Sunday, April 30, 2023

Lushington D. Brady: Maybe Robert Muldoon Was Right?

The door is wide open for Kiwi opportunists. But who’s winning?

Back in the day, Robert Muldoon used to joke that Kiwis moving to Australia raised the IQ of both nations. It was a great one-liner, but it was also a cheap play to the parochial peanut gallery. It especially helped Muldoon paper over an embarrassing fact: Australia was carrying the can for New Zealand’s failure to provide opportunity for locals.

After all, Australia bore the cost of Kiwi no-hopers queuing up outside the Manly dole office, at the same time as it benefited from NZ-bred talent finding their feet on a bigger stage. Somewhere in the middle was Russell Crowe. But I digress.

Frank Newman: Chiefs at War

Chief of War is an action drama set in 18th-century Hawaii. The storyline is about four warring tribes uniting against a much more powerful colonial invader. Presumably, the plot will be along the lines of a heroic chief using super-human qualities to unite the proud and virtuous tribal folk in order to defeat the imperial evil to establish the utopian happily-ever-after Kingdom of Hawaii. 

It is actually based on some truth in that the Kingdom of Hawaii was formed in the late 18th century. The rest is fiction. The actual history following tribal unification was one of decline until Hawaii was annexed to the United States 100 years later. Needless to say, a sequel is unlikely to feature this aspect of history.  

That aside, Chief of War appears to be a good yarn commercially suited to a woke audience and Harvard University academics. 

It has been billed as “the biggest Indigenous series ever made”. There is no question it is a big deal financially, with a production budget of US$340 million for the nine episodes. 

The lead actor is Hollywood superstar Jason Momoa, best known for his roles as the titular character in Aquaman and Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones. Big name kiwi actors include Temuera Morrison and Cliff Curtis.

The movie is of relevance to New Zealand because parts are to be filmed on location here. Filming started last October in the Bay of Islands which welcomed the cast and entourage with great celebration and cultural fanfare at a powhiri. Filming is also scheduled to take place in Auckland and was to take place at Kauri Mountain which is on the east coast near Whangarei. The scenery is spectacular, albeit little known and is appreciated more by locals than tourists.  

In January this year, the Northland Regional Council granted resource consent for the filming, and construction of the temporary props and buildings was underway. It all came to an abrupt halt a few weeks ago. 

What the producers of Chief of War had not counted on was the warring tribes of Northland. 

Damien Grant: We should be celebrating the rich, not hitting them with more taxes

David Parker’s envy report, digging into the wealth of 311 talented individuals who didn’t squander their productive years in politics, journalism or worse, the insolvency profession, revealed something interesting.

Net worth in the land of the long-white cloud is heavily concentrated in the elderly. Very heavily. There are three drivers of this.

Graham Adams: Is Kiri Allan fit to be Justice Minister?

Whether it is Posie Parker, hate-speech laws or donations, the East Coast MP is completely out of her depth.

Kiritapu Allan was appointed New Zealand’s 51st Minister of Justice on 14 June 2022. Her predecessors — nearly all men — include political heavyweights such as Jack Marshall, Ralph Hanan, Martyn Finlay, Geoffrey Palmer, Doug Graham and Annette King.

Less than a year into her tenure, Allan is looking more and more like a rube who lacks the gravitas and good judgment to hold such an important position in government.

Stuart Smith: The Case for the NZ Battery Project

The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment recently released the Indicative Business Case (IBC) for the New Zealand Battery Project. However, the IBC has raised more questions than it has answered.

Last month, Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods announced that the New Zealand Battery Project will move forward to a detailed business case, on two favoured options: pumped hydro at Lake Onslow and a portfolio option of alternative technologies. The portfolio option includes the combustion of biomass, a new geothermal plant used flexibly and interruptible hydrogen electrolysis. Despite this, the emphasis will be on the Onslow option, which Minister Woods is a strong advocate for.

NZCPR Newsletter: Hiding in Plain Sight - the Real Agenda

Last week, Waatea News talkback host John Tamihere interviewed the Chairman of the Waikato-based Tainui iwi, former MP Tuku Morgan, about the future of freshwater.

It was clear from their on-air ‘chat’, that as far as iwi leaders are concerned, Labour’s Three Waters reforms are just a stepping-stone towards Maori ‘ownership’ of freshwater.

John Tamihere: “We own the water.”

Peter Wilson: The week in politics - April 28th 2023

Australia's citizenship deal, Green Party tensions and a tax debate

Australia's citizenship deal - was it genuine goodwill or has our prime minister been "played like a digeridoo"? Tensions within the Green Party are said to be "boiling" as the Kerekere row drags on, and evidence that the wealthiest people pay tax at a lower rate than the rest of us starts up another capital gains tax debate.

The Australian government's announcement that from 1 July Kiwis could apply for citizenship after four years cascaded through the media this week.

It's retrospective, it's a big deal, and it was recognised as one.

Lushington D. Brady: Snuffing Out the Candle in the Dark

I have a love-hate relationship with Richard Dawkins. On the one hand, I often find his pretensions to philosophy ill-informed and annoying. I mean, he openly professed ignorance of epistemology, after writing a book on what was, in fact, epistemology (The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True). His attacks on religion are too often trite and undergraduate-level stuff.

On the other hand, I admire him for at least being consistent — and willing to equally offend the self-righteously woke. Even at the risk of his own cancellation.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Jessica Mutch McKay: Hipkins leaves capital gains tax door ajar

The Prime Minister made a politically calculated move this week to leave the door ajar on the issue of a capital gains tax.

Chris Hipkins gave us the first taste of what to expect in the election year Budget this week when he delivered a speech to the business industry in Auckland.

He ruled out a capital gains tax in the Budget, and he’s dampening down expectations behind the scenes.

Point of Order: Finance Minister is coy about costs of trains for lower North Island ....

......while Health Minister may hope to bamboozle Buller people

Our hard-working big-spending ministers have added to the list of announcements which make demands on the public purse, since Point of Order last checked the government’s official website.

But a statement released in the names of Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Transport Minister Michael Wood is astonishingly bereft of hard data related to the costs of the initiative that enthuses them.

Lindsay Mitchell: Are children safer or not?

The Salvation Army’s latest State of the Nation 2023 report draws on data from Oranga Tamariki (formerly CYF) and tells us, “The number of children under 2 years of age entering care is down from 440 in 2018 to 133 in 2022..…”

Finally, some good news from a public service agency.

Christoph Schumacher: When the OCR misses the mark

Annual inflation has fallen from 7.2% in the fourth quarter of 2022 to 6.7% in the first quarter of 2023. On the surface, this is good news. We seem to have passed the inflation peak, and the Reserve Bank’s OCR increase to 5.25% appears to be doing the trick. But hold on. Does this mean inflation is now under control, and the OCR is doing what it is supposed to do?

Michael Johnston: It doesn't take academics to train teachers

Yesterday [27/4/23], the New Zealand Initiative launched a new report. Save Our Schools makes wide-ranging recommendations to rescue our failing school system.

One problem is a knowledge-poor curriculum. In NCEA, we have a qualifications system that often leads to disconnected and incomplete coverage of school subjects. We have no reliable measures of educational achievement to hold schools accountable for their performance. We do not train teachers in a way that adequately prepares them for the classroom.

Point of Order: America - for an introvert

This week US President Joe Biden issued a video message to say he was joining former President Donald Trump in offering to renew his employment in 2024.

For different reasons, both men consider themselves eminently qualified. An important reason for both is that they are not the other.

Recent disclosures in the Fox News defamation case suggest that some who once had access to Trump are unenthusiastic about his candidacy.

Whereas the Democratic party apparatchiks who enjoy Biden’s hazy approach to policy and administration probably take an opposite view of their man.

So how about a wonk in the White House?

Breaking Views Update: Week of 23.04.23

Saturday April 29, 2023 

Grievance taken to world stage

Wairarapa Moana has called on the United Nations to hold the government to account for “breaching [its] human rights”.

In a statement to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples on April 18, Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani Incorporation director Anne Carter said the group has been denied access to justice by the New Zealand government.

Friday, April 28, 2023

National leader Christopher Luxon chats with Kerre Woodham on Newstalk ZB

Click to view

Opposition leader Christopher Luxon joined Newstalk ZB morning host Kerre Woodham in the studio for an hour of talkback.

He covered topics around tax after promising National will put more in the pockets of middle-income wage earners, the reset Three Waters and the cost of living crisis.

Net Zero Watch - Green Britain: People need to accept they are poorer, says Bank of England


In this newsletter:

1) Green Britain: People need to accept they are poorer, says Bank of England
The Daily Telegraph, 26 April 2023
2) Scrap Bank of England’s climate mandate, Balls and Osborne say
Bloomberg, 25 April 2023

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Hipkins is sounding like the leader of National

National should be sweating, because Chris Hipkins is stealing their lines. 

That is what struck me listening to his pre-budget speech today. His speech could’ve been delivered by the leader of the National Party.

It was in front of a business audience. He took a crack at the last Government- as if he wasn’t actually a part of Jacinda’s Government- saying “The reality is the Government was previously doing too much, too fast”.

And then he told us that economic growth was his priority. His budget would focus on three things: skills, science and infrastructure investment. 

Kate Hawkesby: We must value those in the tourism sector more

One of the things I like about London is the infrastructure works. The buses, the trains, the tube, the taxis all work. It’s a systems place, it’s got the population to support it, and it works, so people use it.

The other thing I’ve found on our travels both here and in the States, is that service culture is huge. It’s a career.

At home it feels a bit more of a transient option for school leavers or students or those who want to dabble in something for a while. Waiting tables or working in a hotel is an in between gig on the way to or from something else.

Point of Order: While an economist predicts govt will be lifting its borrowing.....

.....the PM and his Housing Minister welcome the results of spending

There was nothing fresh on the government’s official website when Point of Order checked this morning on the doings of our hard-working ministers of the Crown.

This was no surprise, we reasoned. They will be busy finding someone willing to lend them the billions they need to plug the deficit in the Budget books.

Ele Ludemann: Govt pushing gender activism on schools

Did you know that the Education and Workforce select committee is considering the Education and Training Amendment Act (3)?

And did you know that it includes this requirement for appointments to school boards?

Cam Slater: How ChatGPT Analysed a David Fisher Article

On ANZAC Day I popped into the supermarket and banged into a former journalist who is a good mate. We worked on a few stories together, most notably the Darren Hughes story that led to his demise as an MP.

We got to chatting about the parlous state of journalism in New Zealand and various other things. He said to me that he loves using ChatGPT to analyse journalists’ work and suggested I try it.

So, I did and chose to look at a recent article from David Fisher. I mean, who better than that, right?

Garrick Tremain: Air Ace

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on Luxon's 'friendly fire! 

Chris Trotter: Top Guns.

The farm that I grew up on had a paddock called “Canberra”. Not on account of any great regard the farm’s owner, my father, had for Australia’s capital city, but because that was the land he was clearing when a Canberra bomber flew low overhead. Between 1958 and 1970, the English Electric Canberra B.Mk.20 bomber was the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s principal strike aircraft. As I recall my father’s telling of the tale, a single Canberra bomber flew the length of the country to show New Zealanders what their government had purchased for their defence. As a former RNZAF officer, Tony Trotter was sufficiently impressed to name the paddock he was preparing “Canberra” in its honour.

The Canberra bombers of the RNZAF saw active service in the Indonesian-Malaysian Confrontation of the mid-1960s – a military engagement about which New Zealanders know next-to-nothing. In conformity with the New Zealand Government’s determination to contribute as little as it could get away with to the escalating conflict, its Canberra bombers were not deployed in Vietnam. They were replaced in 1971 by the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk.

Brendan O'Neill: Ron DeSantis is right to fight back against woke capitalism

Corporate meddling in politics is out of control. Pushback is needed.

Some top Republicans are getting cold feet over Ron DeSantis’s fight with Disney. The Florida governor has been locking horns with the Walt Disney Company for more than a year. His beef is with Disney’s arrogant decree that it would use its economic clout to wound and ideally kill off his House Bill 1557, branded the ‘Don’t Say Gay Bill’ by some commentators. Now passed into law, as the Florida Parental Rights in Education Act, HB1557 limits what schoolteachers can say about ‘sexual orientation [and] gender identity’ to kids under the age of 10. ‘Unacceptable’, said the bosses of Disney as they peered with aristocratic scorn at the democratic process from their ivory-tower-cum-Cinderella-Castle.

Point of Order: Climate Change Commission sounds caution about forestry.....

......while Peeni pumps $57m into a fund for wood processing

There’s much to absorb in the 205-page report from the Climate Change Commission headed 2023 Draft advice to inform the strategic direction of the Government’s second emissions reduction plan.

If media headlines fairly sum up what the commission is saying, the government should be smarting.

Here’s a sample –

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Bruce Moon: Meanwhile in Our Funny Little Country

To any observer from beyond our shores, it must be a matter of some surprise that we continue to argue about the meaning of a very old document, the so-called “Treaty of Waitangi”.  The reason is that this essentially simple document has become a political football and, as everybody knows, political arguments usually go on for ever and are not always embellished with the truth.  So it is with the Treaty.

The irony is that what the Treaty actually said is very plain and so it should be.  It was, as I hope nobody will deny, translated from Hobson’s English text of 4th February into the Ngapuhi dialect of Maori overnight on 4/5 February 1840 by Henry and Edward Williams, two competent speakers of that tongue who had been resident in New Zealand for seventeen years.

Wendy Geus: Courageous Leader Tackles Social Justice Issue Head On

Whilst our media ban opinions which contradict their ‘correct world view’

Compare and contrast. Our government and media have brazenly condoned the abuse of UK women’s rights activist Posie Parker by transgender protesters. But UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has ramped up his support for women’s rights, speaking out against the trans extremism movement where words like ‘pregnant woman’ and ‘mother’ are being censored, replaced by ‘pregnant people’.

Refusing to adhere to the media’s politically correct version of the ‘truth’ around identity politics, Rishi Sunak, in speaking out, is trouncing Keir Starmer, who still struggles (like our PM) to define a woman.

Kate Hawkesby: Focus on what needs done, not ideological tax nonsense

With all this tax the rich talk and naysayers wanting punitive measures dished out to anyone showing signs of success or ambition, I just wonder if we're shooting ourselves in the foot here.

Are we not at peak tall poppy syndrome now?

Because where does all this "it's not fair, woe is me" whining actually get us? So far all I can see is that it sends our best and brightest off elsewhere. We have the 5000 nurses who've registered to work in Australia, the net migration loss of more than 8000 Kiwis to Australia just last year, we have those who've discovered cost of living is actually cheaper overseas.

Grant Schofield: A falling out of love letter to the university (….we need to talk)

What does an academic actually do and do they have any useful function in society today? This is a question I’ve been asking about myself 30 years into my academic career.

It’s not a mid-life crisis, at least so far as I can tell. I haven’t bought a Harley Davidson. Yet.

New Zealand universities are facing serious budget shortfalls, dwindling domestic enrolments, and catastrophic international student declines. My employer, engaged in a cost-cutting restructure which I survived, only to find out they botched it so badly they had to re-employ everyone they sacked. We will start the process again mid-year. The University of Otago announced staff cuts will be in the several hundreds, Massey, Auckland, Victoria and Lincioln have already been and are in these processes. Only Canterbury has somehow shown growth. Overall the sector is in trouble in New Zealand. It’s the same in Australia.

For most of my career I was in love with the “university” and the role it had in society. I’m gutted now to have lost that love.

Garrick Tremain: Political waste

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on cleaning up Government entities! 

Bryce Edwards: Why NZ’s regressive tax system is unlikely to change

Yesterday the IRD released its landmark report on the ultra-rich in New Zealand and the tax they pay. It starkly illustrates the extent to which the wealth of the ultra-rich has skyrocketed in recent years. The richest 311 families have a combined wealth of $85 billion, and own a quarter of the country’s assets.

Their income in the last year of the study, 2020-21, was $14.6 billion. But the rate of tax they paid on this income was, according to IRD, only half of what the average taxpayer pays. According to business journalist Bernard Hickey, if those ultra-rich families paid the same rate of tax as middle-income New Zealanders, the government would’ve raised an extra $3.4 billion in tax in that one year.

Bob Jones: New Zealand's IMF ranking

The latest IMF Current Account Ratings forecasts that our current account deficit will be proportionally the largest of the world’s 40 most advanced economies.

Specifically, the IMF said it would be worse than notorious cot cases such as Greece and ranks us the 3rd worst performer in its recent years decline among advanced economies.

This is a direct consequence of the appalling financial mismanagement over the last 3 years.

Oliver Hartwich: Australia reaping the spoils of New Zealand’s decline

Sadly, the current government seems to be taking the opposite approach. Instead of fostering a competitive environment, it is openly considering new taxes on the most successful individuals in society.

It is sometimes a personal experience that brings abstract policy discussions to life. And so let me share with you a chat I had last Friday with an Uber driver in Auckland.

He was a Pakistan-born New Zealander who has called Auckland home for 21 years. On our way from the CBD to the airport, he shared his story of how he and his family are planning a move to Australia. The cost-of-living crisis, high crime rates, and better opportunities across the Tasman Sea influenced his decision, he explained. All his friends were thinking about the same move.

Cam Slater: They Might Pay Half the Rate, but They Pay 68% of All Tax

The IRD and the Government have released a report that shows the wealthy in New Zealand pay an effective tax rate of half that which ordinary wage and salary earners pay. Missing from the media and the report is the fact that this is all entirely legal and that none of those the report is about are being prosecuted.

That means the report is a political exercise designed to soften us all up for increased taxation.

Michael Johnston: Save our schools - solutions for New Zealand's education crisis

This manifesto draws on the body of research compiled at The New Zealand Initiative over the past decade to bring together a coherent plan to improve our education system, and to restore it to a place of international pre-eminence.

New Zealand’s once world-leading school education system is in a state of deep malaise. Objective international measures show an ongoing decline in key achievement areas, including literacy, numeracy and science. Too many students are leaving school ill-prepared for tertiary study, work and life.

Lushington D. Brady: The Kids Aren’t All Right

What are we going to do about it?

Ah, me: the Boomers. Here I go, readers will think: taking the stick to my favourite whipping-boys. Not quite. Read on, geriatric Boomers, and don’t get your Depends in a knot, just yet.

Way back in the depths of the pandemic, I commented on social media that the response proved that Boomers are the most selfish generation. Because, I argued, the whole of pandemic policy was designed solely to try and save the elderly for just a few more weeks, at not just staggering economic expense, but at the cost to the well-being and future prospects of the very young. The Moloch Option, I called it.

But some Boomer relatives and friends disagreed. “We’re not all like that,” said one. They hated the lockdowns, too.

Heather du Plessis-Allan: It's clear there's a tax coming

There’s a tax coming, there’s definitely a tax coming. 

And out of morbid fascination, I can’t wait to see how Labour goes about trying this one on

David Parker today released his research into how much tax Kiwis paid and he's got the headlines he wanted. They’re all screaming that 350 of the richest Kiwis pay half the rate of tax that the rest of us do. Only 8.9 percent, compared to our 20 percent.

Now this is where it gets tricky for David Parker, because he’s counting capital gains that aren’t  realised.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Lushington D. Brady: Thanks for Showing Us What a ‘Voice’ Will Be Like

Nepotism, abuse and troughing all the way

When Lidia Thorpe went on a raging, racist rampage of abuse outside a Melbourne strip joint, some commented that it was a preview of what the “Voice” in action would look like. They were more right than they knew.

Point of Order: IRD Minister’s tax report shows (no surprises) the benefits of getting much of your wealth from capital gains

We have waited patiently to post this ministerial press statement and some of the reaction, because the announcement was under embargo until 12.30pm and it was not then posted promptly on the Beehive website.

At first blush, the statement gives good cause for wealthier New Zealanders to brace to have more of their money taken from them by a government with an increasing debt to settle and an inclination to show “fairness” in its tax policies.

Mike Hosking: Authenticity trumps all in media

We touched on authenticity before the school holidays.

I said that one of the more damning aspects of the Dominion and Fox news scrap was not whether Fox was at fault over claims around the election, but rather the revelation in depositions that Tucker Carlson lied about Donald Trump.

As we know, as of last week, a bit over a billion dollars is heading Dominion's was after the settlement.

A lot of people who hate Fox wanted the thing to go to trial. The reason Fox didn’t is kind of exemplified by the Carlson sacking.

Kate Hawkesby: Getting out of NZ shows how introspective we've become

As school goes back today, for how long who knows given the looming strikes, but as we head back to the office and to school, it’s been interesting to reflect on the past two weeks.

We headed away for the first time in three years – we hadn’t left the country since Covid and closed borders, but we’d heard from everybody who had, how refreshing it is to get out of NZ. How inspiring it is to see how much the rest of the world has moved on. How blinkered and parochial we have become in our own little hermit kingdom.

Our first stop was San Francisco, a lost city full of drugs and homeless people and not much to enthuse a tourist to be honest. It felt edgy and unsafe and made me worried about our next stop – New York – and how much more dangerous and unsafe that may feel.

But how wrong I was. New York is incredible. It feels super safe due to the fact the place is flooded with cops – Police on every corner, and lots of them.

Cam Slater: The Defence Force Is Bleeding Out

The Defence Force is in crisis. It’s actually worse than that: if it were an accident victim being triaged, it’d be classified as unlikely to live, regardless of what care it received. That’s how bad it is, as we will demonstrate to readers with leaked internal documents from the NZ Army.

The NZ Herald discussed how parlous the situation is in a recent podcast:

Lushington D. Brady: We’re All Paying for the Childcare Kids

Who really benefits from early childcare?

Are we reaping the whirlwind of the Childcare Generations? Watching the collective tantrum-throwing, foot-stamping, tears and outrage whenever someone dares have a different opinion to ignorant youngsters, one has to wonder where we went wrong.

Sure, the Boomers were no less sheep-like in their opinions, in their youth, but they could (at least occasionally) tolerate other viewpoints. When John Wayne rode into Harvard on a tank, to lecture the students on conservative viewpoints, there was certainly disagreement, but also a great deal of good-natured tolerance.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

John Porter: Lest We Forget

April 25th marks the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during World War I, at Gallipoli. New Zealand and Australia mark the anniversary each year, remembering not only those who died at Gallipoli, but all who have served their country in times of war.

The crucial consequence of the terrible events of World War I was the rescue of democracy, primarily in Europe, but also around the world.

Point of Order: Anzac Day is about remembrance......

.....but did our Veterans Minister forget about Second World War and the saving of democracy?

Dalius Čekuolis, a career diplomat who served as Lithuania’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2006 to 2012, championed democracy in a speech to the UN General Assembly on May 6 2010 to mark the 65th anniversary of the end of the Second World War,

Veterans Minister Meka Whaitiri, on the other hand, didn’t mention “democracy” in a press statement she issued to encourage all New Zealanders to mark Anzac Day this year.

Garrick Tremain: Anzac day

 Here is Garrick Tremain's cartoon commentary on Hipkins and his lot's hypocrisy! 

Clive Bibby: A real and serious threat to our democracy.

A recent piece by my good friend Karl du Fresne, published on this blog, talked about the need for anonymity for some folk expressing views that may be considered controversial by people who have power over employment opportunities.

As usual it was a well written commentary by someone who is regarded by his enemies as being untouchable given he has earned a reputation for accuracy and well researched investigative journalism but it was also a sobering account of the state “free expression in New Zealand.

Unfortunately, there are few other individuals still writing opinion pieces in this country who command the respect that allows them to say what they like and we, as a nation of highly interested bystanders, are the worse for it.

Sandra Goudie: Complaint to the Chief Ombudsman

To the Chief Ombudsman: Complaint regarding the Attorney General and the Minister for the Environment.

An OIA request asking for a copy of the Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi has been rejected by both of the above entities.

The same person has dual roles in regard to being both the Attorney General and the Minister.

The inability to provide the information has huge justice issues for the people of New Zealand being subject to law which embodies phrases requiring that ‘must give effect to the Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.’

Tim Beveridge: A couple of thoughts about Anzac Day

A couple of thoughts about Anzac Day – which as we know is the day of remembrance specifically for the soldiers who fought and died in the Gallipoli campaign during World War I.

Over time, of course it has come to represent more than just the Gallipoli campaign, and it has become an increasingly important day for both Australia and New Zealand. I would argue —for New Zealand— possibly it has become the country's most important national day.

It is the day that brings the nation together, with services and parades held in cities and towns throughout the country.