by Wyatt Creech

Getting to know our Pacific neighbour is increasingly important if we want to take a meaningful role in our own regional backyard

There was a time two or three generations back when many New Zealanders referred to the United Kingdom as "home". We were a European-focused nation. No more. We are now a Pacific nation and at the core of our foreign policy we take an interest in developments in the Pacific region and its issues.

Yet we have a way to go to make this world view meaningful.

While Todd Barclay and Labour's interens have sparked some life into election year politics, here's hoping we learn from overseas and scandal isn't the dominate theme of Election 2017

The case for moderation is getting stronger by the day. We're hearing now that it's less than 100 days until the election, and until last week and the Todd Barclay story it had been a quiet build-up so far, with hardly any hype, let alone genuine interest in politics.

Housing may be top of the pops as an election issue for some, but it's not as many as you might think... and it won't be as easy to fix as you might think

Housing is shaping up to be a key issue in this year's election. So says the commentariat at the moment. But in the end, housing concerns will drive the voting patterns of those directly affected by it – not the will of the public at large.

Put aside the populism and look at what immigration really brings us and what choices we really face

I saw my first 2017 election pamphlet this past week.

What odds a policy debate this election? And how do we elevate it above more sensationalism and dirty politics? Here are some dos and don'ts

The news cycle sure is quick these days – and getting quicker. We've long known that today's news is tomorrow's fish n' chips wrapping, but these days articles last mere hours, even minutes, on websites before analytics tell the editors what's being read and what needs to disappear. This hardly encourages deep consideration of public policy options as we head into the general election.

It's too easy to call an inquiry just to put the questions to bed, so the Prime Minister has called it right. Why put people through the mill without incontrovertible evidence?

I don't want to be disrespectful to a fellow pundit, but to my mind Bill English has got it right by deciding not to hold an inquiry into allegations that New Zealand soldiers may have committed war crimes in Afghanistan. The evidential threshold just hasn't been met.

Touching the third rail of superannuation is a brave act by any government, but what about those other curly questions?

Good on you, Bill. I respect political courage. Too often in New Zealand, superannuation promises have been used to buy elections, beginning with Rob Muldoon back in 1975. He made the age of entitlement to universal super 60; it took years of pain and a raft of broken promises to get the age lifted to 65 (back where the old age pension began).

Just because Donald Trump is a shoot from the hip president, doesn't mean we should fall into the same trap

As a personality I find nothing attractive about Donald Trump - he is, frankly, a pig of a man. But we need to avoid being overtaken by emotion when unpicking the state of the world, which is why in my previous column I tried to make the case for balance and moderation as we react to events.

It's easy to play the anti-establishment and change cards or go on the attack. But the real challenge for our politicians and journalists is to allow voters to hear balance

Whether we like it or not, Donald Trump is now president of the United States. We have no choice but to deal with that fact, and with him. But it's hard to find any New Zealanders who have much good to say about him.

Thirty years after the Falklands War, the dispute over who controls the British outpost simmers on

Now for something completely different – a blog about the Falkland Islands.