News of New Zealanders via Global Media

Leading negotiant

Leading negotiant

New Zealand’s Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Dr David Walker has been appointed as the new Chair of the WTO Doha Round Agriculture Negotiations. Walker replaces fellow New Zealander Crawford Falconer, who…

Symphony ire

Symphony ire

New Zealand anti-apartheid activist John Minto recently flew to Capetown to lend his support to 127 families who for the past 14 months have lived in makeshift homes on Symphony Way pavement in the…

To Save the Queen or Not

To Save the Queen or Not

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark, 59, who has given her valedictory speech to the House after 27 years as an MP, said the country’s institutions had “evolved a long way from our colonial heritage”….

Questioning change

Questioning change

New Zealander Bob Rigg has published an extensive analysis of the Obama administration’s initial approach to foreign policy in a paper for the South Asia Strategic Forum, a recently launched thinktank on global geo-political…

Stormy Outlook Ahead

Stormy Outlook Ahead

New Zealand’s economy contracted in the fourth quarter at its fastest pace in 16 years as the global turmoil worsened a domestic slump, putting interest rate cuts back on the agenda. The Reserve Bank…

Clark’s UN role confirmed

Clark’s UN role confirmed

26 March 2009 – Helen Clark’s nomination to lead the United Nations Development Program has been officially announced by Michele Montas, spokeswoman for the UN secretary general, in New York today. As the former…

Beauty Reigns

Beauty Reigns

National MP Korean-born Melissa Lee has been voted one of “the most beautiful women in politics in the world” by Spanish newspaper 20 Minutos, a poll which also included Hillary Clinton. Photos of 60…

Clark First Choice for UN Role

Clark First Choice for UN Role

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has been tipped to head the United Nations Development Programme, according to an unnamed UN official. If confirmed in this posting, Clark will be responsible for the…

Copywronged Righted

Copywronged Righted

New Zealand’s Creative Freedom Foundation, opponents of an amendment to the country’s copyright law, Section 92a, have secured victory with the scrapping of the plan which would have required Internet service providers to implement…

Key Looks Ahead

Key Looks Ahead

6 March 2009 – The idea of growing a nation out of recession by improving productivity puts Prime Minister John Key and his conservative National Party at odds with Washington, Tokyo and Canberra writes…

No with Black

No with Black

A protest against Section 92a, an amendment to New Zealand’s copyright law due to come into force from February 28*, has resulted in an “internet blackout”, part of a political protest against the law…

Onward and Upward

Onward and Upward

Former Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Helen Clark is a candidate for the position of administrator of the UN Development Program, three below the UN secretary-general. The role becomes available in August when…

Hold the Cash

Hold the Cash

One alternative form of paper money in New Zealand is the local exchange trading system (LETS) of green dollars, which is a particularly useful means of trade in smaller towns. Swiss national and…

Leader for Change

Leader for Change

01 December 2008 – Time calls John Key’s election win “an emphatic triumph”, and in a Q&A, Key notes that “we are 22nd out of 30 countries in the OECD for average income. I…

Teaming Up for Culture

Teaming Up for Culture

New Zealand and South Korea are forging an artistic alliance with a film co-production treaty signed in September 2007 and the forthcoming New Zealand Cultural Diplomacy International Program which will be held over three…

Parliamentary Melting Pot

Parliamentary Melting Pot

Pansy Wong, 53, is New Zealand’s first Asian cabinet minister, having been named Minister for Ethnic Affairs and Minister of Women’s Affairs in the new government. Wong, who was born in Shanghai, said her…

The siege of Helengrad

The siege of Helengrad

Antony Green, election analyst with the Australian Broadcasting Commission, summed up Election 08 thus (abridged): “Whether New Zealanders wanted change or just a change of government is the mandate question that John Key will…

Key In Clark Out

Key In Clark Out

8 November 2008 – National Party leader John Key, 47, has ousted Labour’s Helen Clark from office and a nine-year term, with a mantra of change. Prime Minister Helen Clark conceded defeat. Clark, 58,…

Elias on Equality

Elias on Equality

New Zealand’s first female Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias, and presiding judge of the country’s Supreme Court, recently gave a lecture at the University of New Mexico School of Law on indigenous rights entitled,…

Beyer Receives Iconic Status

Beyer Receives Iconic Status

Former mayor of Carterton and Labour MP Georgina Beyer – the world’s first transsexual to hold such positions – is interviewed by Boston publication Windy City Times about her recent selection as one of…

Pride in Heritage

Pride in Heritage

New Zealand’s first Governor-General of Asian descent Anand Satyanand – who recently paid a visit to India – is the subject of an article in The Times of India, which discusses how “the heirs…

Enigma funds school

Enigma funds school

Though New Zealand tycoon Christopher Chandler keeps a reclusive profile, he has invested $50 million in a business school for students from developing countries in Boston. Chandler, a beekeeper’s son from Matangi who has…

Peaceful Isles

Peaceful Isles

New Zealand comes in at number four on the second annual Global Peace Index released by Britain’s Economist  Intelligence Unit. A survey on the harmoniousness of the world’s nations, the Index evaluates…

Cattle for Capital

Cattle for Capital

New Zealand dairy farmers are benefiting from a worldwide demand for milk and cheese with Fonterra Cooperative Group members promised big payouts for their efforts this year. Never before has the term “cash cow”…

Berkett Settles In

Berkett Settles In

Neil Berkett is eight weeks into his role as chief executive at Virgin Media and already has battle scars. Actually, he explains in an interview with Sunday Times reporter Andrew Davidson, he just banged…

Trade Relationship Anniversary

Trade Relationship Anniversary

In 1983, New Zealand and Australia signed the Closer Economic Relations trade pact, and this year, on the 25th  anniversary of the agreement, chief economist of the Australian Trade Commission Tim Harcourt reflects on…

Beijing Pact Signed

Beijing Pact Signed

New Zealand is the world’s first developed country to sign a free-trade deal with China. “It’s a bit like getting the first date with the best-looking girl on the block,” says Stuart Ferguson, chairman…

Moore to Head Charity

Moore to Head Charity

Former prime minister and World Trade Organisation Director-General Mike Moore has been hired by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman. Moore will chair the Altimo Foundation, one of Fridman’s charitable organisations associated with the telecom…

Questions of Difference

Questions of Difference

Are New Zealanders really afflicted by a ‘tall poppy syndrome’? Do they lack in confidence? Are they indeed Australia’s poor cousin? And if so, does this mean the New Zealand culture is to blame…

On Financial Restraint

On Financial Restraint

New Zealander Robert Wade, Professor of Political Economy and Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science and author of Governing the Market, debates global finance with the UK’s leading economic commentator…

Gov-Gen Reflects on Changing Nation

Gov-Gen Reflects on Changing Nation

NZ Governor-General Anand Satyanand gave an exclusive online interview to Indian TV station NDTV. In it, he discussed NZ’s increasingly multicultural makeup, as well as his own Indian ancestry. “New Zealand, like all countries,…

Renewing Friendships, Broadening Horizons

Renewing Friendships, Broadening Horizons

Helen Clark was the first foreign leader to meet with Kevin Rudd in his new role as Australian prime minister. The pair met for a casual lunch at Rudd’s Brisbane home, where they discussed climate change ahead…

Protest Heard Around the World

Protest Heard Around the World

NZ-born pro surfer Dave “Rasta” Rastovich led an international protest over Japan’s commercial slaughter of dolphins in November, gaining significant media coverage for his cause. Rastovich, a free surfer for Billabong, is a co-founder of the charity…

Mugabe Expert Comes Full Circle

Mugabe Expert Comes Full Circle

Stephen Chan, longtime analyst and authority on Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe, returned to NZ recently to deliver the 2007 Chapman Lectures at Auckland University, his alma mater. Born in New Zealand to refugee parents, Chan became a well…

NZ Unites Against Death Penalty

NZ Unites Against Death Penalty

NZ has joined a United Nations effort seeking the worldwide abolition of the death penalty. Co-sponsors of the UN resolution include Brazil, East Timor, Gabon, Mexico, the Philippines and Portugal. “Capital punishment is the ultimate form of…

Wellywood and Bollywood Unite

Wellywood and Bollywood Unite

The NZ and Indian governments are to negotiate a film co-production agreement, whereby resources will be pooled to benefit filmmakers in both countries. “Films made jointly by New Zealand and Indian producers would qualify as works with…

NZ Sets Pace on Climate Change

NZ Sets Pace on Climate Change

A recent Guardian op-ed hailed NZ as “the new climate change pioneer”, after the unveiling of an ambitious new environmental plan by the NZ government. The plan’s stated targets include generating 90% of the country’s electricity from…

Senior Iraqi Posting for Shearer

Senior Iraqi Posting for Shearer

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has named New Zealander David Shearer as his deputy special representative for Iraq. Shearer will also serve as Iraq’s UN resident coordinator and humanitarian coordinator. “David’s a pretty special guy. He’s hugely regarded…

Potential World Heritage Sites in NZ

Potential World Heritage Sites in NZ

UNESCO is considering three NZ locations as potential World Heritage Sites at the request of PM Helen Clark, who is also NZ’s Minister of Culture and Heritage. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Kerikeri Basin and…

Praise for Bright and Vital

Praise for Bright and Vital

Ferris South Australian Liberal Senator Jeannie Ferris has died after a two-year battle with ovarian cancer. Born in NZ, Ferris studied agribusiness and worked as a journalist and political adviser before entering Australian parliament…

Clark Visits Oval Office

Clark Visits Oval Office

Helen Clark made an official visit to Washington last month, in what was her second such meeting with President Bush and just the third between NZ and US leaders in the last 24 years. Bush described Clark…

Political Force Remembered

Political Force Remembered

Auckland-born Leo McCarthy, a prominent figure in Californian state politics, has died of a kidney ailment aged 76. A lifelong Democrat, McCarthy was the state assembly speaker from 1974-80 and went on to serve…

Three Strikes, You’re Out

Three Strikes, You’re Out

Rainbow Warrior bombers Dominique Prieur and Alain Mafart have lost a third court appeal to prevent TVNZ from screening footage from their 1985 trial. Three NZ appeal court judges unanimously granted the channel permission to air…

World Heritage Watchdog

World Heritage Watchdog

Ngati Tuwharetoa chief Tumu te Heuheu has been named chairman of the UN World Heritage committee, the global supervisory body for cultural and natural heritage sites. PM Helen Clark described the appointment as a “momentous achievement,” and…

Indigenous Art in the Spotlight

Indigenous Art in the Spotlight

The Musée du Quai Branly, French President Jacques Chirac’s long-awaited €235.2 million shrine to indigenous art, was officially inaugurated on June 21 in Paris. The Quai Branly boasts a collection of 300,000 works from Africa, Asia, Oceania…

Dining With Giants

Dining With Giants

Canterbury University Professor of Philosophy and Arts & Letters Daily founder, Denis Dutton, was invited to the White House Press Correspondents’ Annual Dinner, as a guest of The Washington Post. The black tie event – a celebrity…

Nuclear Discussion Just That

Nuclear Discussion Just That

NZ’s iconic 21-year-old nuclear ban has returned to the news, both as a sideline issue in the recent parliamentary elections, and through a National Power Union-commissioned white paper on the pros and cons of nuclear power….

End of Ancestral Visa

End of Ancestral Visa

A new points-based immigration system could end the door-opening power of the ancestral visa. Many New Zealanders and other Commonwealth citizens have relied on having British grandparents to allow them to settle in the EU. Under…

Government Formed

Government Formed

Just over a month after election night, Helen Clark has formed a government and been sworn in as Prime Minister, making her the first Labour Party leader to form a government in three successive terms. Following…

Continental Drift

Continental Drift

Former PM Mike Moore spoke up about NZ’s increasing politico-cultural distance from Australia in the  Melbourne Age. “After 100 years of convergence, there is the beginning of divergence. Australia is becoming more like the US and…

Prussia of the Pacific?

Prussia of the Pacific?

A Guardian columnist points out an eerie similarity between the recent elections in NZ and Germany. Both were held on the same weekend and both delivered a spectacularly close finish between the two dominant centre-right and centre-left…

Forecast Fine With a Top of 9.6

Forecast Fine With a Top of 9.6

The Ministry of Tourism predicts that foreign tourist spending in NZ will increase by as much as 52% in the next 7 years. Spending is forecast to rise to NZ$9.6 billion by 2011 from NZ$6.3 billion in…

David Lange 1942-2005

David Lange 1942-2005

Former Prime Minister David Lange died on Saturday 13 August aged 63 after a long battle with ill health. He was regarded as “the best loved New Zealand political figure of the last 20 years” (Guardian Unlimited). Elected…

Kyoto Protocol a “Feelgood Gimmick”

Kyoto Protocol a “Feelgood Gimmick”

Meanwhile, SMH columnist Miranda Devine says “Our Kiwi neighbours, once smug about ecological superiority, face a cost blow-out from the treaty exceeding $NZ1 billion ($900 million). The farcical result is that even though the country produces only…

Top 10 for 100%

Top 10 for 100%

New Zealand has ranked 10th in an index of the strongest brands in the world compiled by marketing research firms Anholt-GMI. New Zealand had positive brand values and managed, like Ireland which came 13th,…

Rainbow Resonates 20 Years On

Rainbow Resonates 20 Years On

July 10 marked the 20th anniversary of the Rainbow Warrior bombing in Auckland Harbour. The Greenpeace flagship was targeted by French agents under the orders of then President Francois Mitterand, in retaliation for Greenpeace protests against French nuclear…