Email to Grant Robertson recommending David Slack’s recent article.

Grant Robertson

Minister of Finance

Hello Grant,

Did you see David Slack’s article this week?  I would recommend it to you as he speaks metaphorically about you and your long (to be, retrospectively as it was) career as finance minister.  It may seem unrealistic to extrapolate a continuous 25 year rein as Finance Minister in the context of New Zealand politics.  But the metaphor is applicable in the sense that the surrealistic denial which is characteristic of our present time, within your Labour government’s time, is bringing us to a time of critical decision making now.   Now!   Now will determine whether there can be much of a future, much of a real (non-surreal) future politics in New Zealand and the world.

Slack’s reference to the $30B (yes, ‘B’) which your government has yet to commit shows you have at least a chance to make decisions which can put us in the right direction.  Rod Oram has today mentioned three positive recent developments, not least of which is the closure of the Tiwai Aluminium smelter in the South.  Other opportunities exist and are necessary, such as….

.Funding transport options which trash the total domination of the personal motor car.

.funding a local recycling capability (which, because everyone has to put out the trash and recycling every week -every week!- would bring home the importance of personal national responsibility).

.developing restorative agriculture which would eliminate dairy farming based on feed lots, and encourage plant based diets as well.

There will be others.


Richard Keller


Note (excerpts) commenting on the CONVID-19 response

Phil Goff in Auckland suggests many don’t understand what is going on and worries about acceptance of a shutdown. The government is taking a chance on losing support by moving without general understanding. Their problem I think is that they don’t have enough information to make confident decisions. There are apparently 1500 tests being done daily now but that few isn’t going to give us a good picture. Perhaps the govt would feel better if 15,000 tests were done daily and targeted properly. Even at 15,000 daily it would take about 9 months to get through the whole population. They are not explaining this uncertainty instead trying to fane certainty with Jacinda’s communications.

Murdoch earlier this week captured the political situation so well. Ardern is gripping the steering wheel of state with white knuckles, and Robertson is leaning on her shoulder, both with terrified looks on their faces. In the back is a white faced Bridges on the phone saying, ‘Can’t talk now; I’m holding the country together by sheer force of will”.

As far as us over 70’s are concerned our situation is being confused with the situation of those coming from overseas, and their connections. They need to be tested and kept in quarantine until results are known and only 14 days. That has been called ‘self-isolation’, a term with uncertainty written all over it. Over 70’s are not suspected generally of carrying the virus but are asked to stay mostly at home, indefinitely. I even heard on radio the term ‘self-isolation’ used in our context, which is irresponsible. This kind of restriction is tantamount to a life sentence with possibility of parole in 9 to 12 months, if lucky. There’s not enough clarity in all of this despite the PM’s manner.

Letter to PM Arden on the P-8A warplane

17 October, 2018

Jacinda Ardern,  Prime Minister

Parliament Buildings,  Wellington

Hello Ms Ardern:

Spending an extra $1B+ on a warplane (Boeing P-8A) while claiming there is not enough money for necessary pay increases for nurses and teachers, to name but two, is not a good look for a Labour government.  Read the rest of this entry »

Education for a future requires the Humanities and the Arts

The Editor, The Dominion Post,  Wellington

19 September, 2016

Dear Editor:

The article on the future of work as examined in the DomPost of 3 Sept (Life in the Machine Age) does at the end express that the reality of the coming “Age” is not primarily about machines after all, as Grant Robertson explains, “It’s collaboration, creativity, dealing with complex problems and understanding ethical dimensions”. Read the rest of this entry »