Dunne Speaks – Flag referendum an opportunity for wider discussion on identity

Welcome to 2016! May the year ahead fulfil your dreams and aspirations. 2016 has begun with New Zealand continuing to tiptoe – always seemingly reluctantly and certainly gingerly – around the issues of its identity and future. The upcoming vote on the flag is the obvious current example. Changing our national ensign to represent something […]

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Dunne Speaks: Jihad Brides??

10 December 2015 So, according to the Security Intelligence Service, increasing numbers of young New Zealand women are off to Syria to become what have been called “jihadi brides.” Well, actually, there are not that many. Of the thousands of foreign fighters in Syria, and assumed to be fighting for ISIL, it is understood that […]

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Dunne Speaks: Time to stop barbarism in the Southern Ocean

The announcement that Japan intends to resume scientific whaling, as it prefers to call blatant slaughter, in the Southern Ocean this season received surprisingly scant attention last week. There were the ritualistic expressions of outrage, the perfunctory Government statement of concern, and the muted calls to dispatch a naval vessel to the region to “sort […]

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Dunne Speaks: The challenge of government

Later this week I will join current and former Labour MPs to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the election of one of New Zealand’s most reforming and innovative governments – the first Labour Government under Michael Joseph Savage. No doubt there will be much reminiscing and catching up with former colleagues, particularly those from the equally […]

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Dunne Speaks: Challenges to Privacy in the Digital Era

In the wake of last weekend’s horrific terrorist attacks in Paris many are asking fresh questions about what new steps can be taken to curb outrages committed by Daesh extremists and their like. Western intelligence agencies have already warned these types of attacks are likely to become more commonplace, and, as if to reinforce their […]

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Dunne Speaks: On Christmas Island

Somewhere along the way this week the plot got well and truly lost. Uproar in Parliament, walk-outs, protests and people shouting at and over each other may be all good theatre, a modern form of gladiators in the arena if you like, but after it is over, the fact remains, nothing has changed as a […]

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Dunne Speaks: The RMA and Reform

National’s plans to ask the Productivity Commission to take a “blue skies” look at rules and legislation that may impede housing development are at one level logical and unobjectionable. But – and this is a very big but – the timing of this announcement causes considerable alarm and suspicion. It comes at the very time […]

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Dunne Speaks: Westpac’s Strike Against Personal Privacy

The uproar Westpac Bank has understandably caused by releasing personal details regarding Nicky Hager to the Police highlights once more the fragility of public protections in the age of increasing datafication. No matter how it is explained, it is clear Westpac obviously overstepped the mark and will now have to deal with the wrath of […]

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Dunne Speaks: Members Bills

Last week I voted for two Labour Members’ Bills and against one Government Bill. Both the Labour Bills and the Government Bill proceeded, and the sun still rose the following morning. But to hear some people, you would have thought the end of the world was nigh. What right had I to vote that way, […]

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Dunne Speaks: Taking Emotion Out Of The Medical Cannabis Debate

The developing campaign around medicinal cannabis has eerie overtones of last year’s row about psychoactive substances, where reason and logic quickly gave way to lowest common denominator decision-making, equivalent to mob rule. So, with eternal optimism that informed debate will always prevail, but tempered by an uneasy fear that once more common sense may be […]

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