Law & Government

Law & Government

About Law & Government

Our representatives in Parliament and their advisors have the power to affect thousands, even millions, of lives. From the constitutional framework that empowers and limits government, to issues of law and policy that touch on deeper issues like the value and inviolability of human life, we continue an active engagement and interest in a range of policy and legal issues.

Most Recent Activity

Dodging the lolly-scramble for power

By Alex Penk


As a kid, there was one word that always got your heart racing and your legs pumping at a community…

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The battle lines for our votes

By Kieran Madden


It’s the economy, stupid. This phrase, coined by one of Bill Clinton’s wily campaign strategists, has done a crude but…

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The dangerous appeal of binding referendums

By Alex Penk


“Actually, when you drill into it, there are some big reasons to think twice before embracing binding referendums.” Click here…

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The illusion of certainty in the End of Life Choices Bill

By Danielle van Dalen


David Seymour is convinced his End of Life Choices Bill, drawn from the Private Member’s Ballot last Thursday, would be…

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Welfare to work?

By Kieran Madden


Just where do people go when they move off a benefit? It’s a serious question that demands an answer. Why?…

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The regional role of iwi

By Julian Wood


Bill English has made a splash in the last few days, both for his sheep shearing skills and his first-time…

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Polling Booth

The public square vs the voting booth

By Alex Penk


Why was Donald Trump’s election so surprising? One obvious reason is that he was completely unfit to be president. Less…

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American Flag

Lessons from America

By Kieran Madden


While most of us have experienced holding our nose as we vote, our American friends are, as usual, taking it…

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No Bregrets

By Kieran Madden


As the market dived and the pound sterling plummeted to a thirty-year lows following Brexit, deep despair and outrage reigned….

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Promises promises

By Jeremy Vargo


The joint announcement of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Labour and the Greens last week took many by surprise….

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Budget won’t fix lack of vision

By Julian Wood


Last Thursday when I told my son I was going to be home late because it was Budget Day, and…

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Living Wage disputes

By Kieran Madden


Last week, the Government announced that the minimum wage will soon rise by 50 cents to $15.25/hour, higher than the…

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The reason more important than the change

By Alex Penk


At the height of the Boer War, New Zealanders celebrated the heroism and abilities of our troopers. There was an…

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The aftershocks of King Henry VIII

The aftershocks of King Henry VIII

By Alex Penk


What does a long-dead Tudor king have to do with the Canterbury earthquakes? In late 2010, after the first shock,…

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The business of social investment

The business of social investment


We spend a lot on welfare. According to recent Treasury figures, of the $92.2 billion the Government spends, $50.5 billion…

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MMP refresher – the paths to power

MMP refresher – the paths to power

By Jeremy Vargo


Last week, my friends got into a heated discussion regarding David Cunliffe’s statements about Internet Mana. Mr Cunliffe said he…

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When Freedoms Collide | 2014 Sir John Graham Lecture

When Freedoms Collide | 2014 Sir John Graham Lecture


The following is an excerpt from the 2014 Sir John Graham Lecture, “When Freedoms Collide,” delivered July 31 by Professor…

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“Coat-tailing” and other political oddities

“Coat-tailing” and other political oddities

By Jeremy Vargo


What is the deal with “coat-tailing” and all those other little idiosyncrasies of our nation’s MMP system we hear bandied…

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Who are you reserving a seat in Parliament for?

Who are you reserving a seat in Parliament for?

By Jeremy Vargo


Have you heard of Paul Foster-Bell? Could you pick which party Barbara Stewart belongs to? And is Raymond Huo a…

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Is Crimea just a bit of history repeating?

Is Crimea just a bit of history repeating?


Autumn, 1938. German jackboots clatter over cobblestones in the town of Eger. The soldiers barely have time to settle in…

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