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Analysis and Comment (43)

Tasman Lake, which is fed by melt water from the retreating Tasman Glacier, photographed in March this year. Tasman Lake, which is fed by melt water from the retreating Tasman Glacier, photographed in March this year. Trevor Chinn

New Zealand’s Southern Alps have lost a third of their ice

A third of the permanent snow and ice of New Zealand’s Southern Alps has now disappeared, according to our new research based on National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research aerial surveys. Since…
Sunrise over Queenstown in New Zealand in July 2012. This year’s ski season is just beginning in Australia and New Zealand. Sunrise over Queenstown in New Zealand in July 2012. This year’s ski season is just beginning in Australia and New Zealand. Trey Ratcliff/Flickr

Winter is here, but will there be snow in Australia and NZ?

Australia’s ski season is finally getting underway, with the first resort, Perisher, opening its ski lifts after some weekend snow fall. But snow lovers are still watching and waiting for good falls elsewhere…
To which flag do the kiwi bird’s ancestors belong? New Zealand, Australia or somewhere else? To which flag do the kiwi bird’s ancestors belong? New Zealand, Australia or somewhere else? Lakeview Images

Rewriting the origin of New Zealand’s kiwi bird ancestors

New research has shattered the idea that New Zealand’s iconic kiwi bird is a close relative of Australia’s emu. Instead, the kiwi has a closer connection with a giant flightless bird that was the stuff…
New Zealand PM John Key canvassing on the campaign trail. New Zealand PM John Key canvassing on the campaign trail. nznationalparty

When PISA meets politics – a lesson from New Zealand

“PISA shock” is the term that has been coined for the sense of political crisis and knee-jerk policy reaction that typically occurs when a country drops in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and…
New Zealand’s opposition party has a long road to tread to support its case for compulsory super. New Zealand’s opposition party has a long road to tread to support its case for compulsory super. Trey Ratcliffe/Flickr

New Zealand wants to copy our super: here’s why it’s a bad idea

Australians and New Zealanders have a healthy rivalry about who follows who. Both countries claim as their own Pavlova, Crowded House and Phar Lap. To this list might soon be added compulsory superannuation…
New Zealand has increased its GST several times since it was introduced, so why does Australia find it so hard? New Zealand has increased its GST several times since it was introduced, so why does Australia find it so hard? Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Easy as, bro - raising the GST, New Zealand style

When long-time Kiwi expat John Clarke was asked why he left New Zealand, he said: “Because it was there.” Clarke at least knew what being “there” meant, in contrast to most of his new compatriots, whose…
Bleached and healthy corals on the Great Barrier Reef near Queensland’s Keppel Islands. Bleached and healthy corals on the Great Barrier Reef near Queensland’s Keppel Islands. AAP

IPCC: Australia and New Zealand face greater fire and flood risk, damage to coral reefs

Australia’s coral reefs and mountain-top ecosystems are set to suffer from climate change, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest summary of the research. The threats to these…
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters may hold the balance of power in NZ parliament after this September’s election. New Zealand First leader Winston Peters may hold the balance of power in NZ parliament after this September’s election. NZN/David Williams

Long live the kingmaker: Winston Peters and the NZ election

With New Zealand’s election date set for September 20, early polls suggest that the balance of parliamentary power may once again be held by controversial populist politician Winston Peters and his New…
Transitional architecture such as The Arcades Project is just one of many adaptive creative projects in Christchurch. Transitional architecture such as The Arcades Project is just one of many adaptive creative projects in Christchurch. Barnaby Bennett

Three years on: getting creative in post-quake Christchurch

February 22 is the third anniversary of the powerful earthquake that killed 185 people and radically altered the New Zealand city of Christchurch. The city centre is flattened and empty, with thousands…
Julia Gillard and Helen Clark supposedly suffered from a problem with their leadership style - and so, it seems, does every other woman in a position of power. Julia Gillard and Helen Clark supposedly suffered from a problem with their leadership style - and so, it seems, does every other woman in a position of power. AAP/David Foote

Sex and power in New Zealand: stalled at the crossroads?

Historically, geographically, culturally – there are many points of comparison between Australia and its neighbour to the east, New Zealand. But there are notable differences. This week, The Conversation…
No matter how well a country like New Zealand protects its borders, introduced species will sneak in. No matter how well a country like New Zealand protects its borders, introduced species will sneak in. Queensland University of Technology

A hitchhiker’s ride to New Zealand: alien voyages by sea and air

Historically, geographically, culturally – there are many points of comparison between Australia and its neighbour to the east, New Zealand. But there are notable differences. This week, The Conversation…
New Zealand’s X Factor offered a lot. No, really. New Zealand’s X Factor offered a lot. No, really. TV3 New Zealand

Why you should have watched The X Factor (New Zealand)

Historically, geographically, culturally – there are many points of comparison between Australia and its neighbour to the east, New Zealand. But there are notable differences. This week, The Conversation…
The face of Aotearoa – New Zealand – is changing. How? And why? The face of Aotearoa – New Zealand – is changing. How? And why? AAP/Sarah Robson

Rising Asian immigration highlights New Zealand’s changing demographics

Historically, geographically, culturally – there are many points of comparison between Australia and its neighbour to the east, New Zealand. But there are notable differences. This week, The Conversation…
None of these Victorian-era New Zealand women became a Henry Handel Richardson. None of these Victorian-era New Zealand women became a Henry Handel Richardson. Thiophene Guy/Flickr

Why New Zealand has no great 19th-century novel

Historically, geographically, culturally – there are many points of comparison between Australia and its neighbour to the east, New Zealand. But there are notable differences. This week, The Conversation…
The future for migrant Pacific Islanders in Australian education isn’t promising. The future for migrant Pacific Islanders in Australian education isn’t promising. AAP/Laura McQuillan

Pacific Islanders and education: is Australia an ‘unlucky country’?

Historically, geographically, culturally – there are many points of comparison between Australia and its neighbour to the east, New Zealand. But there are notable differences. This week, The Conversation…
The immigrant mask can take many forms. The immigrant mask can take many forms. IDS.photos/Flickr

On masks and migration: learning to stand upright in New Zealand

Historically, geographically, culturally – there are many points of comparison between Australia and its neighbour to the east, New Zealand. But there are notable differences. This week, The Conversation…
Stormy weather hits New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. Stormy weather hits New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. Flickr.com/wiifm69 (Sean Hamlin)

An insider’s story of the global attack on climate science

A recent headline – Failed doubters trust leaves taxpayers six-figure loss – marked the end of a four-year epic saga of secretly-funded climate denial, harassment of scientists and tying-up of valuable…
Blogging is in favour in New Zealand, with the major players taking on the mainstream media. Blogging is in favour in New Zealand, with the major players taking on the mainstream media. Sue Richards/Flickr

New Zealand’s blogosphere is thriving, but will the party last?

Blogs are thriving in New Zealand thanks to threats to media freedom, an increasingly commercialised media environment, and shifts in media ownership. The financial ownership of the major media companies…
Backpackers make up a hidden stream of labour in Australia. But what makes a ‘good’ migrant for policy-makers, and why is there a distinction? Backpackers make up a hidden stream of labour in Australia. But what makes a ‘good’ migrant for policy-makers, and why is there a distinction? Siim Teller

‘Good’ migrants and ‘bad’ migrants: the Coalition’s policy paradox

In his short period in office so far, prime minister Tony Abbott has been taken to task on two issues with important neighbours: asylum seeker boats arriving from Indonesia, and the rights of New Zealanders…
A new US proposal aimed at combating patent trolls is not likely to be effective. A new US proposal aimed at combating patent trolls is not likely to be effective.

A quick-fix solution for patent ‘trolls’ probably won’t work

In the US this week there’s been another outbreak of proposals to fix the “patent troll” problem. A new bill from Representative Bob Goodlatte suggests changing the nation’s patent law to punish trolling…
The economic argument for an FTA with China isn’t as strong as some may assume. The economic argument for an FTA with China isn’t as strong as some may assume. derekGavey/Flickr

Why an Australian FTA with China has never stacked up

Despite trade in goods and services between Australia and China exceeding A$125 billion in 2012, negotiations between the two countries for an FTA that began in 2005 have been so unproductive that both…
There are strong cultural and historical links between Australia and New Zealand - so why are Kiwis not treated equally in Australia? There are strong cultural and historical links between Australia and New Zealand - so why are Kiwis not treated equally in Australia? AAP/Paul Miller

Where’s the choice, bro: Kiwis in Australia get a raw deal

Back in 1901, it was said there were 1200 reasons for New Zealand not to join the Commonwealth of Australia, as that’s how many miles of ocean separate the two countries. And there’s no likelihood that…
New Zealand’s new Labour leader David Cunliffe has been elected in a process involving direct voting by the party membership. New Zealand’s new Labour leader David Cunliffe has been elected in a process involving direct voting by the party membership. NZN/Laura McQuillan

Albo and Shorten should look to New Zealand for primary guidance

While Australia’s Labor Party is digesting a significant electoral defeat, the New Zealand Labour Party, in opposition since 2008, has gone through another leadership change and is positioning itself to…
Legalise love: New Zealand approved same-sex legislation in a midst of celebrations. Legalise love: New Zealand approved same-sex legislation in a midst of celebrations. NZN David Williams

Aye do! France and New Zealand respond to same-sex marriage

The issue of same-sex marriage in Australia is again part of the national debate, after Independent MP Tony Windsor announced he was in support of a referendum on the question to be held in parallel with…
Australian prime minister Julia Gillard and New Zealand prime minister John Key met for bilateral talks in February 2013 to mark 30 years of close economic relations between the two countries. Australian prime minister Julia Gillard and New Zealand prime minister John Key met for bilateral talks in February 2013 to mark 30 years of close economic relations between the two countries. Ross Setford/AAP

Tougher policy needed for New Zealanders wanting to work in Australia

There are more than 600,000 New Zealand citizens in Australia, around 500,000 of whom were born in New Zealand. Prior to 2001, the Australian and New Zealand governments allowed citizens to move freely…
Will stronger economic integration test the resilience of the Australia-New Zealand relationship? Will stronger economic integration test the resilience of the Australia-New Zealand relationship? AAP

Australia and New Zealand’s slow and steady move towards economic integration

In March this year Australia and New Zealand will celebrate the 30th anniversary of a trade agreement known as Closer Economic Relations (CER). Few Australians and New Zealanders are likely to notice…
The GST is off-limits for both political parties, but a restructure could result in an increase in national productivity and incomes. The GST is off-limits for both political parties, but a restructure could result in an increase in national productivity and incomes. Image from www.shutterstock.com

Reforming GST is the key to productivity growth

With appropriate investment in design and explanation, a larger GST reform package could be one of the most effective and easiest options to help reverse Australia’s lagging productivity growth. Changes…
Our parks are an incredible asset, and if we ran them more like a business we would see that. Our parks are an incredible asset, and if we ran them more like a business we would see that. AAP/Patrick Horton

Thinking corporately: getting national parks on national balance sheets

National parks are among Australia and New Zealand’s most precious assets. But we don’t account for them properly, so they’re struggling. It’s time for a rethink. The assets managed by the parks agencies…
To know how to ease the damage we do, we must first take stock of the natural world. New Zealand does; Australia does not. To know how to ease the damage we do, we must first take stock of the natural world. New Zealand does; Australia does not. Flickr/borkazoid

Seeing the wood for the trees: Kiwi lead in biodiversity conservation

In 1992-93, 168 countries including Australia and New Zealand signed the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) acknowledging an urgent need to halt ongoing decline in the planet’s biodiversity. In its…
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Julia Gillard are at loggerheads over the investment chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Julia Gillard are at loggerheads over the investment chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. AAP

A dangerous investment: Australia, New Zealand and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

This week, San Diego is hosting the latest round of talks over the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Australia and New Zealand are at loggerheads over this secretive new trade treaty spanning the Pacific Rim…
Who would emerge better under a trans-Tasman currency regime: New Zealand or Australia? Who would emerge better under a trans-Tasman currency regime: New Zealand or Australia? AAP

Is a trans-Tasman currency union on the money?

The idea of a shared currency between Australia and New Zealand is not new and has engendered discussion over the past two decades. It has recently come to the forefront as a result of our Prime Ministers…
The Treaty of Waitangi reminds us that indigenous people must be treated honourably before the law. The Treaty of Waitangi reminds us that indigenous people must be treated honourably before the law. Sids1

A matter of trust – what we can learn from the Treaty of Waitangi

Much is made of the Treaty of Waitangi as the vehicle for the recognition of Maori in New Zealand’s legal system. Australia lacks a treaty, the argument goes, and therefore is constitutionally disabled…
Maori academics in New Zealand should be wary of talking to the non-Maori media. Maori academics in New Zealand should be wary of talking to the non-Maori media. Flickr/geoftheref

Academic bashing in the media – a first-hand account

Maybe it’s the lot of academics to be misrepresented, but when a single incident can nearly get you sacked it makes you reconsider whether to deal with the media at all. Last year, comments of mine about…
Current Prime Minister John Key is set to have an easy victory at today’s election. Current Prime Minister John Key is set to have an easy victory at today’s election. AAP/NZN Image/SNPA, David Rowland

John Key on brink of historic victory in New Zealand elections

New Zealand goes to the polls today to elect both a government and conduct a referendum on the nation’s electoral system. It will cap off fifteen tumultuous months in the country. Christchurch has endured…
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and coach Graham Henry celebrate their Rugby World Cup victory. All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and coach Graham Henry celebrate their Rugby World Cup victory. AAP

Let NZ savour its World Cup win – Australia is still the economic champion

Few would begrudge New Zealanders revelling in their rugby World Cup success. After two major disasters in the form of the Christchurch earthquake and the Greymouth coal mine explosion, some morale-raising…
winners. winners.

The smartest coverage of the Rugby World Cup

New Zealand is celebrating the All Blacks' victory over France in the Rugby World Cup. Over the course of the tournament The Conversation has brought you stories about all aspects of the game. And with…
The All Blacks' haka is culturally important for everyone in New Zealand. The All Blacks' haka is culturally important for everyone in New Zealand. AAP/AFP pool/Phil Water

All Blacks' proud tradition of the haka insulted in Rugby World Cup

RUGBY WORLD CUP – When New Zealand’s All Blacks take on France in the final tonight, they will be proud to perform a haka. They’ve taken some criticism for it in the past, but, as André Brett of the University…
Will rugby union remain one of the big four football codes in Australia? Will rugby union remain one of the big four football codes in Australia? AAP/Paul Miller

Rugby World Cup: the Australian situation

RUGBY WORLD CUP – As New Zealand gets World Cup fever, James Cook University’s Chris Davies discusses where rugby union’s place in the Australian sporting landscape. It’s on again – we’re now four weeks…
All Black Richie McCaw has been accused of routinely cheating in his approach to the game. All Black Richie McCaw has been accused of routinely cheating in his approach to the game. AAP

Rugby World Cup: are cheats prospering?

RUGBY WORLD CUP – The athleticism of the players has impressed in this tournament, but is there a whiff of unsportsmanlike behaviour in the air? Brian Stoddart of La Trobe University investigates. A few…
Big sporting events often make a loss, but the locals still enjoy the party. Big sporting events often make a loss, but the locals still enjoy the party. AFP/Franck Fife

What will the Rugby World Cup be worth to New Zealand?

RUGBY WORLD CUP – In the latest of The Conversation’s series on the Rugby World Cup, Massey University’s Sam Richardson looks at the costs and benefits to the host country New Zealand. New Zealand has…
New Zealand’s 28th Maori Battalion performing a Haka in Egypt in 1941. New Zealand’s 28th Maori Battalion performing a Haka in Egypt in 1941. AAP Image/Alexander Turnbull Library

Rugby World Cup: All Blacks, New Zealand Maori and the politics of the pitch

RUGBY WORLD CUP – In the first of The Conversation’s series on the Rugby World Cup, Massey University’s Malcolm Mulholland argues for the continuation of a Maori only rugby team. Around half of the All…
Theories suggesting lunar influence on earthquakes have serious cracks. Theories suggesting lunar influence on earthquakes have serious cracks. penguinbush

Lunar eclipse prompts lunatic quips but is not going to rock your world

With a total lunar eclipse set to occur just before sunrise (AEST) on Thursday, we can expect to see certain views regurgitated about our moon. Our satellite has been the focus of speculation and folklore…
Do hotter-than-average lake temperatures at Mt Ruaphehu suggest an imminent volcanic eruption? Do hotter-than-average lake temperatures at Mt Ruaphehu suggest an imminent volcanic eruption? Jess Robertson

Mount Ruapehu eruption signs in hot water

A prolonged period of hotter-than-average temperatures in the crater lake of New Zealand’s Mt Ruapehu has seen the country’s media questioning whether another eruption is on the cards. Mt Ruapehu (Māori…

Research and News (1)

Research Briefs (5)

Looking for planets just like Earth

University of Auckland scientists have proposed a new way to find planets like Earth. The research strategy includes the…