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'.
The Winston Peters superannuation affair has put National's 'no surprises' rules for government ministries and departments in the spotlight. Good, says Ben Thomas: everyone should know just how rotten the policy has become.
Dismayed by the press gallery's failure to interrogate the prime minister's epistemological framework in the Todd Barclay scandal? Undismay yourself: New Zealand's leading craft beer enthusiast and philosopher king Ben Thomas is here.
After a year of taking heavy shots from the opposition, National responded with a 1-2 of their own with today's budget announcements, writes Ben Thomas.
Labour candidate Rohan Lord announced yesterday that he was withdrawing from the East Coast Bays race, blaming his low placing on the party list and the barrier to progress which is being a white middle class man. So much for party loyalty, writes Ben Thomas.
From Don Brash to Helen Clark to the latest media spiel, the ‘debate’ is one of the great bogeymen of NZ politics. And it needs to get in the sea, writes Ben Thomas
Just like his spaghetti pizza, Bill English has served up another predictable-but-surprising cabinet reshuffle, writes Ben Thomas.
Pushing the retirement age to 67 by 2040 reshapes the debate in election year. The boomers will be happy, but what about the rest of us? Ben Thomas writes
Ben Thomas clasps his silver ticket and braves the Washington throngs to watch the inauguration, those watching it, and the squirrels. Complete with data analysis via Grindr.
Just how great was the incoming president's Make American Great Again concert? Let's cross to Ben Thomas in Washington DC, and pray for him.
He understands middle New Zealand in a way that is unparalleled.' Leftwing political commentator Ben Thomas looks back at John Key's prime minsterial career.
The government is trumpeting the fact that the Auditor-General's report into the Saudi sheep fiasco did not find its mastermind guilty of criminal corruption. Good for McCully, says Ben Thomas - now let's look at what the report did say about New Zealand's most bizarre ovine scheme.
Former New Zealand Herald editor Gavin Ellis claims New Zealanders are sleepwalking through an all-out assault on their democratic rights. Ben Thomas claims Gavin Ellis should chill out a bit.
Opinion: Publishing the names of thousands of people who have dealt with Mossack Fonseca irrespective of wrongdoing is reckless, unfair, and worthy of Kafka's The Trial, argues Ben Thomas.
Morgan Godfery's collection of new progressive thinking is weighed down by a lot of ageing left ideas, writes Ben Thomas from the other side of the political divide.