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The Press opinion column

August 19, 2016

Mike writes a weekly opinion piece for The Press newspaper, the South Island’s flagship daily, and, published every Tuesday.  

The Press – Opinion June 23

Back to School and Recovery Delays. On Friday I went back to school. Thirty years on, since I first rocked up as a angelic little third-former, I was back as guest speaker for the St. Bede’s Annual Dinner. Since then, I’ve been wallowing in a haze of school days nostalgia, with the memories flooding back…. Read More ›

The Press-News column Jun 16

The Housing Crunch and Congestion Charges The latest OECD report on New Zealand champions some bold changes to enhance our sustainable and inclusive economic well-being. Cynics like to deride their reports as the work of Paris chateau pointy-heads. But much of it is applicable Canterbury’s dynamics, with a prescriptive list of changes that should elicit… Read More ›

The Press-News column June 9

Protect the Christchurch Ratepayer Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel’s 11th hour re-hash of the draft long term plan ( LTP) provides the faintest flicker of relief for your backpocket, but you’ll still be rogered.  This unorthodox intervention plan by the Mayor appears  to be driven by the desire to maintain a veneer of political unity around… Read More ›

The Press-News Column June 2

In defence of the city’s nightlife. Does the city council want to knock the stuffing out of the central city’s fledgling post-quake nightlife scene?  Is New Zealand’s second largest city set to have  a strangulated entertainment scene,  neutered by power-tripping nanas? Or will common-sense prevail? The business end of the city council’s provisional Local Alcohol… Read More ›

The Press-News Column May 26

Existing housing should be off-limits to non-resident foreigner buyers. As the dust settles on Budget 2015’s big bangs, notably the looming hardship hand-outs, the big housing bogey will continue to dog the government’s agenda. Ten days ago, National hoped the big reveal on cracking down on quick-flicking property speculators, would have a chilling effect on… Read More ›

The Press-News column May 19

Failing leadership by Community Boards. It will come as little surprise to learn that the bulk of city councillors who voted in favour of super-sizing the number of elected representatives, were indeed the People’s Choice crew, who increasingly vote like a blinkered, partisan block. Ironically, these civic comrades, who want to rack up a bigger… Read More ›

The Press-News Column May 12

In defence of the city councillor who said No. Only a person with a heart of stone could be untroubled by the stream of stories appearing in The Press about locals sleeping rough, bereft of secure housing.  Whether it’s the incompetence of the system, or the individual’s incompetence that authors their dire predicament, a cry… Read More ›

The Press – News Column May 5

Will city councillors find the courage to stop bingeing on your backpocket? With May now unfolding, the oh-so-Long Term Plan is finally reaching the business end for the Christchurch City Council, with the hearings process set to play out.  It’s the ultimate test of this council’s mettle, an exacting measure of whether clear-eyed, frugal and… Read More ›

The Press – News column Apr 28

Keep the ANZAC torches burning Despite all the chatter and twitching over ISIS-fuelled fanatics targeting the ANZAC Day Commemorations, Kiwis and Aussies stoutly refused to be cowered.  Record Dawn Service turn-outs was the prevailing current back home, while here in Turkey, only 14 of the 10,000 balloted ticket-holders for Gallipoli, were no shows. It was… Read More ›