Steven Joyce

This was written before the election outcome is known. It looks at the part of the executive which is not elected: the public servants and advisors.

Steven Joyce, National’s campaign manager, must have thought he had Labour out cold when he claimed that its spending plans announced during the election were enormous and unsustainable. He proved to be very wrong, as economists – of a variety of political persuasions – have said.

As often as they say "let me be clear", politicians from both major parties this election are being anything but clear with voters. In a lolly scramble election, we deserve better

The campaign is getting down to the business end. Of all the previous general elections I recall, 2017 will go down as the biggest lolly scramble election. Every day brings a new multi-million dollar promise from one side or another.

National and Labour leaders show just how close it is and how much is at stake, by upping the risk factor with new policy announcements live in the second leaders debate

Bill English has taken to calling this election a drag race between the two big parties, but that doesn't do justice to the twists and turns it's already taken. Today, those two main parties added significant risk to the campaign - they're taking those corners at high speed now, as we enter the final 18 days.

Auckland is like a rat in a maze of the National government's making. But Phil Goff is determined to find his own way out... and he just might be about to find a door

Lisa Owen doesn't look much like Steven Joyce. Or Simon Bridges. Or Bill English for that matter. But Phil Goff didn't seem to notice or care when he sat down to be interviewed by her on The Nation this morning. While Lisa sat across the table from him, it was those men he was talking to.

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'.