Tag Archives: Jacinda Adern

A week of good news in New Zealand

It’s been a week for good news in New Zealand. Well, most people see the news as good.

The first good news was the Prime Minister’s announcement a few days ago that she is expecting a child. Great news for her and her partner, as she had expected that assisted fertility treatments would have been required. Also, the news seems to have been enthusiastically welcomed by most New Zealanders – even her political opponents – on the whole. It is hard to tell if the few negative voices are die-hard anti-labour people still annoyed at the September election result. Or died in the wool misogynists who do not understand the role women play today in our society.

Today we had news of New Zealand’s first successful launch of satellites into space. The launch was carried out by Rocket Lab at their launch site in the Māhia Peninsula.

Quite exciting to follow a launch like this and hear the updates in Kiwi accents!

The Video above is a little over 30 minutes long – but, if you want to watch the actual launch, fast forward to about 18 minutes.

The rocket carried three satellite into orbit. Professor Richard Easther from Auckland University  said the launch represented a “red-letter day for New Zealand:”

“To put this into perspective, we are now one of just a dozen countries to have successfully built and deployed a rocket that can put satellites into orbit.”

The other nations are either world powers such as the USA and Russia, or smaller countries “which are armed to the teeth” such as Israel and North Korea.

According to Easther  – “New Zealand really stands alone with a technically advanced, commercially focused launch vehicle.”

He added it was “just the first chapter in what promises to be a fascinating story for the country and our technology and science sectors.”

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Political maturity in New Zealand – at least compared to the US

A moment of clarity in the NZ election negotiations. Credit: NZ Herald.

Maybe it is the social media silo effect but I think a lot of New Zealanders feel proud about the way our recent elections went.

Once again we are a world leader. A new impressive young female Prime Minister. An atmosphere of cooperation – or at least respect all around from (and towards) the winners and losers. And a feeling that our new Prime Minister may have the unifying skills necessary for the job at this time.

But what has impressed me is the beginning of some clarity about the nature and causes of our problems. We are talking about housing and child poverty as indicators of a failed economy and not low inflation, the balance of payments, etc., as indicators of a “successful economy.” No matter how good the “accepted” economic indicators appear to be an economy is not successful if it fails to protect its children and has the degree of homelessness we are seeing.

Winston Peters’ honesty about the causes of our problems being inherent in an economic system oriented towards the interests of dead money and not towards people is refreshing. It’s a long time since we have heard such economic honesty from a politician in our parliament. Also refreshing is the fact that our media (not known for admitting such basic problems) has repeated his statement.

And isn’t it heartening to have a Prime Minister flagging an interest in ministerial jobs aimed at helping children rather than something like finance?

Maturity

Like many, I am cynical of the concept of “capitalism with a human face” but New Zealand at the moment should be seen as a glowing example of how democracy should work. Yet we have the US promoting itself as exceptional, a leader of the free world” and the best example of “democracy.” A self-belief so strong it wishes to impose their example on “less fortunate” countries. And, too often, even New Zealander commentators and journalists get captured by such silliness.

But come on!

Just imagine if Bill English threw his toys out of the cot because his “natural” assumption of power has been denied by the electoral system. Just imagine if he attempted to “explain” his failure by promoting the fiction that the “Russians did it,” or blamed President Putin for his problems. Just imagine if all sorts of attempts were now being made to produce “evidence” of collusion between our new leaders and those horrible Russians. I am sure we could, if we were that childish, find examples of meetings with diplomats, maybe even professional or financial links with someone indirectly connected to a firm which may exist in St Petersburg.

And what about all those pro-Labour and pro-Green”trolls” on social media? Hell, they were all over Facebook and Twitter! Surely that is evidence of manipulation by Russian “troll farms.” And what about the “fact” that the pro-Russian media heavily promoted Jacinda Adern and is glorying in her victory?

OK, perhaps not even Hillary Clinton would accuse the NZ Herald of being “pro-Russian” – but here is the “undeniable evidence” – this story run by Sputnik which, for this purpose, we could describe as being a propaganda arm of the Kremlin!

Oh dear. The “evidence is mounting up.” It’s becoming “undeniable!”

I am glad we live in a country with more political maturity but isn’t it sad that the most powerful (militarily) country in the world is so politically immature. And, also sad when even commentators in New Zealand buy into that immaturity.

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