Tuesday 22 November: National education plans attacked as Goff rides the worm

By Toby Manhire In NZ Election 2011 Live

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22nd November, 2011 2 comments

6.50pm: EVENING BULLETINS

Checkpoint leads at 5pm on the judge in the teapot tapes case reserving her decision to tomorrow. Second is the Greens’ plans to simplify the tax system for small businesses (their release is here). Third is the migration statistics (see 3.30pm). Phil Goff has said they amount to a “no confidence vote in the government”; John Key says it’s a “longterm project” to close the wage gap – the target remains 2025.

On One News, first up is the drug scandal at a Hamilton school, then the damaged containers from the Rena being dumped on Papamoa beach. Third is an exclusive on National’s asset sales plan. TVNZ has gotten hold of a document through the Official Information Act that reveals Treasury has not given the government any advice on whether they can achieve their target of keeping 85%-90% in New Zealand hands. Five documents sought by TVNZ have not been made available, but the ombudsman will hear their final case tomorrow.

Read the TVNZ site account of the story here.

Next on One is the teapot tape case in court, followed by Goff’s no-show in the tightest seat in the country, New Plymouth (see 3.00pm), followed by the Greens’ pledge on tax for small businesses.

The teapot tapes case leads on 3 News. That’s followed by another look at the worm, and the rightwing bloggers’ allegations of infiltration (see yesterday’s post at 8.50pm). Then we’re off on the campaign trail with Goff and Key and a crying baby.

And finally Duncan Garner does a bit of stand-up analysis. After last week’s frosty exchanges with the prime minister, he tells us Goff has had a “real boost” from last night’s debate, while National continues with its “scare tactics”; yesterday it was the Winston factor, today it’s the Green peril (see 6.00pm), says Big Duncan.

If anything noteworthy crops up on Close Up or Campbell Live I’ll top up this post a bit later, but for now that’s it.

Today felt kind of quiet, but tomorrow won’t be. Among other things we’ll get the ruling on the privacy-or-not of the teapot tapes, John Key will be interviewed on RNZ by Kathryn Ryan, and it’s the final dose of leaders’ debate on One News. No worm, but expect another cast of thousands. We might do bingo again, but we’re open to alternative suggestions. (Saving the drinking game, and our sobriety, for election night itself.)

6.00pm: Just when you thought the spreadsheet-duelling was done for the 2011 campaign, along comes a fresh flurry of fiscal fisticuffs, this time with National’s campaign manager Steven “Slip Cordon” Joyce taking on Russel “One L” Norman of the Greens.

“The Greens have a huge number of spending policies and none of them are costed. Some are eye-wateringly expensive. We’ve calculated that just nine of the Greens’ centrepiece policies would add about $25 billion to debt over the next four years, in addition to what Labour is already planning,” snarls Joyce in a media release headlined “Labour plus Greens equals billions more debt“.

“I know you are, but what am I?” retorts Norman, if not exactly in those words. “National is deflecting attention away from its own poor record of fiscal management which has seen debt balloon to record levels, a double credit downgrade, and no meaningful economic plan to deal with a chronic current account deficit,” blasts the normally unflappable Australian. “With numbers like those, Stephen Joyce should consider an alternative career with Lehman Brothers.”

Cat miaow noise!

5.25pm: There are rumours circulating that the National party is going to release the teapot tapes transcript on Friday morning, which would be too late for the Saturday papers to pick up on. This seems unlikely, very, very unlikely, not least because National have said they don’t have a copy. And while the party may not be as digitally savvy as some would like them to be, they are aware of the internet.

Presumably the rumour can be traced to this tweet, from a spoof National account:


4.40pm: The judge has reserved a decision in the Bradley Ambrose case on the legality of the teapot tapes till 2.15pm tomorrow, tweets Derek Cheng from the High Court. His latest updates (nb David Collins is the solicitor general):


Cheng’s latest report on the Herald site is here.

3.30pm: New Zealand had a net loss of 100 migrants in the year to October, Statistics NZ has announced. That’s the first annual net loss for a decade. And we’re flocking to Australia:

New Zealand’s net loss of migrants in the October 2011 year was due to a net loss of 35,000 people to Australia. This was only just below the highest-ever recorded net loss to Australia of 35,400 people in the December 2008 year.

I have a sneaking feeling Phil Goff might mention this in tomorrow night’s final leaders’ debate. Here’s the Statistics NZ release (you have to read past the stuff about rugby World Cup visitors).

3.00pm: The National party must be nervous about winning the marginal seat of New Plymouth, says Phil Goff, given John Key has visited twice in the campaign, according to an RNZ report.

What Goff doesn’t appear to have noted is that the Labour candidate in New Plymouth, former Labour party president Andrew Little, is fancied as a potential successor to Goff; National will be well aware that Little will find it considerably harder to win any leadership contest if he fails to win a former Labour stronghold and goes in on the list. Goff has not visited New Plymouth in the campaign.

2.50pm: Following his appearance on RNZ Morning Report earlier today, Peter Simpson, president of the NZ Principals’ Federation has called National’s education policy “the lowest point in this year’s election campaign” in a press release.

1.30pm: BLOGGERS

Writing at Scoop, Gordon Campbell judges that Goff comfortably won last night’s debate. But he upbraids the Labour party for favouring a deal with NZ First over one with the Mana party.

Tim Watkin of Pundit, too, thinks Goff outperformed Key.

At Public Address, Russell Brown considers the Electoral Commission’s guidelines for election day, particularly insofar as social media are concerned.

Teacher John-Paul Powley at Man of Errors writes an impassioned open letter to Anne Tolley and John Key over their education policy released yesterday.

John Key has said there will be no preferential share offering in the Asset sales process for iwi bidders. Maui Street’s Godfery Morgan, however, expects “Key to renege on his position and extend an olive branch to iwi”.

Cameron Slater does the maths at Whaleoil to see what kind of coalition Phil Goff might cobble together. He finishes up concluding: “A vote for Winston Peters is a vote for a Phil Goff led government. When Winston says NO we know he means yes. We can also see why we must get rid of MMP and Vote for Change and for a system that removes all this nonsense once and for all.”

And at Kiwiblog, David Farrar lays into Clare Curran for posting a child’s partisan painting at the Labour blog Red Alert. “The fact that Clare thinks this is a great things tells us a lot,” he writes. “She even boasts how this is the future – indoctrinating seven year olds.” Hard to argue that it’s mawkish – but Farrar’s charge of gratuitous blogging is hardly strengthened by his choice of headline: “Labour likes them young”.

12.55pm: If more Don Brash is what you really want, the Act leader and strange fellow is live-chatting at the NZ Herald after 2pm.

12.25pm: More from the Herald’s Derek Cheng at the High Court in Auckland:

12.05pm: We have been urging John Campbell to reveal the “Mike Moore theory“, which he promised to share at the end of last night’s debate but failed to deliver. He tweets in response to our badgering: Be assured we will not rest until the Mike Moore Theory is set free.

10.50am: Derek Cheng is tweeting from the High Court in Auckland.


9.40am: Russel Norman is the latest party leader to join Kathryn Ryan on RNZ’s Nine to Noon. If I had a carbon credit for every time I’d heard him say that it is “highly unlikely” that the Greens would get into bed with National (etc).

He concedes that that position, agreed by a Green AGM in June, remained a “bit controversial within the party”. The Green co-leader also confirms something I hadn’t been clear on: that “highly unlikely” position extends to an agreement that would see the party abstain on confidence and supply – a step beyond agreeing to support the government on confidence and supply.

9.25am: The NZ Herald‘s Amy Rosenfeld reports a street poll in Epsom of 180 people resulted in a 32% to 25% lead for the Reluctant Frontrunner Paul Goldsmith, despite only two respondents having laid eyes on the National candidate. “There were reports of sightings in Newmarket, but it was not clear if he was campaigning or just shopping.”

National‘s education policy is examined by Claire Trevett. It opens: “Aspiring teachers will have to undergo personality tests to make it into the profession under changes proposed by the National party.”

… And the rest of the morning paper review is here.

9.05am: POLICY

Well, a pledge, anyway, from Sean Plunket on Newstalk ZB in Wellington: he promises to go the full morning without mentioning the “W” word.

8.50am: The appearance of Paul Henry on the post-debate panel on TV3 last night attracted a shower of opprobrium on Twitter last night, to the extent that the Campbell Live programme felt it necessary to respond:

Paul Henry is among the pundits for TV3′s election night coverage. On Friday, we’ll round up all the radio and TV and online election-night offerings. And of course Phil and I and a team of Oompa-Loompas will be watching most everything and live blogging through the night.

8.20am: Anne Tolley and her opposite number, Sue Moroney, are debating National’s education policy, launched yesterday (see 1.40pm). There seems to be some confusion, says Simon Mercep, around the pledge to incentivise and make schools more accountable for results. The only confusion, says a terse Tolley, is among unions and the opposition. She says she plans to “talk [the plans] through with the sector”.

Tolley rejects Mercep’s suggestion that they released this policy late in the campaign to avoid scrutiny. Nonsense, she says, two tranches of education policy was released at the start and end of the campaign precisely because National rates it so highly. And: “None of this is new. The sector and I have been talking about these issues for many years.” Precisely, says Moroney, there’s nothing new, you’ve “run out of ideas”.

8.00am: Last night’s debate can be viewed on the TV3 website here.

7.30am: Bradley Ambrose is off to the High Court this morning. The three experts on media law that have been writing in this area in recent days are Andrew Geddis, Dean Knight and Steven Price. Their three most recent pieces on the subject make a decent reading list. Respectively, here, here and here.

7.20am: On Firstline, Patrick Gower just compared Phil Goff to All Black Stephen Donald. He adds, on Epsom, “I’ve always thought the voters would roll over, like a labradoodle, schnoodle, schnauzer, or whatever the in vogue dog is, but I’m starting to doubt that now, maybe they will vote for Paul Goldsmith.”

Goff as Donald, maybe. But journalistically, this campaign’s Piri Weepu has to be Scoop “Patrick” Gower.

7.10am: After a word from the spotted shag, RNZ’s Morning Report leads on last night’s debate. First: Phil Goff saying he expects Winston Peters to be stable. Second: John Key think he isn’t. Next is criticism of National’s education policy, which as “dismayed teachers” (more here). Then  Bradley Ambrose heading to court this morning.

On One News’s Breakfast, top of the bulletin is the collapse of talks in the Qantas dispute. Next, the controversial worm in last night’s debate. Then big weather.

Over on TV3, Firstline leads with a review of last night’s debate, including the claims that the there were leftwing moles in the worms, followed by Brad Ambrose going to court. Then flooding near Greymouth.

6.45am: Good morning, welcome to Listener Live. Four days to go. Bulletins and papers coming soon.

Meantime, find yesterday’s blog, including Jane Clifton and Diana Wichtel’s verdicts on last night’s debate, here - for the live blog of the debate itself, go here. For an index of the last four weeks go here. For the world clock, go here.

EVENING BULLETINS

Checkpoint leads at 5pm on the judge in the teapot tapes case reserving her decision to tomorrow. Second is the Greens’ plans to simplify the tax system for small businesses (their release is here). Third is the migration statistics (see 3.30pm). Phil Goff has said they amount to a “no confidence vote in the government”; John Key says it’s a “longterm project” to close the wage gap – the target remains 2025.

On One News, first up is the drug scandal at a Hamilton school, then the damaged containers from the Rena being dumped on Papamoa beach. Third is an exclusive on National’s asset sales plan. TVNZ has gotten hold of a document through the Official Information Act that reveals Treasury has not given the government any advice on whether they can achieve their target of keeping 85%-90% in New Zealand hands. Five documents sought by TVNZ have not been made available, but the ombudsman will hear their final case tomorrow.

Next on One is the teapot tape case in court, followed by Goff’s no-show in the tightest seat in the country, New Plymouth (see 3.00pm), followed by the Greens’ pledge on tax for small businesses.

The teapot tapes case leads on 3 News. That’s followed by another look at the worm, and the rightwing bloggers’ allegations of infiltration (see yesterday’s post at 8.50pm). Then we’re off on the campaign trail with Goff and Key and a crying baby.

And finally Duncan Garner does a bit of stand-up analysis. After last week’s frosty exchanges with the prime minister, he tells us Goff has had a “real boost” from last night’s debate, while National continues with its “scare tactics”; yesterday it was the Winston factor, today it’s the Green peril (see 6.00pm), says Big Duncan.

If anything noteworthy crops up on Close Up or Campbell Live I’ll top up this post a bit later, but for now that’s it.

Today felt kind of quiet, but tomorrow won’t be. Among other things we’ll get the ruling on the privacy-or-not of the teapot tapes, John Key will be interviewed on RNZ by Kathryn Ryan, and it’s the final dose of leaders’ debate on One News. No worm, but expect another cast of thousands. We might do bingo again, but we’re open to alternative suggestions. (Saving the drinking game, and our sobriety, for election night itself.)

More by Toby Manhire

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2 Responses to “Tuesday 22 November: National education plans attacked as Goff rides the worm”

  1. Foo Fughter Nov 22 2011, 7:46am

    I want to congratulate Joanne Black for her excellent article in this week's Listener on the Tea Pot affair.

    It restores your faith in journalists and shows that with a sound base of personal values, on both sides, a mistake quickly identified can be just as quickly forgiven.

    Joanne obviously distances herself from the current Ambrose case and, if anything, lay clues for today's Court inquiry to follow. One can only hope the appointed Judge gives Ambrose & his supporters (financial & other) both barrels of the law.

    I think an appropriate punishment would be to hang Ambrose on the outside window of the offending Auckland cafe for a week, just like one of Jane Clifton's ghastly stick-on Garfields.
    Report Report
  2. Foo Fughter Nov 22 2011, 7:22am

    The most stupid quote of the day comes from the Dom Post & a Welly taxi driver who dribbled ..."They're saying every superannuitant over 65 is going to vote for Winston because he's the gold card man."

    I mean, how selfish, short term, and a hand out for an election bribe is that statement which should never have seen the light of day.

    Not a dicky anywhere in the same Dim Post about where the money is coming from to pay for these oldies and their super gold card lifestyle.
    Report Report

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