Labour are polling at their highest levels in years, driven by the new face of the party Jacinda Ardern. As part of our election coverage, Newsroom talked to Ardern yesterday about showing her sterner side as leader of the opposition and why being compared to an old hamburger by Winston Peters is water off a duck’s back.

Especially for subscribers over the weekend, here's a few longer reads on economic, social and political issues of the week. Please feel free to email me (just hit reply) with suggestions for next week. We have a savvy set of subscribers who are always telling me new and useful things that I like to share. My mobile number is also at the bottom of the subscriber emails so you can also just text me or phone me with a tip that is safe from the prying eyes of the OIA.


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36 DAYS TO GO: The 'Jacinda effect' and the implosion of support for the Greens has transformed the election campaign, according to a fresh poll. The resurgence of Labour at the expense of the Green Party and a small fall for National means the election is 'game on' with a real chance of the Greens falling out of Parliament and a change to a Labour-New Zealand First Government. Bernard Hickey reports.

National has been riding high in the polls for nine years, but Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett knows the party has a fight on its hands to win a fourth term. As part of Newsroom’s election coverage, Bennett talks about the challenges of getting out of John Key’s shadow and whether she respects Jacinda Ardern.


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Just four months ago, the Government described its $2 billion deal with Kristine Bartlett and her fellow aged care workers as an historic first step towards achieving pay equity. But Bartlett, who was overjoyed when she celebrated the deal with Health Minister Jonathan Coleman, now says she feels betrayed by the Government. Andre Chumko reports.


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It's like deja vu all over again for the Auckland housing market and the conditions are now in place for another post-election surge. Bernard Hickey surveys the real estate and political landscape and finds Bill English just lit the fuse for another boom if the Government is re-elected in its current form and a rudderless Reserve Bank loses its nerve.

The Maori Party has spent nine years in government, and co-leader Marama Fox believes it’s well past time for the training wheels to come off. As part of Newsroom’s election coverage, Fox speaks about her growing impatience and the catching up New Zealand still has to do.

Prime Minister Bill English has rediscovered his jawbone and has sent a clear message to the Reserve Bank that he expects it to start thinking about scrapping its restrictions on loan to value ratios, now that house prices across the country are flat or falling. He also said a new limit on debt to income multiples that the bank wanted to introduce was no longer needed.


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It seems this dry winter has been both a blessing and a curse for Contact Energy. It lost revenues because its dams couldn't generate power, but it won customers from those retailers who passed on this winter's more than doubling of wholesale prices.