Key Points:

Prime Minister-elect John Key appears likely to have little trouble pushing through National's election promises - although the emissions trading scheme could be a test of his leadership.

The make-up of the new Parliament after Saturday's election means Mr Key can govern needing only Act's support.

The two parties have broadly similar attitudes toward law and order and on containing the bureaucracy, which are areas National has prioritised for early action.

National also intends to pass legislation before Christmas to implement another round of tax cuts on April 1 and it is highly likely to have enough support to do this.

Mr Key yesterday said that how much could be done ahead of Christmas depended on when Parliament could be reconvened, but he was keen to get as much done as possible.

Passing tax cut legislation, getting transitional support into place for people who lose their jobs in the looming economic turmoil, and putting in place a 52-week course of breast cancer drug Herceptin were top of the list. National would also try to get first readings under way for some of its law and order legislation.

However, the economy is likely to dominate the early days of the new National-led Government, and Mr Key and Finance Minister-in-waiting Bill English have already requested briefings mid-week from the Reserve Bank and Treasury.

"We see the economy as front and centre stage of the issues that we face," Mr Key said yesterday.

Asked if he could keep his election promises, he was confident he would despite deterioration in the Government's books as the global financial crisis fallout spread.

"Our campaign promises were fully costed and fully funded," Mr Key said. "It is our intention to have a new spending component of $1.75 billion, I believe that all the promises we made during the campaign will fit within that."

National will go to work early on identifying savings in the public service by calling chief executives to a meeting and instructing them to begin a line-by-line review of spending.

The potential sticking point in Mr Key's agenda could be the reworking of the emissions trading scheme, a flagship Labour policy which Act has strong opposed.

National has not yet said exactly what it will do to the climate change policy but Act campaigned on not having an emissions trading scheme at all - something Act leader Rodney Hide yesterday said would not be traded away.

"No," he said bluntly, when asked if National could convince Act to support a reworked scheme. "The ETS is selling our farmers down the river for no environmental gain."

National may, therefore, have to look elsewhere to get support to change the emissions trading scheme and this is potentially part of the reason it wants to also form alliances with other political parties even though it does not need to.

Mr Key is aiming to have a new emissions trading scheme passed into law in nine months' time, and to have the Resource Management Act reformed within six months.


1. Meet leaders of Act, United Future and Maori Party over next two days, with first caucus meeting tomorrow morning.

2. Get economic briefing mid-week from Treasury and Reserve Bank.

3. Legislate by Christmas for further tax cuts. Next tax cuts to be on April 1 next year, then two more rounds on April 1, 2010 and 2011.

4. Instruct by Christmas that breast cancer drug Herceptin be available for 12-month course.

5. Call in public service chief executives, instruct them to undertake a review of all spending with a focus on finding savings. Establish "razor gang" type group to oversee review.

6. Request full December fiscal update from Treasury.

7. Legislate - if necessary - by Christmas for transitional package to help people who lose jobs in economic downturn.

8. Quickly introduce bill to reform Resource Management Act, aim to pass it within six months.

9. Prioritise law and order legislation for first readings.

10. Send Emissions Trading Scheme back to select committee, pass revised version within 9 months.