Key Points:


Helen Clark has received a rousing reception from students at Otago University after

. The policy will cost $210 million a year.


- Patrick Gower


Herald political editor Audrey Young says it is interesting that the Labour Party seems energised and National "tired" after the weekend's campaign launches.

also looks at the fall-out from the government's announcement of a scheme to guarantee bank deposits.


NZ Herald

political reporter Patrick Gower says Helen Clark's speech to Otago University students in Dunedin has been delayed because of fog at Christchurch airport, where the PM was departing from this morning.

The speech is now set to go ahead at 1.30pm.


11.40am, Paula Oliver with John Key in Gisborne:

National leader John Key has visited Kaiti School in Gisborne, a decile 1a school, which is lower than decile 1. He spoke with children aged between 5 and 10 and had morning tea with staff at which he discussed his party's

released this morning.

The policy promotes national standards as part of a "crusade for literacy and numeracy". The kids were more excited by the TV cameras.

He is now in Gisborne town centre with local MP Anne Tolley and will give an stand-up interview to reporters on education and other topics before heading back to Wellington for a briefing from the Reserve Bank.


The Council of Trade Unions (CTU) has welcomed Labour's campaign promise of allowances for those in the workforce looking to retrain.

Labour leader Helen Clark yesterday announced a fourth-term Labour-led government would introduce a new retraining allowance on the same basis as a student allowance for people who worked at least five years and had been made redundant.

It would be free of a spouse income test.


United Future is criticising Labour for unilaterally deciding to take steps to protect the banking sector. Leader Peter Dunne claims Labour went about the issue in the wrong way. "This is not a not a political issue, this is an issue that is a New Zealand issue that all parties should have been involved in because this transcends the life of this particular government or the next government," he said. "To try to make it a particular issue was a very shortsighted and damaging move."

- Newstalk ZB


National Party leader John Key was not briefed in advance about the bank deposit guarantee scheme, which is raising questions about the usual bi-partisan approach to monetary policy.

Mr Key said today he would have expected to have been briefed by the Reserve Bank. "There's been bi-partisanship over monetary policy going back a couple of decades but I think New Zealanders will know we're in an election campaign and governments use that to their advantage," he said on NewstalkZB.

"But that's not the relevant point, which is that New Zealanders can feel safe with their money in the bank."

Mr Key said National fully supported the Government's move and he and finance spokesman Bill English would be briefed by the bank this afternoon.



Dunedin South MP David Benson-Pope has confirmed he will not stand in the election. The widely expected announcement was reported today by the Otago Daily Times.

Mr Benson-Pope lost the Labour Party nomination for the seat he holds, and Clare Curran is contesting it for the party. He held the seat for three terms and before that served as a Dunedin city councillor.

Mr Benson-Pope last year resigned as environment minister after Prime Minister Helen Clark said he had misled the public over what he had known about the Madeleine Setchell affair.