Yearly Archives: 2018

Jim Anderton played a critical role in changing our electoral system

Jim Anderton made a great and irreplaceable contribution to our society and democracy. Without his leadership of NewLabour and the Alliance – and his support of MMP – we might still be stuck with a narrow, two-party, first-past-the-post political system – like Britain, Australia, Canada and the United States. We owe Jim a lot.

Answers to some common myths about New Zealand’s intelligence services, the Five Eyes and the Waihopai spy station

Presented as introductory comments at a workshop hosted by the Anti-Bases Campaign in Blenheim, 28 Jan 2017, and updated to reflect changes made to intelligence legislation in the Intelligence and Security Act 2017. By Keith Locke Were the SIS and GSB set up to detect terrorists? The Security Intelligence Service (SIS), and...

Why NZ should withdraw its troops from Iraq

Prior to the last election Labour, NZ First and the Greens all opposed the current deployment of New Zealand troops to Iraq. Labour specifically promised to withdraw them, but nothing has happened yet. Now Australia is leaning on our government to extend the deployment beyond its current end date in November. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop made that plain during her visit here last week.

Keith Locke: Parliament’s watchdog committee has no teeth

Parliament's intelligence and security committee was in the news recently when Labour's Andrew Little nominated Winston Peters for membership. Little also proposed expanding the committee to include a Green member by amending the Intelligence and Security Bill currently before Parliament. In practice, the intelligence and security committee is a toothless watchdog...

Keith Locke: Party-hopping bill is a restraint on MPs’ freedom of speech

The bill before Parliament to stop party-hopping has been misnamed. The Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill should be called the Party Conformity Bill because it threatens MPs with ejection from Parliament if they don't conform to party dictates. Personal political integrity will be constrained, except on a few selected "conscience" issues,...

What an Independent New Zealand Foreign Policy would look like

Most New Zealanders want us to have an independent foreign policy. They think we are already independent to some degree. If pressed they would cite our nuclear-free status, or the fact that we don’t always go along with the US or Australia at the United Nations. Last month’s vote...

Why Green MPs shouldn’t give their parliamentary questions to National

There are several reasons why it is wrong of the Green caucus to hand over some of their Parliamentary Questions to National.

Ardern wrong to “accept” US-led air strikes on Syria. The Greens get it right

Prime Minister Adern has made a serious mistake in saying that she “accepts” why the US, UK and France have bombed Syria.

Reducing the prison muster rather than building a new prison

I am heartened by the way Labour and the Greens are talking up justice reform and the need to reduce prison numbers. Justice Minister Andrew Little told TV3’s Nation last week that everything is on the table, including reform of the bail, parole and sentencing legislation.