A US report into China's influence in New Zealand has highlighted concerns over government inaction and raised the possibility political considerations are blocking our intelligence agencies from investigating. The Hoover Institution, a think-tank classed in the US as moderately conservative, released its "Chinese Influence & American Interest" report today with New Zealand presented as a case study. Although the report canvasses China's influence activities around the world, New Zealand is said to be particularly vulnerable due to its small size and China being a dominant market for dairy and tourism exports. Drawing largely on research by University of Canterbury professor Anne-Marie Brady, the report said China's influence operations in New Zealand have ramped up since Xi Jinping became general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in 2013. Adverse contrast is drawn between the relatively low-key response of New Zealand with the legislative programme implemented in Australia … [Read more...] about New Zealand ‘particularly vulnerable’ to China: US report
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New Zealand has blocked a mobile company from using telecoms equipment made by Chinese firm Huawei over national security concerns. Wellington’s international spy agency blocked a proposal for Spark to use the tech giant’s hardware in its planned 5G upgrade, saying it posed a “significant network security risk”. It is the latest in a string of blows to the tech giant, which has already come under scrutiny by countries including the US, UK, Canada and Japan. In August, Australia blocked the company from rolling out its 5G network due to security concerns. New Zealand denied banning the company from the network roll-out because it was Chinese, saying the problem was a technological one. Huawei sought an urgent meeting with the government after its bid was rejected, saying it had not been presented with any evidence of wrongdoing. The company rejected the notion that it threatened New Zealand businesses … [Read more...] about New Zealand is blocking a Chinese tech firm’s 5G roll out over national security concerns
Hayden Eastmond-Mein writing for The Spinoff. As Hayden Donnell wrote recently, “New Zealanders have engaged in their time-honoured tradition of collectively freaking out” over the recent introduction of Lime scooters in Auckland and Christchurch. At the risk of adding another “maybe Lime is bad” article to the pile, the electric scooter hire company could be dodging a shitload of tax by charging users via a US company and not adding GST. Don’t get me wrong, aside from Lime being a bit pricey I quite like the thrill of caning it along a bumpy footpath with the wind flowing through my unhelmeted hair, weaving perilously between the pedestrians and councillors making their merry way on boring old foot. But from what I can tell, when you hire a Lime scooter using the company’s app your credit card is charged by a US operating entity, Neutron Holdings, and these charges do not include GST. I say “from what I can … [Read more...] about Is Lime paying GST like other New Zealand businesses?
The world's first mobile game developed to fight dementia has come up with a controversial piece of research. The game, called Sea Hero Quest, has found men are better navigators than women. It's also found we Kiwis are pretty good on the water. The game features an ageing sailor who's lost his memories, and his son's quest to recover them, battling fantastical sea creatures along the way. It is not only fun; it's also been designed to help dementia research. Understanding how people navigate 3D environments is key, as getting lost is one of the first signs of the disease. Associate Professor Duncan Babbage is director of the AUT Centre for eHealth. "By having a whole series of tasks that are specifically drawing on different aspects of navigation, this game is trying to determine what's the variation in the general population," Prof Babbage tells Newshub. As you move around the game, the route you take gets relayed back to the scientists and they can see it like a heat map. The game … [Read more...] about New mobile game Sea Hero Quest helps fight dementia
The rape and murder of 22 year old Eurydice Dixon on 12 June 2018 sparked national outrage across Australia. Dixon was attacked on the way home from her stand-up comedy gig, as she walked through Princes Park in Melbourne. Her last text to her boyfriend read: “I’m almost home safe.” In the immediate aftermath, there were two responses – each equally telling. The first was to focus on the victim's actions. The Victoria police recommended that “people need to be aware of their own personal security and just be mindful of their surroundings”. Its suggestions were to stay alert, and carry a mobile phone. Similarly, newspaper The Herald Sun reported that Dixon strayed “into her killer’s orbit”. A very different response came from the crowd of 10,000 who attended a vigil for Dixon in Princes Park. Many of those attending felt this was just another example of Australia's problem with violent misogyny. Support came … [Read more...] about ConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlight What the murder of Eurydice Dixon reveals about Australia’s attitude to women