by Tim Watkin

It's a Key-less budget giving National a new selling point... an Election Year Budget... and a Catch-Up Budget. And it's a budget that starts the thaw after the frozen years. But is it enough for New Zealand and New Zealanders? 

This was a budget almost three terms in the making. Budget 2017 is the culmination of Bill English's determined commitment to surpluses and his ethos that the public sector should do "more with less". This is the year he finally gets to say, 'hey, now you can do more with a bit more'.

Rohan Lord's decision to bail on Labour is perhaps representative of the rise of a political class who aren't prepared to import kumara to earn a seat, but rather take the L'Oreal approach to politics

My, how politics has changed. As with so much of the New Zealand lifestyle it has been streamlined, professionalised and become a much more risk-averse environment in recent years.

Our nuclear-free stance has become a central part of New Zealand's modern identity, but Sir Geoffrey Palmer has revealed it may never had happened but for one thing

New Zealand's nuclear-free policy is one of the most nation-defining and profound policy decisions this country has made in the past generation; it striped to the bone our traditional alliances for nearly two decades, took us down a path to a more independent foreign policy and reinforced our sense of self as a mouse that can roar. Yet is so easily may not have happened.

The Prime Minister has in recent times been prepared to shift some moral ground for political ease. Now he faces the greatest moral test of his short time in power in the face of calls for an inquiry into the O'Donnel raid

I can't help wondering if Bill English is going to church on Sunday. While reports today say the Prime Minister is meeting with Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee and New Zealand Defence Force heads about the claims in the Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson book Hit & Run, the more crucial meeting that day may be between English and his God.

The 2010 raid in Afghanistan detailed in Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson's new book, Hit and Run, was first revealed on a TV interview I produced in 2011. It's time for some official answers

I know as little as most of you about Nicky Hager's new book. It investigates an SAS raid in Afghanistan in 2010, after the death of Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell whilst on patrol that August.

...But that doesn't mean we don't try. An essay in defence of a word and its meaning, at a time when journalism is bruised and battered, but standing strong

"I don't know what you mean by 'glory,' " Alice said.
    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't—till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!' "
    "But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected.

What do you make of this way of doing it?

This quick post is a question, more than analysis of an issue. But it's something I stumbled upon today regarding New Zealand's superannuation history... and I'm wondering if it offers us a way forward.

Bill English has made a brave call on super, but is it mere penance for years of bad calls, will New Zealanders face the facts and has he just started a new inter-generational war?

I was talking with a colleague today about Bill English's plan to raise the age of eligibilty for super from 65 to 67 – in 20 years. "What are you," he asked, and I knew immediately what he meant. "Gen X," I replied. "But just old enough to sneak out at 65". He said he'd get caught, I said my wife would too. Then it struck me: This conversation was meaningless.

Jacinda Ardern looks set to become the new deputy leader of the Labour Party as Annette King steps down. But while it looks like a no-brainer and only helps Labour this election year, it comes with its own set of risks

Barely 48 hours ago Jacinda Ardern told RNZ that talk of her becoming Labour's deputy leader was a "distaction". That job, she said, as just "not an issue".

Last week National made some promises about water, and copped plenty of flak on the way. That move signalled the soft launch of National's election campaign, as it starts to tidy up the policies that put victory in September at risk

Old mates Bill English and Nick Smith dragged media to a muddy – but "good enough" – stream in west Auckland last week to announce plans to clean up rivers by 2040. But what the event really signified was National starting to clean up its political house before this September's election.