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Election 2011: Oct 25

Published: 9:48AM Tuesday October 25, 2011 Source: ONE News

  •  (Source: ONE News)
    Source: ONE News

A wrap of developments from the Election 2011 campaign for October 25.

5.10pm: Join us again tomorrow for more coverage.

4.59pm: Labour's water policy, which seeks to protect rivers from being dammed, pleases conservation group Forest & Bird.

Forest & Bird advocacy manager Kevin Hackwell says the policy to stop damming our remaining wild and scenic rivers should mean a Labour-led government would halt Meridian's proposal to dam the West Coasts pristine Mokihinui River.

Hackwell says New Zealanders realise that protected, clean freshwater is essential for our social, environmental and economic wellbeing.

4.42pm: Iain Lees-Galloway says Labour will take an "independent stance" on which operations they choose to partake in.

"We need to be mindful that we have a small and focused defence force, and we should not stretch our personnel and equipment beyond their capacity, says Galloway.

Labour supports continued participation in operations where our presence has a demonstrable and positive effect, such as the ISF in Timor Leste and RAMSI in the Solomon Islands."

4.28pm: Agriculture Minster David Carter will meet with legal experts to talk animal law reform next Tuesday.

Amongst the topics to discuss are outlawing tail docking, early bans on battery farming and limiting animal experiments.

4.18pm: Labour's Defence Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says Labour will bring home the SAS in the first 90 days.

"Labour does not support their continued deployment", he says. 

"We should not be putting the SAS in the middle of a civil war between a corrupt government and a
brutal, fundamentalist opposition, where allegiances are constantly shifting and accountability hard
to establish," Iain Lees-Galloway said.

3.57pm: David Cunliffe, finance spokesperson for the Labour Party, says the pre-election fiscal update shows an economy going nowhere.

Cunliffe says the document was written before the double downgrade, shows how National failed to drive the economy forward and that it has no plan.

John Key and National have also failed to address the long term issues facing the New Zealand economy, resulting in an economy going nowhere and an external position going backwards, Cunliffe says.

He says National's surplus predictions are dependent on receiving dividends from the state-owned enterprises it plans to sell.

3.40pm: Green Party co-leader Dr Russel Norman says the Government's fiscal outlook is "rosy" but does not match the IRD's predictions.

Dr Norman says the Inland Revenue Department is "$3.5 billion more pessimistic".

"The underlying structural imbalances in the economy remain, with the result that the current account deficit makes a savage return to 6.9% of GDP in 2016, and the net overseas debt increases", says Dr Norman.

3.24pm: Bill English says the Canterbury rebuild will support economic growth.

Treasury has revised its damage estimate from the earthquakes from $15 billion to $20 billion.

English says "the rebuild will be longer and contribute more to economic activity".

3.14pm: The New Zealand economy is on track, but "global waters are getting rougher", says Finance Minister Bill English.

The Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update released today revised trading partner growth downwards.

English says "growth is forecast to peak slightly lower than expected in the Budget, but off a higher base".

Lower global growth outlook is expected to keep interest rates lower for longer, according to English.

3.05pm: Bill English, Minister of Finance, says the Government is on track for 2014/15 surplus.

Treasury released the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update today, forecasting average annual growth of around three per cent between 2012 and 2016.

The update claims over 150,000 new jobs will be created over the period - as well as growth in wages and household incomes.

English says the Government is "on track to move from a forecast deficit of $10.8 billion in the current year to a surplus of $1.5 billion in 2014/15".

2.47pm: Labour's Trade spokesperson Maryan Street says National must address public anxiety over the future of Pharmac .

Street says protecting Pharmac is a "bottom line" for Labour.

The Labour Party supports moving forward with the TPP, but does not support signing it at all costs," Street says. "Retaining our effective drug-buying agency, which is envied by many countries, is essential."

2.38pm: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully is flying to Perth today for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

McCully will represent the Prime Minister at the meeting.

Members of the Caribbean and African Commonwealth will be there, as well as the European Union.

McCully says it will be an important meeting for the Commonwealth as it debates what reforms are needed to be more effective.

2.15pm: Alliance Party announces four new electorate candidates to the election race:

Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray is the candidate for Dunedin South.

Representing Dunedin North for the Alliance is Victor Billot.

In the Napier electorate, Mary O'Neill is the Alliance candidate.

Kelly Buchanan is the candidate for Wellington Central.

2.00pm: Catherine Delahunty urges Foreign Minister Murray McCully to shift his focus now from the Rugby World Cup to Indonesia.

After six murders in West Papua at the hands of Indonesian authorities, Delahunty says it has "been a savage reminder that our neighbours just to the north are not free".

Delahunty asks McCully to "call on Indonesia to stop killing West Papuans".

1.44pm: Political parties will battle their disability policies next Monday at Western Springs Garden Hall.

Called "Show Us Your Disability Policy", the meeting will address the referendum and the voting process.

Party spokespeople will also answer questions from disabled people, parents and caregivers.

1.29pm: The Environmental Defence Society looks favourably upon some of Labour's freshwater policy.

EDS Chairman Gary Taylor says the group is impressed with their policies on wild and scenic rivers, as well as the resource rental for major water users.

"There has obviously been some considered thought put into Labour's policy formulation."

12.55pm: The Mana Party will announce its economic justice policy on Thursday, 10am in Auckland's Aotea Square.

The policy will propose structural change in economic policy.

The Mana Party says: "Our policy may bring some sleepless nights in Remuera but will bring comfort to parents, kids and communities across the rest of the country."

12.43pm: Tariana Turia, co-leader of the Maori Party, says the funding boost to the Social Housing Fund is a "step in the right direction".

She says it is not acceptable that many Maori live in substandard, overcrowded and unsafe houses.

Turia says "the Maori Party will continue to call for urgent and comprehensive action to create the homes our whanau need".

12.35pm: Green Party co-leader Dr Russel Norman urges John Key to come forward about the future of Pharmac before the election.

Voters should know whether Pharmac would be traded off in the interest of signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, according to Dr Norman.

He says "signing an agreement in secret that would weaken Pharmac is not in our long term interests."

Dr Norman says sacrificing Pharmac could impact on New Zealanders' ability to receive medicine.

12.30pm: Catherine Delahunty will speak at a pay equity forum in Wellington tonight called "Sex, Lies, and Pay Rates."

She will talk about her Equal Pay Amendment Bill.

12.18pm: Annette King, Labour's Deputy Leader and Social Policy spokesperson, says John Key's promise of a brighter future for New Zealanders was an empty one.

King says "cases of child abuse have increased, benefit numbers are up and we have tens of thousands more children living in poverty".

11.40am: Phil Goff says to TV ONE's Breakfast the Government's books are going to be opened today and it does not look pretty.

"We know it's not going to be that great because the two rating agencies have already said it", he says. "We've been downgraded for the first time in 13 years."

Now, Goff says, it is all about "fronting up to the challenges of the future".

"Look, we know we've got too high a debt and too low a rate of savings. We've gotta tackle that. Labour's already tackled that, talking about a capital gains tax."

11.20am: Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty says there could be a "nasty suprise" in the Disability Commissioner Bill waiting in the pipelines.

While it will not be debated until the next term of Parliament, Delahunty says the Government's plans could take the Bill too far.

"The Government seems to have taken the need for legislation to establish the role of Disability Commissioner as an opportunity to review and the whole Human Rights Commission (HRC)," she says.

"If we are going to have a wholesale review of the HRC, then let's have it out in the open!"

11.10am: Trade Minister Tim Groser says a new study shows the potential for more trade between South Africa and New Zealand.

Trade between the two nations in 2010 was worth NZ$359 million - the number one export from New Zealand being coal.

Groser says New Zealand and South African representatives are working for "stronger engagement between government, business and community organisations.

10.44am: Housing Minister Phil Heatley says social housing providers can now apply for a slice of the Government's $40 million Social Housing Fund.

Four new sub-funds have been created to make application criteria clearer. The four sub-funds are Growth, Maori, Niche and Rural.

Heatley says it is an "exciting opportunity", and moves to increase the amount of social housing offered by non-Government organisations.

10.30am: Trevor Mallard, Labour's associate finance spokesperson, says the unemployment rates under National are "just terrible", especially for youth, Maori and Pasifika.

In a post on Labour's blog Red Alert, he says: "Its always those at the bottom who get hit the hardest. The really awful thing is that National wont even acknowledge this problem that has developed under their watch."

Labour is committed to better training through our skills policy, and getting more capital into businesses to grow and create jobs through our R&D policy and tax package."

10.25am: Phil Goff tells TV ONE's Breakfast the Labour Party's position on offshore oil drilling.

He says safety and contingency plans must be ensured before any drilling takes place.

"Safeguards first - then think about drilling."

10.20am: Goff says the first five days of the Rena oil spill would have been handled better by Labour.

"We're talking about a pump and some hosing - that can't be tens of millions of dollars."

10.15am: Leader of the opposition Phil Goff criticises the Government for not joining the Bunker Oil Convention which came into effect in 2008.

Unlike Australia and Canada who signed the convention in 2009, Goff says New Zealand "sat on our fingers and did nothing, and now it looks like the tax payer will have to pick up a lot of the tab".

He also says if New Zealand had adopted the convention, the shipping company would have been legally obliged to clean up the mess.

"You're the shipping company, you put the ship on the reef - you pay for it."

10.00am: Our election campaign coverage starts today on tvnz.co.nz. We'll be providing continuous coverage throughout the next four and a half weeks from our ONE News team around the country.

 

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