Election 2011: Latest updates Nov 24

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

Election. Photograph by Chris Skelton
Election. Photograph by Chris Skelton

It's 4pm and that concludes our live coverage for now. The main stories of the day so far are:

- Phil Goff's claim that the Government was deferring police recruiting for all of next year has been labelled "rubbish" by National law and order minister Judith Collins.
- TV3 was searched over the "teapot tape".
- John Key was the winner of last night's debate on TV one, according to many news sources - but only just.

We will be back tomorrow with more updates. Goodnight!

3:55pm: TVNZ's Jessica Mutch tweets
@MutchJessica
Passed through Hawera on National Party bus tour #votenz. With pic.

3:47pm: What issues are most important to voters? NZ Herald Online recently did a survey to find out just that.

Check out the results, you may be surprised.

3:40pm: Annette King tweets
@annetterongotai
"Here's a chance to see our Closing Address before it's played on TV tomorrow night." #ownourfuture. With video.

3:37pm: The Green party writes, according to the Ombudsmen, John Key can now release Treasury advice on the sale of state-owned assets demonstrating he has nothing to hide on this key election issue.

"The Ombudsmen's office today released a final decision upholding an earlier provisional decision to refuse to release advice Treasury prepared for National regarding foreign ownership of New Zealand's state owned power companies."

3:35pm: Labour is claiming that National have left out three "key" policies from this campaign

Grant Robertson said the three policy commitments are in regards to:

• Health
• Tertiary Education
• Housing

"If National backtracks on any one of these three policy commitments - let alone all three - it will have a significant adverse impact on thousands of Kiwis and their families," Grant Robertson said."

3:33pm: Phil Goff tweets
@phil_goff
"At Hillside workshops in Dunedin. Keep our jobs in kiwi hands." With pic.

3:30pm: Wendy Schollum of The Aucklander writes the Electoral Commission has "baited a social media bear" with its insistence on prosecuting social networkers that are brought to its attention on election day.

She writes:

"Twitter is already riddled with chirps of discontent - some Twitter users, going as far as to publically declare a virtual war on the Act, by tweeting about the election on the 26th and establishing hash tags (e.g. #SpartacusVotes, #nzelection11, etc.) that other Twitter users can add to their tweets."

3:24pm: David Farrar tweets
@dpfdpf
"Heh. Old man to Key: I'd rather shake hands with Muldoon than you; Key: Okay, but that would be a bit hard :-)"

3:09pm: Tweeted by ListenerLive
@ListenerLive
"@GarethMP are you planning, like @KevinHague, to vote Labour in electorate vote?"

Gareth Hughes replies
@GarethMP
"@ListenerLive @kevinhague I'm in Wellington Central and will be two ticking Green."

3:05pm: David Farrar has listed what he considers to be "Some decent policies from other parties" on Kiwiblog.

Some policies he likes include:
"Labour saying they will raise the age of entitlement to Super from 65 to 67."
"NZ First's pledge to repeal the copyright file-sharing law."
"Labour's gay adoption policy."

2:45pm: Listener live blogger Toby Manhire tweets
@toby_etc
"Genuinely thought the "yeeeah, Colin Craig, Conservatives, here" ad on radio was a pisstake until halfway through."

2:38pm: "NZ's wackiest political parties - part 2" has been posted on 3News.co.nz. Candidates include the New Munster Party, a party that planned to get the South Island to secede from the North Island.

The Imperial British Conservative Party is another one, founded of course by none other than the Wizard of New Zealand.

2:30pm: ACT leader Don Brash's speech on the economy today proposes to reduce government spending, bureaucracy and axe the emissions trading scheme.

It's 2:20pm and the top stories of the day so far are:

- Phil Goff's claim that the Government was deferring police recruiting for all of next year has been labelled "rubbish" by National law and order minister Judith Collins.
- TV3 was searched over the "teapot tape".
- John Key was the winner of last night's debate on TV one, according to many news sources - but only just.

2:15pm: David Farrar has posted a photo on Kiwiblog of the Right Wing Resistance with the words "The endorsement Winston didn't want."

The Right Wing Resistance recently endorsed NZ First and Farrar says "It's just too good not to mock".

2:12pm: Cartoonist Martin Doyle has released his interpretation of the tea tape debacle, after the police searched media outlets for information on the tapes.

2:08pm: Peter Dunne has said support for his party will be support for National.

"New Zealanders wanting a John Key-led government have their best ally in UnitedFuture."

"UnitedFuture will help keep National to the centre, and promote policies such as Flexi-Super, Income Sharing and an annual State of the Family report to hold government to," Mr Dunne said.

1:55pm: 3News reporter Lloyd Burr has observed Wellington Central electorate as the "clone wars". On the candidates he writes:

"Mr Robertson, bespectacled and rather rotund, went to the University of Otago, earned a bachelor of arts, and served time in Helen Clark's office before working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade."

"Mr Foster-Bell, also bespectacled and rather rotund, went to the University of Otago, earned a bachelor of arts, and served time in Bill English's office before working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade."

1:52pm: National has compiled a list of Goff's "top dozen porkies on the campaign trail".

These include (these are direct quotes):
"Labour left the economy in good shape. WRONG."
"National has cut hundreds of millions from early childhood education. WRONG."
"'We will get back into surplus the same time as National.' WRONG"

And so on. Good to know they aren't getting petty.

1:48pm: RadioLIVE Newsroom tweets
@LIVENewsDesk
"Battle of the political billboards in Whanganui as John Key makes his 5th stop of the day #decision11. With pic.

1:45pm: NZ Herald's Adam Bennett reports "Police Commissioner Peter Marshall was "shocked'' when told of Labour leader Phil Goff''s claim last night that the force have frozen recruiting for all of next year."

"Mr Goff raised the issue at last night's TVNZ leaders' debate with Prime Minister John Key, the last debate before the election."

1:35pm: The Maori Party is proud of its achievements, according to the Dominion Post.

"Judge us on ourselves - not against others who promise big but will never deliver," Tariana Turia said, "The challenges that we face must be ones we face together."

1:29pm: bFM's Selwyn Manning and Jon Armistead have done a general election wrap, discussing the stand out candidates. Some favourites are Labour's Jacinda Arden and National's Nikki Kaye.

Audio here.

1:21pm: The return of the three way handshake!

@3NewsEditor James Murray tweets this pic.

"RT @radioovermoscow John Key goes for the three-way handshake with Phil Goff and... John Key?" #votenz #nzvotes.

1:18pm: The Green Party wrapped up its campaign today in Auckland with a free concert and reminder to get out and vote for jobs, rivers, and kids on Saturday.

1:15pm: Felix Marwick tweets
@felixmarwick
"Another anti asset sales moment #decision2011. With pic.

1:12pm: Listener live blogger Toby Manhire has done a summary of what all the bloggers are saying today on his page. Check it out here.

1:09pm: NZ Herald deputy political editor Claire Trevett writes the gap between the major parties just adds to the uncertainty. "Key has become fearful that National's lead means people will assume everyone else will vote so they don't need to bother."

"Goff, on the other hand, is still insisting they will move up, issuing an enigmatic "just keep watching" when asked again this week when those polls were going to follow his orders and narrow."

1:06pm: Another tweet
@LloydBurr
"Brash is closing his campaign by using the boredom technique." #votenz

1:00pm: 3News reporter Lloyd Burr tweets
@LloydBurr
"Without ACT, Helen Clark would likely still be Prime Minister - Brash." #votenz

12:27pm: Radio Live wants to know "Who looked better in the 80s: Key or Goff?" Check out the pics here and make your own call.

12:19pm: Tweeted by Trevor Mallard
@TrevorMallard
"There's late night voting tonight at the Lower Hutt War Memorial Library and Wainuiomata Community Library until 8pm."

12:18pm: John Key tweets from the campaign.
@johnkeypm
"On our Brighter Future bus, travelling through North Island today & Friday. Met a great crowd at Robert Harris in Palmerston North." #VoteNZ

12:16pm: The Press reports even mentioning the weather this weekend could be considered an offense. "The commission says that, under the 1993 Electoral Act, "statements such as 'weather looks a bit bleak, turnout quiet at this polling place' would be prohibited as such a statement could be construed as discouraging people from voting".

Let's just hope we don't have a tornado...

12:13pm: Newstalk ZB's Felix Marwick has released his predictions for the election, with the following disclaimer: "What follows are inferred deductions - more commonly referred to by scientists as WAGs (wild ass guesses)."

He predicts National will do better than it did in 2008 and that Labour will drop well below 30% "if things really go pear shaped". He also predicts NZ First will just miss out on the 5% threshold.

12:07pm: John Key's welcome hasn't been quite so warm. TVNZ reporter Jessica Mutch tweets
@MutchJessica
"John Key has been heckled a few times out on the campaign trail about the super rate and trust." #votenz

12:05pm: Phil Goff has been warmly welcomed at CPIT in Christchurch.
@phil_goff
"An impromptu haka at CPIT!" With pic.

12:01pm: Tense Te Tai Tokerau candidates are "trading jibes" in the lead up to the election, reports Radio NZ. RNZ's Te Manu Korihi News has profiled the seat here.

"Mana Party leader Hone Harawira, the MP for the electorate since 2005, is up against robust opposition from Labour's Kelvin Davis and Maori Party candidate Waihoroi Shortland."

"During the fourth week of the election campaign the two traded jibes in the media: the Mana leader said Kelvin Davis was advising people to vote for the Maori Party if they weren't voting for him and he wondered if Phil Goff knew."

"Kelvin Davis retaliated saying Mr Harawira was feeling the heat and showing signs of desperation."


11:56am: Phil Goff is in Christchurch today.
@phil_goff
"Catching up with students at CPIT in Chch. They're doing a great job here." With pic.

11:44am: Winston Peters will be on TVNZ live chat from noon today to answer your questions.

11:39am: Judith Collins has now been on Newstalk ZB Wellington, emphasising the inaccuracy Phil Goff's claims. She has told Sean Plunket that she will resign if his allegations are proved true.

Ms Collins has also posted a press release here.

11:36am: 3News' Ali Ikram tweets
@AliIkram
"Vote for a minor party.... Its great Nothing will ever be your fault." #votenz

11:34am: Labour Dunedin South candidate Clare Curran tweets
@clarecurranmp
I'm voting for MMP #votenz #ownourfuture

11:29am: TV3 has been searched by police today for any information regarding the "teapot tapes", writes NZ Herald reporters Derek Cheng and Paul Harper. Police searched the Herald on Sunday and TVNZ yesterday.

"Herald on Sunday editor Bryce Johns this morning told Radio New Zealand the police did not enter the newsroom yesterday, instead a box with the "three or four items" requested was given to police at the door to the building by the company's lawyer."

11:24am: And again
@felixmarwick
"Goff won't reveal source on police recruitment claims #decision2011 says Police Minister is spinning with her explanation." #decision2011

11:21am: Newstalk ZB's Felix Marwick tweets
@felixmarwick
"Labour says February police recruitment also scheduled to be cancelled." #decision2011

11:14am: NZ Herald columnist David Farrar has posted the "10 positive reasons to vote National" on his Kiwiblog website.

Reasons include welfare reform, tighter bail laws, increased penalties and ultra fast broadband brought in under National.

11:11am: Fairfax reporter Andrea Vance is on the National campaign bus today. She tweets:
@avancenz
"On the Nats battle bus somewhere south of Palmy. The sugar rush has worn off." #votenz. With pic.

11:07am: Mana's Sue Bradford believes her party is the only one not treating child poverty like it's a "game". She says other parties "just don't get it".

"If a child is hungry you give them some food. You don't think about how the child fits in with your budget priorities, or balance their hunger up against a research and development programme, cleaning up a river or anything else."

"You give the child some food. Then you make sure they have a warm, dry and secure place to live."

"Once you have done that you start looking at budget priorities."

11:02am: Dominion Post columnist Vernon Small writes that this election seems to be a few years ahead of it's time.

"At times it has been hard to know whether the parties are campaigning for this election or the next, or the one after. But in tough times, it is proving easier to spend tomorrow's money today, rather than finding the cash up front."

10:50am: NZ Herald's Adam Bennett writes "Genesis Energy, the owner of the giant Huntly power station, may be first on the block if National wins the election - but Prime Minister John Key yesterday pledged new legislation to prevent any single shareholder from owning more than 10 per cent."

10:40am: NZ First leader Winston Peters has claimed many political commentators and party leaders are confused about the role NZ First will play in government.

Mr Peters has said his party will not go into coalition with any other party, but all that means is that it will go to the opposition benches instead, where it will support good ideas and go against the bad.

"We will not be part of a coalition government, but that does not mean we cannot or will not work with other parties in that government if their policies are in the best interests of the majority of New Zealanders," said Mr Peters.

10:31am: Phil Goff has appeared on Newstalk ZB Wellington with Sean Plunket. Toby Manhire has an excellent summary of what was said on his Listener live blog.

Phil Goff came on the show to discuss his claims regarding police recruitment cut backs and he refused to give his source. It seems Plunket didn't take that well.

"The best thing he should do is release his source, otherwise he's talking through a hole in the head ... Well I'm sorry, Mr Goff .. It would seem to me your source is a crock .. Maybe your source is telling you what you want to hear."

10:26am: The Maori Party has not entered any formal agreement to work with National, despite claims to the contrary.

"That is not true. The people who say such things are wanting your vote - and that is why they are saying them," said co-leader Dr Pita Sharples.

""The fact is that no-one knows who might form a government until after the election. The Maori Party will wait to see how the people have voted, and what our options are, before we make any moves."

10:18am: Newstalk ZB reports John Key's bus tour up the country has received a "frosty welcome" in Paraparaumu and Waikanae, with at least one man saying he would rather shake former Prime minister Robert Muldoon's hand.

10:15am: NZ Herald columnist Brian Fallow has written about Labour's monetary policy.

"Labour wants the bank to intervene in the foreign exchange market more often and more aggressively."

"Labour acknowledges more aggressive interventions would carry "some extra risk" for the Crown, but insists it would be modest."

"By increasing the risk for speculators that the bank will catch them out, volatility will be reduced."

10:09am: Labour has promised a major inquiry into all aspects of the South Canterbury Finance failure which is estimated to have cost the taxpayer more than $1 billion already.

10:05am: Pundit blogger Tim Watkin writes about his impression of last night's debate. "Phil Goff had the details and the studio craft, but after a nervous start John Key had the authority."

9:54am: Chief political editor Audrey Young writes from parliament: "Goff has lifted his game hugely in four weeks, but Key took it last night." She also believes John Key was the winner of last night's debate.

9:52am: NZ Herald columnist Fran O'Sullivan has also declared John Key the winner of last night's debate on TV One in her most recent column.
"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."

9:47am: 3News reporter and satirist Ali Ikram tweets
@AliIkram
"Son suggested the Paddle Pop Lion would make a good PM ... at 5 he displays both a flair for candidate selection and satire." #votenz

9:45am: Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig is criticising ACT's Law and Order policy, and it's move to consider a Sentencing Council.

"ACT's policy is a mistake" Mr Craig says, "the effect of a Sentencing Council would be shorter sentences in many cases where longer sentences are necessary."

9:37am: Radio NZ reports "New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says repeated suggestions his party would make a government unstable are scaremongering."

Mr Peters has accused other parties, including National, of trying to frighten voters to a one party government.

9:35am: Newstalk ZB's Felix Marwick tweets:@felixmarwick
"Labour says source is solid on police funding allegations." #decision2011

9:33am: Last minute demand for votes from Labour leader Phil Goff:
@phil_goff "In 48 hours the polls will open and you can cast your vote. The choice is clear. Give your two ticks to Labour!"

9:31am: 3News political reporter Patrick Gower tweets
@patrickgowernz
"Winston Peters Media Advisory for today: "TV3 Frontline"; "Mall Visit" (mall not identified"); Business House Meeting (not identified)."

9:29am: Labour candidate Trevor Mallard tweets
@TrevorMallard
"National not for sale only for lease or are they proud that unemployment up by 50% under Key." With pic.

9:21am: A Radio Live / Horizon poll shows 50.1 percent of respondents plan to vote to keep MMP. 39.8% will vote for another system and 10.1% will not vote at all.

In a New Zealand Herald editorial "Flawed, but MMP is pick of the bunch", these results are supported.

"This absence of a large groundswell for change carries its own commentary on the mixed member proportional system that has served New Zealand since 1996. By and large, and after a shaky start, it has proved satisfactory."

9:17am: Newstalk ZB political editor Barry Soper has written his latest political report.

In regards to Phil Goff, Soper writes "One of the main actors will be tossing and turning, wondering how at the 11th hour he can rescue his 27 year political career."

In regards to John Key "A whipper snapper with just a third of his political experience but who's holding the job he's coveted for decades, looks set to stand down the Beehive packers."

9:13am: Jessica Mutch, TVNZ reporter, tweets@MutchJessica
"We're on National Bus tour for next 2 days. Cameraman calls it a ti-KEY-tour of North Island - genius." #votenz

9:11am: NZ Herald deputy political editor Claire Trevett is out with John Key and National today. She tweets
@CTrevettNZH
"PM loads up with lollies at Coastlands Pak N Save for sugar rush to the finishing line". With pic.

8:59am: Newstalk ZB reports that John Key is being accused of doing an "about face" on his position on the Maori seats.

Mr Key says the Maori electorates won't be done away with while he's Prime Minister, while Phil Goff says that's a change of tack.

8:55am: Leaders of the six minor parties are on Radio NZ's Morning Report. For a full review of their performance check out Toby Manhire's Listener live blog.

8:53am: NZ Herald's Adam Bennett reports "Act would push for a referendum on raising the superannuation age to 67 as part of a confidence and supply agreement with National, leader Don Brash says."

8:47am: 3News political writer Peter Wilson writes "Labour leader Phil Goff heads to Christchurch on Thursday to shore up support in a seat his party could lose."

According to 3News, Christchurch has previously been a Labour stronghold, but since the earthquake some electoral boundaries have changed and now the voting could go either way.

8:39am: NZ Herald chief political commentator John Armstrong writes John Key won last night's leaders debate on TV One - but only just.

"Goff sounded like someone who knew all the answers. Key would have struck a rapport with viewers. Goff's cleverness would have turned them off him," he writes.

8:33am: On last night's TV One leaders' debate Phil Goff claimed police have been told to stop recruiting - but not to make it public until after the election.

Newstalk ZB reports that Mr Key said all government departments have been told to save money.

"The police force have, under us, 600 new police, they've had a lot more equipment, tasers and the like, and I have no doubt that Judith Collins is asking them to save money,'' John Key said.

8:30am: Newstalk ZB's Felix Marwick tweets
@felixmarwick
"National denies Goff's police recruitment freeze accusation." #decision2011

8:26am: NZ Herald's John Drinnan reports University of Otago lecturer Bryce Edwards has criticised the election coverage media black-out required for Saturday, saying it is "unenforceable on social media".

8:22am: NZ Herald political editor Audrey Young reports Prime Minister John Key said the election results on Saturday will be a lot closer than people expect.

According to Key, the potential for a Labour-led Government is still real.

8:18am: Felix Marwick of Newstalk ZB reports John Key has played down the chances of a post-election deal with the Greens.

Although he doesn't appear to rule them out, John Key is rating the chance of a deal as unlikely.

8:16am: Metiria Turei tweets
@metiria
"Come to our Closing do TODAY! Q Theatre cafe and bar, Queen Stm Ak, 12noon, Jason Gerrison of #opshop is playing with others, be a laugh."

8:15am: Alexia Russell of Newstalk ZB reports "Phil Goff is making stuff up, according to police minister Judith Collins.

"She's rubbished his claim that surfaced during last night's leaders' debate that there's a freeze on police recruitment for next year."

8:09am: Newstalk ZB reports an Auckland University senior lecturer of political studies, Joe Atkinson, said there was no clear winner in last night's TVNZ leaders' debate.

John Key and Phil Goff faced off in the final debate before Saturday's election.

8:05am: Citizen Bomber Martyn Bradbury tweets:
@CitizenBomber
Winston Peters vs Hone Harawira - only on iPredict Election 2011 7pm tonight Stratos TV Freeview 21 & Sky 89

8:01am: Another report from Radio NZ: "The Labour Party says it will hold a major inquiry into the failure of South Canterbury Finance if it forms the next government."

8:00am: Radio NZ reports "During the final televised leaders' debate on Television New Zealand on Wednesday night, Mr Goff pressed Mr Key on how he could guarantee that no more than 10% to 15% of the shares would end up in foreign hands.

"Mr Key replied that he has spent his life studying investment banking and knows how such things work."

It's 8am and we are back for more live updates of the election coverage throughout the day.

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