Along with the James Takamore “body snatch” case ruling, the Leaders’ debate makes it on to the front page of the Domnion Post. In Tracy Watkins’ boxing analogy it is an “even match” but notes Goff rose to the occasion in his last opportunity and “sucker punched” Key with the Police recruitment claims.
Watkins and Danya Levy review the debate and include Key’s response to the recruitment freeze claims – he said he had no knowledge of what would be an “operational” issue for police. (Though Judith Collins has dismissed the attack this morning, see main post.)
In more from yesterday’s Fairfax poll we are told that just under 50% of us feel no party truly represents our thoughts or opinions and 40% of us are driven to vote based on whether we like the leader or not.
Asset sales are likely to be a deal-breaker when it comes to any possibility of a teal deal. Neither National or the Greens look like they will budge on the issue.
They won’t happen in a hurry if you read John Key’s post-election priority list – balancing the books, streamlining public services and ultra-fast broadband all come in above the asset sales.
With so many of the major policy promises coming to fruition far into the future during this campaign “it has been hard to know whether the parties are campaigning for this election or the next, or the one after”, writes Vernon Small.
Bradley Ambrose’s lawyers are preparing for possible defamation proceedings against John Key but “it would only be to clear Ambrose’s name”, said lawyer Ron Mansfield.
“I’m not saying that all Pakeha schools are bad but I’m saying that Kura Kaupapa are being treated like animals and we have to fight for every single thing that we do get.” Hone Harawira states his opinion on the treatment of Maori Education suppliers yesterday.
Pure Advantage trustee Philip Mills writes on NZ’s “clean green” image and how important it is for our future financially. “A 5% reputational loss in primary products and international tourism will cost the New Zealand economy more than 22,000 jobs; annual direct losses of $455 million in primary product sales.” He tells us our leaders “need to be far more aspirational – there are few countries on Earth that have the opportunities and advantages we do.”
A huge picture of the helicopter crash in Auckland’s viaduct fills the New Zealand Herald front page. “Thank god he’s alive” runs the headline.
Coverage of last night’s debate is relegated to the back of the election section. In Derek Cheng’s overview Goff’s claim that the government has pressured police to freeze recruiting for the next year is put to Police Association president Greg O’Connor. “Once you turn the machine off, one of the biggest problems is starting it up again,” he says, adding that a freeze would be a “disaster”.
Fran O’Sullivan awards Key the win for sticking to a simple message of stability v debt blowout.
Audrey Young notes they are both looking a little battle weary, Goff’s intensity made Key look the more natural and the only blow he landed was over police recruitment. Goff has lifted his game but….Winner – Key
John Armstrong agrees. Key, narrowly, because Goff “started behaving like he was in some university debating contest” whereas Key stayed calm and remembered he was in front of a million viewers.
In other election coverage Tariana Turia, speaking after the post-election strategy meeting in Wellington yesterday, says the Maori party would be in a much better position to achieve greater policy gains than the last term.
Underneath Yvonne Tahana covers Hone Harawira’s state of the nation speech in Mangere yesterday where he called for a war on poverty. “Failure to act is not an option” he said before adding that he would work with any party that would address the issue.
The row over asset sales continues as the John Key’s proposed cap on foreign investment is dismissed as a “fairytale” by Labour‘s David Cunliffe. “He refuses to say what he will do to stop shares going offshore – because he knows there is nothing he can do,” says Labour’s finance spokseman, adding that Treasury advice was that foreign investment would be essential.
“They’ve got us surrounded!” Winston Peters continued his siege mentality talk against the “big boys” of parliament yesterday, Amelia Romanos reports. We also get a run down on his top list candidates.
It’s kind of like Cheers for Peter Dunne as he campaigns in Ohariu, although the polls suggest not everyone is glad he came.
Don Brash, still Act party leader, says a superannuation-age referendum will be part of any deal Act makes with National.
Yvonee Tahana compares the Maori affairs policies of all the parties. There are some major similarities in National and the Maori party over Whanau Ora but some people believe that some time spent in opposition would strengthen the Maori party brand.
Claire Trevett brings out the rugby references in her review of the campaign, Goff is like the underdog we all support – until he comes up against John Key’s All Blacks. The stubbornly unchanging poll gap won’t just be a concern for Labour she points out, National will be hoping their voters don’t stay home in the view that the result is a foregone conclusion.
Key takes note and urges voters against complacency.
The editorial comes out in support of MMP saying change is not justified, especially in the face of “less passionate comment than in the past” from opponents. The system has produced a fair representation of our collective will and voters need to look at the bigger picture – “Irksome aspects of MMP can be addressed in a year or two”, it reminds us.
The Taranaki Daily News continues its parents-of-candidates-and-what-way-they-are-voting series with the news that independent candidate Rusty Kane’s father switched to National when Labour failed to pay him for the lapel badges he made for them. Scandalous.
The Marlborough Express reports on last night’s final candidates debate for Kaikoura where current MP Colin King gave an odd response when defending his recent wage rise. “I would invite anybody to take on the job in an electorate the size of Palestine,” he said. I imagine that would be the job the other candidates were interested in.
In the Otago Daily Times Dene Mackenzie reflects on all the party leaders’ performances throughout the campaign and gives us the “Good and the Bad” for each.