Thursday, 20 Jan 2022

Paul Henry: I love NZ – but I’m not sure I have the heartbeats for it any more

As we say goodbye to 2021 and welcome in 2022, it’s a good time to catch up on the very best of the Herald columnists we enjoyed reading over the last 12 months. From politics to sport, from business to entertainment and lifestyle, these are the voices and views our audience loved the most. Today it’s some of the best columns from Paul Henry, Sir John Key, Mike Munro and Sir Michael Cullen.

Paul Henry: I love this country – but I'm not sure I have the heartbeats for it any more – September 27

Only handfuls of generations ago, pioneers, adventurers and dreamers came to New Zealand’s shores in search of a better life, most of them hopeful that we would thrive and continue their legacy.

They weren’t looking for a handout or, in most cases for that matter, a hand up. They just wanted to be left alone to support themselves and be allowed to profit from their endeavour. Paramount was the opportunity to hand on a better way of life to their children. And so they did.

So how is it we have become willing lapdogs, suffering from Stockholm Syndrome? Hovering around daily briefings in the hope our captors will throw us a bone?

Read the full column here.

Sir John Key: 'A national embarrassment' – 5 ideas to transform our Covid approach – September 26

In a crisis, humans can be creative and inventive. Faced with the growing acceptance that Covid-19 and its variants may be with us indefinitely, the New Zealand Government and public health officials rapidly need to change their thinking to adapt to the new challenge.

The aim should no longer be to exist in a smug hermit kingdom, but to get back to a life where New Zealanders can travel overseas – for any reason – knowing they can return home when they want to, and where we again welcome visitors to this country.

Here’s a plan that might work.

See the full column here.

Mike Munro: Red light, green light – how life in NZ in 2022 could look – October 30

It is understandable that there’s a misty fondness for how some things were before Covid-19 came along and upended our lives.

Remember when it was possible to make an overnight dash to Sydney to clinch a business deal, visit family and friends wherever they might be, return from your OE at your time of choosing, or jet off to Bali or the Gold Coast at the drop of a hat?

Some have been insisting, somewhat wistfully, that the government just needs to get on and establish a plan for opening the border, so returning us to the sunlit uplands of pre-pandemic days. Look at the rest of the world, they say, it’s open.

If only it were that simple.

Read the full column here.

Sir Michael Cullen: When uncertainty is the only sure thing – July 17

At the present time there is a considerable chorus of calls from the right of politics for the Government to lay out a clear plan for how we, as a nation, are going to exit from the current restrictions on freedom of movement and return to a state of normality.

This is understandable — the business sector naturally seeks certainty in order to determine their own strategies for moving forward. For the National Party it is a means of diverting attention away from its own weaknesses.

For Act it is a further opportunity to outbid National in the sure and certain knowledge that what it says will never have to be implemented.

This all follows a script that has been followed a number of times since the cursed Covid pandemic began.

Read the full column here.

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