elocal Magazine

In 2015, Don began writing articles for elocal, a monthly magazine focused on the Franklin county/Karaka area of South Auckland. In recent years, it has been available both in print and digital editions (the latter at www.elocal.co.nz). In reverse chronological order, these are those articles.


ed253. 3 May 2022

Many people seem to think that New Zealand doesn’t have a constitution. And certainly we are one of a very small number of countries which does not have a written constitution, a single document laying out how the governance of the country should be conducted.


elocal magazine ed252. 4 April 2022

Not many months after the 2020 election freed the Labour Party from the constraints which New Zealand First had placed on them between 2017 and 2020, the Government admitted to commissioning the most radical plan for over-turning New Zealand’s constitution since the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840.


elocal Magazine, ed. 251. 2 March 2022

In a great many ways, New Zealand is an enormously attractive country to live in. We have a temperate climate, largely free of extremes of either heat or cold. We have magnificent mountains, and beautiful and uncrowded beaches. We produce enough food to feed ourselves many times over.

Our Democracy is at risk

elocal Magazine, ed. 250. 1 February 2022

Over the last year or so, I’ve read a lot of books (or more accurately, listened to a lot of books on Audible) on the US political situation – some by partisan authors like Adam Schiff, the Democratic congressman who chairs the House Intelligence Committee and who led those who...

Are we really among the wealthiest people on the planet?

elocal Magazine, ed. 249. 24 December 2021

There are lots of ways of measuring how New Zealand is doing, and none of them is perfect.

Is Government debt really out of control?

elocal Magazine, ed. 248. 1 December 2021

I suspect that most New Zealanders don’t give a lot of thought to the size of the government debt. But every now and then the media reports that the Government is spending vastly more than it takes in in revenue, with the result that the amount the Government has to...

Housing crisis solved?

elocal Magazine, Newsfeed. 1 November 2021

In the middle of October, something astonishing happened: the Government and the National Party held a joint news conference to announce that they had agreed on the way to make housing more affordable.According to many opinion polls, the ludicrous level to which house prices have risen in New Zealand is...

What a mess we're in

elocal Magazine, ed. 247. 16 October 2021

By the time this column sees the light of day, the Labour Government – now freed of the constraint of New Zealand First – will have been in office almost exactly a year. And to look at the opinion polls, they are doing a fine job – or at least...

The housing racket goes on

elocal Magazine, ed. 236. 10 September 2021

Once again, I feel compelled to write about house prices. Why? Because it is the most important cause of social distress in New Zealand today, and that by a large margin. There would still be social problems if house prices were half their present level, but they would be vastly...

How long will her popularity last?

elocal Magazine, ed. 245. 31 July 2021

One of the most amazing aspects of politics in New Zealand in recent decades is the enduring popularity of a Prime Minister who leads a Government which has failed in almost every major policy area. It is indeed a sad reflection on democracy itself that voters seem more impressed by...

The future of New Zealand is at stake

elocal Magazine, ed. 244. 3 July 2021

In January 2004, I addressed the Orewa Rotary Club by asking:

Maori separatists are using Labour to rewrite our constitution

elocal Magazine, ed. 243. 29 May 2021

Last month, I wrote about the way in which radicals are working to reinterpret the meaning of the Treaty of Waitangi, often arguing that the Treaty of Waitangi (in English) and Te Tiriti o Waitangi (in te reo) are two quite different documents, and that there is no way that...

Surely, the Treaty gives Maori a special right to be heard?

elocal Magazine, ed. 242. 1 May 2021

A couple of issues back, I wrote about the way in which the Government had passed legislation under urgency to prevent ratepayers having any right to demand a referendum before local authorities establish Maori wards, as a previous Labour Government had explicitly legislated for.

Michael Reddell on house prices

elocal Magazine, ed. 241. 3 April 2021

Throughout my almost 14 years as Governor of the Reserve Bank, Michael Reddell was one of my most insightful advisers. And one of the many issues he warned about was the danger to social and economic stability of a continuing escalation in house prices.

Where to begin?

elocal Magazine, ed. 240. 28 February 2021

So much has happened since I wrote my last column for the February edition that it’s hard to know what on Earth to focus on both internationally and here in New Zealand.

Trump: the worst U.S. President in my lifetime

elocal Magazine, ed. 239. 30 January 2021

Days after Donald Trump was elected as US President in November 2016, I wrote one of my very first columns for Elocal. This was my opening paragraph:

We have gone mad!

elocal Magazine, ed. 238. 7 January 2021

Earlier this year, I wrote a column headed “The country is going mad”. I was wrong: we have already gone mad. I produce three pieces of evidence.

Further proof we've gone mad

elocal Magazine, ed. 238. 7 January 2021

My column this month argues that we’ve gone mad, with the widespread push to create local government wards based on race; with the increasing use of the Maori language in situations where almost nobody understands it; and with the rather ridiculous assertion that in 1840 Maori chiefs didn’t really surrender...

House prices have gone crazy! Who's to blame this time?

elocal Magazine, ed. 237. 28 November 2020

In the middle of November, the Real Institute reported that the median house price across New Zealand had risen by 19.8 percent over the year to the end of October. Across the country as a whole, the median price had risen to an astonishing $725,000, while in the Auckland region...

An extraordinary result

elocal Magazine, ed. 236. 31 October 2020

This year’s election is one for the history books: it was the first since MMP was introduced in 1996 which resulted in a single party being able to govern without the aid of allies.

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Copyright © 2022 Don Brash.