Week at the Union – Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand

first_imgby Heather Ryan  Malcolm X, Ronald Reagan, Yasser Arafat, Helen Clark… try spotting the odd one out. The Prime Minister of New Zealand is perhaps one of the lesser-known politicians to have graced the Oxford Union with their presence, but her achievements suggest such obscurity is undeserved. The first female Prime Minister of New Zealand to win office at a General Election, Clark has overseen radical changes to her nation’s welfare system. In her speech – surprisingly well-attended given that it was on Monday of 0th week – these were outlined: 8 increases to the minimum wage in as many years, an increase in employment levels, and a reduction of unemployment to 3.6%. Her government is as notable for its positions on international affairs and green issues as it is for its commitment to social justice, and much of Ms. Clark’s talk focused on the themes of her foreign policy.While the somewhat uninspiring delivery detracted from my enjoyment of the speech, the content itself was interesting, centring on the themes of New Zealand’s foreign and environmental policies. The country’s commitment to nuclear disarmament was discussed, as was the active role in international peacekeeping played by the New Zealand army.Clark described New Zealand as “clean and green”, and also advocated her government’s support for human rights, interfaith dialogue and international aid. She concluded by contrasting the UK and New Zealand, suggesting that while we share many values and beliefs, due to geographical separation the focus of our diplomatic and trade relationships is different. Several insightful questions followed, including a criticism of her government’s rejection of nuclear energy, which Clark rebutted confidently and fluently. I was left in no doubt that the Prime Minister is principled, articulate, and a liberal through and through; it’s just a shame that her public speaking skills undersell her.last_img read more

Designer villas unveiled and set to impress

first_imgThe living spaces are large and bright.“They are a bit narrow at the front but they broaden out and are like two big houses,” he said.Villa 2 offers expansive living spaces, from the master bedroom with private balcony, to a media room, and outdoor entertaining patio overlooking the water, complete with a private pontoon.Splashes of natural oak, Calacatta marble look flooring, matt black hardware and pendant lighting combine for a contemporary and appealing interior. The kitchen has stone benchtops, a breakfast bar and butlers pantry.“Well, it’s not something you can do every day of the week,” owner John Batch said.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North1 hour ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa21 hours agoMr Batch has built units, up-market residences and industrial developments before, although his background is in banking and wholesale.He snapped up the “biggest block in the whole estate”, demolished the old house and built two brand new villas in its place. It has the hallmarks of a contemporary home. 7 Nootka Court, Broadbeach Waters is set to go to auction on December 16.ONE of Broadbeach Waters’ “biggest blocks” has transformed into dual luxury villas.A sophisticated, spacious and sleek waterfront residence enhanced with a sparkling salt water pool and plenty of room options — it’s not bad for a “project” intended to keep the semi-retired vendor “off the golf course”. There is also a private pontoon.The opportunity exists to purchase either one of the villas.The residences are situated 200m to the main river and close to popular schools, parks and bustling Broadbeach Mall, shops, cafes and bars.last_img read more

French Open Tennis

first_imgAndy Murray is the latest hurdle for Novak Djokovic as he looks to win a first ever French Open singles title.The pair meet in the second of this afternoon’s semi finals at Roland Garros.Before that, home favourite Jo Wilfried Tsonga takes on eighth seed, Stan Wawrinka.last_img