A humiliating hour in Ponsonby doesn't mean National is imploding, just that it's losing.
All it took was a laser focus on gettable centre-right voters, writes Ben Thomas.
From shambolic interviews to dismal polling, it's hard to see how the NZ First leader can save his party ahead of the next month's election.
With the shine starting to come off the government's Covid response, the opposition must abandon baseless speculation for a laser focus on failure and accountability.
Beyond the direct and practical implications, more significant for the eventual outcome is the effect on the electorate’s psyche, writes Ben Thomas.
The government is very good at dealing with disasters at a large scale, and terrible at doing it on a community level. Iwi can bridge the gap.
Paula Bennett's refusal to go head-to-head with Chloe Swarbrick on the cannabis referendum suggests Bridges' team is yet to come to terms with what it means to be in opposition
In presenting himself with a new, softer image, the National leader's conference speech sought to move beyond relitigating the fights of the past, writes Ben Thomas
The jungle drums are beating for a change at the top of the National Party. But, predicts Ben Thomas, a former advisor to a National minister, it's not Bill English who should be worried.
A brute force barrage of questions on a new and under-staffed coalition is 'not uniquely awful', argues Ben Thomas, 'but nor is it defensible'.