After the last ‘summer of terrible drugs’ it’s time to make NZ’s temporary drug checking law permanent

Guest Author Aug 17, 2021

Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato   With the summer music festival season approaching (COVID willing), hopes are high that the current temporary recreational drug checking law will become permanent. If and when that happens, New Zealand will take another small step down the long drug reform road from criminalisation to harm prevention. Submissions to parliament’s health select committee on the … Read More

Why New Zealand’s proposed law banning conversion practices is so unlikely to criminalise parents

Guest Author Aug 13, 2021

Eddie Clark, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   Given all parliamentary parties have said they oppose conversion practices being performed on LGBTQ+ people, you could be forgiven for wondering why the first reading of the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill last week didn’t pass unanimously. In the end, the bill passed comfortably, 87-33, but the National … Read More

Let’s choose our words more carefully when discussing mātauranga Māori and science

Guest Author Aug 04, 2021

Emily Parke, University of Auckland and Dan C H Hikuroa, University of Auckland   Responding to the recent controversy over mātauranga Māori and the letter he co-authored titled “In defence of science”, Emeritus Professor Michael Corballis said: “We don’t know any Māori who knows what mātauranga is.” This immediately made us wonder: what would happen if we … Read More

Gamers know the power of ‘flow’ — what if learners could harness it too?

Guest Author Aug 03, 2021

Simon McCallum, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Edward Schofield, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington, and Stephen Dobson, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   One of the constant challenges in education is keeping the learner engaged, motivated and connected in a world increasingly filled with distractions. Social media, streaming TV and … Read More

Has the High Court shown the way for successful Māori claims to marine title?

Guest Author Aug 03, 2021

Martin Fisher, University of Canterbury   Nearly two decades on from the bitter political battle over ownership of the seabed and foreshore, a recent precedent-setting High Court decision passed almost without comment in the mainstream media. Perhaps that is a sign the country as a whole has moved on. Various appeals now await a hearing, but if the judgment … Read More

Aggressive marketing has driven the rise of the double-cab ute on New Zealand streets — time to hit the brakes?

Guest Author Jul 28, 2021

Kirsty Wild, University of Auckland and Alistair Woodward, University of Auckland   “Explore your inner beast.” That was the slogan used last year to sell the Ford Ranger. At 2.4 tonnes, that’s a lot of “light” truck, but the stakes are rising. This year, the 3.5 tonne Ram 1500 “eats utes for breakfast”. Super-sized light trucks have landed in Aotearoa … Read More

Why calling ordinary Kiwi cyclists ‘elitist’ just doesn’t add up

Guest Author Jul 28, 2021

Timothy Welch, University of Auckland   Something strange has happened to the perception of cyclists and cycling in the more than 200 years they’ve been around. Once a novelty, bike riding has moved from being a critical transport mode to a children’s pastime to now being popularly perceived as an elitist activity. This was readily apparent after the recent … Read More

How do Olympic athletes stack up against invertebrates? Not very well

Guest Author Jul 28, 2021

Caitlyn Forster, University of Sydney and Eliza Middleton, University of Sydney   Olympians spend years training to be the best of the best. Scientists and sportspeople have spent decades researching the mechanics of the human body to ensure our elite athletes are always reaching higher, faster and stronger. But how do human athletic skills compare with those of insects and … Read More

Billionaire space race: the ultimate symbol of capitalism’s flawed obsession with growth

Guest Author Jul 24, 2021

Tim Jackson, University of Surrey Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids, laments the Rocket Man in Elton John’s timeless classic. In fact, it’s cold as hell. But that doesn’t seem to worry a new generation of space entrepreneurs intent on colonising the “final frontier” as fast as possible. Don’t get me wrong. I’m no sullen technophobe. Read More

How does the Pegasus spyware work, and is my phone at risk?

Guest Author Jul 21, 2021

Paul Haskell-Dowland, Edith Cowan University and Roberto Musotto, Edith Cowan University A major journalistic investigation has found evidence of malicious software being used by governments around the world, including allegations of spying on prominent individuals. From a list of more 50,000 phone numbers, journalists identified more than 1,000 people in 50 countries reportedly under surveillance using the … Read More