Master politician

John Key smiles after winning the general election in Auckland 
November 8, 2008.

It is said all political careers end in failure, but John Key's didn't, and in that he is unlike perhaps any other New Zealand prime minister.

Time for a tourist levy?

Wellington's Cable Car - a tourist drawcard.

Opinion: Accommodation levies for tourists are fairly standard in Europe and the US; does NZ need one too?

Labour after Mt Roskill

Labour leader Andrew Little

Labour was odds-on to win the Mt Roskill by-election. Now that it's happened, there is a sense of anti-climax.

Inanities the new normal

Labour's Michael Wood defeated and National's Parmjeet Parmar in the Mt Roskill by-election.

OPINION: In pre-texting days when friends regularly popped round unannounced you didn't immediately jump to the conclusion that an unsolicited knock might herald a religious nutter.


Left Right and Centre

Labour leader  Andrew Little.

Labour can't hope to form a government without the Greens. That is a brute fact of arithmetic: Labour polls at about 30 per cent, and there are no signs it could win enough votes to govern on its own. Hence Labour's "memorandum of understanding" with the smaller party.

MPs' new offices

The Speaker, David Carter, announces that Parliament will have new buildings.

Politicians wanting to spend $100m on new buildings at Parliament can't expect the voters to applaud. The public expects a double standard: one rule for MPs, and a tougher one for everyone else.

Business after the quake

Wellington MP Grant Robertson.

The Government's quake relief fund for Wellington is welcome. Businesses trapped inside the cordons in the capital are as much victims of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake as the tourist operators in Kaikoura. Both are cut off from their customers by a natural disaster outside their control.

Labour's to lose

Labour leader Andrew Little

Prime Minister John Key says National is the underdog in the Mt Roskill by-election. This remark allows him to pave the way for defeat while also galvanising the faithful to turn out and vote.


By-election key to Little's future

Andrew Little, right, and Wellington central MP Grant Robertson.

Opinion: The fire's gone out of the belly of Labour under Andrew Little.

Bonfire of the vanities

A collection of punk memorabilia belonging to Joe Corre is burnt on a boat on the River Thames, in London this week. He ...

Opinion: The last thing anyone true to a rebel cause wants is to become ordinary.

Freezer to feed the future

Have a freezer full of bones and man and dog are content.

Opinion: Make no bones about it, a chest freezer frees you from being dependent on the seasons.

Flotilla visit throws up questions

Some of the five New Zealand and foreign navy ships anchored in Wellington Harbour this month.

Opinion: The recent stop in Wellington by a flotilla of foreign navy ships was a PR exercise but also raises questions around our defence partnerships

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