The Common Room - Josie Pagani

Should we ban offensive words?

Josie Pagani, Political Commentator

Earlier this year, the publishers of Roald Dahl books hired sensitivity readers to rewrite any language that could be deemed offensive. The result? Augustus Gloop was suddenly no longer ‘enormously fat’ and people no longer turned ‘white with fear.’ This week Josie Pagani discusses the ramifications of the rewrites and why it sets a dangerous precedent for free speech.

Graham Adams The Common Room

Hipkins insists there’s ‘nothing to fear’ in co-governance

Graham Adams, Contributing Writer

Is ‘partnership’ with iwi feared or is it just unfair?

The Common Room - Mike King

Mental Health: We need change now

Mike King, Founder, I Am Hope

Every year thousands of Kiwi kids struggle with their mental health. For various reasons, they become overwhelmed by the waves of life and feel like they’re drowning. So is the system helping them or failing them?


Paula Bennett The Common Room

Why should you give a damn?

Paula Bennett, Former Deputy PM

Having once won an election by just 9 votes, returning presenter Paula Bennett has a clear message for voters. Watch as she unpacks why your vote matters and shares how to decipher the PR spin from political party policies.

David Farrar The Common Room

Media bias exposed

David Farrar, Media Commentator, Pollster and Blogger, Curia Market Research

To many Kiwis the media are not seen as disinterested reporters. They are often seen as employees of companies with ideological agendas who not only don’t understand New Zealanders who are not left-leaning, but show active hostility towards them. But does the research back up this view?

Dr Oliver Hartwich The Common Room

Has Ardern altered the course of NZ?

Dr Oliver Hartwich, Executive Director, The New Zealand Initiative

Did we just witness a third transformative Government in New Zealand’s history? Would it be right to compare the administration of former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to the likes of Savage and Lange who’s policies altered the course of New Zealand?

The Common Room - Ronji Tanielu

The power of the Pasifika vote

Ronji Tanielu, Community Worker

Whichever party can secure and win the bulk of the Pacific vote has a good chance of winning the election. But do our political parties understand the values and issues that are important to our Pasifika communities?

Rachel Smalley The Common Room

NZ’s shameful health secret

Rachel Smalley, Journalist and Broadcaster

New Zealand sits at the bottom of the western world for access to modern medicines. Pharmac decide what drugs we buy and when. So why aren’t Kiwis getting the medicines they need?

Sean Plunket The Common Room

How to fix a broken media

Sean Plunket, Founding Editor, The Platform

Veteran broadcaster Sean Plunket pulls no punches when talking about the state of NZ media and how we can fix it.

The Common Room - Melissa Derby

Equity or equality?

Dr Melissa Derby, Ngāti Ranginui, Senior Lecturer Waikato University

What happens when the focus of government and institutions shifts from providing equal opportunities to equal outcomes? Is attempting to bring about equal outcomes a good idea – or even possible? 

Sunny Kaushal The Common Room

The soft bigotry of low expectation

Agnes Loheni, Entrepreneur, Qualified Chemical Engineer, Mum of 5, and Former MP

“Our children are inundated with messages that they will be preyed upon because of their race or other such perceived disadvantage. That any dreams or aspirations they might have for themselves must be tempered by a system that is rigged against them,” says Agnes. Find out more in this thought provoking video.


Graham Adams The Common Room

Hipkins’ government enters election season in disarray

Graham Adams, Contributing Writer

The Prime Minister is beginning to look like a lame duck.

Thomas Cranmer The Common Room

Second term government, third term problems

Thomas Cranmer, Contributing Writer

They say a new broom sweeps clean, and that is certainly the case with the premiership of Prime Minister Chris Hipkins. However, even he couldn’t have anticipated the rapid exodus of ministers under his premiership.

Liam Hehir The Common Room

Is… is the media okay? Can somebody check?

Liam Hehir, Political Commentator

Media outlets that have always been widely respected, if not always loved, keep tripping over themselves. In all honesty it feels like a bit of a breakdown and it’s hard to know just what’s at the bottom of it…

Thomas Cranmer The Common Room

From comrade to Dame in a New York minute

Thomas Cranmer, Contributing Writer

One of the final acts of Jacinda Ardern’s exit from New Zealand politics was the announcement that the former Prime Minister would become Dame Jacinda Ardern. It was possibly the fastest transition from comrade to dame that anyone has ever achieved.

Janet Wilson The Common Room

A new media regulator – a safe haven or Big Brother?

Janet Wilson, Contributing Writer

Is New Zealand about to get its own Orwellian “Newspeak” moment with the release of the Safer Online Services and Media Platforms discussion document released by the Department of Internal Affair’s Content Regulatory Review?


The Common Room - Melissa Derby

What is the purpose of education?

Dr Melissa Derby, Ngāti Ranginui, Senior Lecturer Waikato University

While some view education as solely about learning literacy and numeracy skills, others think education should develop children’s social and emotional competencies or validate various socially-approved aspects of their identity. Watch as Dr Melissa Derby explores the question: what is the purpose of education?

Ian Powell The Common Room

Our scary public hospital crisis+

Ian Powell, Health Systems Commentator and Blogger

On 9 February 2023 TVNZ’s 1News revealed some data that should alarm us all: that our hospitals had hit 100% occupancy more than 600 times in 2022. That is, on average, each day, roughly two public hospitals around the country were running at an occupancy higher than they were resourced for. How did our hospitals go from crisis in 2017 to scary crisis+ in 2023, and how do we fix it?

Alex Penk The Common Room

Beware of The Blob

Alex Penk, Independent Researcher and Writer

“The Blob is a gelatinous agglomeration of elite opinion that suffocates and skews public debate,” says Alex Penk. In this short video Alex details how a distinctly blobby-like group of NGO’s recently tried to skew the public debate on co-governance.

Jordan Williams Tax
Dr Michael Johnston NZ Initiative
Simon O'Connor Identity Politics
Josie Pagani Working Class
Ashley Church TCR
Kirk Hope The Common Room
Aaron Ironside The Common Room
Maria English
Camryn Brown
Alex Penk
Bruce Cotterill
Simon O'Connor
Karen Chhour
Maheshh Muralidhar
Camryn Brown The Common Room
Liam Hehir
Paula Bennett
Mike King


The Common Room - Dr Paul Moon

Dr Paul Moon

The Common Room - Ronji Tanielu

Ronji Tanielu

The Common Room - Paula Bennett

Paula Bennett

The Common Room - Mike King

Mike King

The Common Room - Dr Melissa Derby

Dr Melissa Derby

The Common Room - Camerson Bagrie

Cameron Bagrie

The Common Room - Oliver Hartwich

Dr Oliver Hartwich

The Common Room - Karen Chhour

Karen Chhour

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