Winston Peters

Four of New Zealand's five most senior politicians are now under 45 and one the most notable features of this term so far is the sight of party leaders struggling to exercise power and to come to terms with the big jobs

Late Sunday afternoon my six year-old was wandering around in Spiderman pants, a pirate's cape and a variety of hats. A child playing dress-up made me think of nothing so much as the leadership on display in New Zealand's 52nd parliament.

Looking at the long lead-up to New Zealand's increasingly curious stance on Russia, the government seems to be wasting diplomatic capital at a time it should be storing it up against future need

It's been done so casually and with such a carefree shrug, that it's easy to miss what a significant choice it seems to be. It's like coming home on Valentines without flowers and saying 'but all the flower shops were closed'. Or not handing in your homework because you lost the textbook.

Should NZ reintroduce legislation requiring MPs that leave their parties to also quit Parliament? The debate over that question involves a battle over what happened in the past.

Today's Dominion Post carries a couple of opinion pieces by Nick Smith and Winston Peters, respectively arguing

After a wee holiday, some thoughts on how the new government should play its hand... and reflections on some good decisions that laid the ground for the 'coalition of losers'

In case you've been wondering, yes, I've been away for a bit. Taking Winston Peters at his word, I felt comfortable planning a holiday in the US from October 13. Well, that'll learn me! I got to watch him announce New Zealand First's choice of coalition partner sitting up in bed in Los Angeles.

Winston Peters' announcement that he will enter a coalition with Labour gives the 2017 election its final meaning. But it sounds like it was a very, very close run thing.

So, very late yesterday afternoon (let's be charitable) Winston Peters lifted the box's lid and out wandered a cat with a black head, red body and green tail.