Bryce Edwards

The Labour Party came into office promising great things for public broadcasting, for radio, television and new media. So far, the signs are they aren’t going to deliver. Part of the problem, according to Dr Bryce Edwards of Victoria University, is that the debate often centres around technology, such as formats, rather than how public good media should be funded and produced.

Debates about transgender rights are gaining prominence and moving into the mainstream. Dr Bryce Edwards of Victoria University explains how transgender political struggles not only forms part of the evolving “culture wars” in New Zealand politics, but reflect the complexity of contemporary politics, containing some surprising dynamics.

Last week Simon Bridges was attacked for being disparaging about the LBTGQ+ community when he joined in with Hauraki FM hosts joking about the Prime Minister having a “gender fluid” baby. According to Dr Bryce Edwards of Victoria University, such debates and disputes are representative of our new politics, in which parties and politicians increasingly fight over cultural issues.

Fresh research suggests the public is becoming more trusting of Government and politicians again. Dr Bryce Edwards of Victoria University highlights new studies on trust, and says that “Jacindamania” still appears to be having a positive impact on society’s view of politics.

Political-watchers are either appalled or saluting the government’s pragmatism in appointing Jim Bolger to head their industrial relations law rewrite. But Dr Bryce Edwards of Victoria University says Bolger’s appointment is entirely appropriate, as the former National prime minister is probably to the left of many MPs in the new government.

The National Party essentially has “no mates” at the moment – a lack of obvious coalition partners, which contributed to its loss of power in 2017. Dr Bryce Edwards of Victoria University examines National’s potential coalition options for 2020.

Dr Bryce Edwards of Victoria University forecasts some of the spin likely to accompany Thursday’s Budget. He argues we should be careful not to believe the hype, and the Government shouldn’t be given a free pass if their Budget isn’t up to dealing with the problems facing the country.