The Greens have long enjoyed the advantage of having a clearly-defined brand. They have long had the policies to give that brand real substance.
Week in politics
Phil Goff's assertion that he has emerged from the Darren Hughes crisis with his grip on the Labour leadership having been strengthened has an element of truth.
Darren Hughes' resignation from Parliament was inevitable from the moment it became public knowledge that he was under police investigation.
For the several hundreds of thousands of voters of conservative mind, Rodney Hide has a message. If they think they can afford to watch Act New Zealand go down the gurgler, they should think again.
A politician of the calibre of Bill English should never have got into the kind of pickle he landed himself in this week.
John Key is a 100% right. Christchurch's recovery, both in economic and social terms, will not solely be a test of the city's character.
Ignore the flowery twaddle being talked up in Maoridom about how the prosecution of Hone Harawira ought to have proceeded according to the principles of kaupapa Maori from the very start.
It goes without saying that Phil Goff has a major problem in simply connecting with voters. More to the point, voters find it difficult to connect with him.
The bold start to the political year by Phil Goff and John Key has a sequel tomorrow when Greens co-leader Russel Norman relaunches the case for a capital gains tax in his "state of the planet" speech. That should cause waves for a party cruising through relatively calm waters.
Within the deep recesses of the Labour Party and elsewhere on the left, there is a lingering arrogance saturated with an intellectual snobbery which both blinds and deludes its sufferers.
It goes without saying that any independently written dossier highlighting which MPs are successfully clawing their way up politics' greasy pole and which are firmly on the slide is essential reading for Parliament's ambition-crazed inhabitants.
It is inevitable as the sun rises that politics will barge its way through the door soon enough and jolt the nation out of its temporarily dazed state of unity in adversity, while simultaneously blithely ignoring the very private and much deeper grief of the families of the 29 miners killed in the Pike River Coal tragedy.
By-elections have not always been the rarity they are today. With the wonders of Wikipedia, and mortality rates being what they were 100 years ago, we can easily know that four deaths and a resignation precipitated five by-elections in the 17th Parliament, 1909-11.
One of the big items yet to be ticked off on the Government's must-do coalition agenda is setting up the promised constitutional review.
The joke doing the rounds of the military has it that there seems to be no spare cash for anything other than hiring expensive consultants to squeeze more money out of the Defence Force's budget to hire even more expensive consultants ...
Thanks to his considerable political nous, his out-and-out pragmatism and his canny ability to strike a deal in the least favourable of circumstances, John Key largely escaped being the latest victim of what the film industry - from Hollywood to Wellywood - is calling the Curse of the Hobbit.
Far be it that a British immigrant of Anglo-Saxon lineage who has never got around to taking out New Zealand citizenship should lecture a Maori Party MP on the dos and don'ts of politics.
Brittle, uncertain, and full of surprises. No, that is not an assessment of former Labour Party MP Chris Carter's current state of mind.
This is a climate which does not look kindly at penny-pinching by the state. The Prime Minister would be less than human if he wasn't disappointed at having to cancel his weekend engagement as the Queen's guest at Balmoral Castle, the royal family's residence in Scotland.
Simon Power will surely be disappointed by the public's less-than-ecstatic reaction to his proposals for tackling the harm caused by heavy drinking.