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This week on the Raw Politics podcast: We ask if Covid and isolation has sucked the life out of Labour and Chris Hipkins’ campaign, we wonder if fringe parties might do a deal to send their voters to NZ First and ask what’s been eating National campaign chair Chris Bishop.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins was stuck in a hotel room all week, watching the campaign swirl around without him. And NZ First was everyone’s focus – the National Party olive branch, the wild TV interview and polling at 6 percent.

Everyone’s assuming NZ First will get there now, above the 5 percent threshold. But does it, too, need to reach out to smaller parties? The panel debates whether a late deal is on the cards for the fringe anti-vax, anti-mandate, pro-‘freedom’ parties to send their votes the way of Winston Peters’ party to guarantee at least one vehicle for their causes gets over the line?

We also discuss Peters’ historically off-form TV interview – with him desperately sending off heat flares to distract Jack Tame’s question missiles – and scratch our heads at the unhinged-ness of the National Party campaign chief’s response to Labour’s taunts over a cancelled leaders’ debate. 

That Q+A interview features in this week’s recommendations for you to watch, read or listen to, as well as an RNZ fact-check of nonsense figures used by Peters when talking at public meetings about climate change, and a Newsroom piece setting out a performance review for Christopher Luxon.

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.


Jo: Jack Tame’s peerless interview with Winston Peters on Q+A

Tim: Anneke Smith’s fact check on Winston Peters‘ use of figures in discussing climate change at public meetings

Marc: Tim Murphy’s version of a National Party performance review for Christopher Luxon

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