2014 election

A year on from the election and we now see loud and clear what defines the John Key government - a willingness to bend to public opinion and give the people just enough of what they want

How deliciously fitting that National should celebrate the first birthday of its third term with the decision to turn down Shanghai Pengxin's bid to buy Lochinver Station from the Stevenson Group, even though the Overseas Investmen

The Justice and Electoral Committee will soon be reviewing the 2014 general election. Here's the first of my thoughts on what it might profitably look at.

After every general election, Parliament's Justice and Electoral Committee holds an inquiry into how things went during it. This is A Good Thing, as it provides an opportunity for looking at (and sometimes even fixing) little anomalies in our electoral processes - a kind of continuous improvement exercise, if you will.

Over the weekend an 8-page taxpayer-funded advertisement for the National party arrived in our letterbox (I've tweeted a picture). Page after page laid out in National's party colours and font, bursting with photos of the PM, and of MPs Hekia Parata and Chris Finlayson. Also someone called 'Paul Foster-Bell' is prominently pictured in it, but goodness only knows who he is.

Headlines claim "We're on the right track", "Keeping Kiwis safer...", "Health targets are delivering better results", and other imaginary facts that don't pass scrutiny.

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

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

It was a day for two Comeback Kids, as John Key announced who he might dance with on election night and Winston Peters & Peter Dunne returned from the wings to take centre stage

This evening, as high winds continued to batter Auckland, I picked up branches in our front yard and thought about Winston Peters and Peter Dunne.