Why am I writing?

There’s a lot of noise these days, and I thought hard before deciding to add to it. But I think—I hope—that there’s still space for anyone who’s trying to engage more deeply with the issues defining New Zealand’s future, despite the rising tide of clickbait and posturing that passes for much of public discourse now.

So that’s what I’m here to do—to explore ideas, evidence, and beliefs that are shaping this land that I love, and to offer my point of view. I’m writing to establish a place to stand—in reo Māori, a tūrangawaewae—born out of a sense of belonging in and attachment to Aotearoa.

Who am I?

The best way to answer that question is probably just to see what I write, but in the meantime, here’s a brief introduction.

I’ve got a background in law, research, and public policy. I’m a husband and a father. I’m a member (relatively newly minted) of the New Zealand National Party, and I’m related to, but not responsible for, the MP for Kaipara ki Mahurangi. Of course, he’s not responsible for me either, and anything I write here represents my personal views only. Like everyone, I’ve got priors, including a Christian faith, and a theory of politics that you could call conservative (but maybe not in the way you’d assume).

In fact, here’s something that starts to get at what I believe, from the philosopher Roger Scruton:

“Conservatism is the philosophy of attachment. We are attached to the things we love, and wish to protect them against decay. But we know that they cannot last forever. Meanwhile we must study the ways in which we can retain them through all the changes that they must necessarily undergo, so that our lives are still lived in a spirit of goodwill and gratitude.”

And with that, we’ve come back to where we started, to my reason for writing, and for wanting to establish a place to stand.

I hope you’ll subscribe, and follow along.

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Alex Penk

Writing about issues, evidence, and beliefs that are shaping the land that I love, Aotearoa New Zealand. Personal views only.