Bryce Edwards is a lecturer in Politics at the University of Otago.

Bryce Edwards: Political roundup: 20 questions

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

Bryce Edwards rounds up the must-read political items from the media and blogosphere over the last three days.

1) How bad is the culture of the New Zealand Police?

The latest police scandal involving sexual abuse, bribery and corruption will hardly increase the public's trust in the force - see Joelle Dally's Cop admits sex corruption charge.

2) What new changes is the Minister of Justice planning to deal with 'rape culture'?

Judith Collins was interviewed on TVNZ's Q+A about issues of sexual abuse and talked about possible changes to the court processes - watch the 12-minute interview. See also, Michael Fox's Collins pushes for culture change.

3) How did RadioLive's Willie Jackson and John Tamihere get the 'roast busters' issue so very wrong?

Regular guest on the show, Matt McCarten, suggests that the management of the radio station need to accept a share of the blame for their dereliction of duty towards the show - see: Talkback bosses also at fault.

4) Who are the high-profile NZ authors disagreeing over the 'roast busters' debate?

CK Stead and Eleanor Catton are in strong disagreement over New Zealand's current 'conversation about rape' - see Neil Reid's Author joins rape culture protest.

5) Are online consumer capitalist boycotts the new way of protesting?

Two recent examples of online activism are explored by Phil Taylor in Roast Busters: When people power works.

6) Could Labour lose its once-safe Christchurch East seat in the upcoming by-election?

TV3's The Nation looks at the campaigners and the possibilities in a very good 11-minute overview, Christchurch East by-election not a done deal.

7) Has the Government chosen to prioritise New Zealand's economic and strategic interests over human rights in Sri Lanka?

John Key is stressing his role in using engagement and dialogue to advance human rights in Sri Lanka - see Claire Trevett's Key raises disappearances at talks. See also, Andrea Vance's McCully sits on fence on Sri Lanka war crimes.

8) Should the New Zealand Black Caps cricket team have boycotted Sri Lanka?

Yes, suggests Andrea Vance - see: Sporting boycott called for. See also, the Herald editorial, All parties agree sporting boycott is just not cricket.

9) Is New Zealand a force for good or bad in terms of human rights around the world?

New Zealand has a poor human rights record under both National and Labour governments, according to ex-Cabinet minister Matt Robson - see his highly critical blogpost, When NZ protects the human rights abusers against the abused.

10) Why has the Government chosen to sell part of its shares in Air New Zealand now?

The various arguments about the timing of the sale, together with the upcoming referendum and the share price are reported in Michael Fox and Andrea Vance's Air NZ shares sale timing 'arrogant'.

11) How much of a failure has the Government's asset sales programme been?

According to Danyl Mclauchlan, we can observe three main points about the failed enterprise: 1) The partial privitisation policy is the Key government's flagship policy for this term, 2) It is a disaster, and 3) There isn't much comment on this in the media - see: Words and deeds.

12) Is it wrong for government ministers to publicly criticise the decisions of judges?

Not, it seems, if it's only done occasionally - see Blair Ensor and Ashleigh Stewart's Brownlee takes swipe at judge.

13) Why are MPs investing so much of their money in property?

The Dominion Post says that Capital gains tax may be the answer. The newspaper suggests that politicians preach the need for New Zealand to invest in productive industries, but they're not leading by example because of the tax advantages of property investment.

14) Is Labour's KiwiAssure popular?

49% oppose it, and 42% approve of it, according to TV3's latest opinion poll - see Patrick Gower's Cunliffe's KiwiAssure policy falls flat - poll.

15) What will a Labour-led government do about the SkyCity convention centre deal? And what does this say about the direction of Labour under David Cunliffe?

John Armstrong analyses David Cunliffe's first two months as Labour leader and uses the party's position on the SkyCity deal to illustrate Labour's difficulties - see: Two Cunliffes ... but only one is a winner.

16) What will the Conservative Party want out of a coalition with National?

Colin Craig discussed coalition policies on TV3's The Nation - see the 8-minute video: Conservative Party undecided on coalition with National. For more on this, see Tracy Watkins' analysis: MMP: Where incompatibility resides.

17) What factors is John Key weighing up in choosing the election date?

Fran O'Sullivan draws attention to two events that are complicating National's choice of an election date for next year, and she discusses the likely battleground - see: Big Two part of Key plans for next year.

18) How reliable are New Zealand's charities when it comes to financial reporting? Do they hide assets?

Charities in New Zealand receive much in the way of donations and tax-breaks, but their financial reporting is of a very low quality according to Rebecca Stevenson - see: Charity reporting not up to scratch.

19) Was there really anything wrong with Russel Norman's speech about climate change in the Parliamentary response to the Philippines typhoon tragedy?

The Herald says that there's something unhealthy about all the criticism that the Greens leader has received - see: Trend to quash voices that differ is unhealthy. But Rodney Hide says that Norman was both rude and wrong - see: Not the time for point scoring.

20) What will Rebecca Kitteridge be like as the new boss of the SIS?

For some background see Tracy Watkins' profile of Kitteridge: Next spy boss seen as principled. And to get an idea of how previous SIS bosses have operated, see Dave Armstrong's open letter to Kitterage: Here's hoping for a new open SIS spirit.

- NZ Herald

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Bryce Edwards is a lecturer in Politics at the University of Otago.

Bryce Edwards is a lecturer in Politics at the University of Otago. He teaches and researches on New Zealand politics, public policy, political parties, elections, and political communication. His PhD, completed in 2003, was on 'Political Parties in New Zealand: A Study of Ideological and Organisational Transformation'. He is currently working on a book entitled 'Who Runs New Zealand? An Anatomy of Power'. He is also on the board of directors for Transparency International New Zealand.

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