Issues by Paul Paynter

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Water’s the Issue… Again


Outside of the mayoral contests, the local body elections look like a bit of a yawn to many.  My now constantly groaning, rumbling, pulsating and still traumatised digestive tract reminds me daily of the big issue at hand. It was…

Paul Paynter10 September 2019

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Representation or Tribalism?


It was “morally and ethically the right thing to do,” said councillor O’Keefe. Or was it “a very sad day for democracy”, as characterised by councillor Heaps.  The issue that so polarised councillors was the appointment of a single Māori…

Paul Paynter01 August 2019

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Confront the poison, don’t censor


I’m still finding it hard to make sense of the massacre in Christchurch. I’m battling with emotion and disbelief, the censorship of information, and a raft of strange behaviours. In the first days and hours after trauma, decisions are often…

Paul Paynter01 June 2019

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Plastic … No Quick Fix

Environment Voices

Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane.  Go on, have another crack at it. In a world frustratingly awash with acronyms, we can at least recognise this one – DDT, that brutally toxic and offensively long-lived organochlorine pesticide used most widely in the 50s and 60s. …

Paul Paynter01 April 2019

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How to Make 2019 Better


Here are five steps you can take in 2019 that will improve your life and the wellbeing of our entire community. Embrace Moderation – How about we drink less alcohol?  I heard a health guru a while back say 20%…

Paul Paynter01 February 2019

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Making the Port Call


“Napier Port is proudly owned by the people of Hawke’s Bay. The Regional Council is committed to keeping it that way,” declares HBRC’s ‘Our Port’ consultation document.  Err, well they’re 51% committed to keeping it that way. The HBRC are…

Paul Paynter01 December 2018

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Ten Years is Time Enough

BB Anniversary

Ten years is a good interval on which to assess progress.  Sure, there are shooting stars that by some act of mercurial brilliance achieve something meaningful in a lesser time, but these are unquestionably the exception. Most are devoid of…

Paul Paynter01 October 2018

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Tolerating Israel Folau


Even heard of Godwin’s Law? Mike Godwin, a lawyer in the US, showed remarkable foresight when he declared all the way back in 1990 that:  “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1.” …

Paul Paynter01 August 2018

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More Risk, Please


I was elated in 1985 when the speed limit was lifted from 80kph to 100kph. You see in those days you could get a full licence at 15 and mine was newly minted. What euphoric madness it was to be…

Paul Paynter01 May 2018

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The government of my dreams

Politics Voices

I missed the election. I was in Europe and felt quite sad about it. I didn’t realise how much I enjoy the understated theatrics of election day in the provinces. The ritual of turning up at my old school hall,…

Paul Paynter23 December 2017

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Where the Buck Stops

Water Voices

THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES is one of the most enduring images from antiquity. Damocles, you may recall, was a courtier in the service of his king, Dionysius II of Syracuse. Syracuse remains a pretty little town in the southeast of…

Paul Paynter24 October 2017

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Hiding Behind “N****r”


“€SEND IN YOUR NOMINATIONS for New Zealand’s Person of the Year,” said the radio announcer. I thought for a moment. “I think I’ll nominate Brian Tamaki,” I suggested to my passenger. “What!? The guy’s crazy.” “Maybe, but he has reminded…

Paul Paynter02 August 2017

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A Political Punch in the Nose

Politics Voices

ding dong, the dam is dead!  Our newly elected councillors are sensibly circumspect on the matter, but in a private moment have likely declared a discreet ‘ding dong’. Putting aside the euphoria or despair of dam protagonists, it’s worth considering…

Paul Paynter24 December 2016

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The Pressure is Building


Can you feel it? The world is changing, pulsing, vibrating like never before in my lifetime. Let me take you on a brief global tour of the chaos… In England they snubbed the views of the major political parties and…

Paul Paynter04 October 2016

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Heed the Oracle of Omaha

Voices Housing

Economics is exciting; exciting because it’s not about money or business, it’s about people. It’s the study of madness of crowds, their frothy exuberance and their hand-wringing despair. Hawke’s Bay is enjoying an economic renaissance, or so it seems. Many…

Paul Paynter05 August 2016

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The Louis Vuitton of Food

Food Voices

Ubi ius, ibi officium – ‘privilege with responsibility’. One bit of Latin every young farmer should be taught. What a great privilege it is to have such a key influence on human health, the environment and, in many cases, animal…

Paul Paynter06 February 2016

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Tribalism Afflicts Hawke's Bay


Tribalism. It seems to cause a great deal of trouble in the world. People find these ways of delineating themselves into ‘us and them’ on the basis of gender, race, culture – economics even. Religion gets a bad rap too,…

Paul Paynter20 July 2015

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Have you ever suffered a mental illness? Do you have a phobia? What about an anxiety disorder? Or have you ever made a mind-bogglingly stupid decision? Any inkling of a ‘yes’ and I warmly welcome you to the glorious dysfunction…

Paul Paynter08 June 2015

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Brain drain or Brain exchange?

Social Education Voices

I approached my allotted booth and mustered a face of feigned enthusiasm. The place was riddled with busloads of what appeared to be typical gen Y’s; endlessly seeking excitement in their smartphones as they shuffled by. They might be worth engaging…

Paul Paynter08 April 2015

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