Below the Beltway
The Todd Barclay and Labour interns controversies have rumbled on. But the parties are also starting to release significant policies as the September election looms. We measure the hits and misses from a busy week in politics.
Shane Jones. NZ First's newest recruit is likely to get a winnable spot and a clear route back into Parliament - as well as the inside running in the party's succession planning.
Education Minister Nikki Kaye. Her announcement of $40m to improve "digital fluency" and the inclusion of digital technology education in the curriculum drew widespread applause.
The Labour Party. Its embarrassment over the 85 unpaid interns deepened when it was forced to admit two of them may not have been in the country on the correct visa.
Nathan Guy. He has backed giving billionaire Peter Thiel citizenship after only 12 day in the country and tried to blame the media interest on him being linked to the Trump "regime".
Todd Barclay. Police are having a second look at allegations of covert taping by the soon-to-be-ex-MP for Clutha-Southland who must decide if he will this time cooperate, as his leader wants
He gets knocked down, but he gets up again
Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith came in for his share of flak when he oversaw the Government's push for more houses. And he may have had his responsibilities reduced to the regulatory side of the sector. But it has not cowed him or dented his his fighting spirit over an issue where National has been on the backfoot. "The simple view is this: if you want more houses, vote National. If you want less construction, vote for the knobs on the other side," he fired back at his tormenter Labour's Phil Twyford during Thursday's question time. His comment was not ruled out of order so it seems "knobs" is not an unparliamentary epithet.
Quote of the Week
"If [the Government] wants to attack us for offering better work conditions - be my guest." Labour leader Andrew Little defends his policy to lift the minimum wage and set base working conditions sector by sector against accusations it is a return to the '70s.