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


Response to Scoop Wellington chain on plans for the public library

The purpose (in the larger cultural/historical picture) of closing or even demolishing the library (and also building a giant white elephant convention centre) was (is still) to destroy the very concept of a ‘public’ library. Read the rest of this entry »

Comment to Talk Wellington about TOD (transit oriented development)

The TOD article mentions ‘mass transit’ without defining it.  The conversation in Wellington is inadequate because of the term. Read the rest of this entry »

Need to look at history dominated by ideology of exploitation

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

In America, blacks don’t dominate baseball the way they do gridiron or basketball; it seems strongly Latin at the top today. Read the rest of this entry »

Swarbrick and Salmon in the print media main stream

The Editor,  The Sunday Star Times,  Auckland

Great to see Chloe Swarbrick’s editorial in the SST (05/04) and Dame Anne Salmond’s philosophical analysis in the Dom Post (02/04). Read the rest of this entry »

Will Covid-19 bring the end of the Trump illusion?

The Editor,  The Sunday Star Times,  Auckland

There is a report from the USA that plans are being made for the military to take over running the country if the government in Washington DC is crippled by Covid-19. This report curiously appears even though President Trump has tested negative and Senator Rand Paul is the only one I know who has tested positive. Is there more to the virus spread in Washington than has been revealed?

But just as interesting is Trump’s assertion that he wants a lockdown to last for only two weeks due to its economic impact, perhaps fearful that billionaires and large corporations may not come out more dominant from a prolonged shutdown. This appears to most as a trek into Neverland as the crisis has clearly raced onward.

It needs to be understood that Trump is not the real problem. Although dangerous, Trump is little more than a symbol and a symptom of a wider malaise, seen in the Post Truth Era that we are living through and which is global in dimension. So Trump already has the sound of a disembodied voice and may start fading from public view like Alice’s cheshire cat, leaving no trace in the global mind but the grin of an uncertain fear.

Richard Keller

Nuclear Free needs Phase Two

The Editor,  The Dom Post,  Wellington
06/02/ 2020

Dear Editor:

Paul Moon of AUT has insightfully argued (DomPost , 05/02) that Treaty Settlements are only monitary and a second phase of reconciliation is now required to address the continuing and underappreciated suffering and shame which followed the confiscation losses. Read the rest of this entry »

Infrastructure spend reveals surreal NZ Politics

The Editor,  The Listener,  Auckland

Dear Editor:

The surreal nature of New Zealand politics was on open display last week within the context of the Labour Party having continued its unnatural condescension to New Zealand First policy thus putting paid to its ‘transformational’ label. Read the rest of this entry »

Post Truth is a cultural not generational phenomenon

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington
24 November, 2019

Dear Editor:

A lot of intergenerational snipping currently in the papers after Green MP Chloe Swarbrick flicked ‘OK Boomer’ at parliament the other day. It is good climate change got some publicity but the Post Truth Era where denial has become mainstream is not primarily generational in origin, but rather cultural.

The exploitative ideology toward the eco-sphere goes hundreds of years back, perhaps thousands. How many generations is that? Whether boomers or millennials, or any other, we all share that heritage. No generation is immune from that influence.

On a mostly subconscious level our culture is working through a momentous decision whether to change fundamentally, adjusting to the new realities of a warming world, or to mostly stay the same and take our chances. It may be fun to watch boomers and millennials snip at each other, but it is a distraction from our real task of examining ‘who we are’.


Richard Keller

Greens cautious, not careless

The Editor,  The Dom Post,  Wellington
08/11/ 2019

Dear Editor:

Peter Griffin (04/11) in his grumble about the Greens caution toward the new gene modification technologies compares it to the enthusiasm the Greens show toward climate science. But he ignores the differences between the two situations which is primarily ethical. Read the rest of this entry »