David Cohen

David Cohen is a New Zealand-based journalist and author.

Why New Zealand is cracking down on immigration

The government of New Zealand this week tightened the country’s working visa rules in order to stem historically high numbers of international migrants making their way to the South Seas. New Zealand’s infrastructure seems to be groaning in response to the surging number of international newcomers Immigration minister Erica Stanford said that the changes will

Why is New Zealand’s deputy PM rowing with Chumbawamba?

In their musical heyday, the English anarchist punk band Chumbawamba enjoyed a reputation for having an irreverent attitude towards those in political authority. Twelve years after they musically packed it in, a political figure abroad is making even more of a name for himself for his own irreverence towards Chumbawamba. The group has asked New

The shoplifting scandal engulfing New Zealand’s Green MP

New Zealand has just lost one of its most stylish politicians after shoplifting allegations were made against her by two of the country’s high-end fashion stores. The Iranian-born Golriz Ghahraman, who had just begun her third term as a high-profile Green party MP, today announced she will be standing down from parliament with immediate effect.

Is New Zealand about to return to the world stage?

After six years of Labour party rule in New Zealand, the country’s foreign policy brings to mind the line about everything being at sea except the fleet. While the conservative National party of prime-minister-elect Christopher Luxon won on familiar-sounding domestic problems – galloping consumer prices, spiking interest rates and urban crime – the importance of foreign policy

So long to the father of Americana

Robbie Robertson, the revered songwriter who died last week aged 80, was an immensely important composer. Over six decades in the entertainment business, Robertson worked alongside a small galaxy of musicians and singers, most famously Bob Dylan, who probably spoke for many when he said the Toronto-born artist’s death came as ‘shocking news’ for those

Has New Zealand found the key to the UK’s housing crisis?

It may be difficult to imagine a housing crisis more dismal than the one Britain is experiencing right now, but New Zealand’s has come pretty close. One survey of the world’s most advanced economies showed that NZ was the ‘most vulnerable’ in the world for the less well-heeled to buy homes. Despite this, however, the Antipodeans could

New Zealand has much to learn from the treatment of Posie Parker

A promotional clip for New Zealand uploaded to social media the other day looked like the usual decorous fare churned out by the country’s tourism agency: all deep-blue skies, golden sands and soaring mountains. The words were another matter. There was no come-hither voice enjoining visitors to experience ‘pure New Zealand’. Rather there was the miserable

New Zealand’s PM is a welcome change from Jacinda Ardern

Chris Hipkins can afford to feel pleased with his first days in office as Prime Minister of New Zealand. In his inaugural press conference, Hipkins came across as thoughtful and intelligent. In a welcome change from his predecessor, Jacinda Ardern, he was also gratifyingly dull. Hipkins has vowed to shift his focus back to basics,

Jacinda Ardern’s tattered legacy

Wellington, New Zealand Jacinda Ardern has announced she will be stepping down as the prime minister of New Zealand, saying it would be ‘doing a disservice’ to continue in the position she has held here over the past five years. Ardern said she will leave office on February 7. The 42-year-old premier will not seek

Why does this university want to bin Queen Victoria?

Spare a thought for New Zealand’s Victoria university. For years now, this Kiwi institution of higher learning has been pulling out all the stops to rid itself of its monarchial name. The events of recent weeks have made its mission much more difficult. Victoria marks its 125th anniversary this December. Few things are likely to

Can this Kiwi copper save the Met?

Cressida Dick’s resignation earlier this year has opened up the race for the next Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.​ Mike Bush, head of the New Zealand police force for six years until 2020, has reportedly put his helmet into the ring for the top job. But does London want a police chief who was criticised for

New Zealand’s Maori language obsession is baffling Kiwis

New Zealand’s borders have finally reopened after a two-year Covid shutdown. But those who travel down under are in for a surprise. Prime minister Jacinda Ardern recently said that New Zealand is ‘not the same place it was ten years ago’. As far as the local language goes, she’s certainly on to something, as newcomers

How New Zealand’s zero Covid strategy fell apart

The biggest thing in the political rock world returns to the international stage this spring with a one-off appearance at Harvard University on 26 May. The prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, is booked to be the venerable institution’s main speaking act at its 371st Commencement, welcoming the classes of 2022 and 2021. Harvard lauds

In Fortress New Zealand, faith in Saint Jacinda is starting to fade

Wellington Jacinda Ardern recently told an American television host that she finds it ‘slightly offensive’ when outsiders assume every other New Zealander starred in Lord of the Rings. Quite so. New Zealand has only one real film star in 2022, and that’s the Prime Minister herself. But the way things are heading, she might best