Archives for November 2022 | Josie Pagani



The Initiative's State of the Nation

Josie joined Dr Oliver Hartwich of the NZ Initiative on a podcast discussing the State of the Nation.

Listening subscribe here or below.

Voting at 16

If you’re 16, parents still have an obligation to house, feed and protect you. The state has the authority to step in if parents fail. Third parties, like companies, governments and political parties, are regulated from exploiting teenagers. Make them adults and the responsibility to provide and protect withers and dies.

The real issue is about when childhood ends and with it the protections in law for children. Voting at 16, and all the other entitlements that would come between 16 and 18, are the rights of adults. Voting makes children into adults.

The dissenting judge said the majority has reduced the rights of everyone over 18 by slightly altering the composition of the voting electorate. I would argue it also affected the rights of under-18s to transition out of childhood without having the responsibilities of adulthood imposed too soon.

Josie's column about the Supreme Court's declaration is here.


Josie joined Bernard Hickey's podcast to discuss polls showing Labour and the Greens reducing their deficit to National and ACT, along with the plateauing of Christopher Luxon’s personal popularity.

Listen here.

Communiques aren't much good in a gunfight

In her Stuff column this week, Josie argues that the mere act of everyone being in a room and engaging in diplomacy probably doesn't make a difference

Who knew there was an international ‘’summit season’’. Like the Bluff oyster season, or the end-of-the-year Northern Tour for the All Blacks.

The days of being satisfied with our politicians and officials sharing carefully calibrated comments so as not to offend international criminals and human rights abusers are numbered

It turns out taking people's rights away matters

Josie's column on the US mid-term elections is here.

Perhaps the greater epochal conclusion is that when the US had democracy itself on the ballot, they chose the quality that makes America great. Candidates selected for no reason other than personal loyalty to Donald Trump did worse than average in the midterms.

I'm cautious about the conclusions to be drawn from election results decided by a couple of percentage points. The Democrats did better than expected but lost some battles. Republican Governor Ron DeSantis​ won big in Florida.

Doing what's popular wins elections. The Democrats were worried they'd focused too much on abortion rights and the fight for democracy, when the biggest issues for voters were inflation and crime. Turned out taking people's rights away mattered. Three in 10 voters said that abortion rights were their reason for turning out to vote, about the same as said inflation.

The week in politics

Josie joined the panel on Newshub Nation to talk about the Hamilton West by-election and the week's politics.
Newshub 5 Nov 22

I'm enjoying the chance to eat out. So please just leave us alone

We were dining in one of those retro Wellington restaurants. It was Halloween. I had my dinner companions in what I imagined to be thrall to my geopolitical wit and insight.

“The letter from some Democrats calling on President Biden to negotiate with Putin was so horrifying,” I quipped, “it could go trick or treating dressed as itself.” Turning to the UK I was rising to a fresh punchline when, suddenly, before I could say “Rishi Sunak has the gelled hair of a Ronald Reagan mask”, the waiter leaned in:


I know there are other awful things going on. Families of 13 living in a one-room motel unit. Mortgage interest rates. What with the war in Ukraine, and the prospect of one in Taiwan, I’m worried about what kind of world we're leaving Keith Richards. It’s precisely because the cost of living is going to hell in a hand basket, and it costs so much to go out, that I am motivated to communicate if I am not getting my money's worth.

To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens, I am perfectly aware that there are greater problems facing civilisation than my interrupted dining experience. But this is something we can all change at a stroke. God knows, we need to believe change is possible.

Josie's exasperation about cafe service is here.

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