Opinion

Tom O'Connor's opinion columns have been previously published by Stuff in the Waikato Times

Unwritten social rules evade Bridges

1 March 2021
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The many laws, rules and regulations which govern our lives can be seen as a measure of our uncertainty. In effect, if we are certain about what we should or should not do, we do not need laws to direct us. It is only when we are unsure that we need laws to direct us. It is only the dishonest or the stupid who defy certainty or the law.

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Citizenship Ructions and a Rabbit

21 February 2021
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In a world of angry and sometimes fearful people shouting past each other over all manner of real and imagined problems it is refreshing to get a glimpse of the softer, friendlier, side of humanity. Lately we have been awash with news about the disorganised and tragic international response to one of the deadliest pandemics…

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When traditions prevent common sense

15 February 2021
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A couple of weeks ago, following an unseemly bout of infantile intolerance over the use of te reo Maori at a Grey Power meeting, I asked in this column if we had become a little too sensitive about the differences between Maori and non-Maori social and cultural norms. It had been suggested, in a Grey…

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Climate change affects Farmers more than most.

6 February 2021
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These tough times will include the most dramatic changes in farming systems since we put the last of the working horses out to pasture and began using electricity to replace steam engines. There will be fewer and smaller dairy and beef cattle herds, improved breeding technology for cattle and sheep. There will also no doubt be a requirement for a much-reduced reliance on artificial fertilisers.

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Last year was a pass. We have much to be proud of.

27 January 2021
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In spite of some recent inaccurate rhetoric from both sides of the political debate racism has always been here, as it has in most other nations and communities. It is as difficult to define as it will be to eradicate and screaming racism at everything we don’t like or understand doesn’t help. But, if anyone can succeed we can and we will be the first nation in the world to do so.

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Te Reo Maori need not be translated

27 January 2021
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In spite of more than 200 years of European settlement of, and presence in, New Zealand can we still hear the faint echoes of the clash of cultures or have we become a little too sensitive about our differences? The use of te reo Maori by Opotiki District councillor Louis Rapihana at the opening of…

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The War on Drugs only has losers.

18 January 2021
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Many past generations of parents have watched in helpless distress as their children changed from healthy, ambitious youngsters to unemployable zombies, visited them in jail or buried them as a result of illegal drug use. Too many young people today don’t even have parents who worry about them at all due to their own drug habits.

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Freedom Campers not invited

29 November 2020
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The recent announcement from newly appointed Tourism Minister Stuart Nash that he will ban freedom camping in vehicles that are not self-contained has come like a bucket of cold reality to many in the tourism industry. The minister is the first in a long time to heed the many calls from throughout the country for…

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Referenda is Democracy

24 November 2020
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The bleating, bitter recriminations and speculation about why people voted in the two referenda, run in association with the recent general election, have thankfully finally died. In a rare move New Zealanders were asked to decide if they wanted a legal end of life choice and recreational cannabis legalised.  For many people these two questions were more…

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