party on the TPP. Well, some of what it is saying anyway. Actually, to be more accurate, some of what Andrew Little is saying, because everyone else in his Caucus seems to be trying to cover all sides of the argument, all of the time. No, I agree with Andrew […]

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Dunne Speaks: The Farce of State of the Nation Addresses

There used to be a State opening of Parliament every year, complete with a Speech from the Throne setting out the government’s agenda. That was followed by a full Address-in-Reply Debate, where most MPs spoke, on what was said or not said, as the case may be. Nowadays, we have an annual Prime Minister’s Statement. […]

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