by Tim Watkin

Talk to social workers and experts trying to get New Zealand's most troubled kids safely through to adulthood and the impression left is that the best thing to do may also be the thing that's most politically anathema to this government

When politicians start talking about "radical overhauls" and headlines speak of "sweeping changes", I confess a little scepticism, even nervousness.

A bit of anger over credit cards could earn Labour a bit of credit with voters, but there's a risk for a party that is still trying to prove its economic bona fides

Labour may just have stumbled on a wee goldmine. Former leader David Shearer has in recent days been taking some pot-shots at the banks. Not all out assaults, but he's been spraying bullets around at the 'big four' Australian-owned banks, complaining about their excessive profits and "rorting" of ordinary Kiwis.

I wasn't going to, but here are a few thoughts on the debate around Rachel Smalley's comments about John Campbell's new job and the dominance of white male broadcasters in primetime.

I've been sitting here dithering whether I should write something about Rachel Smalley's critique of broadcasting as a male bastion. Or rather, her attack on John Campbell, depending on which way you view it.

Lots of new houses are being consented in Auckland, but supply is still not keeping up with demand. So why is National so keen to talk about supply?

It's a moment to tuck away for the 2017 election campaign.

If there's one thing you can bet the house on, it's that housing will be a major issue again at the next election. Even the Housing Minister says the Auckland property market it "over-heated".

Cries of "racism" have surrounded Labour's release of data on the impact of foreign buyers on the Auckland property market. But what's really upsetting people?

When are numbers racist?

National's attempt to downplay economic concerns is like telling the All Blacks not to worry about playing without their front row

"Get it in perspective". That's been the well-worked line from the Beehive this week, as a quiet political news cycle has coincided with a burst of bad economic numbers from here and around the Pacific.

A start of my post on state housing sales... More to come later, but feel free to start discussing now

When John Key announced the latest and most controversial stage of National's state housing reforms in January – that is, the sale of up to 2,000 homes over the next year with thousands more to come – it was done in the context of "<

New Zealand MPs are so keen to be seen to be "doing something" about cyber-bullying that they are about to pass a poor piece of law that will do something terrible

In January this year, John Key and Andrew Little united in their condemnation of the Charlie Hebdo murders. The Prime Minister described the "freedom of speech and expression" as an attack on "democratic principles", while the leader of the Opposition described the shootings as a "shocking attack on freedom of speech" and "an assault on democracy and freedom of expression".

President Obama has made a Trans-Pacific Trade deal is top eocnomic priority, but his own party has stared him down and now the entire deal hangs by a thread

For a man immersed in the nuanced arts of diplomatic speak and what are always called "sensitive trade negotiations", Trade Minister Tim Groser likes to call a spade a spade. Or a trade deal a bit of a mess. And that's his take on the Trans Pacific Partnership.

In which a former confidant of Cameron Slater's claims he was paid to commit a hack of The Standard blogsite; police are investigating

I can't really wax lyrical about the investigation I produced for The Nation into allegations by a 27 year-old IT consultant called Ben Rachinger, that he was paid by blogger Cameron Slater to hack into The Standard.

Rachinger says he strung Slater along for some time before ultimately not doing the hack.