I am a keen recipient of the trans-tasman newsletter. You often read material in there not reported elsewhere. A great example of this is quoted in this week's newsletter:

Excitement in the media about the Govt undertaking a of NZ's intelligence services scaled considerable heights this week. A Treasury official dropped a notebook in the street near Parliament, which contained some details about the review being carried out by former MFAT chief Simon Murdoch. The notebook was retrieved by a Radio NZ political journalist, and initial news reports sent competing media into a frenzy. However John deflated the excitement when he told journalists the review had been twice reported earlier in Trans-Tasman. The first, inthe July 2 issue, said a review was being planned of the agencies, and the second on July 16 indicated Murdoch would carry out the review.

So while still highly embarrassing for the Treasury staffer who lost the notebook, there was not actual revealing of anything not already in the public domain.

The newsletter also notes:

We have noted before Labour's viscerally venomous attitude towards National Ministers and Anne Tolley. This goes way beyond the normal tensions of political conflict. Labour MPs – especially their women MPs – appear to find the very existence of Bennett and Education Minister Tolley infuriating. You can almost see the wall of red mist descending over Labour's front bench every time those two Ministers get up to speak. …

The attitude is actually an odd kind of snobbery. There is an unspoken “how DARE you?!” from Labour's front bench towards Bennett and Tolley. It is a rage these women, who in Labour's eyes should be, firstly, on a benefit themselves somewhere and, secondly, loyally supporting Labour as a consequence.

I recommend people tune into question time to see what the newsletter describes.

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