Winston Peters

As the polls stand, all roads to a change of government lead through New Zealand First. And that makes the Greens little more than by-standers

It's not bad strategy, it's not bad planning. It's not their fault at all. But unless the polls move dramatically in the next few months, the Greens are backed into an uncomfortable political corner. New Zealand First has them by the, er, brussel sprouts.

The Greens were getting ahead of themselves with their offer to Labour to campaign as a coalition government in waiting, and Labour was right to reject the offer.

Winston’s right. When a party publicly offers to collaborate with another party and there’s no agreement behind the scenes, that’s not a friendly gesture - that’s an attack.

The transcript of Wednesday's question time in the House is not yet available via Hansard. Fortunately, I am able to roughly recreate it below (with some possible inaccuracies, although minor in nature).

Russel Norman: To the Minister of Energy and Resources. Is he any good at his job?

New Zealand First, we know, could go either way. And this weekend we learnt a little more about what Peters and his crew will be considering if they end up as the pivot party

Call it their Robert Frost moment: Winston Peters and his New Zealand First colleagues may well face a choice after this year's election, when they have to choose from two roads diverging in a yellow wood - one to the left and one to the right.

Perception matters immensely when it comes to politics, but reality matters even more. So let's talk about realities

Relationship management is a tough part of being a politician, but gee whizz everyone in parliament seems to be falling over themselves to stuff it up this week, from Judith Collins to Shane Jones and beyond.