Election 2011: Latest Updates

Missed something from the campaign trail? nzherald.co.nz has the latest election updates as we count down to November 26.

Election ballot box. Photo / Richard Robinson
Election ballot box. Photo / Richard Robinson

5:05pm: That concludes our latest updates for today. We'll be back tomorrow with more from the campaign trail.

4:37pm: The Council of Trade Unions and Public Services Association have both backed Labour's policy to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks. The PSA called the policy "enlightened".

CTU spokesperson Eileen Brown said the policy will improve the health of mothers and children. "The National Government has been a complete laggard on paid parental leave despite the evidence about the importance of it and the difference it makes," said Brown.

4:15pm: Labour education spokesperson Sue Moroney has called National's commitment to retaining universal access to 20 hours free care for three and four year olds "a crock", after Education Minister Anne Tolley refused to guarantee that the current 20 hour subsidy would remain at the same level if National was re-elected.

3:41pm: A Te Karere DigiPoll of 400 Maori roll voters gave Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples a massive majority of 58 per cent in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate.

Labour's Shane Jones came in second place with 23 per cent.

3:25pm: The Green Party has expressed its "sincere sympathy" to the family and colleagues of Allan Peachey. Education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said Mr Peachey was "always fair to everyone and created a constructive working environment".

3:15pm: The Green Party has welcomed Labour's policy on children. Co-leader Metiria Turei said "it's good to see Labour finally agrees with us" and that Labour are "moving in the right direction to address child poverty".

3:10pm Phil Goff said on Radio New Zealand that Labour would have to look at phasing in some of its policies if the international economy were to worsen dramatically.

3:09pm: The Dominion Post reported that the National party Rangitikei candidate, Ian McKelvie, has claimed at a National Council of Women organised debate that the Emissions Trading Scheme was "just a big con." This policy is supported and promoted by the National Party as a means of protecting the environment from pollutants.

3:07pm: Radio Live reported Local Government Minister Rodney Hide has put Hamilton City Council on notice over the council's handling of the V8 supercar races, which cost ratepayers $37.4million.

3:02pm: The Dominion Post reported that some workers feel overlooked this election. The cost of living is too high, said those surveyed, and no one is addressing these concerns.

2:21pm On Twitter the youngnats have accused Labour of "stealing" National's policy for free health care for under 6s and have said Labour's children's policy would cost $713 million by 2018/19.

2:17pm: National law and order spokesperson Judith Collins said in a press release that National will introduce a law enabling the very worst high-risk sexual or violent offenders to be kept in custody once their sentences are finished. There will also be tougher parole measures and screening will be introduced to ensure that those willing to get rehabilitation will be considered for the Parole Board.

2:14:pm All Black Jerome Kaino was at the launch of Labour's children's policy. Phil Goff posted a photograph on twitpic.

2:13pm: The Standard published a blog accusing National of having too little policy this close to the election. "It sounds too much like whistling innocently and hoping that no one will ask them any questions," said the blogger.

2:11pm: Labour's Deputy Leader Anette King has launched Labour's policy for children. The policy includes extending parental leave to 26 weeks, funding free dental treatment for all pregnant women, providing 24/7 free primary health care access for under 6s and extending full Working for Families eligibility. Read the full policy here.

2:05pm: Phil Goff has tweeted that the Labour Party will ensure every 3 and 4 year old has access to 20 hours free Early Childhood Education and will restore funding cut by the National Government, as Labour unveils its children's policy at Henderson North School.

2:00pm: Patrick Gower tweeted 'The PM at East End surf club in NP" with pic.

1:47pm: David Farrar posted a link on Kiwiblog to Owe Our Future to invite his reader to try out the "wrongulater", a version of Labour's calculator that will "never give you the same answer twice."

1.20pm: McDonald's workers in New Plymouth confronted John Key over minimum wage levels. He told the workers raising minimum wage too quickly would cause job losses, but they rejected his argument.

1.12pm: Labour will restore the $13 million cut from Adult Community Education funding under the National Government, Labour tertiary education spokesperson David Shearer said in a press release.

1:04pm Claire Trevett has written about ACT member Morris Hey, who bailed up John Key in New Plymouth today for failing to hold up his part of a deal between National and ACT. Hey said ACT agreed not to stand for the New Plymouth electorate seat in order to help National hold the seat, but National have failed to do their part after removing the ACT candidate from Epsom.

1:00pm: Cameron Slater, on his blogging site Whaleoil, asks questions regarding Labours policy on GST. He said Goff has yet to give the answers he promised.

12:54pm: Political commentator and reporter David Farrar posts a video on Kiwiblog showing the "Moment Phil Goff lost the election".

12:39pm New Zealand Herald reporter Claire Trevett tweeted
"Coffee Bean Polls begin for Key - yes, that's National's on the left. Labour supporters prefer tea."

12:34: Patrick Gower tweeted "Nearly a baby kissing by John key" #nzvotes. See the pic here.

12:32pm: Patrick Gower tweeted
"Gutsy New plymouth Act party stalwart just hit up John key about the dirty deal here with brash" #votenz

12:17pm: The Labour Party has expressed its condolences at the news of Allan Peachey's death. Phil Goff said the party's "deepest sympathy" goes out to Mr Peachey's family, and that his contributions will be "sorely missed".

12:16pm: National has announced a new $500,000 Disability Innovation Fund aimed at getting disabled people into work.

12:13pm: The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis party announced on nzherald.co.nz that they support a review of MMP.

12:05pm: On the Radio New Zealand Midday Report, the Save the Children advocacy group has urged National to sign a pledge to end child poverty by 2020. Labour, Green and the Maori party all signed this morning.

12:04pm: Radio Live reported a banner was flown behind a plane in New Plymouth today reading "A little too late, Mr Key". John Key is in New Plymouth today and is expected to announce new law and order policies involving the screening of parole applicants.

12:00pm: nzherald
The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party's Blair Anderson joins us for a live chat from 12pm #VoteNZ

11:48am: ACT has also paid tribute to Allan Peachy. ACT leader Dr Don Brash said his passing was a "great loss".

11:45am: John Key has paid tribute to the late Allan Peachy on the election trail in New Plymouth. "It was with sadness that he stood down just as we went into the election period with the knowledge that he was very very unwell. It's just tragic he's been robbed of that further time spent with his family," Mr Key said.

11:36am Annette King has tweeted regarding the announcement about child poverty reform today.
annetterongotai
"Today, it's about our kids. We want to give our children the best possible start in life. #ownourfuture

11:33am: Hone Harawira has told nzherald.co.nz that his supporters will not "sell out" to get seats on government benches. The Mana party officially launched their campaign in Otara on Saturday.

11:30am: Phil Goff visited the Media Design School in Albert St, Auckland where he met students working on Games design. Goff revealed he got hooked last Xmas on Angry Birds.

11:29: The Eid fesitval at ASB centre in Greenlane has drawn many politicians including Goff, NZ First leader Winston Peters and Trade minister Tim Groser.
Groser greeted the crowd in Arabic saying "peace be upon you".

11:16 Tweeted by political reporter #rnzgallery Jane Patterson:
"National's anne tolley won't commit to retaining current subsidies for 20 hours early chilhood education RNZ debate 101 FM"

11:13am: TVNZ reported social policy researcher Charles Waldergrave called for a 10% benefit increase after concerns were raised about the rates of child poverty on Breakfast this morning.

10:30am National has promised a new $7 million health campus in Rangiora, Canterbury, if it is re-elected. A press release on the party's website said National intends to start public consultation immediately after the election, with the campus expected to open in 2013.

10:16am: National MP Allan Peachy has died. Mr Peachy has been fighting illness for some time and announced his retirement last month because he said he was not healthy enough to complete another three year parliamentary term.

10:15am Phil Goff appeared on Kiwi FM's Auckland-based radio show, Radio Wammo earlier today to discuss the TVNZ debate and Labour election policy.

10:14am: David Cunliffe, Labour's finance spokesperson, said in a press release that "National's position on privatising state assets is riddled with contradictions" because it refuses to disclose costs of sales or loss of dividends.

10:09.am Labour's decision in its Broadcasting Policy that it would require broadcasters to regulate the volume of advertisements has been slammed by bloggers. Kiwiblog ridiculed the idea, asking if Labour also intended to put an end to static on the radio. Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater also took a jab at the policy, questioning again whether Labour leader Phil Goff was living up to his promise to "focus on the things that are important to Kiwi voters. Labour MP Clare Curran defended the policy in a post on Red Alert, pointing out that similar legislation in the United States had been widely popular.

9:09am: Green Party Co-leader Russell Norman said on Morning Report that National has an "ideological commitment to privatisation" and warned the party that the time to give up on the idea of asset sales is now. National Party finance spokesperson Bill English conceded on TVNZ's Q+A programme on Sunday that the sale price of partial assets is uncertain, and may not raise the $5-7 billion the party hopes. National intends to sell around 3% of the country's assets to fund spending in education, healthcare and infrastructure. John Key said it would be "naïve" not to be concerned about the turmoil in global markets and the possible repercussions for the New Zealand economy.

8:56am: TV3 political reporter Patrick Gower said Labour leader Phil Goff should rule out with working with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. Mr Goff hasn't ruled out a coalition with Winston Peters, while Mr Peters has stated his party will not work with anyone. See here for the story.

8:50am: New Zealand Herald reporter Claire Trevett has written about National's vow to get tough on loan sharks. The Financial Market Authority, if implemented, will be able to strip lenders of their registration if they breached the new code of ethics that will be put into effect. See here for the story.

8:37am: Mr Key told TVNZ that National could lose their governing power if the Greens get elected to hold the balance of power. He said the Green Party is a natural partner for Labour and he couldn't look to them to help form a governement. See here.

8:18am: Prime Minister John Key has given his verdict on the Green Party's proposal for a public Kiwisaver provider. He told Radio New Zealand 's Morning Report that people would incorrectly assume a government run Kiwisaver would be protected and "There is no guarantee that your funds are safe."

8:00am: Corin Dann on Breakfast asks Prime Minister John Key about child poverty rates. According to Toby Manhire of the Listener, the Poverty Action Group said 22% of children are below the poverty line.

- NZ Herald

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