I had a mission this week to project-manage a suitably large pirate ship to the exacting specifications (and excellent working drawings) of a hammer-in-hand nearly-five-year-old wanting to build it for his friends. A life-history of boat-owning and providently stacking...
In George Bernard Shaw’s enigmatic social commentary Pygmalion, Alfred Doolittle – a cockney dustman deeply scornful of middle class morality and his society’s notions of deserving and undeserving poor – sells his daughter Eliza to Professor Higgins for five...

A hard-hitting United Nations report due out this week will highlight the devastating human rights impact of society’s tendency to view houses as financial commodities rather than homes for people. Leilani Farha, a UN special rapporteur for housing and human...
“I would like to assure you that Paul Walden has been treated no differently to any other property owner in similar circumstances nor has he been given any preferential treatment.”  This was Auckland Council chief executive Stephen Town’s response to...
There are times when one can question the wisdom of building your house among trees that were to mature into a handsome stand of kahikatea and alongside a charming watercourse down through a coastal valley. With floodwaters already over two...

We still have to sit out the last ten days of a cliffhanger general election that, whatever the result, will have gathered unlikely approval and support for a young, charismatic and remarkably composed young woman. Big business leaders are...

A week can be a long time in politics was a phrase coined in the mid 1960s amid what has been described as one of the greatest periods of social and industrial change in the twentieth century. Technology was...
“Just what is The Economy?” one of my shrewder friends, renown for her blunt common sense in most matters, asked out loud this week, about the same time I was reading yet another mainstream editorial comment pitched at those...

Resolutions are at least a sporting attempt at generating new and hopefully more useful personal behaviours and the week after the solstice – corresponding as it does to the midwinter New Year in our parent European culture – felt...

We lost my mother very recently and in the gentle processes of the following week as we prepared for her funeral we were very aware of the extraordinary strength and contribution women of her generation made in their turbulent...
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