by Mike Williams

Looking at the meltdown on the Auckland waterfront on RWC opening night, why didn't National MP's push the alarm button? And why did McCully's own committee predict no more than 50,000 people?

I'm one of the council appointed directors of Auckland Transport and so out of solidarity with its beleaguered officials I attended the Auckland Council Committee meeting which reviewed the disorder surrounding the opening Rugby World Cup game the preceding Friday.

The misuse of Don McKinnon, the road rage of Tau Henare and how the Rugby World Cup train debacle is just a foretaste of things to come for Auckland

The launch of Paul Holmes' book Daughters of Erebus in Parnell last Monday night was, like all of Paul's social events, a great night. I don't know about the wisdom of opening old wounds, but it was a rare opportunity to mix with the maestro's wide and eclectic circle of friends.

Labour was meant to have been caught in a fiscal trap, but with its capital gains tax it has wriggled free and got back on track

It was my intention this week to scribble about the voluntary side of political parties, but that can wait while we look at what might well have been a week when political fortunes turned.

Is the election race closer than assumed wisdom suggest? Those who say nothing's changed in the past few months are missing the political pachyderm staring them in the face

Last week I began the argument that the November election will be closer than most seem to assume, and that Phil Goff’s Labour Party just might lead the next government.

As if by magic, the Herald published its irregular “Digipoll” which showed a significant narrowing of the gap between the two big parties.

A day out campaigning suggests two factors Labour has in its favour as we approach the serious end of the electoral cycle. And no, they're not what you expect

Arriving at the Lions Hall in Te Atatu South for some Te Tai Tokerau door knocking last Saturday, I had a pleasant surprise.

As a recent president of the Labour Party, and a long-time denizen of West Auckland, I expected to recognise nearly everyone in the room.

John Banks' campaign has him peering over motorways and turning up on television at the eleventh hour. Len Brown, meanwhile, is everywhere

For political aficionados, the tussle for the super city mayoralty is the most interesting local election in years and, whatever the result, it is already surprising in many ways.

For a start, the right has been clearly out-organised and out-campaigned by the left.

With the Australian election result still hanging in the balance, what can political strategists on this side of the Tasman learn? Five tips, plus the insight of one old man

While the Australian federal election still plays out, it is always interesting to play the 'what could we learn for New Zealand' game, and there are some clear lessons for political parties on this side of the Tasman.

It's not the first time an MP has fallen apart under the public's gaze, but under the Labour Party constitution Chris Carter's breakdown creates new political challenges

I thought I knew Chris Carter well. He's my local MP and I've broken bread with him on several occasions. I've been to his home and know his partner.

Rudd's remarkable run in power was driven by state politics, factions and Wayne Swan; and it was those same forces that brought him down

When Kevin Rudd led the Australian Labor Party to victory in the federal election of 2007, it marked a high watermark for ALP hegemony on the continent, with all six states, both territories and the Federal Government in Labor hands for the first time Australian histor

After a Fiji holiday, the MPs' spending scandal looks incredibly tame; plus university reminiscences


Last month I spent a blissful week at a remote resort in Fiji with my oldest friends. (More of that later.) 

Fiji is a poor country with a military dictatorship for a government, a collapsed property development sector, and just recovering from a devastating hurricane.