Embeded in some of the worst human actions is fine human action.
One sad outcome of the Dotcom affair is that a rogue who should not have got residency has been transformed into a national celebrity.
We called her Betty Windsor in the 1960s, thinking to be smartly sniffy and disavow 1950s childhood awe at the imperial pageantry of the film A Queen is Crowned. But Elizabeth II finessed us: the "bourgeois monarchy" is still in business, respected more now than for decades.
Next Monday is the Queen's official birthday here: a time to mark her 60 years on the job. On Friday, a gathering near Upper Hutt will mark the 40th anniversary of the birth of the world's first national green party - one measure of the many deep changes in the Queen's Commonwealth.
Tony Ryall last week redistributed some money from the generally sick to cancer patients. Hekia Parata redistributed some from teacher numbers (class-size ratios) to training and testing the teachers (but not pay them more).
In politics there is the big and the small, the past and the future. Most prime ministers prefer the big and the future but usually spend much of their time on the small and the past.
Anne Tolley cracked the law-and-order whip last week: a lifetime register for child sex offenders. But is the public still enthusiastically for the "Crusher Collins" line on crime?
Here's a way to think small: park a box halfway up Auckland's Queen St and invite the world there for confabs, with views of office buildings and shops.
Easter's just passed, a time to think of higher things; such as whether capitalism can have a moral purpose.
Here's a picture of Australia that may not be familiar: average net household wealth fell 6.5% in 2011 to be 11.5% below the 2008 peak; house prices are falling and sales last year were at a 17-year low; mortgage arrears are rising; retailers' profits have plunged; the construction industry is contracting sharply; GDP rose only 0.4% in the December quarter.
One thing voters look for in a government is sure-footedness. Vacillation and uncertainty are the kid brothers of vote-killing disunity. They give oxygen to opponents.
Last week, Climate Change Ambassador Jo Tyndall briefed "stakeholders" on the global negotiations, in which New Zealand has an outsize role.