Fran O'Sullivan: Viewers given clear choice

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Phil Goff and John Key. Photo / Getty Images
Phil Goff and John Key. Photo / Getty Images

John Key lifted his game and presented New Zealand with a clear choice on Saturday.

Either vote for National to deliver stable Government and square up to tough issues like welfare reform and get back to earning a living.

Or vote for Phil Goff's Labour - and the Greens - and that political bogeyman Winston Peters and watch them blow the debt out further.

That was the political takeaway Key was charged to deliver. And, by and large, he triumphed over Goff by calmly presenting fact-based arguments.

Though at times he looked as if he was restraining himself from twiddling his thumbs and rolling his eyes when Goff over-hyped the damage New Zealand might suffer if a few foreigners bought shares in some Government-majority-owned power companies.

Goff showed some passion, but the media coaching came too late.

Despite it being a bit of a tag team effort, neither Goff nor moderator Guyon Espiner punctured the PM's credibility. Key won on the night.

Of the four debates:
John Key 3, Phil Goff 1

- NZ Herald

Fran O'Sullivan

A columnist for the NZ Herald

Fran O'Sullivan has written a weekly column for the Business Herald since its inception in April 1997. In her early journalistic career she was a political journalist in Wellington and subsequently an investigative journalist who broke many major business stories including the first articles that led to the Winebox Inquiry in both NBR and the Sydney Morning Herald. She has specific expertise in relation to China where she has been a frequent visitor since the late 1990s. She is a former Editor of the National Business Review; has twice been awarded Qantas Journalist of the Year and is a multiple winner of the Westpac Financial Journalism Supreme Award.

Read more by Fran O'Sullivan

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