Editor's note

Kia ora koutou, nau mai haere mai. Another week, another newsletter full of interesting reads about New Zealand and the world.

From Berlin to New York to Wellington - people have shown that it is possible to get governments to make affordable housing a priority. The rapid growth of property prices in cities is shutting many people out of home ownership and driving up inequality. But as UCL urban infrastructure expert Jenny McArthur writes, there are ways for governments to deliver more affordable housing, but their responses often fall short. She says one notable failure was the New Zealand government’s backtracking on a proposed capital gains tax.

Last month, Victoria University of Wellington public policy expert Arthur Grimes explained that New Zealand’s well-being approach to the budget is not new, and this week, Richard Holden, at UNSW, looks at the history of well-being measures and living standards in Australia.

And earlier this month, the alleged perpetrator of the Christchurch mosque attacks has pleaded not guilty to a total of 92 charges of murder, attempted murder and terrorism. AUT legal expert Kris Gledhill writes that if a person expects a life sentence without any prospect of parole, even if they pleaded guilty, there was no incentive to do so.

You’ll find many more articles on the New Zealand page. It’s been great to see the steady increase in subscriptions to this newsletter, so if you know somebody who might enjoy it, feel free to forward this email. They can sign up here. Thank you for reading. Ngā mihi mahana.

Veronika Meduna

New Zealand Editor

Top stories

A rally for affordable housing in Vancouver, Canada. Mark Klotz/Flickr.

Three times citizens mobilised to put affordable housing on the political agenda

Jenny McArthur, UCL

From Berlin to New York, citizens from around the world have shown that it is possible to get governments to make affordable housing a priority.

New Zealand has actually introduced a well-being budget, but Australia had been paving the way. Governor-General of New Zealand/AAP

Vital Signs: Once were Kiwis. Here’s the hidden history of Australia’s own well-being framework

Richard Holden, UNSW

Australia's treasury adopted a well-being framework well before New Zealand's much celebrated "well-being budget". Here's what happened to it.

The man accused of the Christchurch mosque attacks appeared in court last week as part of a procedural hearing. AAP/Martin Hunter

What the not guilty pleas mean for the trial of alleged Christchurch mosque gunman

Kris Gledhill, Auckland University of Technology

Through his lawyer, the alleged perpetrator of the Christchurch mosque attacks has entered not guilty pleas on 92 charges, including terrorism. A procedural hearing has found him fit to stand trial.

The man accused of the Christchurch mosque attacks faces charges of murder, attempted murder and of committing a terrorism act. Martin Hunter/AAP

Explainer: what the additional terrorism charge means for mosque attack trial

Kris Gledhill, Auckland University of Technology

An additional charge of terrorism has been laid against the man accused of the Christchurch mosque shootings. This poses a risk of providing a platform for hateful ideas.

From The Conversation's international editions

Amazon, Google and Facebook warrant antitrust scrutiny for many reasons – not just because they’re large

Amanda Lotz, Queensland University of Technology

US lawmakers and regulators are beginning to investigate big tech's growing power, but they need to look beyond size and into their very natures.

Biodiversity helps coral reefs thrive – and could be part of strategies to save them

Cody Clements, Georgia Institute of Technology

In a study that cultivated coral 'gardens' with varying numbers of species, plots with more species were healthier. This finding could inform strategies to help coral reefs survive climate change.

We spoke to survivalists prepping for disaster: here’s what we learned about the end of the world

Gary Sinclair, Dublin City University; Norah Campbell, Trinity College Dublin; Sarah Browne, Trinity College Dublin

We spoke at length with a series of self-identified preppers. It became clear that most aren’t so out of the ordinary.

Alzheimer’s disease not linked to type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure – new study

Elisabet Englund, Lund University; Keivan Javanshiri

People with Alzheimer's disease have lower rates of type 2 diabetes than the general population.

New genetic study links chronic pain to depression, BMI, schizophrenia, arthritis and PTSD

Keira Johnston, University of Glasgow

Discovery of genetic overlap between chronic pain and a host of other conditions could help provide better treatments.

Why Christians disagree over the Israel Folau saga

Geoff Thompson, University of Divinity

For many people of faith, the very identity of Christianity is at stake in the battle over religious freedom. But not all Christians see it that way.

Is Facebook today’s Compuserve? How Libra could hasten its demise

Marc-David L. Seidel, University of British Columbia

Tech giants like Facebook are at risk of joining the ranks of Compuserve and MCI Mail to be replaced with the next generation of organizing designed for new models of distributed trust.

Identifying a fake picture online is harder than you might think

Mona Kasra, University of Virginia

People fall for fake photos regardless of whether they seem to come from Facebook or The New York Times. What actually helps?

Explainer: why Ethiopia’s federal system is deeply flawed

Yohannes Gedamu, Georgia Gwinnett College

Ethiopia's regional governance system is doing more harm than good.

Australians’ feelings sour towards China: Lowy poll

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

Relentless coverage of China's political system, allegations of interference in Australia's politics, and its poor relations with neighbours have led to Australian attitudes towards China.