John Key's giant shoes

Westie Paula Bennett might make a popular prime minister.

John Key leaves a jagged hole at the top of the National Party. None of his possible successors can fill that gap. None have his skills or his odd, blokey charisma.

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.

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.

State care shame lingers

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has rejected calls for an independent body to resolve historic claims of abuse ...

OPINION: The state abandoned children put into its care – and now it must do what it can to put that negligence right.

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.

Three strikes - and manifest injustice

ACT leader David Seymour says the three-strikes law is working well.

OPINION: What sort of law needs constant resort to a "safety valve" to prevent gross injustice from occurring?

When the big wave comes

Tsunami damage to the Little Pigeon Bay cottage on Banks Peninsula.

Wellingtonians, according to one Christchurch earthquake survivor, are smug about their ability to withstand the Big One. Certainly the capital has long claimed to be well ahead of the rest of the country in its earthquake readiness.

Ugly speech the fault of one

Mohammad Anwar Sahib speaks at the At-Taqwa mosque in south Auckland, in an image from the video posted online.

OPINION: A senior Muslim cleric's comments are anti-Semitic and outrageous, but they do not reflect on the tens of thousands of New Zealand Muslims who reject such views.

Politics of trade have changed

Donald Trump says he will get rid of the TPP pact on "day one" of his presidency.

OPINION: Trump's victory is not just about the end of one pact, but a political consensus that held for decades.

Disasters happen at all hours

Acting Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee.

The earthquake has raised a host of hard questions and has put Acting Minister of Civil Defence Gerry Brownlee in a bad mood. The mood will soon pass, but the questions won't.

Tax cuts versus real need

Prime Minister John Key addresses the recent APEC Ceo Summit in Lima, Peru.

National has been teasing the voters for years with vague talk about tax cuts. Prime Minister John Key is doing it again on the eve of election year, so he must be serious. You can't keep raising expectations this way and then do nothing about it. National is positioning itself as the party of tax cuts.

Dancing with the Donald

U.S. president-elect Donald Trump.

An American navy warship's welcome help for earthquake-stricken Kaikoura is a nice symbol of the strong ties between New Zealand and the United States. The links have endured despite a serious spat over nuclearism, and a series of disagreements over trade.

The mayor acted too soon

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester said the council had received “strong advice” that its decision to reopen the CBD was ...

Mayor Justin Lester says "it's not my job to create chaos or fear or hysteria." Of course it's not. But he wouldn't have created any chaos or fear or hysteria if he had simply delayed his "business as usual" declaration for several days.

The risks of haste

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester

Politicians have a tricky job after natural disasters. The voters' need for reassurance is urgent. People are reeling from shock and need their lives to return to "normality" as soon as possible. They need the comfort of routine.

Chasms in the system

GeoNet director Dr Ken Gledhill.

The earthquake is exposing more and more problems in our safety systems. Some of these shortcomings are large and will take a lot of fixing. But some are  indefensible and must be fixed immediately.

Stark questions after twin blow

Government Statistician Liz MacPherson says she is asking the same questions as everyone else about the safety of ...

OPINION: The double whammy of earthquakes and floods has revealed Wellington's terrible vulnerability.

One more terrifying reminder

A slip closed State Highway 1 near Kaikoura after the November 14 earthquake.

OPINION: This was another terrible wake-up call for the shaky islands.

Bullying in cyberspace

Justice Minister Amy Adams

Bullying is a coward's form of torture, and it can be deadly. Cyberbullying might seem to be less threatening than the older physical kind, but this is not so. Cyberbullying can follow its victims into every corner of their lives, whereas there are usually physical refuges from old-fashioned bullying.

Trump vs the world

US president-elect Donald Trump.

OPINION: Maybe Donald Trump's bark is worth than his bite.

A sorry day in America

Donald Trump is the president-elect of the United States.

OPINION: Donald Trump's election to the US presidency feels like an epoch-turning event. It is also a horrifying one.

Merger call misguided

Fairfax Media's Simon Tong has argued that the breadth of a combined business would be a win for audiences.

OPINION: The Commerce Commission has failed to grasp how radically all journalism is changing.

Editorial: The problem with work schemes

Andrew Little at Labour's annual conference.

Election year is getting close and parties are thinking about policy. Labour leader Andrew Little made a pitch at his party's conference in Auckland for work schemes for the unemployed. The policy aims to help the many thousands of young people not in employment, education or training.

The party of ideas

Gareth Morgan launches the new political party The Opportunities Party.

Opinion: Gareth Morgan's never been short of ideas but it will take more than that to get his new party into Parliament.

Justice for violent Filipo

Rugby player Losi Filipo.

Judge David Collins has restored justice and common-sense in the difficult case of rugby player Losi Filipo. Filipo has now got the punishment he deserved, and Collins has set a useful set of precedents which should help in future  with misbehaving sports stars.

A mess in the desert

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully

Editorial: A report on the Saudi deal says there is no evidence of corruption or bribery, but finds almost everything else about the payment bad.

Lest we forget the NZ wars

Te Ururoa Flavell, the Minister of Maori Development.

Editorial: Our country remembers the horrors of Gallipoli and, to a lesser extent, of the Western Front in World War I. It does little to remember the colonial wars within New Zealand.

End the long-haul largesse

Nearly 160 former MPs and their spouses are still claiming money from the taxpayer for domestic and international travel.

OPINION: More than a Parliament's worth of bygone MPs still draws travel perks. That's outrageous.

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback