state of the nation speech

Labour's opening ploy this election year combines heart and smarts, but the return of univeralism is fraught with political risk

If you go last, you'd better go biggest: That was the pressure Labour was under today with its state of the nation speech – the third of the main three parties to address voters at the start of this election year – and it didn't disappoint.

A quick glance of John Key's state of the nation speech reveals a government tipping its hat to next year's election, but with little new to sell

In the early years of John Key's leadership of the National Party, and then the country, many of his critics were keen to say, 'just wait 'til he pulls the mask off'. There was always the worry his affable, centre-right smile hid neo-liberal teeth. Yet his State of the Nation speech today is further evidence that Key is no Brash-in-sheep's-clothing.

MMP politics is like a jigsaw puzzle, and Phil Goff revealed a few more pieces today, which he hopes will create a picture with Labour back on a Treasury benches. State of the nation? Nah, state of the coalition more like...

And so the dark lines of policy have started to be drawn around Labour's mid-term outines, that Phil Goff began releasing last year. Yes folks, it's election year and Opposition leader Phil Goff has decided to catch people's attention early with his state of the nation speech in Auckland this afternoon.