News

Calling out China for cyberattacks is risky — but a lawless digital world is even riskier

Guest Author Jul 21, 2021

Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato This week’s multi-country condemnation of cyber-attacks by Chinese state-sponsored agencies was a sign of increasing frustration at recent behaviour. But it also masks the real problem — international law isn’t strong or coherent enough to deal with this growing threat. The coordinated announcement by several countries, including the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand, … Read More

Doping has become inevitable at the Olympics. And who wins gold in Tokyo might not be certain until 2031

Guest Author Jul 20, 2021

Jason Mazanov, UNSW Another Olympics is upon us, inexorable even in the face of COVID. With it comes the inevitable, salacious speculation around doping scandals. There have been doping scandals at every Olympics in my lifetime and a few before, reaching back to the middle of the 20th century. Now, because of the lag between new drugs coming into sport … Read More

Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin: can they be more than ‘space’ joyrides for millionaires?

Guest Author Jul 19, 2021

Ian Whittaker, Nottingham Trent University and Gareth Dorrian, University of Birmingham Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and his team successfully flew to the “edge of space” on the Unity 22 mission aboard a Virgin Galactic plane on July 12. The event was hailed as the start of space tourism, narrowly beating the planned launch on 20 July … Read More

In NZ and around the world, women are still more likely to present and report the news than appear in it

Guest Author Jul 15, 2021

Susan Fountaine, Massey University   Women are more visible in the world’s news than ever before — but they’re still far from achieving parity with men. According to the just released Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP), women made up 40% of reporters and 25% of news sources across print, TV, radio, internet news and Twitter. This was a record … Read More

With seas rising and storms surging, who will pay for New Zealand’s most vulnerable coastal properties?

Guest Author Jul 13, 2021

Tom Logan, University of Canterbury   The major storm surge and coastal flooding in Wellington earlier this month was another reminder that the sea is now lapping close to a lot of New Zealand’s front doors. The ominous question is: who will pay when it crosses the threshold? But that’s not a question worrying insurance companies. They’ve made their … Read More

Australia and New Zealand are signing up for an international tax on the tech giants — but will it be enough?

Guest Author Jul 09, 2021

Victoria Plekhanova, Massey University   Australia, New Zealand and many other countries are losing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year by not adequately taxing the profits of digital giants doing business in their jurisdictions. Australia has opted not to impose a digital services tax (DST) on the likes of Google, Facebook, Amazon, Uber and Airbnb. Meanwhile, … Read More

Online learning has changed the way students work — we need to change definitions of ‘cheating’ too

Guest Author Jun 29, 2021

Linda Rowan, Massey University and Fiona Murray, Massey University   As university students wait on their mid-year exam results, some will no doubt be thinking about more than just passing. Since COVID-19 pushed teaching and testing online last year, the issue of cheating has come into sharper focus. Recent reports of University of Auckland students allegedly cheating in online … Read More

Auckland is the world’s ‘most liveable city’? Many Māori might disagree

Guest Author Jun 17, 2021

Ella Henry, Auckland University of Technology   While I am always happy to celebrate any accolades my country and city might garner on the international stage, seeing Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau awarded the top ranking in a recent “most liveable cities” survey left me somewhat flummoxed. In particular, I would argue that many Māori whānau in Auckland do not enjoy … Read More

Whakaari tragedy: court case highlights just how complex it is to forecast a volcanic eruption

Guest Author Jun 04, 2021

Shane Cronin, University of Auckland and David Dempsey, University of Canterbury   While today’s pre-trial hearing over the Whakaari White Island tragedy revealed most of the 13 parties charged have yet to enter pleas, there is no disputing the basic facts. The December 9 2019 eruption struck when 47 people were on the small island; 22 people died … Read More

New Zealand relies on scientific research for good policy. It’s a pity the budget didn’t reflect this

Guest Author Jun 02, 2021

Nicola Gaston, University of Auckland   New Zealand’s government has been praised for listening to scientists as it continues to pursue its COVID-19 elimination strategy. But it’s difficult to find any signs of significant investment in science in the recent budget — or in fact previous budgets. It was with a sense of déjà vu I scrolled through … Read More