Things to Think about
Most of the following opinion columns by Tom O'Connor have been previously published by Stuff in the Waikato Times.
Towards the end of more than forty years in front line journalism I became increasingly aware of the development of an informal duality of citizenship in New Zealand, the acceptance of that duality by community leaders and the long-term potential for dis-harmony and, in 1991, I wrote a rather long essay on my observations. This…Read More
From the time I started in journalism in 1963 I have seen a number of changes in the social structure of New Zealand and not all of them have been positive. Journalism wasn’t the only occupation I tried my hand at but in those early days of my writing career, most of our training was…Read More
Like all protests the, initially legal, anti-vaccine mandate gathering currently paralysing Wellington quickly generated it’s own energy and velocity with a wide range of unconnected and vaguely associated causes, groups and individuals attracted to the free publicity like flies to an abandoned dirty nappy. The Government’s opening response to the arrival of Covid-19 almost three…Read More
On Friday February 11, 2022 I tuned into a Zoom meeting hosted by Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) to discuss Treaty of Waitangi partnerships in local government. Firstly, the principal objective in the constitution of LGNZ which hosted the discussion is to “To promote the national interests of local government through the promotion of LGNZ’s vision…Read More
In the first two decades of the twenty first century among the most misused words in New Zealand were racism, apartheid and separatism. Sometimes they were applied incorrectly or used interchangeably and too often they were used to stifle debate or denigrate people who dared to question a new political developmentRead More
Are we losing our tolerance for the dissenting opinion? By world standards we New Zealanders are a very tolerant lot. We might grumble and even get a little outraged at what other people write, say or do if we disagree with them. However, provided they are within the law and don’t advocate illegality, we are usually prepared to let people express a different opinion.Read More
It is written that a gifted young man in a land far away and long ago could walk on water. The Government might need a similar miracle with their controversial Three Waters restructure project.
The unpopular and controversial project began with the catastrophic failure of a Havelock North wellhead in 2016 which resulted in the death of four people and 5000 people falling seriously ill. A year later a comprehensive report revealed that a significant number of public drinking water systems, managed by district councils, were potentially unsafe through underinvestment in maintenance over many years.
The legal right to peaceful protest is an important part of our folklore but it does not, and never has, included the right to break the law, engage in violence, mayhem and property destruction. We have seen all of these in the growing intensity of anti-vax rallies and protests but it is not a new phenomenon. We have seen this mindless behaviour many times as the ill-informed and rebels looking for a cause deliberately create mistrust, fear and havoc in someone else’s peaceful protest.Read More
When the Global Climate Summit finally concluded Glasgow recently the representatives all 197 attending nations knew they had failed simply because they had no real leadership and no unity of purpose.
In fairness we should liken the complex problem of global warming to a large passenger liner travelling in calm seas without a captain.