Radio New Zealand: Focus on Politics

This page lists items from RNZ that are identified as "Focus on Politics". RNZ didn't start regularly putting both its audio and news content online until 2008. From 2002-2007 written news items (particularly from RNZ International) were placed online. You can access these items, plus the vast audio collecton from the mid-2000s onwards by using the day schedule pages. You can access items prior to 2002 on the historic page.

26/10/2007: Focus On Politics for 26 October 2007
Danya Levy looks at the party's determination not to repeat its mistakes of 2005 in the build-up to next year's election. [more]

04/04/2008: Focus on Politics for 4 April 2008
This week, Danya Levy, looks at the personal toll politics takes on MPs and their families. [more]

11/04/2008: Focus on Politics for 11 April 2008
In this week's Focus on Politics, political reporter Julian Robins looks at Labour's prospects, and its fighback plan. [more]

24/04/2008: Focus on Politics for 24 April
After years of unprecedented growth the economy is now slowing, with some economists warning of recession. [more]

02/05/2008: Focus on Politics for 2 May 2008
The Electoral Finance Act has been in force for nearly 5 months now - Chris Bramwell takes a look at how it's working. [more]

09/05/2008: Focus on Politics for 9 May 2008
To shore up political support for its key climate change policy, the government has watered down the Emissions Trading Scheme. [more]

16/05/2008: Focus on Politics for 16 May 2008
Life's a blog. Kate Williamson looks at how the Internet is being used to campaign in election year. [more]

30/05/2008: Focus On Politics for 30 May 2008
Focus On Politics for 30 May 2008 [more]

06/06/2008: Focus on Politics for 06 June 2008.
United Future says its election campaign essentially starts this weekend, with the party's annual conference in Auckland. [more]

20/06/2008: Focus On Politics for 20 June 2008
Focus On Politics for 20 June 2008. [more]

27/06/2008: Focus On Politics for 27 June 2008
This week Brent Edwards looks at the new impetus in settling Treaty of Waitangi claims. [more]

04/07/2008: Focus On Politics for 4 July 2008
Focus On Politics for 4 July 2008. [more]

11/07/2008: Focus on Politics for 11 July 2008
Odds are on a change of Government after this year's election. [more]

18/07/2008: Focus on Politics for 18 July 2008
New Zealand First heads to its annual conference this weekend. [more]

25/07/2008: Focus On Politics for 25 July 2008
Winston Peters has returned to NZ to scathingly dismiss allegations about party funding and donations made to his party. [more]

01/08/2008: Focus On Politics for 1 August 2008
Focus On Politics for 1 August 2008. [more]

08/08/2008: Focus on Politics for 8 August 2008
The National Party is promising to increase public debt to pay for more roads and other infrastructure. [more]

15/08/2008: Focus On Politics for 15 August
This week, Chris Bramwell takes a look at political marketing aimed at the voting public. [more]

22/08/2008: Focus On Politics for 22 August 2008
Law and order is a major topic during every election campaign, with politicians promising to get tough on crime. [more]

29/08/2008: Focus on Politics for 29 August 2008
Winston Peters has been stood down as Foreign Minister, while the Serious Fraud Office investigates. [more]

05/09/2008: Focus On Politics For 5 September 2008
Business NZ held its pre-election forum, where the political parties outlined their policies on lifting economic performance. [more]

12/09/2008: Focus On Politics for 12 September
Announcing the election date as November the 8th at the end of a hectic week in Parliament. [more]

19/09/2008: Focus On Politics for 19 September 2008
Focus On Politics for 19 September 2008 [more]

26/09/2008: Focus On Politics For 26 September 2008
Focus On Politics For 26 September 2008. [more]

03/10/2008: Focus On Politics for 3 October 2008
Focus On Politics for 3 October 2008 looks at the Maori Party's strategy. [more]

14/11/2008: Focus On Politics for 14 November 2008
It's only a week since the election but a new Government will be sworn in early next week. [more]

21/11/2008: Focus On Politics for 21 November 2008
It's been a week of frenetic activity at Parliament, one that's seen a government formed and sworn-in in record time under MMP. [more]

28/11/2008: Focus on Politics for 28 November 2008
This week Danya Levy meets some of the new MPs brought into Parliament by this month's election. [more]

05/12/2008: Focus on Politics for 5 December 2008
The controversial Foreshore and Seabed Act is to undergo a major review in the new year. [more]

12/12/2008: Focus On Politics for 12 December 2008
After nine years cooling their heels in Opposition, National ministers have wasted no time in pushing their programme. [more]

19/12/2008: Focus on Politics for 19 December 2009
Julian Robins discusses with John Key what the future holds for him and New Zealand. [more]

24/12/2008: Politics in 2008
2008 has seen an election and a change of government but it wasn't always our election that captured people's attention. [more]

05/02/2009: Focus on Politics
Chris Bramwell looks at the relationship between the Maori Party and their once unlikely National bedfellows. [more]

13/02/2009: Focus on Politics Friday 13 Feb ( FIRST WEEK)
Parliamentary chief reporter Jane Patterson takes a look back at a busy week as Parliament resumes for 2009. [more]

20/02/2009: Focus on Politics
And this week Brent Edwards looks at the impact of National's, potential, recession-driven business intervention. [more]

27/02/2009: Focus on politics for 27 Febuary 2009
Julian Robins looks at some of the challenges facing the Government, now that it has completed its first hundred days in office. [more]

06/03/2009: Focus on Politics for 6 March 2009
The Government warns that ACC costs are out of control, and entitlements need to be reveiwed to avoid massive levy increases. [more]

13/03/2009: Focus On Politics for 13 March 2009
The ACT Party goes into its post election annual conference as part of a Government for the first time. [more]

27/03/2009: Focus on Politics - the road to the UN
Just six months after losing the election, Helen Clark has"moved on"and secured one of the United Nations' top jobs. [more]

03/04/2009: Focus on Politics
If people thought the Prime Minister John Key was just a nice guy their opinion might now be changing. [more]

09/04/2009: Focus On Politics for 9 April 2009
This week the former Prime Minister Helen Clark bowed out of New Zealand politics after 27 years in Parliament. [more]

17/04/2009: Focus on Politics for 17 April 2009
A look back at the New Zealand government's response to the events which have unfolded in Fiji over the past week. [more]

24/04/2009: Focus on Politics for 24 April 2009
The Government aims to resolve all Treaty of Waitangi claims by 2014. [more]

01/05/2009: Focus on Politics for 1 May 2009
Former Finance Minister Michael Cullen bowed out of politics this week after serving nearly 28 years as an MP. [more]

08/05/2009: Focus On Politics for 8 May 2009
The relationship between National and the Maori Party has once again been put to the test, this time over Fiji. [more]

15/05/2009: Focus on Politics for 15 May 2009
Julian Robins looks at the political risks associated with reforming local government in the country's major population centre. [more]

22/05/2009: Focus on Politics for 22 May 2009
It's just three weeks to the Mt Albert by-election, an election the Labour Party must win to retain the seat it has held since its formation. [more]

29/05/2009: Focus on politics for 29 May 2009
This week the Finance Minister Bill English delivered the National led Government's first budget. [more]

12/06/2009: Focus on politics for 12 June 2009
The Green Party is now firmly established as the third largest political party in Parliament and will tomorrow try to push National into third place in the Mt Albert by-election. [more]

19/06/2009: Focus on politics for 19 June 2009
The debate over whether parents should face criminal charges for using physical force to discipline their children has resurfaced with an imminent referendum sparking heated debate. [more]

26/06/2009: Focus on politics for 28 June 2009
The country's prisons are reaching capacity - with the Corrections Department estimating they will be full by about February next year. Our political reporter, Chris Bramwell, looks at what the Government plans to do to avert the looming crisis. [more]

03/07/2009: Focus on politics for 3 July 2009
Liz Banas looks at the review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act which found that the legislation is discriminatory to Maori and should be repealed. [more]

10/07/2009: Focus on politics for 10 July 2009
Despite mounting pressure to reverse its Budget cuts for night classes, the government is showing no signs of backing down. [more]

17/07/2009: Focus on politics for 17 July 2009
The election of Barack Obama as United States president late last year marked the end of the hands-off free market policies promoted by his predecessor George Bush. And the trade unions who supported President Obama say more changes are on the way. One of those unions is the more than two million strong Service Employees International Union. Its president Andy Stern was in New Zealand recently and he talked to our political editor Brent Edwards. [more]

24/07/2009: Focus on politics for 24 July 2009
The Public Service has been put on notice - the big spending years of large scale growth are over, and reform is coming. [more]

31/07/2009: Focus on politics for 31 July 2009
The National Party is holdings its annual conference in Christchurch over the weekend. [more]

07/08/2009: Focus on politics for 7 August 2009
Bill English has returned to his Clutha-Southland electorate, after a torrid week defending his use of taxpayer money for accommodation. [more]

14/08/2009: Focus on politics for 14 August 2009
The National-led Government has announced it will cut greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 10 to 20 percent by 2020. The Cabinet agreed on the target this week and tabled it at a meeting of climate change negotiators in Bonn, Germany. [more]

21/08/2009: Focus on politics for 21 August 2009
Polling has now closed in the Afghan election amid widespread claims of vote-rigging and corruption. [more]

28/08/2009: Focus on politics for 28 August 2009
This week the National Party delivered a firm 'no' to Maori seats on the new Auckland super council, which saw tensions between National and its support partners rise to the surface. Our parliamentary chief reporter Jane Patterson looks at the events of the past week, and the political ramifications. [more]

04/09/2009: Focus on politics for 4 September 2009
Both the National and Labour Parties say they are willing to compromise to reach a deal on an amended emissions trading scheme. Labour is due to restart talks with the Government next week in an effort to stitch together an agreement just days after a select committee review of the present ETS was released. [more]

11/09/2009: Focus on politics for 11 September 2009
The Labour Party is holding its annual conference in Rotorua over the weekend, just 10 months after being thrown out of office by voters. [more]

18/09/2009: Focus on politics for 18 September 2009
The embattled Emissions Trading Scheme law is about to arrive back in Parliament to be debated all over again. [more]

25/09/2009: Focus on politics for 25 September 2009
Economic growth figures out this week showed the economy grew a marginal 0.1 percent in the three months to the end of June. [more]

02/10/2009: Focus on politics for 2 October 2009
After two months of controversy the Finance Minister Bill English finally bowed to public pressure this week and announced he will no longer accept any taxpayer-funded housing assistance. [more]

09/10/2009: Focus On Politics for 9 October 2009
This week Julian Robins talks to retiring Green MP Sue Bradford about her decade as an MP and her plans for a return to grassroots politics. [more]

16/10/2009: Focus On Politics for 16 October 2009
Almost a year on from the general election, Maori Party members meet in Auckland for the party's annual conference this weekend, where its relationship with the governing National Party will be just one issue under scrutiny. This past week, disagreements between the two parties over broadcasting rights to the 2011 Rugby World Cup exploded into the public arena. [more]

23/10/2009: Focus on politics for 23 October 2009
The government's involvement in Rugby World Cup TV rights. After at least two weeks of political maneuvering the National-led Government appears to have resolved differences with its support parties over television rights to the Rugby World Cup and the future of ACC. [more]

30/10/2009: Focus On Politics for 30 October 2009
Protest and civil liberty groups fear the Search and Surveillance Bill will extend the powers of police and other agencies to monitor and search people and their homes. [more]

06/11/2009: Focus on politics for 6 November 2009
It's a year since the 2008 election which put National into power with support from the Maori Party, ACT and United Future. Despite a number of political mishaps, National's even more popular now than at election time. Political editor Brent Edwards talks to the Prime Minister John Key about the year and the challenges his government faces. [more]

13/11/2009: Focus on politics for 13 November 2009
Just four weeks ago the Maori Party held its annual conference in Hamilton, with members relatively satisfied with the progress the party had made in its first year as part of the Government. Now dissention is rife as the troublesome Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira is on the verge of being thrown out of the party. [more]

20/11/2009: Focus On Politics for 20 November 2009
The Government and the Maori Party say they are poised to reach agreement on passing National's modified emissions trading scheme into law by Christmas. But papers leaked to Radio New Zealand News show iwi leaders want substantial concessions before they're prepared to give the Maori Party approval to do a deal. [more]

04/12/2009: Focus on politics for 4 December 2009
The former National Party leader Don Brash has not yet completely left the political scene. [more]

11/12/2009: Focus on politics for 11 December 2009
Parliamentary chief reporter, Jane Patterson, looks at the rise in ACC levies the Government's agreed to following massive protests from motorcyclists . Also there are accusations that ACC Minister Nick Smith has been scaremongering over what increases were required to keep the corporation solvent. [more]

18/12/2009: Focus on politics for 18 December 2009
English on better forecasts and next year's Budget. [more]

24/12/2009: Focus On Politics for 24 December 2009
It's been a tough year for the Labour Party leader Phil Goff. Labour has struggled in nationwide opinion polls all year, consistently trailing National by a substantial margin. But Mr Goff believes Labour is well positioned to challenge the Government next year and in 2011 when the country goes to the polls again. He talked to our political editor Brent Edwards and started by giving his view of the past 12 months. [more]

29/01/2010: Focus on politics for 29 January 2010
Focus on the year ahead. [more]

05/02/2010: Focus on politics for 5 February 2010
In Focus on Politics our political reporter Liz Banas looks at the progress on settling Treaty of Waitangi claims and anticipation around what will happen to the controversial Foreshore and Seabed Act. [more]

12/02/2010: Focus On Politics for 12 February 2010
In his statement to Parliament this week, the Prime Minister signalled the Government would raise the tax on goods and services but cut personal tax rates. The proposal has prompted strong political debate, with the Government's ally the Maori Party saying it has serious reservations about the intention to raise GST to 15 percent. [more]

19/02/2010: Focus on Politics for 19 February 2010
In recent weeks the National and Maori Parties have been speaking at cross-purposes over some key policies. With an alternative to the Foreshore and Seabed Act under consideration, the rollout of Whanau Ora in the May budget and an upcoming consititutional review, there are testing times ahead. Political reporter Chris Bramwell takes a look at the relationship and whether it's strong enough to survive. [more]

26/02/2010: Focus on Politics for 26 February 2010
While the party has made some gains out of its support arrangement with the National Party, its also had its fair share of embarrassing slip ups and been criticised for failing to advance key policies. [more]

05/03/2010: Focus on Politics for 5 March 2010
The Auditor-General has announced she will investigate the ministerial credit card spending of the former minister Phil Heatley. She says that it is still possible spending by other ministers will come under investigation. [more]

12/03/2010: Focus on Politics for 12 March 2010
As primary and intermediate school children return to the classroom for 2010, national standards in numeracy and literacy are a reality. [more]

19/03/2010: Focus On Politics for 19 March 2010
The Government has again taken aim at the Public Service, with warnings of further job cuts, departmental mergers and the hunt for the source of leaked Cabinet papers. Already almost 1500 jobs have been culled within the core government administration, with more to come. This week political reporter Julian Robins takes a look at the Government's plan for the future of the public service. [more]

26/03/2010: Focus on Politics for 26 March 2010
In late January, the Prime Minister John Key announced Steven Joyce would pick up tertiary education from his ministerial colleague, Anne Tolley, to give her more time to concentrate on her education portfolio, and in particular national standards. [more]

01/04/2010: Focus on Politics for 1 April 2010
This week the Government released a discussion document it hopes will finally resolve the disagreement over the Foreshore and Seabed Act. [more]

09/04/2010: Focus On Politics for 9 April 2010
One of the Maori Party's key policy goals is becoming a reality, with Tariana Turia named as the Whanau Ora Minister this week, and a group named to run the controversial new programme. It's being touted as a revolutionary new way of delivering social services to at-risk families. But political opponents say they're frustrated by the lack of concrete information, and claim New Zealanders are still in the dark about exactly how this policy is going to work. Parliamentary chief reporter Jane Patterson takes a look at the latest developments. [more]

16/04/2010: Focus on Politics for 16 April 2010
For years New Zealand's anti-nuclear policy has been an irritant in the relationship with the United States. That appears to now be history, with this country's anti-nuke credentials the reason why the Prime Minister John Key was invited to the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington earlier this week. [more]

23/04/2010: Focus on Politics for 23 April 2010
This week the Maori Affairs Minister and Maori Party co-leader, Pita Sharples, flew to New York to ratify the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. [more]

30/04/2010: Focus on Politics for 30 May 2010
This week the Law Commission tabled a hard hitting report recommending a raft of changes to crack down on the misuse of alcohol. It wants to raise the age at which people can purchase alcohol to 20, increase the excise tax on alcohol and clamp down on opening hours. It's urging Parliament to adopt a measured and coherent response to the growing problem of alcohol consumption in this country. But how likely is it that Parliament can get it right? [more]

07/05/2010: Focus on Politics for 7 May 2010
In just under two weeks the Finance Minister, Bill English, will deliver his second Budget. [more]

14/05/2010: Focus on Politics for 14 May 2010
This week the Prime Minister ruled out giving back the Urewera National Park to Tuhoe as part of a Treaty of Waitangi settlement with the iwi. [more]

21/05/2010: Focus on Politics for 21 May 2010
In his Budget on Thursday the Finance Minister, Bill English, announced the most substantial change to the tax system since the goods and services tax was introduced in the mid-1980s. [more]

28/05/2010: Focus on Politics for 28 May 2010
Is the Government preparing for asset sales? [more]

04/06/2010: Focus On Politics for 4 June 2010
Parliament's third largest political party, the Greens, are gathering in Christchurch this weekend for the party's annual general meeting. And for the first time in 15 years, it will be without the now retired co-leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons, at the helm. Political reporter Julian Robins looks at the state of the Greens, as the party settles down following a year of change. [more]

11/06/2010: Focus on Politics for 11 June 2010
Shane Jones faces an uncertain political future after revelations this week he used his ministerial credit card to pay to watch pornographic movies at hotels when he was a Labour minister. Spending by some other ministers has also come under scrutiny after details of credit card spending going back to April 2003 were released on Thursday. Are politicians living the good life at the expense of taxpayers? [more]

18/06/2010: Focus on Politics for 18 June 2010
The National-led Government has reached a deal with the Maori Party to repeal the contentious 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act and replace it with a new law. [more]

25/06/2010: Focus on Politics for 25 June 2010
Last week the Green Party co-leader, Russell Norman, got into a scuffle with security guards protecting the visiting Chinese vice-president Xi Jingping. Debate over the fracas dragged on throughout this week as Government figures blamed Dr Norman for the incident. But he accuses the Government of putting trade ahead of human rights and free speech. [more]

02/07/2010: Focus on politics for 2 July 2010
Households face higher prices from this week as the Emissions Trading Scheme pushes up the cost of power and petrol and ACC charges rise. [more]

09/07/2010: Focus on Politics for 9 July 2010
Monetary policy on the whole has tended to be supported on a bi-partisan basis by political parties but recently Labour has broken ranks calling for a rethink. [more]

16/07/2010: Focus on Politics for 16 July 2010
The National Party is holding its annual conference in Auckland this weekend. [more]

23/07/2010: Focus on Politics for 23 July 2010
The Government this week finally admitted defeat on its plans to allow mining on protected conservation land. [more]

30/07/2010: Focus on Politics for 30 July 2010
Chris Carter's fall from grace within the Labour Party is complete, and his former colleagues are now intent on painting him as isolated and irrational. [more]

06/08/2010: Focus on Politics for 6 August 2010
A week after his former MP, Chris Carter, said Labour could not win next year's election with him as leader, Phil Goff is adamant he is the best person for the job. [more]

13/08/2010: Focus on Politics for 13 August 2010
Auckland correspondent Todd Niall looks at the amalgamation of Auckland's eight local bodies into one super city and how it will change the power dynamics between the region and the Government. [more]

20/08/2010: Focus on Politics for 20 August 2010
Rarely in this country has the dirty laundry of a governing political party been so thoroughly aired as has happened to the ACT Party. Heather Roy was unceremoniously rolled as deputy at a caucus meeting which sparked extraordinary revelations about the dysfunctional relationship of the leadership, and the wider caucus. [more]

03/09/2010: Focus on Politics for 3 September 2010
This week the Government announced it would spend $1.75 billion to essentially bail out South Canterbury Finance. [more]

10/09/2010: Focus on Politics for 10 September 2010
Christchurch and its surrounding region now face a huge clean-up and rebuilding effort to restore homes, businesses, buildings and other infrastructure damaged by the quake. In Wellington the quake and its aftermath led to an unprecedented show of unity from the country's politicians as they pledged support for the people of Canterbury. [more]

17/09/2010: Focus on Politics for 17 September 2010
In what should have been a watershed moment for the Maori Party this week - legislation repealing the contentious Foreshore and Seabed Act passed its first reading in Parliament. [more]

24/09/2010: Focus on Politics for 24 September 2010
ACT is in further turmoil with the resignation of David Garrett from Parliament. [more]

08/10/2010: Focus on Politics for 8 October 2010
Name suppression laws have recently been under the legal and political microscope, and this week the Government released its plans to make it harder to get names and evidence suppressed. [more]

15/10/2010: Focus on Politics for 15 October 2010
Just days after ejecting long serving MP Chris Carter from the party, Labour holds its annual conference in Auckland over the weekend. It's meant to be an opportunity to signal new policy directions ahead of the election next year. That will still happen but Mr Carter looms large over the conference as party members consider the damage he's caused this year. [more]

22/10/2010: Focus on Politics for 22 October 2010
This week our political reporter, Chris Bramwell, takes a closer look at Labour's plans to change the rules around foreign investment. [more]

29/10/2010: Focus on Politics for 29 October 2010
Julian Robins looks at JRR Tolkein's Hobbit tale from a distinctly New Zealand political perspective. [more]

05/11/2010: Focus on Politics for 5 November 2010
With just two weeks until the Mana by-election, candidates vying for the north Wellington seat have been busy pounding the streets and talking to voters. [more]

12/11/2010: Focus on Politics for 12 November 2010
Government accounts out this week reveal that tax income slumped one-point-one billion dollars below forecast in the first three months of the financial year. That helped put a big hole in the public finances, blowing the deficit for the period out to three-point-seven billion dollars. At the same time exporters continue to struggle with the high value of the New Zealand dollar, and the Labour Party says the National-led Government has no plan for the economy. [more]

19/11/2010: Focus on Politics for 19 November 2010
Brent Edwards looks at the travel perk which this week has been scrapped by Parliament's Speaker. [more]

26/11/2010: Focus on Politics for 26 November 2010
Jane Patterson takes us through the week of the Pike River Mining tragedy. [more]

03/12/2010: Focus on Politics for 3 December 2010
The ACT Party's economic spokesperson Sir Roger Douglas returned to Parliament in 2008 after an 18-year absence. His commitment to liberal economic policies remains undiminished, but his voice in Parliament no longer carries the weight it did in the 1980s when he was Finance Minister. Political Editor Brent Edwards talked to him about the economy and his political future. [more]

10/12/2010: Focus on Politics for 10 December 2010
Winston Peters is vowing to make his brief return to Parliament this week, permanent. [more]

17/12/2010: Focus on Politics for 17 December 2010
The National Party ends the year with its lead in the opinion polls looking as strong as ever. [more]

24/12/2010: Focus On Politics for 24 December 2010
The Labour Party will begin the New Year with a big task ahead of it, if it's to put a dent in National's lead in the opinion polls. [more]

28/01/2011: Focus on Politics for 28 January 2011
In National's first two years in government business interests complained its economic policies didn't go far enough. And the Prime Minister, John Key, didn't entirely shake off the accusation he faced before the 2008 election that he was Labour-light. [more]

04/02/2011: Focus on Politics for 4 February 2011
This week in Focus on Politics, Julian Robins looks at the early exchanges of what is shaping up to be a long year in politics. [more]

11/02/2011: Focus on Politics for 11 February 2011
The ongoing Hone Harawira saga has once again thrown the spotlight on the Maori Party's relationship with the National Party. [more]

18/02/2011: Focus on Politics for 18 February 2011
This week the Focus team examines the visit of the Australian Prime Minister and looks at what it means for the 'family' on this side of the Tasman. [more]

11/03/2011: Focus on Politics for 11 March 2011
The ACT Party heads into its annual conference this weekend hoping to put the scandals of the past year behind it. [more]

14/03/2011: Focus on Politics for 11 March 2011
The ACT party heads into its annual conference this weekend hoping to put the scandals of the past year behind it. [more]

18/03/2011: Focus On Politics for 18 March 2011
The replacement for the controversial Foreshore and Seabed Act is making its way through Parliament and is set to become law in the coming weeks. Our political reporter Chris Bramwell has been covering the debate this week and looks at whether the Maori Party's backing of the bill could cost the party support. [more]

25/03/2011: Focus On Politics for 25 March 2011
The country faces its most austere budget in twenty years, with the Prime Minister announcing there will be no new spending next financial year. [more]

01/08/2014: Focus on Politics for 1 August 2014
This week the Prime Minister announced which parties will get National Party help this election. He gave the nod to National supporters to vote for the United Future's Peter Dunne, in Ohariu and ACT candidate David Seymour in Epsom. But he dashed any hopes the Conservative Party might have had that National would stand aside in East Coast Bays. His announcement came as Parliament wound up for the term, leaving politicians and their parties to spend the next seven weeks campaigning until the election on September the 20th. Our political editor Brent Edwards looks back on Parliament's last week. [more]

08/08/2014: Focus on Politics for 8 August 2014
Land sales to foreigners has again reared its head as a political issue just weeks out from the September the 20th election. [more]

15/08/2014: Focus on Politics for 15 August 2014
Investigative writer Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics has been immediately denounced by the Prime Minister as being full of baseless accusations that do not stack up. But email and facebook exchanges included in the book do add weight to its contention that senior National figures have used rightwing bloggers to attack the Labour Party. [more]

22/08/2014: Focus on Politics for 22 August 2014
More than a week on from the release of Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics, the Prime Minister, John Key, is still having to deal with its consequences. [more]

29/08/2014: Focus on Politics for 29 August 2014
While the disclosures in Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics continue to cast a shadow over the election campaign, this week there was more focus on policy. The Saturday broadcast of this programme was replaced with a live special covering the resignation of Judith Collins as a minster. [more]

05/09/2014: Focus on Politics for 5 September 2014
Arguments about tax policy gained momentum this week as political parties focused more strongly on policy differences. National is promising to release broad details about its tax cut plans next Monday but faces criticism there is not enough money for the proposal. At the same time the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe, stumbled over the details of his party's capital gains tax policy, renewing National's attack on the plan. Here's our political editor Brent Edwards. [more]

14/11/2014: Focus on Politics for 14 November 2014
The Labour Party has finally wrapped its three-week long roadshow; it'll soon decide on a new leader. [more]

21/11/2014: Focus on Politics for 21 November 2014
The visit of the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, ends a busy two weeks of international meetings for the Prime Minister, John Key. Last week Mr Key was at the APEC leaders' meeting in Beijing and the East Asian Summit in Myanmar before attending the G20 summit in Brisbane over the weekend. There most attention was focused on how to lift world economic growth but climate change also forced its way on to the agenda. Our political editor Brent Edwards was in Brisbane for the summit. [more]

28/11/2014: Focus on Politics for 28 November 2014
The Prime Minister, John Key, is on the defensive after an inquiry by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, found his office fed information from the SIS to rightwing blogger Cameron Slater. [more]

05/12/2014: Focus on Politics for 5 December 2014
The Government is under continued pressure to defend its response to the threat posed by Islamic State. It was forced to water down its controversial anti-terror legislation this week, and to quash reports that the defence force is getting ready to deploy troops to Iraq. [more]

12/12/2014: Focus on Politics for 12 December 2014
Parliament has risen for the year but not before rushing through legislation which gives the Security Intelligence Service greater powers to pry into people's lives. [more]

19/12/2014: Focus on Politics for 19 December 2014
The Government's still clinging to its promise to return the books to surplus this financial year, despite Treasury predictions to the contrary. [more]

23/01/2015: Focus on Politics for 23 January 2015
Two years ago the Government abandoned plans to overhaul the Resource Management Act when two of its support parties - United Future and the Maori Party - opposed it. Now National has enough votes in Parliament, with just the support of the ACT Party, to make whatever changes it wants. [more]

30/01/2015: Focus on Politics for 30 January 2015
This week both the Prime Minister, John Key, and the Labour Party leader, Andrew Little, delivered their state-of-the-nation speeches in Auckland, with Mr Key outlining more details of the Government's plan to sell State houses. [more]

05/02/2015: Focus on Politics for 5 February 2015
It's been 175 years since the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, and the Crown and Maori are still grappling with what it means and how the agreement should be honoured. [more]

13/02/2015: Focus on Politics for 13 February 2015
The Iraqi Government has formally asked New Zealand for help in the fight against Islamic State. New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key, announced last year that his Government was considering what role it could play in Iraq. Today's request moves those considerations up a notch, and a final decision is likely in less than a fortnight. [more]

20/02/2015: Focus on Politics for 20 February 2015
A spat broke out this week between Labour and the Greens over the membership of the top-level Intelligence and Security Committee. [more]

27/02/2015: Focus on Politics for 27 February 2015
This week the Government has officially told New Zealanders it will deploy a training force of 143 troops to Iraq, as its contribution to the US-led coalition against Islamic State. [more]

06/03/2015: Focus on Politics for 6 March 2015
Claims that New Zealand is involved in the mass collection of data across the Pacific, then passing it on to America's National Security Agency, have re-ignited the debate about the actions of the Government Communications Security Bureau. [more]

13/03/2015: Focus on Politics for 13 March 2015
The Government is still negotiating with Iraq to secure legal protections for New Zealand soldiers going to Taji Camp north of Baghdad. [more]

20/03/2015: Focus on Politics for 20 March 2015
There's just one week left for candidates to campaign in the Northland by-election - and next Saturday we'll know the result. [more]

27/03/2015: Focus on Politics for 27 March 2015
The conduct of the Government's electronic spy agency has again come under scrutiny this week with allegations that in 2013 it spied on those competing for the job as the director-general of the World Trade Organisation in an effort to help Trade Minister Tim Groser's campaign. [more]

10/04/2015: Focus on Politics for 10 April 2015
Dentists say they're sick and tired of taking out teeth from young children and are calling on the Government to take action to improve the state of the nation's teeth. [more]

17/04/2015: Focus on Politics for 17 April 2015
Since 2012 when the then Mana Party leader Hone Harawira had his Feed the Kids bill drawn from the ballot, the debate on children going to school hungry has been heated. [more]

24/04/2015: Focus on Politics for 24 April 2015
Alarm, strong rolling earthquake has hit central New Zealand. Seismologist on quake. Top police commander says Livingstone case will cause great change. Auckland Council responds to Port chairman's resignation threat. Parade marks the beginning of in the Anzac centenary. [more]

01/05/2015: Focus on Politics for 1 May 2015
The past week should have been a good one for the Prime Minister John Key. He attended a peace conference in Istanbul, the Anzac centennary ceremonies at Gallipoli and then visited the Gulf states to try to break a deadlock in free trade negotiations. [more]

08/05/2015: Focus on Politics for 8 May 2015
The challenge of solving the Auckland housing crisis continues to dog the Government, with it now publicly butting heads with the Auckland Council. [more]

15/05/2015: Focus on Politics for 15 May 2015
Six months after becoming the leader of the Labour Party, Andrew Little is forging new links with the business community as he makes economic growth his top priority. [more]

22/05/2015: Focus on Politics for 22 May 2015
This week the Finance Minister, Bill English, delivered his seventh Budget and it included a surprise pay increase for beneficiaries with children. [more]

29/05/2015: Focus on Politics for 29 May 2015
The Government has run into a roadblock, in the form of caucus resistance, over its workplace health and safety legislation. [more]

05/06/2015: Focus on Politics for 5 June 2015
The new Green Party male co-leader James Shaw has big, ambitious plans for the party. [more]

12/06/2015: Focus on Politics for 12 June 2015
Not long after Labour elected Andrew Little as leader he announced the party would confront what he said was one of the biggest challenges facing New Zealand: the future of work. [more]

19/06/2015: Focus on Politics for 19 June 2015
It's been a tumultuous week for the Housing Minister, Nick Smith, as he tries to keep the Government's grand plans for Auckland housing on track. [more]

26/06/2015: Focus on Politics for 26 June 2015
The Government is coming under increasing pressure to accept more refugees, particularly after the Prime Minister wrongly claimed thousands and thousands were getting into the country under the reunification programme. On Monday John Key was forced to correct himself, saying he had got mixed up over the figures for a three-year period. Mr Key has repeatedly defended having a refugee quota of just seven-hundred-and-fifty but other political parties say it is time to take more. Our political editor Brent Edwards looks at the debate. [more]

03/07/2015: Focus on Politics for 3 July 2015
New Zealand has the presidency of the United Nations Security Council, for the month of July. [more]

10/07/2015: Focus on Politics for 10 July 2015
This week the Government announced it aimed to cut greenhouse gas emissions eleven percent by 2030 from 1990 levels. [more]

17/07/2015: Focus on Politics for 17 July 2015
Dairy prices plunged again this week piling more pressure on the country's dairy farmers and New Zealand's biggest industry. [more]

24/07/2015: Focus on Politics for 24 July 2015
The National Party is holding its annual conference in Auckland this weekend as it nears the end of the first year of its third term in government. [more]

31/07/2015: Focus on Politics for 31 July 2015
Time now for Focus on Politics, where our parliamentary chief reporter, Jane Patterson, looks at how the political debate in New Zealand unfolded, during the week as the Trans Pacific Partnership talks were held in Hawaii. [more]

07/08/2015: Focus on Politics for 7 August 2015
New Zealand First has held its first annual conference since last year's general election, and its leader Winston Peter's win in the Northland by-election in March. [more]

14/08/2015: Focus on Politics for 14 August 2015
This week the Government finally pulled the plug on its ailing coal company Solid Energy. [more]

21/08/2015: Focus on Politics for 21 August 2015
The workplace safety legislation that was supposed to be a response to the Pike River deaths has ended up the subject of ridicule, mainly because of how various industries have been categorised according to risk. [more]

28/08/2015: Focus on Politics for 28 August 2015
Turmoil on the international stock markets this past week, with underlying fears of slowing growth in China, has raised questions about the resilience of the New Zealand economy. [more]

04/09/2015: Focus on Politics for 4 September 2015
Numerous petitions, canvassing such diverse topics as banning shark cage diving to cannabis reform, are presented to Parliament every year for MPs to consider, but very few lead to law changes. So, are they a worthwhile use of MPs' time? Our political reporter, Amelia Langford, takes a look at the role of the petition in New Zealand's democratic process. [more]

11/09/2015: Focus on Politics for 11 September 2015
After weeks of public and political pressure, the Government on Monday announced it would take an emergency quota of Syrian refugees. [more]

18/09/2015: Focus on Politics for 18 September 2015
In just two months time New Zealanders will be voting on four alternative flag designs which could possibly replace the country's current flag. [more]

25/09/2015: Focus on Politics for 25 September 2015
The father of a family who failed to claim refugee status based on climate change, was this week deported from New Zealand. But his case raised the broader question of, as the changing climate takes an increasing toll on low-lying islands in the Pacific, should New Zealand be doing more to help its neighbours? Our political reporter, Chris Bramwell, investigates. [more]

02/10/2015: Focus on Politics for 2 October 2015
Since late last year there has been a huge increase in the number of New Zealanders being held in Australian detention centres, and this week it was revealed that one prisoner died while awaiting deportation back to New Zealand. Our political reporter, Chris Bramwell, considers whether the situation could strain relations between New Zealand and Australia. [more]

09/10/2015: A closer look at the TPP
After years of wrangling the largest regional trade deal in the world, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, was finally settled this week. Our political reporter, Chris Bramwell, takes a look what the deal means for New Zealand and what the next steps will be. [more]

16/10/2015: Focus on the Government Books
After talking it up for years, the National-led Government was finally able to announce this week that it had got the books back into surplus. Our political reporter, Chris Bramwell, looks at the numbers and the politics around National's self-imposed target. [more]

23/10/2015: Focus on Politics for 23 October 2015
Australia remains steadfast on its policy to deport about a thousand New Zealanders, despite a meeting between the two Prime Ministers where that issue was top of the agenda. [more]

30/10/2015: Focus on Politics for 30 October 2015
New Zealand made history by becoming the first country to give women the vote but is it still breaking new ground in 2015? [more]

06/11/2015: Focus on Politics for 6 November 2015
When it comes to sport, particularly rugby, New Zealand politicians seem keen to get on the bandwagon and associate themselves with victory. But is there a line and when is it crossed? Our political reporter, Amelia Langford, takes a closer look at sport and nationalism. [more]

13/11/2015: Focus on Politics for 13 November 2015
There have been extraordinary scenes at Parliament this week, stemming from the debate over the treatment of New Zealanders being detained by Australian authorities on Christmas Island. During question time the Prime Minister accused the opposition of backing sex offenders and rapists - that would culminate in several women MPs revealing past sexual assaults and abuse, in an attempt to force an apology from John Key. Here's our political editor Jane Patterson. [more]

20/11/2015: Focus on Politics for 20 November 2015
Paris may be thousands of kilometres from New Zealand, but will the fall-out from last weekend's terror attacks reach these shores?The attacks have strengthened political resolve around the world to work more closely against the threat of terrorism. Our political editor, Jane Patterson, takes a look at whether there will be any direct changes to New Zealand laws, or way of life. [more]

27/11/2015: Focus on Politics
As another eleven convicted criminals were sent back to New Zealand this week, the Labour Party was in Canberra applying direct pressure to the Australian Government to change its immigration rules. [more]

04/12/2015: Focus on Politics for 4 December 2015
The Prime Minister raised a few eyebrows this week when he called for the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies at the world climate change summit in Paris. [more]

11/12/2015: Focus on Politics for 11 December 2015
New Zealand's dairy industry is touted as one of the best in the world, especially in terms of its treatment of animals - but is there a dark side? [more]

18/12/2015: Focus on Politics for 18 December 2015
The Government's ended the year cautiously optimistic about the state of the economy. [more]

24/12/2015: Focus on Politics for 24 December 2015
The former Climate Change and Trade Minister, Tim Groser, is leaving politics to replace Mike Moore as New Zealand's ambassador to the United States. [more]

22/01/2016: Focus on Politics for 22 January 2016
The Labour Party plans to set out most of its major policy this year ahead of the 2017 general election. It will also continue to work closely with the Greens as the two parties try to present what they think an alternative Government will look like. Our deputy political editor, Chris Bramwell, talked to Labour's leader Andrew Little about his plans for the year ahead. [more]

29/01/2016: Focus on politics for 29 January 2016
The political year's begun in earnest with party leaders including the Prime Minister delivering speeches this past week positioning themselves for the year ahead. It's already been a turbulent start to the year with international stock market volatility, and continued debate over the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Our political editor Jane Patterson sat down with the Prime Minister John Key to discuss the year ahead and the Government's priorities. [more]

06/02/2016: Focus on Politics for 6 February 2106
The Trans-Pacific Partnership has been signed in Auckland this week but not without controversy. Opponents of the 12-nation free trade deal argue it's a trojan horse that will undermine New Zealand's sovereignty and leave the country vulnerable to lawsuits from big international corporations. The Government will now hold roadshows around the country to try to sell the benefits of the TPP to the public but some say they've left it too late. Our political reporter Amelia Langford takes a look at why this particular trade deal has been so contentious. [more]

12/02/2016: Focus on Politics for 12 February 2016
The political sparring began in earnest this week, with the official start of Parliament. [more]

19/02/2016: Focus on Politics for 19 February 2016
The Government earmarked $2m for emergency housing in Auckland in September last year but that money still hasn't been spent. The funding is intended to provide an extra 120 emergency housing places a year for families and individuals. Opposition parties have questioned the delay in distributing the money, saying the Government needs to make emergency housing a priority. Political reporter, Amelia Langford, looks into what's stalling the process. [more]

26/02/2016: Focus on Politics for 26 February 2016
Five years on from the devastating Christchurch earthquakes and there are still thousands of unresolved insurance claims and delays to the government's so-called anchor projects. The Government is adamant things are tracking as they should. But Labour says it's time for a deadline to be put in place for claims to be settled and for the local council to play a leadership role in rebuilding the city. Our political reporter, Demelza Leslie, investigates. [more]

04/03/2016: Focus on Politics for 4 March 2016
Gang members and their families are now in the Government's sights, with the release of a multi-pronged anti-gang initiative. The Police Minister, and the Minister of Social Development have announced a plan to gather more information, tackle illegal drugs and firearms, and to break up gang membership that has continued from one generation to the next. [more]

11/03/2016: Focus on Politics for 11 March 2016
A review of New Zealand's intelligence agencies has found the laws governing the SIS and the GCSB are clunky, inconsistent and preventing those agencies from properly carrying out their jobs. It recommends a single piece of legislation to govern both agencies, but alongside that is a recommendation to allow the GCSB to spy on New Zealanders, which it is explicitly forbidden to do under its current legislation. Here's our political editor, Jane Patterson. [more]

18/03/2016: Focus on Politics for 18 March 2016
The financial squeeze on farmers is moving further into the political spotlight after dairy prices fell and Fonterra again cut its forecast payout. But the political debate around dairy broadened as the week rolled on, including a suggestion that a Labour future Government could intervene to force banks to pass on cuts in the Official Cash Rate. Here's our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell. [more]

01/04/2016: Focus on Politics for 1 April 2016
This week a major international study concluded that the War on Drugs has been a failure. It found that rather than stopping the trade and use of drugs, the so-called war had created parallel economies, increased the spread of disease and discrimination, and contributed to lethal violence. In New Zealand, drug law reform is a political hot potato, but as our Deputy Political Editor Chris Bramwell reports, change may be on the horizon. [more]

08/04/2016: Focus on Politics for 8 April 2016
The government remains stubborn in its refusal to acknowledge New Zealand is acting as tax haven for wealthy foreigners, and possibly criminals. And senior ministers continue to insist there's no need to change the law to block people from overseas jurisdictions taking advantage of the disclosure requirements for foreign trusts, or the tax free status of income earned overseas. [more]

15/04/2016: Focus on Politics for 15 April 2016
The controversy over the use of foreign trusts to dodge tax has continued to dominate Parliament this week. The government bowed to pressure and announced a review of the rules governing foreign trusts. But opposition parties have persisted with their efforts to discredit the Prime Minister, and the man appointed to carry out the review, tax expert John Shewan. [more]

22/04/2016: Focus on Politics for 22 April 2016
New Zealand has made it clear to China during the Prime Minister's visit there this week that dairy access must be improved, as both parties negotiate an upgrade to the existing free trade agreement. While two-way trade has increased substantially since the agreement was signed between New Zealand and China eight years ago, many New Zealand businesses still face barriers in the Chinese market. [more]

29/04/2016: Focus on Politics for 29 April 2016
As New Zealanders waistlines continue to expand, the lists of measures politicians say they are taking to combat obesity also grows. But there is fierce resistance to putting in place a tax on fizzy drinks, despite medical experts saying it would make a difference. [more]

06/05/2016: Focus on Politics for 6 May 2016
The fallout from the Panama Papers has continued to dog the Government this week. It's been just over a month now since the millions of documents from a Panamanian law firm showed how the world's rich and famous, including world leaders, hide their money offshore. [more]

13/05/2016: Focus on Politics for 13 May 2016
The depth of New Zealand's involvement in the global network of secretive trusts was laid bare this week by further revelations in the Panama Papers. The new information may have created big waves in Parliament, but the Government emerged unscathed. [more]

20/05/2016: Focus on Politics for 20 May 2016
The Director of the Security Intelligence Service has spoken out this week about her agency's role in the jihadi brides controversy. Rebecca Kitteridge has also addressed a Privacy Act exemption, that allows the SIS and the Government Communications Bureau to request or obtain personal data from both government departments and private companies. Here's our political editor, Jane Patterson. [more]

27/05/2016: Focus on Politics for 27 May 2016
The Finance Minister, Bill English, has delivered his eight Budget which he says delivers money to sectors under pressure - health, education and housing. But critics say the Budget has failed to provide basic levels of funding for schools and hospitals, and to address the Auckland housing crisis. With Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell. [more]

03/06/2016: Focus on Politics for 3 June 2016
Labour and the Greens have made it official, signalling a formal working relationship, 18 months out from next year's general election. The agreement, represented by a memorandum of understanding, means they will work more closely on policy and campaign announcements - however they'll have their own distinct manifestos going into the election. The MOU also includes a "no surprises" policy which means the two parties will give each other prior notice of any major announcements and speeches. With political editor, Jane Patterson. [more]

10/06/2016: Focus on Politics for 10 June 2016
The long term plan for the Defence Force was unveiled this week. It includes a major infrastructure upgrade, and a new focus on cyber security, in a world political leaders say is increasingly unstable and volatile. [more]

17/06/2016: Focus on Politics for 17 June 2016
The numbers of refugees New Zealand will accept was boosted this week to one thousand people, to take effect from 2018 - the first increase in 30 years. The annual quota of 750 has not been raised since 1987. Emergency placements of refugees will also be doubled to 100, for each year in the next three years. There's been a strong campaign to double the annual quota to 1500, but the government says it still has to make sure those people moving to New Zealand have the support and services they need. [more]

24/06/2016: Focus on Politics for 24 June 2016
The Children's Commissioner has used his last State of Care report to warn that tens of thousands of vulnerable children could be in danger as the Government plans a massive overhaul of Child Youth and Family. Dr Russell Wills will finish up as Commissioner next week, after 5 years in the job. Political reporter Mei Heron spoke to him about what the future holds and asked him whether children are better off now, than when he took office. [more]

01/07/2016: Focus on Politics for 1 July 2016
The world was shocked when the United Kingdom voted to exit the European Union last week. The outcome of the referendum caused ructions on global stock markets, and a seismic shift in British politics, with the Prime Minister forced to step down, and the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn facing a revolt from his own MPs. But what does it mean for New Zealand? Here's our political editor, Jane Patterson. [more]

08/07/2016: Focus on Politics for 8 July 2016
The government is searching for yet more ways to dampen the rampant housing market, including a billion dollar infrastructure fund and encouraging the Reserve Bank to further limit lending to investors. But will it be enough? Our political editor, Jane Patterson, filed this report. [more]

15/07/2016: Focus on Politics for 15 July 2016
A proposed law which is expected to see many more people with severe addictions to alcohol or drugs being detained is almost universally being seen as move in the right direction. But there are fears the change won't be accompanied by adequate funding, and people's human rights could be trampled upon. Here's our political reporter Benedict Collins. [more]

22/07/2016: Focus on Politics for 22 July 2016
The Prime Minister this week took a business delegation up to Indonesia in an attempt to boost trade between the two countries. The trade relationship has been rocky over recent years, because despite both countries being part of a regional Free-Trade Agreement, Indonesia has placed tough restrictions on some goods - leading to a dispute that has reached the World Trade Organisation. Our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell, traveled to Indonesia to cover the Prime Minister's visit. [more]

29/07/2016: Focus on Politics for 29 July 2016
Parliament has launched an inquiry into whether registration for social workers should be made mandatory. Currently, a national register for those who work with New Zealand's most vulnerable exists, but inclusion is voluntary. That has prompted fears there are thousands of people working in the sector without any oversight. [more]

05/08/2016: Focus on Politics for 5 August 2016
While National is the main governing party, it could not do so without support arrangements with other, much smaller, political parties. Since being elected in 2008 National has had agreements with United Future, the Maori Party and ACT. While the individual deals are renegotiated at each election, National still has confidence and supply agreements with those three parties. Our political editor Jane Patterson talked to each of the support parties about working with National, and the challenges of making their agreements work. [more]

12/08/2016: Focus on Politics for 12 August 2016
Record immigration levels have reignited debate in Parliament over whether it's time to put a cap on numbers. The new arrivals put stresses on the nation, and that can cause dangerous resentments. It's being felt mostly in Auckland, not just with housing but other infrastructure like transport. Here's our political reporter, Demelza Leslie. [more]

19/08/2016: Focus on Politics for 19 August 2016
In a law change that had its genesis in the illegal spying operation against Kim Dotcom in 2012, the Government Communications Security Bureau will be given an explicit mandate to spy on New Zealanders. The New Zealand Intelligence and Security Bill will also set new guidelines for the sharing of personal information, and create a new offence for people who leak classified information. [more]

26/08/2016: Focus on Politics for 26 August 2016
The Maori King dealt a blow to the Labour Party this week by backing the Maori party and saying he would not be voting for Labour again. However, Labour have the upper hand heading into the election next year holding six of the seven Maori seats, and unphased by the royal comments, the party's leader says they're aiming for them all. With political reporter Mei Heron. [more]

02/09/2016: Focus on Politics for 2 September 2016
Much of the debate around national security centres around the threat of a physical terrorist attack in New Zealand, but cyber security is also gaining an increasing amount of attention. The electronic spy agency, the GCSB, says cyber crime is on the rise, and shows no sign of abating. Our political editor Jane Patterson examines the different types of cyber threats, and how they could impact New Zealand. [more]

09/09/2016: Focus on Politics for 9 September 2016
The Government is facing continued criticism for not having a plan to deal with the housing crisis. This week it passed legislation allowing special housing areas to be extended for another three years, and boosted funding for social housing places in Auckland. That came hot on the heels of Auckland homes tipping the million-dollar mark for average price. Here's our political reporter, Demelza Leslie. [more]

16/09/2016: Focus on Politics for 16 September 2016
Sweeping changes to family violence laws were unveiled this week, lifting the lid on what have been described as devastating and insidious statistics. Cabinet papers say the police attend an average of 280 family violence incidents each day, with children present at two-thirds of them. But those incidents are understood to only be a fraction of the numbers that are occuring with eighty-percent of family violence incidents never making it to the police. Here our political reporter, Demelza Leslie. [more]

30/09/2016: Focus on Politics for 30 September 2016
The Law Society says the Government has its head in the sand over the state of the legal aid system. The society says over the past five years, there's been a 25 percent drop in the number of lawyers providing family legal aid services because it's too stressful and poorly funded. The Government says it's working fine. Our political reporter, Demelza Leslie, has more. [more]

07/10/2016: Focus on Politics for 7 October 2016
A proposal by the Police Minister Judith Collins to boost front-line officers has been given to the Prime Minister and other senior members of Cabinet. The level of police numbers have been in the spotlight recently, with statistics showing an increase in assaults and burglaries, and the force's own annual workplace survey revealing officers are stressed and under-delivering. [more]

14/10/2016: Focus on Politics for 14 October 2016
The government has acknowledged it has to restrict the numbers of new residents allowed to come to New Zealand, as those numbers show no sign of abating. Changes introduced this week are aimed at making it harder to get residence through the Family and Skilled Migrant categories. [more]

21/10/2016: Focus on Politics for 21 October 2016
The sudden increase in the country's prison population means the Government will now have to stump up an extra billion dollars to build more beds. The move means there is less in the pot for other spending, but the Finance Minister says the Government has no choice. Deputy Political Editor Chris Bramwell reports. [more]

28/10/2016: Focus on Politics for 28 October 2016
One case of a autistic boy being locked in a seclusion room in a Wellington has led to revelations the practice is much more widespread than authorities were aware of. An investigation into the use of seclusion rooms in schools around the country is now being carried out by the Ombudsman, and in one case, by the police. Here's our political editor, Jane Patterson. [more]

04/11/2016: Focus on Politics for 4 November 2016
The Government's controversial Saudi sheep deal was back in the public spotlight this week after the Auditor General released her long-awaited report into the matter. While Lyn Provost cleared the Foreign Minister Murray McCully and officials of acting corruptly, her report raised serious questions about the deal. [more]

11/11/2016: Focus on Politics for 11 November 2016
Donald Trump's victory in the United States Presidential elections sent shock waves throughout the halls of Parliament this week. It caught many New Zealand Politicians off guard, and left them scrambling to work out how it would impact on the country's relationship with America. And whether that kind of protest or rust-belt vote could happen here. With political reporter, Demelza Leslie. [more]

18/11/2016: Focus on Politics for 18 November 2016
A massive 7.8 earthquake centred at the top of the South Island has sparked a major government response this week. The damage wrought in Kaikoura and the wider region and in Wellington is estimated to cost billions to repair, including significant repairs to parts of State Highway One north of Kaikoura. [more]

25/11/2016: Focus on Politics for 25 November 2016
Housing, crime and transport are the three most talked about problems in Mt Roskill and are high on the agenda for the candidates vying to be the electorate's first new MP in decades. Phil Goff was first elected MP for the then seat of Roskill in 1981 but lost it in 1990 before being re-elected in 1993. Mr Goff has held the seat ever since but has finally left for good to be Auckland's new mayor. Our Political reporter Mei Heron has been in the Auckland seat looking ahead to next Saturday's by-election. [more]

02/12/2016: Focus on Politics for 2 December 2016
Political deals to help out a certain candidate or party in an electorate seat have been frowned upon in the past, but the practice will become much more widespread in the 2017 election. National has done deals to help its support partners back into Parliament, but critics of those arrangements, Labour and the Greens, are now signalling their intention to do the same. Here's our political editor, Jane Patterson. [more]

09/12/2016: Focus on Politics for 9 December 2016
It's been an extraordinary week in politics, with John Key dropping a bombshell announcing his resignation, and Bill English now preparing to take over as Prime Minister after a swift leadership contest. The week's events have also exposed tensions and resentments among the National Party backbenchers, which had not been expressed under the tight discipline of the John Key regime. Here's our political editor, Jane Patterson. [more]

16/12/2016: Focus on Politics for 16 December 2016
The Parliamentary year has drawn to a close, with the House rising on Wednesday night and most MPs packing up for the Christmas break. But some National Party MPs and Ministers will spend next week moving offices after the new Prime Minister, Bill English, announces his cabinet reshuffle on Sunday. With our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell. [more]

27/01/2017: Focus on Politics for 27 January 2017
A war of words erupted and insults were traded earlier this week as political party leaders made their annual speeches at Ratana. The celebrations mark the official birthday of the church's prophet, Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana, who was born 144 years ago - but the event also serves as the unofficial start to the political year. Our political reporter Mei Heron has been at Ratana. [more]

03/02/2017: Focus on Politics for 3 February 2017
Donald Trump's sudden and sweeping ban on refugees and people from seven Muslim nations entering the United States has had far reaching consequences. The US President's executive order, referred to by critics as the Muslim ban, threw governments around the world into a spin as they struggled to get up to speed on what it meant for their citizens and tried to come to grips with the new Republican president. [more]

10/02/2017: Focus on Politics for 10 February 2017
Time now for Focus on Politics. The Government announced this week that people who want their doctor to prescribe medicinal cannabis will no longer need to get ministerial approval, but they still will have to get sign-off from the Health Ministry. But questions remain over whether the change will actually speed up access to the drug. Here's our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell. [more]

17/02/2017: Focus on Politics for 17 February 2017
The government has once again found itself on the back foot over housing, during an ongoing debate about how it measures housing shortages, particularly in Auckland. It has also started the formal process of establishing powerful authorities to help fast track house construction around the country. [more]

24/02/2017: Focus on Politics for 24 February 2017
The Government's been in damage control this week, after Maori leaders spoke out against a planned change to the care and protection system for children. The change, governing the placement of children in state care, places emphasis on a child's safety above everything else - leading some Maori to wonder where that leaves whanau. More than five thousand children are currently in the care of Child Youth and Family and almost two-thirds are Maori. [more]

03/03/2017: Focus on Politics for 3 March 2017
The revelation this week at-risk prisoners have been subject to inhumane treatment, has again raised questions about the country's mental health system. In one case a prisoner was tied down to a bed for 16 hours at a time for 37 nights in a row. The Government has acknowledged the number of people seeking out mental health services is growing and more needs to be done to meet demand. Here's our political reporter Mei Heron. Where to get help: Lifeline: 0800 543 354 Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7).  Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (24/7) Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24/7) Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8am-12am), or email talk@youthline.co.nz What's Up: online chat (7pm-10pm) or 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787 children's helpline (1pm-10pm weekdays, 3pm-10pm weekends) Kidsline (ages 5-18): 0800 543 754 (24/7) Rural Support Trust Helpline: 0800 787 254 Healthline: 0800 611 116 If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111. [more]

10/03/2017: Focus on Politics for 10 March 2017
The Prime Minister has taken a political gamble, and laid out a plan to increase the age of entitlement for superannuation - but not for another 20 years. Under John Key the National -led government refused to consider any change, but his successor Bill English says the time is right. Here's our political editor, Jane Patterson. [more]

17/03/2017: Focus on Politics for 17 March 2017
The issue of abortion law raised its head again this week, which in election year is never a welcome topic for political parties. The laws governing abortions in New Zealand are 40 years old and include out-dated and sexist language, but there is still political resistance to even initiating a review. Here's our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell. [more]

24/03/2017: Focus on Politics - Nicky Hager
A startling new book by the investigative journalists Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson was released this week, raising questions about whether the New Zealand Defence Force committed war crimes in Afghanistan. [more]

31/03/2017: Focus on Politics for 31 March 2017
Pollsters are rushing to reassure New Zealanders of their credibility ahead of this year's election. The sector's reputation has taking a drubbing globally after several major misses last year - most notably Donald Trump's shock victory in the US election. Here's our political reporter, Craig McCulloch. [more]

07/04/2017: Focus on Politics for 7 April 2017
Parliamentary hearings on the thorny topic of voluntary euthanasia wrapped up this week. The select committee is now tasked with distilling the thousands of submissions and coming up with recommendations. Here's our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell. [more]

21/04/2017: Focus on Politics for 21 April 2017
Global trade now looks very different for New Zealand, with the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, and the imminent departure of Britain from the European Union. And talks for the upgrade of New Zealand's free trade deal with China start on Tuesday (April 25th), eight years after the agreement was first struck. Our political editor, Jane Patterson, asked the Trade Minister Todd McClay about New Zealand's priorities for the upgrade. [more]

28/04/2017: Focus on Politics for 28 April 2017
The controversial Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill would make major changes to the way Maori control and develop their land, as well as removing some of the discretion of the Maori Land Court. The legislation is on track to be passed before the September election, but it still has its detractors. [more]

05/05/2017: Focus on Politics for 5 May 2017
Low and middle income families should expect to receive some financial relief in this month's Budget. The finance minister Steven Joyce is putting the final touches on his first budget and as our political reporter, Demelza Leslie, explains, changes to Working for Families and income tax thresholds appear to be on the cards. [more]

12/05/2017: Focus on Politics for 12 May 2017
Debate about charter schools and what would happen to them under a Labour government has flared up after comments made by its list candidate and Maori campaign manager Willie Jackson. Labour has a long standing policy to repeal the legislation that allows charter schools to operate, but there's discussion within Labour about what should be done with those seen as doing a good job. This has coincided with a Labour Party bill being drawn from the ballot, prohibiting charter schools from turning a profit. Here's our political editor, Jane Patterson. [more]

19/05/2017: Focus on Politics for 19 May 2017
The trans-Tasman bond is again being tested with the rights of New Zealanders living in Australia being stripped further. Australia tightened its visa rules last month making it harder for people to gain citizenship. And this month it announced the fees New Zealand students pay will effectively triple from next year. Our political reporter Mei Heron looks at the relationship between the two countries. [more]

26/05/2017: Focus on Politics for 26 May 2017
The Finance Minister, Steven Joyce, has delivered his first budget, clearly aimed at helping National win September's election. It includes a lift for lower income families through changes to Working for Families and the accommodation supplement and also includes a rise in some tax thresholds But the package doesn't come into effect until April next year, making it an election year sweetener. [more]

02/06/2017: Focus on Politics for 2 June 2017
An investigation is underway into whether the Auditor General Martin Matthews is fit to continue in that role. [more]

09/06/2017: Focus on Politics for 9 June 2017
The controversial voluntary euthanasia debate took another twist this week after a member's bill legalising the right to die was pulled from the ballot. The legislation in the name of the ACT party leader, David Seymour, would allow people with a terminal illness or grievous, incurable medical condition to end their own lives. The matter is a political hot-potato - with previous attempts to debate the issue being knocked back - and now all MPs will have to deal with it leading into September's election. Here's our political reporter, Demelza Leslie. [more]

16/06/2017: Focus on Politics for 16 June 2017
Immigration continues to be hot election year topic, and Labour has poured fuel on the fire with its new immigration policy. The leader Andrew Little says New Zealand is not prepared for the thousands of new migrants and it's time to "take a breather". Political editor Jane Patterson reports. [more]

23/06/2017: Focus on Politics for 23 June 2017
It's been an unexpectedly messy week for the National Party this week in the lead up to its election year conference, and the first real test of Bill English's leadership. The party clearly thought the controversy around its Clutha-Southland MP, Todd Barclay, was over and done with last year - but it rose its head again on Tuesday morning and just over 24 hours later the 27-year-old's political career was over. [more]

30/06/2017: Focus on Politics for 30 June 2017
The Government's been in court this week over the way it has set New Zealand's climate targets. Hamilton law student Sarah Thomson is taking legal action against the Minister for Climate Change Issues - the first case of its kind in the country. Here's our political reporter Mei Heron. [more]

07/07/2017: Focus on Politics for 7 July 2017
After several months a report into petrol prices has confirmed what many suspected, that people in Wellington and the South Island are paying more than the rest of the country for their fuel. But will anything change? Our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell, reports. [more]

14/07/2017: Focus on Politics for 14 July 2017
The Prime Minister wants to stick with National's current support partners if the party is in a position to lead the Government for a fourth term. But is that healthy and would it work for another three years? And what about New Zealand First? Despite his loyalty to United Future, ACT and the Maori Party, Bill English is still keeping the door open to Winston Peters. Our political reporter, Demelza Leslie, takes the pulse of the current governing relationship. [more]

14/07/2017: Focus on Politics for 14 July 2017
The Prime Minister wants to stick with National's current support partners if the party is in a position to lead the Government for a fourth term. But is that healthy and would it work for another three years? And what about New Zealand First? Despite his loyalty to United Future, ACT and the Maori Party, Bill English is still keeping the door open to Winston Peters. Our political reporter, Demelza Leslie, takes the pulse of the current governing relationship. [more]

21/07/2017: Focus on Politics for 21 July 2017
As the election draws nearer opposition parties are busy trying to carve their own path, while also presenting a picture of a stable, credible alternative government. However, nothing is straightforward, and the possible combinations of a Labour-led government could look quite different, depending on the number of seats each party ends up with after polling day. Here's our political reporter Mei Heron. [more]

28/07/2017: Focus on Politics for 28 July 2017
The prospect of the Greens co-leader Metiria Turei being under investigation for benefit has raised questions about her place in a potential Labour Greens government. All political parties are busy positioning themselves ahead of the election, given more focus this week by the Prime Minister's nod to National's support partners in the key seats of Ohariu and Epsom. But on the other side of the aisle, the Labour leader has come under pressure to say whether Mrs Turei would have a place in any Cabinet he leads. Here's our political editor, Jane Patterson. [more]

04/08/2017: Focus on Politics for 4 August 2017
The tired old adage - a week is a long time in politics - has proven itself to be more than apt this week. In that time Labour has completely changed its leadership and campaign, and the Greens have had their own dramas. Our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell takes a look back at what's been a tumultuous week for the opposition. [more]

11/08/2017: Focus on Politics for 11 August 2017
The Green Party's campaign slogan "Great Together" is now painfully ironic given its tumultuous week, with two MPs leaving and then its co-leader Metiria Turei resigning. [more]

18/08/2017: Focus on Politics for 18 August 2017
Trans-Tasman relations have been strained at times but the controversy surrounding the Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and his links to New Zealand put the relationship clearly in the spotlight. [more]

25/08/2017: Focus on Politics for 25 August 2017
The shocks just keep coming in this election campaign - the latest political leader to fall on their sword is the United Future leader and government ally, Peter Dunne. The other big news of the week was the opening of the government books ahead of the September 23rd election, which revealed a two-billion-dollar windfall for political parties, but one that comes with a catch. With our political editor, Jane Patterson. [more]

01/09/2017: Focus on Politics for 1 September 2017
Another week on the campaign trail and another big story. The New Zealand First leader is claiming he's the victim of a National Party leak, after personal information about his superannuation payment made it into the public arena - just weeks out from the point those two parties may well be in post election talks. And party leaders have been busy rolling out some big policies, as they continue to visit towns and cities around New Zealand, including tertiary education and paid parental leave. We're going to talk our RNZ reporters who are out on the road with the politicians, but first here's our political editor Jane Patterson with a recap of the week's events. [more]

08/09/2017: Focus on Politics for 8 September 2017
New Zealand is another week closer to the September 23rd election, and the race could not be tighter. National and Labour are neck in neck in RNZ Polls of Polls and the rest of the political parties are now in a fight for their own survival. Here's our political editor Jane Patterson and the RNZ political team on the campaign so far. [more]

15/09/2017: Focus on Politics for 15 September 2017
The election is rapidly approaching and it's still anyone's game. National and Labour are neck and neck in the countdown to September 23rd and there's still plenty happening on the campaign trail. [more]

22/09/2017: Focus on Politics for 22 September 2017
The day before the polls close in New Zealand, RNZs Poll of Polls shows National widening its lead over Labour, but when you add in the Greens they are pretty much even. While we've heard a lot about the race and the campaigns of the political parties, this week we talk to our team of reporters about what's it like to cover one of these campaigns, out on the road. [more]

29/09/2017: Focus on Politics for 29 September 2017
The election may be over, but there is no sign of a new Government just yet. All four parties involved in the coalition talks are getting their negotiating teams ready and figuring out where and what they are prepared to compromise on. Our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell, wraps up the week. [more]

06/10/2017: Focus on Politics for 6 October 2017
Perhaps the biggest upset of the election was the Maori Party's exit from Parliament as voters abandoned the party for Labour. In a shock few saw coming, co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell lost his 12-year hold on the Waiariki seat. The days since have been cause for reflection - what went wrong? Is the movement over - or can the party rebuild? Our political reporter Craig McCulloch was in Rotorua with Maori Party supporters as the results came in. [more]

07/10/2017: Colin James crunches the numbers
Veteran political journalist Colin James crunches the numbers. [more]

07/10/2017: Bill English says National still best placed to lead
The National Party leader Bill English spoke to reporters at Lake Hayes. [more]

07/10/2017: Ardern says the final results strengthen Labour's mandate
Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says the final election results give her party a strengthened mandate to continue with coalition negotiations. [more]

07/10/2017: James Shaw hopes for a three-way coalition
In the final result, the Green Party picked up an extra seat, to take its total up from seven on election night, to eight. [more]

07/10/2017: The final result puts two newcomers in Parliament
National's Nicola Willis and Maureen Pugh have both lost their seats. However, Labour's Angie Warren-Clark and and human rights lawyer and Green candidate Golriz Ghahraman will now be coming to Parliament as list MPs. [more]

07/10/2017: More results analysis from Colin James
Political journalist Colin James [more]

13/10/2017: Focus on Politics for 13 October 2017
It's been three weeks since New Zealand went to the polls, a week since the final election result was announced and the writ has been returned, but there is still no Government in sight. New Zealand First, which holds the balance of power, has been in talks all week with both National and Labour as it tries to decide who to form a Government with. Our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell, has been on stakeout all week at Parliament. [more]

20/10/2017: Focus on Politics for 20 October 2017
The wait, at last, is over - after 26 days, the public has finally learned who will lead the next government - the Labour Party's leader Jacinda Ardern. On Thursday evening, Winston Peters announced New Zealand First will go into coalition with Labour. The Greens, meanwhile, will support Labour on confidence and supply. [more]

01/12/2017: Focus on Politics for 1 December 2017
The Government came under fire this week for refusing to release documents put together during the coalition talks. The 33-pages of notes are locked in a safe in the New Zealand First offices, and the Prime Minister says she hasn't looked at them since before she moved into the Beehive. The coalition government is pledging to be more open and transparent than previous administrations - but will it really be any different? Here's our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell. [more]

08/12/2017: Focus on Politics for 8 December 2017
While different parties have flagged work schemes for the young unemployed in the past, talk about a 'work for the dole' programme from the New Zealand First minister Shane Jones has put the cat among the political pigeons. Labour moved quickly to assure New Zealanders no-one would be forced to work for the benefit rate, but they would get the minimum wage. Shane Jones' pronouncement also sparked a debate about the position of various government parties on welfare sanctions. Here's our political editor, Jane Patterson. [more]

15/12/2017: Focus on Politics for 15 December 2017
The National Party is finding its feet in opposition after nine years in Government. After winning 44 percent of the party vote at September's election, seven percentage points more than Labour - National did not win the support of New Zealand First so lost the reins of power. Our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell, spoke to National's leader Bill English about the events of recent months. [more]

26/01/2018: Focus on Politics: Out the starting blocks
The Government is wasting no time as the political year begins, rolling out announcements as its self-imposed 100-day deadline looms. The week also included the annual pilgrimage to Ratana Pa - the first time for Jacinda Ardern in her role as Prime Minister and Labour Party leader. [more]

02/02/2018: Focus on Politics: Medicinal cannabis
Two pieces of legislation on medicinal cannabis have been before Parliament this week, raising questions about who should be allowed to grow and access the drug. A Government bill, which lays the groundwork for a regulated medicinal cannabis industry, passed its first reading. However, another bill which allows people to grow their own, failed. Here's our political reporter Mei Heron [more]

09/02/2018: Focus on Politics: Waitangi 2018
This year's commemorations at Waitangi have been widely heralded as a huge success - there were record crowds enjoying the music, food and korero. Politicians are formally welcomed to Waitangi on February the 5th, the day before Waitangi Day and in a break with recent tradition, this year the powhiri was moved away from Te Tii Marae and was held at the marae on the treaty grounds. Our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell, was at Waitangi. [more]

16/02/2018: Focus on Politics: National's leadership race
For the second time in less than 18 months, the National Party is in the throes of a leadership contest. The party's leader, Bill English, announced on Tuesday that he would resign at the end of this month, not just as leader, but from Parliament altogether. And now the race is on to see who can get the support for the top job. Here's our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell. [more]

23/02/2018: Focus on Politics: Tropical Cyclone Gita
The remnants of Tropical Cyclone Gita ripped through central New Zealand this week, cutting off communities, closing roads and wreaking havoc for the upper south island. It's not the first bad storm of 2018, and will not be the last as the effects of climate change are felt in more ways than one. Our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell, looks at the resilience of New Zealand's infrastructure and what is being done to adapt to the changing climate. [more]

02/03/2018: Focus on Politics: Meet Simon Bridges
The National Party has a new leader - Simon Bridges. He's 41, married with three young children and while brought up in West Auckland, is currently the MP for Tauranga. Mr Bridges was a senior minister under John Key and Bill English, and now has the challenge of readying the party to adapt to opposition, and take on Jacinda Ardern and Labour in 2020. Here's our political editor, Jane Patterson. [more]

09/03/2018: Focus on Politics: Pacific Mission 2018
Jacinda Ardern has spent the week island-hopping in the Pacific - a whirlwind trip, meeting four nations' leaders and dishing out millions in aid. It was Ms Ardern's first trip to the region as Prime Minister - starting in Samoa and finishing in the Cook Islands. Here's our political reporter Craig McCulloch. [more]

16/03/2018: Focus on Politics: International affairs
The world has been watching as the UK and Russia face off over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent. The leaders of France, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom have issued a joint statement condemning the act. Meanwhile, the US has imposed sanctions against Russian individuals and countries accused of meddling in the US Presidential campaign. Closer to home there are a number of other foreign matters the government has on its radar. Our political editor Jane Patterson sat down with the Foreign Minister Winston Peters to talk first about the so-called "Pacific reset". [more]

23/03/2018: Focus on Politics: Jones v. Air NZ
The blow up between New Zealand First Cabinet minister Shane Jones and Air New Zealand led to extraordinary exchanges between politicians and business leaders this week. Mr Jones' call for a cull of the board, starting at the top, earned him a Prime Ministerial rebuke. At a broader level it's also highlighted potential tensions between Labour and its governing partners. Here's our political editor, Jane Patterson. [more]

13/04/2018: Focus on Politics: Oil and gas ban
From the moment she became leader, Jacinda Ardern, has made it clear that tackling climate change is one of her primary focuses. So it should have been no surprise this week that she announced her Government would not be granting any new offshore oil and gas exploration permits. But as our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell, reports some in the oil industry claim they were caught unawares. [more]

20/04/2018: Focus on Politics: Meet Marama Davidson
The Green Party finally has a new female co-leader after several months, but Marama Davidson has her work cut out for her. Since the election there has been fierce debate within the party's membership about decisions made under leader James Shaw and accusations of a departure from the Green Party kaupapa. The party is teetering dangerously close to the five percent threshold in political polls, the most tenuous its survival has looked in more than a decade. Here's our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell. [more]

27/04/2018: Focus on Politics: Education
Budget day is looming and political parties are starting to position themselves. Coalition government ministers are claiming big funding holes in several portfolios - one of those is education. Our political editor, Jane Patterson, spoke to the Education Minister Chris Hipkins about the challenges he's facing in his portfolio. [more]

04/05/2018: Focus on Politics: Budget preview 2018
While the Finance Minister Grant Robertson puts the final touches on his first Budget, the blame game has already begun. The government's been dampening down expectations as it comes under scrutiny about what it's going to deliver, compared with what it promised voters. Part of the strategy is to lay some of the blame at the feet of its predecessor - National. [more]

11/05/2018: Focus on Politics: Family violence
The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has promised her Government will bring down the rates of child poverty, and wants to address one of the key drivers of that - family violence. New Zealand's domestic violence rate is staggering high - with the police attending an incident every five minutes in 2016. The Government this week announced a big funding boost for the providers of family violence services around the country - but is it enough? Here's our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell. [more]

18/05/2018: Focus on Politics: Budget 2018
The Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, delivered the coalition Government's first budget this week, spreading the spending widely, but also keeping three-billion dollars in the kitty. Our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell takes a look at the budget's winners and losers. [more]

25/05/2018: Focus on Politics: Prisons
New Zealand's prison population has been increasing quite rapidly over the past few years. In 2013 there were just over 8200 people incarcerated in New Zealand, the prison muster as of now is 10,481. The Corrections Department says it currently has capacity for about an extra 450 prisoners. The former National-led Government had proposed building a new 1500-bed facility at Waikeria, which Labour labelled a mega-prison. This week the Government confirmed that prison was now off the table, but what will it do instead? [more]

01/06/2018: Focus on Politics: Northcote by-election
Focus on Politics for 1 June 2018 [more]

08/06/2018: Focus on Politics: Meth meltdown
The apologies have been coming in thick and fast over the last week after the Prime Minister's chief scientific advisor delivered a king hit to the country's meth testing industry. It's now clear hundreds of Housing New Zealand's tenants have been needlessly kicked out of their homes and blacklisted, while in the private sector landlords coughed up many millions of dollars to decontaminate their homes, because it was wrongly assumed that meth residue posed a risk to people's health. An entire testing industry has sprung up in New Zealand offering to test homes for traces of meth while the legal system and local government have punished those unfortunate enough to get caught up in what is nothing more than a groundless moral panic. [more]

15/06/2018: Focus on Politics: ACT's identity crisis
More from Jane Patterson and the focus team... [more]

22/06/2018: Focus on Politics for 22 June 2018
New Zealand is now in formal negotiations with the European Union to nail down a Free Trade Agreement, with negotiators to meet in Brussels in about three weeks time. The EU is New Zealand's third largest trading partner, with two-way trade worth more than 20-billion dollars. What's in it for New Zealand, and what are the challenges that could get in the way of the deal getting over the line? [more]

29/06/2018: Focus on Politics for 29 June 2018
July the first marks the beginning of the new financial year - and with it comes a raft of changes heralded by the new Government. Its flagship families policy will deliver a boost for low and middle-income earners. New parents will get another four weeks leave and a baby allowance. And superannuitants and most beneficiaries are in line for a winter payment. The Government will be hoping all that distracts from the Auckland fuel tax which kicks in on the same day. [more]