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AuthorBen Leonard

Author Archive: Ben Leonard

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April 10, 2017

Hit & Run There will be no public inquiry into Operation Burnham. That is the latest official position from Prime Minister Bill English, after receiving a briefing from New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) officials last week. Calls for an investigation have been mounting since allegations of civilian deaths in two New Zealand-led raids in Afghanistan […]

April 3, 2017

Hit and Run The prospect of a new Nicky Hager book made for a tense week in New Zealand politics. Many speculated that we would see a follow up to 2014’s Dirty Politics, or perhaps new revelations about John Key’s surprise resignation. When the book was finally delivered, it became clear that while it wasn’t […]

March 27, 2017

Taxing Inequality Unless you’ve been following the news especially closely this week, you might have missed the first rumblings of one of the biggest debates of any election year. During a series of interviews, Bill English suggested that tax cuts were on the table for this year’s budget. The timing and motivations of the hint […]

March 20, 2017

Abortion Law When Bill English took the reigns of the National Party last December, the promise was for more of the same. While the “Boring Bill” label may have stuck, English’s staunch political ideology has proven that narrative to be quite misleading. Nowhere is that more apparent than on issues like abortion. During an interview […]

March 13, 2017

Jacinda Ardern No sooner had Labour’s Andrew Little finished hosing down talk of a deputy-leadership challenge than he was standing next to Jacinda Ardern, emphatically backing her to take the post. Whether Annette King jumped or was pushed will long be a matter for speculation, but the result is the same. With no challengers and […]

March 3, 2017

Mt Albert by-election With two by-elections in the last three months, both in adjoining central-west Auckland electorates beginning with the word “Mount”, you would be forgiven for turning a blind eye to last week’s contest in Mt Albert. However, like the Mt Roskill race last year, these by-elections are proving crucial in establishing the power […]

February 26, 2017

Labour’s nomination of Willie Jackson Just when the opposition was looking its most coherent in recent memory, Andrew Little dropped a bombshell at Waitangi. Veteran broadcaster and controversial radio host Willie Jackson would be nominated to join the Labour Party at a high list placing. The announcement was undoubtedly a calculated risk, but Mr Little […]