Tova O’Brien hosts Stuff’s new political podcast holding the powerful to account and putting the concerns of real people front and centre.
With regular guests Andrea Vance, picking the winners and losers of the week in Snakes and Leaders, and Luke Malpass, calling key moments for the week ahead in Beehive Buzz.
You can read analysis supporting this podcast on stuff.co.nz.
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Host and producer: Tova O'Brien
Senior journalist and producer: Aaron Dahmen
Sound design, audio editing and mixing: Connor Scott
Executive producer: Chris Reed
Up in smoke: The end of NZ’s world-first smokefree laws
To smokefree or not smokefree? That is the question our guests grapple with on the pod this week, as the world reacts to the shock decision by our new Government to repeal legislation that would have phased out cigarette sales in New Zealand. We talk to a public health professor who offers an evidence-based debunking of the justifications offered by the new National-led Government - and the consultant involved in a report that rejected Labour's case for introducing the laws in the first place. Plus, Labour health spokesperson Ayesha Verrall let’s rip, the new health minister's apparently shifting stance and the campaigning teen who wants our leaders to protect his community from nicotine.
Done deal: The announcement in full
The speeches of Christopher Luxon, David Seymour and Winston Peters at the ceremony to confirm New Zealand's first coalition government featuring three partners in Cabinet.
Why the deal took so long - the sticking points, explained
The wait for a coalition agreement goes on. But whatever the deal, the major sticking points cut to the heart of what makes our modern democracy. From tax and the Treaty to the relationship between the PM and their Deputy, even judicial independence, this is big picture stuff. So we invited some big brains to explain why it all matters - and point out some potential pitfalls for Christopher Luxon and co.
Under the axe: What next for the public sector?
With all three coalition partners railing against bloated bureaucracy, more than 60,000 core public servants might well be wondering what the new government means for job security. In this episode, exclusive news of looming redundancies in one department, an interview with someone working at another large agency about what it’s like being a political football and invaluable insights from our former top public servant Iain Rennie.
Working with Winston
When you want to predict the future, sometimes it pays to look to the past - especially when Winston Peters continues to be one of our most influential political figures, more than four decades after entering Parliament. So, we talked to Jim Bolger and Helen Clark - two Prime Ministers who worked with Winston in Government. We wanted a steer on what he’s like, how he negotiates - and what Christopher Luxon should be wary of.
'No headless chook behaviour!' Helen Clark on the future of Labour
During a late-night call to Toronto, Tova gets the former three-time Prime Minister's take on Labour's 2023 drubbing - and whether Chris Hipkins is the right person to take on National at the next election.
Spade a spade
Thank you for getting to the point and calling a spade a spade. You bring clarity with a good balance of your opinion while allowing others to share theirs.
Good but let’s make it better
I love this podcast, especially the election discussions, but I’m disappointed the Israel Palestine coverage has been weak and only invited an Israeli voice so far. One sided coverage can do more harm than good because it makes people feel informed. Something I would expect from US media but not Tova. Let’s strengthen the investigative coverage of international issues here please.