Understanding the Refugee Quota

Rachel Buckman After awkward contradictions by coalition partner Winston Peters, on 19 September Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that from 2020 onwards New Zealand would raise the refugee quota to 1500 people. For 30 years, despite massive displacement taking place across the globe, the New Zealand quota has remained fixed at 750. In 2016, the National government raised this to …

Does the ‘Waka-Jumping Bill’ Address a Problem that Does Not Exist?

By Ben Bowley-Drinnan The Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill may prove to be one of the most significant pieces of legislation passed by the coalition Government. However, in the media’s fawning over Jacinda Ardern’s pregnancy and the birth of baby Neve, the Bill has largely lapsed from the public view. The Bill itself proposes to amend the Electoral Act 1993 to …

“Nothing but leeches”? The Question of Foreign Aid

James Adams Heather du Plessis-Allan does not think that Jacinda Ardern should have taken a New Zealand Air Force plane to visit the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru. Pacific Island nations, in her view, “are nothing but leeches on us.” Countries in the region, apparently, “don’t matter” and only want our money. Predictably and justifiably, these comments have been widely …

Hidden in Plain Sight: Regulating Influencer Marketing

Patricia Lu Anyone on social media has been exposed to some form of influencer marketing. Whether it is in the form of sponsored posts, free gifts or affiliate links (just to name a few), an increasingly problematic aspect is the issue of sponsorship disclosure. The distinction between opinion and advertisement is being muddled, especially given the various ways paid promotions …

The Crime of Aggression: A Solution to International Use of Armed Force?

HAYA KHAN As of the 17th of July, 2018, the crime of aggression has been incorporated into the ‘Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court’. It functions as a method of criminalising the invasion of foreign countries, acting as a mechanism to bar the possibility of a world war. Does this mean no more war ever? Not quite. The activation …

Labour vs National on Medicinal Cannabis Reform: What’s the Deal?

Milly Sheed A shake up of medicinal cannabis legalisation in New Zealand has been a hot topic of discussion since the introduction of our new Labour Government last year. Each party has a unique stance on the merits and regulatory requirements needed for medicinal cannabis to operate effectively in New Zealand. Accusatory rhetoric from media and Members of Parliament surrounds …

Penalising Solo Parents

Georgia Osmond Life as a sole parent can be difficult, and arguably the government contributes to this by continuing to allow Section 70A of the Social Security Act 1964 to remain. Under this provision, it is possible for sole parents to have the benefit paid per child reduced if they fail or refuse to identify the other parent of their …

The Case for Legalising Recreational Cannabis

Valeeria Slaiman Cannabis has been criminalized in many countries, with the exception of medicinal use in certain circumstances. However, earlier this year Canada made the decision to legalise recreational use. New Zealand’s Green Party, as part of their political campaign, promised drug reform policy that would allow cannabis for personal use and further accelerate medicinal cannabis licenses for use. There …

New Zealand’s abysmal mental health statistics

Emily Davidson New Zealand has appalling mental health statistics. In 2017, 606 people died by suicide.[1] This is an all-time high. The previous record was set in 2016.[2] Within our broader suicide problem, it is evident that we have a child and adolescent mental health crisis. Our teen suicide rate (those 15-19) is the worst in the developed world and …

The Hidden Shame: Force Marriages in New Zealand

Anuja Mitra When the average person thinks of forced or underage marriage, they probably envision a girl from a specific culture or even a different time period, in a country that is decidedly not New Zealand. Yet forced marriage does occur in New Zealand — and has raised significant enough concerns for Parliament to take notice. What is Forced Marriage? …