After six weeks of looking after her newborn daughter Neve, Jacinda Ardern is back running the country. Sam Sachdeva spoke to the Prime Minister about second-guessing herself as a parent, caring for a baby and a growing elephant, and the song that will soundtrack her 2018.

The Government’s part-ownership of three of the country’s biggest electricity generators makes it a major beneficiary of the over-pricing in the retailer power market, industry executives and regulators heard on Thursday. Gavin Evans reports.

Grant Robertson tried to bridge the gap between a pessimistic business community and Labour’s unpopular industrial relations policies with his Future of Work forum, Thomas Coughlan reports.

Steve Maharey was appointed to chair Pharmac, Kim Campbell announced he was resigning as EMA CEO without a replacement, Therese Walsh is replacing Tony Carter as Air New Zealand chair next year, Co-op Money confirmed interim CEO Jonathan Lee as its permanent CEO and appointed Richard Westlake as a director, and LINZ announced a Land and Water Forum-type group to advise on High Country tenure review.

Here's a few longer reads on economic, social and political issues for the weekend.

The Guardian's front page in Britain today did give me a smile. This is a good thing that New Zealand is now known for.

West Coasters are fighting hard to continue allowing mining on the Conservation Estate. Gavin Evans looks at what's at stake economically in a contest pitting regional development against the Labour-Green plan for a ban.

Workers who spent months putting together information about an allegedly exploitative company are dismayed at the unprofessional actions of the Labour Inspectorate - including the handing over of complainant names and details to the company without prior consent. Teuila Fuatai reports.

Dr. Pauline Kingi has stepped down as the chair of the inquiry into the appointment of Deputy Chief Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha, with the Internal Affairs Minister placing the blame squarely on the National Party, Thomas Coughlan reports.

Winston Peters weighed in on Twitter yesterday into the debate in Australia about Malcolm Turnbull using a knife and fork to eat a pie. Let's hope the rodent's behind gets through your spam filter.


The Government has formed a panel to rewrite its predecessor’s Family Court reforms, with Justice Minister Andrew Little saying too many people feel traumatised after going through the current system.

One of Jacinda Ardern's earliest tasks as prime minister was to mend the trans-Tasman relationship. New rumbles have erupted while Ardern has been on maternity leave, but talk of the end of a glorious friendship seems overblown, as Robert Ayson writes for The Interpreter.

The Government cannot deny any more that the economy is slowing and that it's not doing enough to stimulate investment and reassure the construction sector in particular, Bernard Hickey argues.

The waka-jumping bill itself is bad enough for democracy. But according to Dr Bryce Edwards of Victoria University, the process surrounding the bill has also been a blow against democracy – especially with the Green Party misleading the public on their crucial U-turn on supporting the legislation.

New Zealand house values eased in the past three months as lower value, more affordable properties sold at a faster rate, due to continued demand from first home buyers, according to Quotable Value. Rebecca Howard reports


The Government and Kiwi exporters have come out firing against a European Union proposal to split up tariff access post-Brexit, warning of a “potential spiral” into tit-for-tat action. Sam Sachdeva reports.

The government's policy of making measures of national well-being as important as traditional economic growth indicators took another step forward with the launch of a formal consultation process by the national statistics agency, Statistics NZ, on the public views of how well-being is defined and should be measured. Thomas Coughlan reports.

Westland Milk Products, whose payments to its cooperative shareholders have lagged behind rivals, may change its ownership structure as it looks at ways to improve returns. Tina Morrison reports one option is a sale.

As a cyclist, I quite like this, although I suspect it's photoshopped and the cyclist is now actually dead.

Winston Peters is handing over the reins to Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday night after six weeks in charge of the country. His last post-Cabinet press conference as Acting Prime Minister ended with neither a bang nor a whimper, but something far more in character with his stint in power, as Sam Sachdeva writes.

A looming shortage for domestic users of natural gas, and a defence of the dairy industry's efforts to mitigate emissions featured in the National Party's annual conference presentation on the environment and energy.

The trust that administers Government’s eco-certification has called on it to accelerate work on a sustainable procurement scheme, saying New Zealand was 10-20 years behind the rest of the world, Thomas Coughlan reports.

The rate of new home construction is forecast to rise more slowly between now and 2020 than was expected a year ago, although the 2018 National Construction Pipeline Report expects new building consents to break the record set in 2004 this year and keep rising through to 2023. Pattrick Smellie reports.

Economists are tipping the second-quarter unemployment rate to remain steady, but some say Wednesday's data may point to signs of wage inflation as the impact of a lift in minimum wage kicks in and migration continues to slow. Rebecca Howard previews the numbers.

Rudy Giuliani generally needs to talk less, but his latest one word tweet "you" was just a little bit too less.

Technology columnist Richard MacManus finds the arrival of the massive Hawaiki cable has created an opportunity for New Zealand to build global cloud computing businesses, thanks to our clean power, cold water and stable politics.


Special correspondent Gavin Evans finds log exports have tripled in the last decade and could at least double again over the next decade. He takes a detailed look at the wave of port, rail and road investment needed to cope with this 'wall of wood', let alone an even bigger one planned under the Government's 'Billion Trees' programme.

Simon Bridges produced a piece of art for a silent auction at the National conference over the weekend.