by Andrew Geddis

Gareth Morgan's attempt to have the High Court thrust him into tonight's TVNZ minor party leaders' debate failed. On the whole, taking everything into account, that's probably a good thing. 

In what is becoming a somewhat predictable election campaign gambit, Gareth Morgan yesterday unsuccessfully went to the High Court to try and force his way into tonight’s minor party leader’s debate on TVNZ, as well as its young voters’ debate next Thursday

National apparently doesn't think gang members with criminal records are properly human. Or, rather, they don't deserve to be given the same rights that full humans possess.

Yesterday, National announced a gang and drugs policy that promised both progressive and regressive change. Promises of extra money to fund drug treatment and community harm prevention sat alongside such war-on-drugs staples as heavier prison sentences and new offences for drug users.

Because the value of a dollar changes over time, Teina Pora's compensation payment for wrongful conviction was fundamentally unfair. The High Court has just reminded the Government of this apparently simple fact.

When the government announced in June of 2016 that it would be giving Teina Pora some $2.5 million as compensation for wrongfully convicting him and so keeping an innocent man in jail for some 20 years, his supporters’ joy was tempered with some anger.

We all have our breaking points. Metiria Turei just reached hers.

Metiria Turei always acknowledged her decision to put a human face on the issue of poverty by revealing that she lied about her welfare entitlements some twenty-four years ago was a high-risk strategy.

Metiria Turei's admission about past rule breaking looks to have cost her a ministerial position, even if the Greens are part of Government after September. That's a pretty heavy penalty for being overly silly some twenty-four years ago.

While I can’t go so far as to claim Metiria Turei as a full friend, she certainly is someone that I’m friendly with. I’ve been to a party at her home, through my wife’s work with a local sustainable energy trust. I’m certainly on happy-smiles-and-stop-to-chat-on-the-street terms.

So a friendly acquaintance, if you will.

There are still reasons for caution about Jacinda Ardern's rise to the Labour leadership. The fact she may one day have children is not one of them - and Mark Richardson doesn't understand how anti-discrimination law works.

There are, I think, legitimate reasons to sound some notes of caution about Jacinda Ardern's rise to the leadership of Labour. She undeniably has much promise in that role and her performance in the first 24 hours has been stellar. But still ... I am not yet fully converted (because I've been hurt so many times before).

You probably want to read about Andrew Little and Jacinda Ardern. But I want to talk about what our recently very busy Court of Appeal has been up to.

I'm aware that all anyone probably cares about today is Andrew Little's decision (helped, no doubt, by some pointed advice from colleagues) to step down as Labour Party leader, to be replaced by Jacinda Ardern.

Winston Peters says his price for government is two binding referendums. If we believe him, which we probably shouldn't, then let's note some more problems with his proposal. 

I've already penned something for RNZ's website (which I then fleshed out a bit more over on The Spinoff) as

Sir Geoffrey Palmer fears that the Government's response to a Supreme Court ruling may be "deeply offensive to the rule of law and a constitutional outrage." At the risk of challenging a legal Goliath, I must demur. 

Regular readers of my Pundit columns (all eight of you) will be aware that I am on occasion partial to uttering the odd cry of "won't someone please think of the Constitution!" Exhibit A.

Did Labour set up an overseas intern scheme in order to evade the limit on political party election expenses? No ... no it did not.

Earlier this year I bought the book Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign for my Dad. Here's how one reviewer opens his account of that account: