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This week on the Raw Politics podcast: National rolls out its tried, trusted – and a bit exaggerated – spend-up on roads, Labour promises to patch things up, and the polls reflect a new reality with NZ First

Raw Politics drives over National’s future roads of national significance and analyses why the party keeps going back to that policy well, election after election. There must be polling data beyond the urban areas of public transport that promises electoral gain for the party, and our provincial highways are relatively poor quality and unsafe.

Labour continues to hold back its election policies, leaving the field open to other parties for now and lowering its profile and impact in critical weeks ahead of formal campaigning. A strange vote in Parliament this week might, Newsroom’s political editor Jo Moir suggests, point to one big policy being developed on paid parental leave.

Later in the podcast, senior political reporter Marc Daalder outlines the current trends in the major political polls and we weigh the still-small-but-growing support being recorded for New Zealand First. Is this the result of a whole new group of people, with different political drivers, swinging in behind Winston Peters’ party for 2023?

Our question asks why so many MPs are suddenly ending up before Parliament’s privileges committee.

And this week’s recommendations from the panel include a smart and easy-to-read RNZ data package on the polls, donations and spending data, a New York Times Magazine long read on the origins of Covid and a Stuff column appealing for a safe campaign for Māori this election.

Every week, Newsroom editors and political journalists talk through the big issues and scrutinise politicians’ performances in a lively 25-minute show aiming to take viewers and listeners inside the actions and motivations of our elected leaders.

Watch Raw Politics on YouTube, or download or listen to it as a podcast on Spotify, or via Apple Podcasts.

And send your burning political questions to and we’ll endeavour to find the answer and explain the issues.

This week’s recommendations:

Tim: Farah Hancock’s smart data centre on RNZ for the election campaign polls, donations and social media spend

Marc: This New York Times feature on the ongoing mysteries of the origin of Covid

Jo: Joel Maxwell’s column in Stuff’s Pou Tiaki section on the need for a safe election in 2023 for Māori

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