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Focus On Politics

RNZ New Zealand

A weekly analysis of significant political issues.

A weekly analysis of significant political issues.
More Information


Wellington, United States


A weekly analysis of significant political issues.






04 474 1999


Focus on Politics for 22 December 2017

It's been a whirlwind year for the Labour party leader and now Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern.

Duration: 00:16:21

Focus on Politics for 15 December 2017

The National Party is finding its feet in opposition after nine years in Government. After winning 44 percent of the party vote at September's election, seven percentage points more than Labour - National did not win the support of New Zealand First so lost the reins of power. Our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell, spoke to National's leader Bill English about the events of recent months.

Duration: 00:15:45

Focus on Politics for 8 December 2017

While different parties have flagged work schemes for the young unemployed in the past, talk about a 'work for the dole' programme from the New Zealand First minister Shane Jones has put the cat among the political pigeons. Labour moved quickly to assure New Zealanders no-one would be forced to work for the benefit rate, but they would get the minimum wage. Shane Jones' pronouncement also sparked a debate about the position of various government parties on welfare sanctions. Here's our...

Duration: 00:16:14

Focus on Politics for 1 December 2017

The Government came under fire this week for refusing to release documents put together during the coalition talks. The 33-pages of notes are locked in a safe in the New Zealand First offices, and the Prime Minister says she hasn't looked at them since before she moved into the Beehive. The coalition government is pledging to be more open and transparent than previous administrations - but will it really be any different? Here's our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell.

Duration: 00:15:07

Focus on Politics for 24 November 2017

Tax was front and centre during the election campaign, particularly as it was the main focus of National's attack-ads on Labour. At the heart of this was Labour's policy to put together a Working Group to review the tax system. The Government this week unveiled the terms of reference for the review, but National says they are so narrow the outcome is obvious. Here's our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell.

Duration: 00:15:19

Focus on Politics for 17 November 2017

Much of the political focus has been at the high powered economic APEC and East Asia Summits this week, with the Prime Minister Jacinda Adern's first major foray onto the world stage. Back home, Parliament's winding back up with select committees being established and paid parental leave legislation being pushed through the House.

Duration: 00:16:10

Focus on Politics for 11 November 2017

The 52nd Parliament is now under way and the Government's first law change is making its way through the house, but the coalition's start has not been without a few teething pains.

Duration: 00:15:11

Focus on Politics for 3 November 2017

Ministers in the new Government are getting their feet under their desks, reading briefings and preparing for what will be a busy Parliamentary term. The house will begin sitting this week as the Labour-led Government begins implementing its one-hundred day plan.

Duration: 00:16:11

Focus on Politics for 27 October 2017

The new government is now in place, after party deals have been revealed, portfolios allocated and new ministers sworn-in. There's been a flurry of activity at Parliament this past week as the Labour-led government prepares to move into the Beehive and relegate the National Party to the opposition corridors. Here's our political editor, Jane Patterson.

Duration: 00:16:01

Focus on Politics for 20 October 2017

The wait, at last, is over - after 26 days, the public has finally learned who will lead the next government - the Labour Party's leader Jacinda Ardern. On Thursday evening, Winston Peters announced New Zealand First will go into coalition with Labour. The Greens, meanwhile, will support Labour on confidence and supply.

Duration: 00:15:47

Focus on Politics for 13 October 2017

It's been three weeks since New Zealand went to the polls, a week since the final election result was announced and the writ has been returned, but there is still no Government in sight. New Zealand First, which holds the balance of power, has been in talks all week with both National and Labour as it tries to decide who to form a Government with. Our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell, has been on stakeout all week at Parliament.

Duration: 00:16:01

More results analysis from Colin James

Political journalist Colin James

Duration: 00:01:08

The final result puts two newcomers in Parliament

National's Nicola Willis and Maureen Pugh have both lost their seats. However, Labour's Angie Warren-Clark and and human rights lawyer and Green candidate Golriz Ghahraman will now be coming to Parliament as list MPs.

Duration: 00:05:12

James Shaw hopes for a three-way coalition

In the final result, the Green Party picked up an extra seat, to take its total up from seven on election night, to eight.

Duration: 00:03:43

Ardern says the final results strengthen Labour's mandate

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says the final election results give her party a strengthened mandate to continue with coalition negotiations.

Duration: 00:03:22

Focus on Politics for 6 October 2017

Perhaps the biggest upset of the election was the Maori Party's exit from Parliament as voters abandoned the party for Labour. In a shock few saw coming, co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell lost his 12-year hold on the Waiariki seat. The days since have been cause for reflection - what went wrong? Is the movement over - or can the party rebuild? Our political reporter Craig McCulloch was in Rotorua with Maori Party supporters as the results came in.

Duration: 00:15:59

Focus on Politics for 29 September 2017

The election may be over, but there is no sign of a new Government just yet. All four parties involved in the coalition talks are getting their negotiating teams ready and figuring out where and what they are prepared to compromise on. Our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell, wraps up the week.

Duration: 00:15:41

Focus on Politics for 22 September 2017

The day before the polls close in New Zealand, RNZs Poll of Polls shows National widening its lead over Labour, but when you add in the Greens they are pretty much even. While we've heard a lot about the race and the campaigns of the political parties, this week we talk to our team of reporters about what's it like to cover one of these campaigns, out on the road.

Duration: 00:15:39

Focus on Politics for 15 September 2017

The election is rapidly approaching and it's still anyone's game. National and Labour are neck and neck in the countdown to September 23rd and there's still plenty happening on the campaign trail.

Duration: 00:15:58

Focus on Politics for 8 September 2017

New Zealand is another week closer to the September 23rd election, and the race could not be tighter. National and Labour are neck in neck in RNZ Polls of Polls and the rest of the political parties are now in a fight for their own survival. Here's our political editor Jane Patterson and the RNZ political team on the campaign so far.

Duration: 00:16:17

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