Newsroom Pro's 8 things at 8: Turei stands firm; 'Absolutely Positively' Ardern growls at Davis and lays off English

Metiria Turei emerges from yesterday's marathon caucus meeting. Photo: Lynn Grieveson

In today's email we discuss the continuing fallout from Metiria Turei's revelations on both the Greens and Labour.

1. Turei staying...for now

She is staying for now, which means the turmoil on the centre-left of politics will go on.

Green Co-Leaders Metiria Turei and James Shaw emerged yesterday afternoon with their caucus -- minus Kennedy Graham and David Clendon -- after a three hour crisis meeting. The caucus pledged their support to Turei, who said she would stay on until the election.

"I talked to my caucus last night. All of them but those two have asked me to stay and so that's what I'll do. I have a campaign to fight for climate change action, to clean up our rivers and to end poverty," she told a gaggle of reporters outside the lifts on the ground floor of Bowen House.

Graham and Clendon withdrew from the Green caucus yesterday in protest at Turei's revelations of welfare and electoral fraud, and her subsequent defences of it.

Turei pledged to stay until the election, no matter what. She warned other parties would make other claims about her, but there were no more skeletons in her closet.

She said a change in the Greens' poll rating would also not force her to step down. Private polling for the two major political parties suggest support for the Green Party could have fallen well below 10 percent in recent days.

"I'm committed to stay at least until the election," she said when asked about the polling.

Here's my full analysis published first yesterday on Newsroom Pro of the events of the last week and how it might play out on the centre-left. We have witnessed an unprecedented act of political cannibalism with unintended consequences that could either win or cost the election for Labour.

Turei's revelations and the subsequent fallout have transformed both the make-up of the vote on the centre-left and its prospects, given Jacinda Ardern's move into the Labour leadership.

The first public polling on how it has affected the political landscape 46 days before the election is due at 6 pm tonight on Newshub.

2. Ardern tries to build a firewall

The pressure is intensifying on Jacinda Ardern to try to dissociate Labour from the chaos and toxicity seeping from the left end of the centre-left spectrum.

Ardern stood by the Memorandum Of Understanding with the Greens in a news conference in Parliament on Tuesday morning, but refused to comment any further on the Green leadership, saying only that it was up to the Greens.

Her answers lacked the clarity and decisiveness of Friday when she said she would not accept Turei in her cabinet and showed how far she had been backed into a corner by the turmoil within the Greens.

She said she had not spoken to Turei and is clearly trying to put distance between them, saying only that discussions between Labour and the Greens were happening between staffers or MPs. She portrayed discussions between Grant Robertson and James Shaw as accidental.

She said she was focused on Labour and said she would deliver stability as the leader of the Labour Party.

She was also forced to abandon any sense of negativity towards the Government, saying she had "growled at" Deputy Kelvin Davis about his characterisation of National's Bill English as having the personality of a rock and Jonathan Coleman as "Doctor Death".

She also announced Labour would not pursue National with any further questions on the Todd Barclay affair.

Her relentlessly positive line is turning into her into "absolutely positively Ardern."

Ardern's news conference yesterday was the first where she was made to look uncomfortable with repeated attempts to "move on" from the Greens' dramas.

3. Carbon budgets vs carbon tweaks

Despite all the political dramas, there has been some policy movement ahead of the election around climate change.

Newsroom's Lynn Grieveson picked up on Jacinda Ardern's comments about using carbon budgets that was drowned out by the noise of the Greens' turmoil.

Labour's new leader has pledged her Government would develop legally-binding carbon budgets, setting up a clear choice for voters eyeing National's tweaks to existing laws, Lynn reports.

As the election approaches, a clear choice is likely to be presented to voters on climate change policy: either minor tweaks but otherwise 'business as usual' under National, or tough new legally binding limits on greenhouse emissions under a Labour-led government.

See Lynn's report in full, which was first published yesterday on Newsroom Pro.

4. Quotes of the day:

James Shaw was asked why he had decided against pushing to expel Graham and Clendon from the Green Party completely (which he suggested on Tuesday night), and said:

"I got some sleep."

Jacinda Ardern, when asked whether the turmoil in the Greens would favour Labour's appeal to stability:

"If they are looking for stability, they will find it with me."

Bill English on Ardern's predicament:

"Labour and the Greens are joined at the hip and I imagine it is a real concern. It looks as if with the turmoil on the left, Labour may have to take a view on Metiria Turei."

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley on Newsroom's Taken by the State series on police carrying out Family Court 'uplift warrants':

"I think the publicity around this might make some judges think very carefully about how those protection orders are put in place, but each case would be individual, and the circumstances around each case would be different."

Justice Minister Amy Adams told Newsroom the Government did not plan to change the law covering Family Court 'uplift warrants':

"Family Court judges take their responsibilities very seriously and these warrants are not issued lightly."

5. Numbers of the day:

33 - The number of projects funded by the Government's Freshwater Improvement Fund, as announced yesterday by Environment Minister Nick Smith and Prime Minister Bill English. The Government pledged to spend $44 million on the projects, with other contributions from councils and others lifting the spending to $144 million. The funds are contingent on councils agreeing to spend and meeting criteria set by the Government.

2.5% - ANZ's monthly inflation gauge measure found prices rose 0.4 percent in July and were up 2.5 percent from a year ago. But housing costs were the main driver. The underlying ex-housing price gauge rose 0.1 percent for the month and was up 0.7 percent from a year ago.

"The overall inflation picture remains suppressed outside of the usual suspects, namely housing and anything related to housing," ANZ's Cameron Bagrie wrote, adding the OCR was likely to be on hold for a long time.

$112,000 - Alpha Laboratories Ltd, an Auckland-based company which describes itself as New Zealand's largest contract manufacturer and exporter of nutraceuticals, donated $112,000 to the National Party on August 1, Electoral Commission figures show.

$56,000 - Former NBR owner Barry Colman donated $56,000 to the National Party on August 1, Electoral Commission figures show.

6. While you were sleeping

North Korea has successfully produced a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on its new ICBMs that can reach the continental United States, the Washington Post reported this morning, citing US intelligence officials.

President Donald Trump told reporters at a briefing on the opioid epidemic this morning that North Korea "best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen." (CBSNews)

7. Coming up...

Newshub will release the results of its latest Reid Research poll at 6pm tonight. If it was taken in the last week, it will include the first public polling on the effects of the election of Jacinda Ardern to the Labour Leadership.

Ardern will launch Labour’s freshwater policy in Auckland later today at the Environmental Defence Society's annual conference. She is expected to unveil charges on water bottlers. The Government yesterday announced $44 million of grants from its Freshwater Improvement Fund (set up last year) (see above in numbers of the day.)

Ardern is due to visit her home town of Morrinsville on Thursday.

ANZ will release its Truckometer measures for July later this morning.

8. Some fun things

Winston Peters continues to ask questions about the 450 texts that Bill English sent to Glenys Dickson in a period of a year. English won't comment on what he said in the texts and has said they have been deleted. He repeated again this week that he did not know the details of the financial settlement of the dispute between Todd Barclay and Dickson.

Peters asked in Parliament yesterday about how English could say he did not know the details when one text (revealed by Newsroom in June) from English referred to the settlement being larger than normal because of the privacy breach.

GCSB Intercepts has been intercepting...

"In response to the many queries, yes we do have a file of 450 intercepted texts. Here's another batch..."