John Armstrong

Budget bereft of vision but shrewd in outflanking Labour

Budget bereft of vision but shrewd in outflanking Labour

National needed a good Budget. It got one. The Budget was a rock of certainty and continuity in a sea of almost surreal politics played out most visibly and vividly by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

Labour opens the bar to schmooze with business

Labour opens the bar to schmooze with business

It would never have been allowed to happen during Helen Clark's long reign as Labour's leader. Nor during David Cunliffe's much shorter tenure in the job.

Key may have real trouble shrugging off this fiasco

Key may have real trouble shrugging off this fiasco

The day is surely not far away when John Key's gift of the gab will be unable to talk him out of a political quagmire into which he has so needlessly dug himself.

Opinion: National beginning to look like a rabbit in the headlights

Opinion: National beginning to look like a rabbit in the headlights

A much-anticipated return to surplus somehow metamorphoses into yet another unwelcome deficit; dairy prices slump ever lower; the New Zealand dollar keeps rising ever higher; the overheated Auckland property market makes the South Sea Bubble of the 1700s look like an exercise in financial probity.

Strong dollar something we may have to live with

Strong dollar something we may have to live with

Down, boy. And that's less an instruction and more an order.

Peters' victory prompts seismic shift in political landscape

Peters' victory prompts seismic shift in political landscape

The humiliating defeat that Winston Peters inflicted on the National Party in last Saturday's Northland by-election has changed nothing.

Perhaps by-election is payback time for Winston Peters

Perhaps by-election is payback time for Winston Peters

Victory for National by a very slim margin?

National's Northland charm offensive will be snubbed

National's Northland charm offensive will be snubbed

''New'' jobs which may or may not be fulltime jobs; ''new'' road bridges which are not a priority; ''new'' promises on the roll-out of broadband which are old promises.

Authority to set pay not beyond influence

Authority to set pay not beyond influence

Down the years, one taxpayer-funded government entity has stood out from the rest of the Wellington-spawned shoal of commissions, boards and agencies in being secretive, obstructive, publicity-averse and downright unhelpful.

Iraq decision: import beyond NZ-US ties

Iraq decision: import beyond NZ-US ties

It took some carefully chosen words by a former high-ranking diplomat to cut through the self-serving verbiage spouted by politicians and bring some clarity to the acrimonious debate on the merits or otherwise of New Zealand's latest excursion to the Middle East.