Various Articles

Over the years and in addition to the speeches he gave in various roles, Don wrote various articles and letters to the editor, some of which are recorded below.

New Zealand, the lucky country – or are we?

6 July 2016

A summary of a speech to Grey Power on 24 June 2016

Budget 2016 29 May 2016

Oliver Hartwich, executive director of the New Zealand Initiative, has described Bill English’s latest Budget as “boring”, but rightly points out that “boring” is in many ways a compliment. We shouldn’t expect Budgets to be chock full of surprises in a well-functioning democracy.

Chester Burrows is quite wrong

Wanganui Chronicle. 22 May 2016

In the Wanganui Chronicle of 20 May, Chester Borrows made a number of assertions, including about me, which require a reply.

Who is the racist here?

The New Zealand Herald. 26 April 2016

In last Saturday’s Weekend Herald, Lizzie Marvelly used her weekly column to deplore what she called the “racist sentiment… from a disaffected group of extreme right-wing former politicians” who had been responsible for running a series of advertisements highlighting the Government’s intention to involve iwi in decisions about the allocation...

Kiwisaver a no-brainer

9 April 2016

When the KiwiSaver scheme was first established by Government in 2007, any permanent resident of New Zealand under the age of 65 who didn’t enroll for it simply didn’t understand it. The Government (which of course means “other taxpayers”) gave you a tax-free lump sum of $1,000 simply for signing up.

Time to legalise marijuana?

5 April 2016

It’s astonishing how rapidly attitudes towards marijuana are changing. Less than five years ago, most politicians thought I had lost my mind (indeed, perhaps had been smoking pot myself) when, in a speech as Leader of the ACT Party, I suggested that decriminalizing, and even legalizing, marijuana should be seriously considered.

What does the Government really intend with respect to fresh water? 27 March 2016

On 22 March, I attended the single public meeting which the Government held to brief the people of Auckland on its proposals with regard to fresh water management. There were fewer than one hundred people present, no doubt in part because there had been little publicity about the meeting.

The outragous price of housing in Auckland

12 January 2016

The outrageous price of housing in Auckland – and to a lesser extent in other New Zealand cities – is arguably the most serious issue facing the country as we enter 2016. At the moment, the median price of a house in Auckland is some nine times median household income...

Does GST make sense for India?

Indian Weekender. 11 December 2015

Many months ago, the Indian Government announced its intention to introduce a Goods and Services Tax (GST). Recently, I was asked whether such a complicated tax makes sense for India. My answer: it certainly does, provided that the Government ensures that it is as simple as possible for small businesses...

The surrender is almost complete 29 November 2015

The surrender is almost complete. When Governor Hobson invited Maori chiefs to sign the Treaty of Waitangi, he clearly thought that he was inviting those chiefs to accept the sovereignty of the Queen and to live in New Zealand, with the gradually increasing number of British settlers, as one people.

Do Maori have an interest in fresh water?

24 November 2015

Well of course they do – all New Zealanders have an interest in freshwater. But do Maori have an interest in water which is in some way different from the interest which all other New Zealanders have? That is the issue which is now being discussed, for the most part...

Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group 20 September 2015

A few weeks ago, I saw a document which scared the hell out of me. It was a PowerPoint presentation entitled simply “Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group”, and on the very first slide it was stated “The information contained in this presentation is confidential and is intended only for the Iwi...

Bill English's seventh Budget 24 May 2015

It would be churlish to be entirely negative about Bill English’s seventh Budget. There is merit in increasing the basic benefit level – the first increase in real terms since 1972 – and on the other hand increasing the expectation that those on a benefit will get into at least...

And what of the future?

15 May 2015

As we look into the future from the middle of the second decade of the 21st century, what do we see for the future of the relationship between those New Zealanders who have at least one Maori ancestor and those who have none?

Should orchardists resist “urban creep”?

24 March 2015

I was appalled to read the article in the March edition of The Orchardist deploring the loss of high quality rural land to “urban creep” and applauding the “Smart Growth” planning rules of the Bay of Plenty local governments.

Why I disagree with Gareth Morgan 6 February 2015

In recent weeks, Gareth Morgan has written several articles for the “New Zealand Herald” promoting his book on the implications of the Treaty of Waitangi for modern New Zealand. Then a couple of days before Waitangi Day I had a call from David Fisher of the “Herald” telling me that...

“The New Zealand CPI at 100: History and Interpretation”

New Zealand Books, Issue 108 (Summer 2014). 5 December 2014

Edited by Sharleen Forbes & Antong Victorio. Victoria University Press, 2014, 288 pages.

“Hikois from hell” 7 September 2014

One of the most disturbing comments made by any politician in the election campaign so far was the comment by John Key when he said that, though abolition of separate Maori electorates is National Party policy, he had no plan to abolish them because such a move would provoke “hikois...

Is responsible leadership impossible in a democracy?

20 August 2014

Watching an election campaign in a democracy can be depressing. It’s not the Nicky Hager book which makes me depressed – as one of Hager’s past targets, I know about the extent to which he is prone to exaggerate and distort the truth, even to the extent of asserting things...

National's sixth Budget 16 May 2014

Judged in conventional terms, the National-led Government’s sixth Budget looks pretty good. As promised, the Minister of Finance can point to a small surplus in the Underlying Operating Balance (before gain and losses) in the financial year starting on 1 July and increasing surpluses in future financial years.

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Copyright © 2020 Don Brash.