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RNZ: Focus on Politics

A weekly analysis of significant political issues.


Focus on Politics - Nicky Hager

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:45:00 +1300

A startling new book by the investigative journalists Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson was released this week, raising questions about whether the New Zealand Defence Force committed war crimes in Afghanistan.

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Focus on Politics for 17 March 2017

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 18:38:00 +1300

The issue of abortion law raised its head again this week, which in election year is never a welcome topic for political parties. The laws governing abortions in New Zealand are 40 years old and include out-dated and sexist language, but there is still political resistance to even initiating a review. Here's our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell.

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Focus on Politics for 10 March 2017

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 18:38:00 +1300

The Prime Minister has taken a political gamble, and laid out a plan to increase the age of entitlement for superannuation - but not for another 20 years. Under John Key the National -led government refused to consider any change, but his successor Bill English says the time is right. Here's our political editor, Jane Patterson.

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Focus on Politics for 3 March 2017

Fri, 03 Mar 2017 18:38:00 +1300

The revelation this week at-risk prisoners have been subject to inhumane treatment, has again raised questions about the country's mental health system. In one case a prisoner was tied down to a bed for 16 hours at a time for 37 nights in a row. The Government has acknowledged the number of people seeking out mental health services is growing and more needs to be done to meet demand. Here's our political reporter Mei Heron. Where to get help: Lifeline: 0800 543 354 Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7).  Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (24/7) Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24/7) Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8am-12am), or email What's Up: online chat (7pm-10pm) or 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787 children's helpline (1pm-10pm weekdays, 3pm-10pm weekends) Kidsline (ages 5-18): 0800 543 754 (24/7) Rural Support Trust Helpline: 0800 787 254 Healthline: 0800 611 116 If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

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Focus on Politics for 24 February 2017

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:45:00 +1300

The Government's been in damage control this week, after Maori leaders spoke out against a planned change to the care and protection system for children. The change, governing the placement of children in state care, places emphasis on a child's safety above everything else - leading some Maori to wonder where that leaves whanau. More than five thousand children are currently in the care of Child Youth and Family and almost two-thirds are Maori.

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Focus on Politics for 17 February 2017

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 18:45:00 +1300

The government has once again found itself on the back foot over housing, during an ongoing debate about how it measures housing shortages, particularly in Auckland. It has also started the formal process of establishing powerful authorities to help fast track house construction around the country.

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Focus on Politics for 10 February 2017

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 18:43:00 +1300

Time now for Focus on Politics. The Government announced this week that people who want their doctor to prescribe medicinal cannabis will no longer need to get ministerial approval, but they still will have to get sign-off from the Health Ministry. But questions remain over whether the change will actually speed up access to the drug. Here's our Deputy Political Editor, Chris Bramwell.

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Focus on Politics for 3 February 2017

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 18:45:00 +1300

Donald Trump's sudden and sweeping ban on refugees and people from seven Muslim nations entering the United States has had far reaching consequences. The US President's executive order, referred to by critics as the Muslim ban, threw governments around the world into a spin as they struggled to get up to speed on what it meant for their citizens and tried to come to grips with the new Republican president.

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Focus on Politics for 27 January 2017

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 18:38:00 +1300

A war of words erupted and insults were traded earlier this week as political party leaders made their annual speeches at Ratana. The celebrations mark the official birthday of the church's prophet, Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana, who was born 144 years ago - but the event also serves as the unofficial start to the political year. Our political reporter Mei Heron has been at Ratana.

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