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A ballerina is painted on the back of the Theatre Royal in Christchurch by Tauranga artist Owen Dippie and his team. Jocelyn Kinghorn

Putting culture at the core of the Christchurch rebuild

Three recent events in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, almost four years on from the magnitude 6.3 earthquake in February 2011, suggest that arts and culture are playing a central role in the recovery…
Outreach is a crucial element of the G20 leaders summit. Shutterstock

Explainer: who gets invited to the G20 summit, and why

The G20 is full of traps for the unwary punter, new to its byzantine ways. There are not 20 member countries in the G20, for example. There are 19 countries, plus the European Union. In November, you will…
When contemplating our fee deregulation gamble, we should look no further than New Zealand, where it was tried and failed. The.Rohit/Flickr

Will Australia learn from NZ’s mistakes in higher education?

Since 1990 New Zealand has introduced many dramatic “reforms” into its higher education system, many of them well in advance of Australia. A number of these “reforms” have been unwound after nasty, unintended…
China’s market for milk is huge, but not without its challenges. Mark & Andrea Busse/Flickr

With a free trade deal Australia can win China’s dairy market

The clock is ticking down to the end of year deadline Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has given for sign off on a free trade agreement with China. In this China-Australia FTA series we explore what…
In 2012 and 2013 parts of New Zealand suffered the worst drought in 70 years. Dave Young/Flickr

New Zealand is drying out, and here’s why

Over 2012 and 2013, parts of New Zealand experienced their worst drought in nearly 70 years. Drought is the costliest climate extreme in New Zealand; the 2012-2013 event depressed the country’s GDP by…
Dealing with housing bubbles can get messy for central banks. Shutterstock

Home loan limits and buffers won’t stop a housing bubble

Australia’s central bank has formally flagged the use of macroprudential tools to address what it called “unbalanced” lending in its most recent Financial Stability Review. Loan-to-valuation ratio (LVR…
New Zealand Labour leader David Cunliffe cast an early ballot, but few voters followed his lead, with Labour recording its worst result since 1922. NZN Image/Sarah Robson

NZ’s Labour pains mirror party problems in Australia

For the New Zealand Labour Party, which has been the dominant force on the left since it first took office in 1935, Saturday’s general election was a very bad day at the office. The 24.7% of the vote Labour…
New Zealand Labour leader David Cunliffe (left) and NZ Prime Minister John Key during a televised political debate. AAP Image/Mediaworks

A beginner’s guide to New Zealand’s strangest election

We’re in the final few days of an election campaign that has had it all – comedy, conspiracy and claims of dirty politics – though none of it has dented New Zealand National Prime Minister John Key’s chances…
If bloggers are journalists, should they all benefit from the same legal protections? Jonathan Ah Kit/Flickr

Are bloggers ‘journalists’? New Zealand’s High Court says yes

A New Zealand High Court judgment handed down on Friday will have far-reaching implications for journalists and bloggers, as courts around the world consider the rapidly changing definitions of journalism…
New Zealand prime minister John Key is accused of attack politics by proxy. AAP/Daniel Munoz

Dirty politics across the ditch may cost Key the election

Since its publication in August, Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics: How attack politics is poisoning New Zealand’s political environment has dominated the political agenda in the lead-up to the September 20…
Where New Zealand’s embrace of Anzac differs from Australia is the place of the legend in national mythology. Archives New Zealand/Flickr

New Zealand: the other half of the Anzac legend

As the centenary of the Gallipoli landings approaches Australians need to consider the other half of the ANZAC acronym. The rise of Anzac Day as Australia’s national day has been paralleled by the increasing…
Forestry is credited under New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme. World Resources Institute/Flickr

Carbon pricing is still the best way to cut emissions, if we get it right

The Coalition government has recently axed Australia’s carbon “tax”, leaving us with no carbon price. Alternatives include the government’s “Direct Action” plan, or Clive Palmer’s proposed emissions trading…
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. 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…
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. 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? 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…
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…

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