Annette King

Social development minister Paula Bennett promises a benefit reform that brings “an unrelenting focus on work”. But just how sharp is that focus going to be?

Promising to tighten the screws on welfare bludgers is the stuff that gets chat radio humming, but actually doing it is much more difficult, particularly when unemployment is still on the rise in an economy that is tottering out of a recession.

National to form a minority government, keeps allies out of Cabinet; Goff to be named Labour leader today; Vela brothers make late $100,000 donations; Key loves the limos; men living longer; and more

National is moving quickly to negotiate the coalition agreements that will allow it to start governing as early as the end of the week.

Obama's win may affect FTA talks; final leaders debate overshadowed by Obama; Blue Chip investors told to pay up or lose their homes; plum government roles on offer; NZ wine industry ever stronger; car prices to rise

The election of Barack Obama to the US presidency could be a slight negative for New Zealand hopes for a free trade agreement, according to Dominion Post political writer Vernon Small. But yesterday's historic electoral sweep will mean the US and New Zealand will be more closely aligned on Iraq and Afghanistan.