A year on from the last election, and barely a breath before the next, we’re rebooting our politics coverage. Toby Manhire explains.
A wave of recent-past nostalgia has washed over New Zealand in recent weeks. The anniversary of the elevation of Jacinda Ardern to the leadership of the Labour Party amid a helter-skelter campaign. The anniversary of the election itself. And we’re not yet at the first birthday of Winston Peters’ prime-time press conference, at which he anointed the red team in the most gripping reality television of 2017.
A year on, the prime minister found herself, I think it’s fair to say, the most unequivocally feted and admired leader of the 140ish national leaders at last week’s United Nations General Assembly. It’s massively more prosaic at home, thanks to two ministerial sackings in quick succession, on top of nagging questions about the extent of Winston Peters’ grip on the government rudder. New York will quickly seem like a tropical microclimate against the persistent drizzle of home, with its questions around emails with thinkfluencers, “New Zealand values” and whether or not the words “Labour-led government” will bring the coalition to its knees.
And as the government awaits a cargo of consultations, they’ll also be starting to think about 2020. One of the joys (or shortcomings, depending on your point of view) of our short electoral cycle is that it’s now less than three months until we can start talking about the election next year.
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What better moment, therefore, to reboot The Spinoff’s Politics section. Thanks to Flick, who have been a stalwart supporter of The Spinoff for three years, we’ll be giving our coverage of all things political a fresh burst of energy (pun 100% intended) in the months to come.
That reboot will mean more interviews, more analysis, more satire, more commentary, including voices that you don’t always hear in mainstream media as well as perspectives from across the political spectrum. There will also be more regular servings of our politics podcast Gone By Lunchtime, with Ben Thomas, Annabelle Lee and me.
On Flick’s sponsorship of The Spinoff Politics, chief executive Steve O’Connor says: “If we want to get the most out of our democracy and have a truly inclusive society, political commentary can’t be limited to those few with the most privilege. By sponsoring Politics, we’re looking forward to being a part of amplifying analysis and perspectives that may not otherwise be heard and bringing more diverse voices to the table.”
There are a bunch of other pretty exciting things we hope to do in the next year, though they’re most so nebulous that to even mention them would be a certain hex. But please stay tuned. If there’s anything or anyone you’d particularly like to see more of on the site, drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org. Meanwhile, let’s all get back to commemorating this historic day, the first anniversary, probably, of a huddle of journalists tweeting about biscuits while waiting outside a Beehive lift for Winston.
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The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.