Submission on Open Government

This is a last minute, short, one item submission to the consultation on Open Government:

Hi Martin,
Apologies for such a short statement at the last minute today.
The most important thing that NZ could do to promote open government would be to narrow the criteria and limit the use of “urgency” by government.  A government is not elected to be a dictator but this government is using their popularity to shove through much important legislation that deserves a national discussion, even clearly unpopular legislation.  Urgency is meant to keep the government working, not to shut off debate.

Richard Keller

Submission on the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill

Committee Secretariat Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Parliament Buildings Wellington

August 2016

Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill

“Terrorism” is a term that features so prominently in this Act that that term itself, “terrorism”, becomes the real focus of the bill.   Read the rest of this entry »

Runway extension suggestion is a sign of desperation

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

11 August, 2016

Dear Editor:

With the deadline for submissions on the airport runway extension Friday (12th) it would be useful to examine this issue in the larger context.

The suggestion to extend the runway at Wellington airport will be seen in the global context of climate disruption. There will need to be less tourism and less air travel in a carbon constrained world. Read the rest of this entry »

Submission on the Airport Corporation’s application to extend the runway

The suggestion to extend the runway at Wellington airport will be seen in the global context of climate disruption. There will need to be less tourism and less air travel in a carbon constrained world.   Read the rest of this entry »

“the bass drum heard ’round the world”

Today I was looking up obituaries of Frederick Fennell (looking for birth and death dates, but that’s another story).  Fennell is known as the father of the mid-century band revival in North America with his fifties Mercury Living Presence recordings of existing band classics, played by his creation the “wind ensemble” (45 piece band with only one player on many parts), at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.  A generation of band masters was influenced by his conducting style which physically evidenced both his passion and his nuanced understanding of those works and which was clearly evident in those recordings.  When I was an impressionable high school/university player and first heard those recordings, Fennell instantly became my band hero.  The first one I owned was “British Band Classics” which included the Holst First Suite.  Fennell captured Holst’s third movement success at reaching a polyphonic climax made up of the themes of the first two movements and crowned it with a gigantic bass drum accent, before a more subdued ending. 

 One of the Fennell obituaries I read was from Telarc.  Telarc’s story was that they were one of the first recording companies to use digital techniques in the mid seventies and were looking for a way to demonstrate the superior dynamic range of their invention.  They soon thought of the Fennell Eastman Mercury recordings and, since both Telarc and Fennell had originated in Cleveland Ohio, it seemed appropriate to have Fennell recruit the Cleveland Orchestra brass, woodwind, and percussion sections (and friends) to carry out the demonstration recording.  According to Telarc that original digital recording made a great impression on audio-philes, bragging about the many reports of home speaker systems blown apart by what they dubbed “the bass drum heard ’round the world”.*


  • For the benefit of non-Americans: the iconic quote “the shot heard ‘round the world” was (is?) known to every school child in USA to describe the opening gun shot of the American Revolutionary War. “heard ’round the world” may not seem amazing in the global digital age but in its time may have been an example of an inflated American national ego.

Response to “From the Hood : The Second Time as Farce” on Scoop

It seems surreal, the politics of today. Trump, Brexit, Key, “four lanes to the airport”. Read the rest of this entry »

Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt – Wellington International Film Festival

Vita Activa:  The Spirit of Hannah Arendt

by Ada Ushpiz

Quite interesting philosophical discussions put in the personal context of Arendt.  The famous phrase “banality of evil” is put into the larger philosophical context to be seen as a risk for any culture under circumstances.  Read the rest of this entry »


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