Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Sorting facts from the fiction

Prime Minister John Key (R) and Labour Leader David Cunliffe (L) during the TVNZ leaders debate. Photo / Getty Images
Prime Minister John Key (R) and Labour Leader David Cunliffe (L) during the TVNZ leaders debate. Photo / Getty Images

The television debate between Prime Minister John Key and Labour's David Cunliffe produced the usual flurry of facts and figures.

Both men disputed many of each other's claims - and the Weekend Herald has checked a number for veracity.

David Cunliffe: "There's "32,000 people more unemployed than the day you took office." Fact.

John Key: "There's 120,000 New Zealanders more in employment than there was when we took office." Fact.

Crossing swords over jobs the two leaders' statements at first glance appear to contradict each other. They don't. The Household Labour Force does back up Mr Cunliffe's claim, while employment data shows there are actually 122,000 more people in jobs now than in 2008.

Cunliffe: "Not one house has been completed in special housing areas". Fact. The first homes are close to complete but Housing Minister Nick Smith's office was unable to confirm that yesterday.

Key: "If you look at Labour's record on housing [prices] doubled under the last Government; under us they're up about 21 per cent." Fact. Close enough - Real Estate Institute figures show the median New Zealand house price did rise 96 per cent under Labour and has risen 23 per cent under National.

Key: "This month 80 New Zealanders left for Australia, I know their names." Fiction. July figures show net migration to Australia was indeed 79 people. However that figure includes non-New Zealand citizens. Mr Key's office yesterday confirmed he was joking about knowing their names.

- NZ Herald

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