Buzz from the Beehive
New Zealand has struck further blows at Russia, one of them by imposing further sanctions on the armed forces and military-industrial complex of the Russian Federation.
The Insurance Company SOGAZ, the Russian Railways and defence entities that research, produce and test military hardware for the Russian Armed Forces are included in the latest lot of sanctions.
A second blow – this one was rhetorical– was struck by Phil Twyford, our Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control.
In a Statement to the 2022 Review Conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Twyford said the risk of nuclear weapons being used had increased dramatically along with dangerous rhetoric and exercises threatening such use. Continue reading “Govt again hammers Russia with sanctions while on the home front it is building more state houses – and enriching some motel owners”
Buzz from the Beehive
The state is flexing its muscle in the building and supermarket industries.
In the building industry the intervention can be criticised as long overdue and unlikely to do much good any time soon to remedy a crippling shortage of plasterboard.
A Ministerial taskforce has been set up to look at what more can be done to ease the shortage, including the potential for legislative or regulatory change.
In the supermarket business, the muscle-flexing has been announced in robust language – the press statement is headed Commerce Commission empowered to crackdown on covenants.
The Commerce Commission will be enabled to require supermarkets to hand over information regarding contracts, arrangements and land covenants which make it difficult for competing retailers to set up shop.
A much more troubling sign of the state flexing its muscle can be found in a statement jointly released by Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson and Māori Crown Relations Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis. Their lark is the mobilising of the media for an exercise in mass education – or is it indoctrination? Continue reading “Flexing the state’s muscle: Māori ministers are admiring as the media are mobilised to inform the masses about Matariki”
“AUKUS logic is morally repugnant, and NZ must resist it” ran the headline over a leader- page feature in the Dominion-Post recently.
In the article beneath that advice, Thomas Nash, co-director of the independent think-tank, New Zealand Alternative, argued the AUKUS alliance between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States has triggered a dangerous line in commentary questioning this country’s nuclear-free status.
Nash says many of the opinion writers appear to prioritise a militarist worldview but he contends if we are to enjoy a peaceful future, we should do the exact opposite “and forge closer relations that share our anti-nuclear values”.
NZ should resist pressure to fall into line with the military power of the US, the UK and Australia.
Instead of focusing our diplomatic and security efforts on the Five Eyes, he argues, we should strengthen our relationships in Asean countries, Latin America, and in our neighbouring nuclear-free Pacific Islands. Continue reading “AUKUS – it’s all very well expressing our moral repugnance but that won’t halt China’s bullying”
It’s great to hear Phil Twyford celebrating a success. Not a personal ministerial success, it’s fair to say, but a success nevertheless related to arms control.
The arms on which Twyford is focused, it should be noted, will make quite a mess if they are triggered. They tend to be nuclear ones.
Police Minister Poto Williams is similarly focused on arms control.
The arms in this case are not in the same big-bang league as those embraced by Twyford’s portfolio, but their potential to kill is plain enough and inevitably they became a political issue in the aftermath of the mosque massacre in Christchurch last year.
Williams yesterday announced the next steps in the Government’s firearms reform programme, a three-month amnesty aims to remove further firearms and arms items that were prohibited and restricted through the Arms Legislation Act 2020.
The Government has allocated $15.5 million for compensation and administrative costs.
Among other new announcements – Continue reading “Twyford has something to celebrate, but the hard yards were put in on disarmament long before he was given the portfolio”