state of the nation

John Key took social housing head on in his first big speech of the year and in doing so raised the ideological politics of ownership, trying to cast it in a new light

The thing about being in government is that you get to actually do things. While Oppositions position, pose and chip away, as Andrew Little did this morning, John Key got to talk about, y'know, an extra $40 million in spending on social housing and plans to sell up to 8,000 state houses this term.

Andrew Little kicked off the political year proper with his state of the nation address this morning, and it emphasised that Labour is under new management

It couldn't have been much more different, really. Andrew Little's state of the nation speech was conspicuously different from David Cunliffe's effort one year and one day ago.

I know, I know, it was election year, time was short and there was more on the line last year. And in looking at the different approaches, you can put a lot down to timing. But certainly not everything.

National and Labour made very big , but very different announcements this week. However the political thinking behind them both was almost identical and was all about eliminating the negative

For most people, the start of the year is about resolutions – all the good things they'll do this year and all the bad stuff they'll stop doing. What we've seen at the start of this politlcal year is half of that, as the major parties try to show the public that they can do better.