Wellington Saints unlikely championship

Basketball is a team game.  Roles must be filled – ball handling, screening, driving, shooting on offense – on defence, playing tight on the shooter, switching onto drivers, boxing out on rebounding, and nowadays banging bodies to prevent free movement – and a group of individuals must learn to play as a team.   The Saints championship in the National League is a satisfying example of this. Read the rest of this entry »

‘Enormous excess’, GDP, and sustainability

The Editor, The Sunday Star-Times, Auckland

27 June, 2014

Dear Editor:

Greed and the ‘excess’ it generates has been evident for centuries, accompanied by the debate about whether economic systems accepting greed generate useful incentive.  But Colin Espiner’s column (22 June, ‘The problem with greed’) acknowledges that today is not characterized so much by excess as by ‘enormous excess’.  This has been universally recognized ever since the finance crisis of 07-08 produced fewer and larger ‘too big to fail’ financial institutions in the USA. Read the rest of this entry »

Luis Suarez, Rip van Winkle, and John Key

The Editor, The Sunday Star-Times, Auckland

30 June, 2014

Dear Editor:

Was Steve Braunias really commenting on the Luis Suarez biting affair (29 June, Secret Diary of. . .)?  I couldn’t be sure, though he seemed to be saying, and I would agree, biting is not a classy thing to do.  But what is clear to me is that Braunias’ metaphor captured beautifully both the character and voter appeal of John Key in a few short sentences, “ . . . but at the end of the day we should get some sleep.  New Zealand’s all good.  Close your eyes”. Read the rest of this entry »

Trolleys, Fran, and Celia

18 June, 2014

The Editor, The Wellingtonian

Dear Editor;

The Regional Council (Fran Wilde) and the Mayor (Celia Wade-Brown) seem to agree that Wellington’s public transport future should be an all-electric bus fleet.   But Ms Wilde complains that the Mayor doesn’t understand the Regional Council’s reasoning for their proposed pathway to it. Read the rest of this entry »

Piketty, Stiglitz, GDP, and The Listener

The Editor, The Listener, Auckland

08 June, 2014

Dear Editor:

Thomas Piketty’s book, “Capital in the 21st Century”, is getting lots of attention these days. The Listener quotes New Zealand economist Brian Easton claim that the book describes an idea whose time has come.  But no, today it is more a theory whose time has come and gone.  Read the rest of this entry »

Group submissions to boards of inquiry

11 June, 2014

The Editor, The Wellingtonian

Dear Editor;

The Wellingtonian headline on Ron Beernink’s article on the Basin Bridge submission process (“Speak up, or shut up . . .”) is a bullying phrase unhelpful in promoting democratic participation, and actually not of the same meaning as Mr. Beernink’s phrase, “Speak up or put up”, and so even contradicts the spirit of the article. Read the rest of this entry »

“Modernizing” – Employment Relations Amendment Bill

The Editor, The Dominion Post, Wellington

10 June, 2014

Dear Editor:

The government describes its proposed Employment Relations Amendment Bill as “modernizing”.  Ever since the financial crisis of ’07-’08 in which only a few giant “too big to fail” banks emerged bigger than ever, consolidating their dominance, and with celebratory salaries of top executives in the millions, people have come to realize that “modernizing” means the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle class looks all round wondering who the heck they are anymore.

A self-respecting electorate will insist that the now shelved bill will disappear so that the fundamental right of employees to a collective agreement, and to strike if need be, will be respected.


Richard Keller

published 13 June, ’14


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