by Tim Watkin

Of course there was nothing else for it. Steven Joyce was never going to sit there and fade into insignificance. So now National begins its true test, and it could signal a realignment on the right of New Zealand politics

Key was a surprise, but a lone act. McCully was predictable, even inevitable. As was English, after he'd had a tilt and failed (again). So it's Joyce's resignation that feels like a turning of the tide, a passing of the baton.

When Trevor Mallard read out a new, revised prayer at the start of parliament this year, I started writing about some of the questions it raised for me. It's taken a while to get it down, but I wonder whether we shouldn't be giving this some deeper thought

 Arguing about the prayer that open parliament each day is as old as parliament itself; it was the first order of business in the first session (after the election of the speaker) when New Zealand's new parliament opened in Auckland, May 1854.

As all things new come to dominate New Zealand's political landscape, National will be forced more quickly than it hoped to confront its own need for change. Tonight's poll offers succour for the party, but tolls the bell for Bill.

The first poll of the year confirms the over-arching narrative of New Zealand politics since the election and follows some pretty typical trends. But it raises a few curly questions too, mostly about new generations.

Labour's willingness to back the new CPTPP owes a lot to the US president, but also shows the rise of the political realists in its ranks. But the hard part is yet to come 

It seems – perhaps, maybe – that Donald Trump has done us a favour. A new, stream-lined, more widely palatable and, well, more trade-focused pacific trade deal is about to be signed by the 11 remaining countries. 

Jim Anderton has died at a time when the party he fought for, then walked out on, looks more like him than it does his erstwhile opponents.

Jim Anderton's final victory comes in the words of tribute from the leaders of the party that once famously "left" him and the sincerity with which they have claimed him as one of their own; a face once more on the Labour totem pole. Through much of the 1990s while he was bitterly attacked by Labour leaders - Helen Clark included - such tributes were impossible to imagine.

What kind of New Zealand might we see in 20 years? Well I saw a snaking line recently and rather than having a nightmarish premonition, I was filled with hope

I saw a human snake crawling its way across a stage in this past week and it could have been anywhere in the world. It was the glimpse of New Zealand's future and raised questions about how New Zealand might looked in 20 years. And you know what? It filled me with hope.

So Mike Hosking has stuck his lower lip out over the BSA ruling against him. But his column attacking the standards body has wider ramifications than just him and his mistake

Suck it up, buttercup. Take your medicine. Don't whinge and claim to be misunderstood, just take responsibility. That's the sort of advice often offered on talkback radio, yet Mike Hosking seems to have missed that memo with his ill-advised Herald column this morning on a Broadcasting Standards Authority ruling against him.

Oranga Tamariki has a new name, but the same problems and, as we saw in Coroner William Bain's report this week, the same failings. But there is a way to make a difference

Every five weeks. Every 35 days. That's how often, on average, a child is killed in New Zealand. Usually the chid is under five and usually the killer is someone they knew. Knew. Past tense.

Incumbency is the super power every politician craves, yet this oddly muted new Labour-led government doesn't seem to have figured out how to use it yet. This week's mini-Budget is now crucial if it wants to position itself as a truly transformational government

It's such a quiet and prosaic tranformation. An undistinguished revolution.  

An ODT column on the use of te reo in the media has put a lot of noses out of joint. Offensive as it is to some, let's learn from recent history and figure out how to discuss intolerance rather than simply yelling back

It's a load of old tosh, of course. Tēnā rūkahu tēnā. At least in my opinion.