Foreign Minister Murray McCully steps down from Cabinet on Monday, after more than eight years in the job and thousands of air miles. He spoke to Newsroom about the legacy he leaves behind, and his plans after three terms leading New Zealand’s international agenda.


The Government has lowered its target for the debt to GDP ratio, effectively shifting one of the anchors of its economic policy. Bernard Hickey looks at why the Government made the change and how it might restrict its choices over the long run around tax cuts, infrastructure spending and social spending.

The first detailed report on New Zealand’s fresh water is out from the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics NZ. It’s the second big report to be issued under the Environmental Reporting Act 2015, which requires the ministries to report on the state of, and pressures on, our environment (the first was on the marine environment). The full series will be bundled together for a combined environmental assessment in 2019. Eloise Gibson picks the top five takeaways from today's water assessment.

In today's email we look into the ministerial line up heading into the election, note how the government's nervousness over migration issues resulted in a temporary suspension of some of Immigration New Zealand's powers, and preview the looming Commerce Commission decision on the proposed NZME-Fairfax merger.