It's 4pm and that's all for now. More updates may come later but for the moment, goodnight and enjoy your weekend.
3:37pm: Oops, just a correction. Tea took place at Urban Cafe in Newmarket, not Teed Street Larder as may have been previously posted, according to Toby Manhire. See his live blog here at the Listener.
3:36pm: Writer for the Red Alert blog, Carmel Sepuloni, reports "On Wednesday the 9th of November the Western Heights Residents and Rate Payers hosted a 'meet the candidates' meeting at Summerland Primary school."
3:34pm: National has released their broadcasting policy on their website. See here for details.
3:25pm: TVNZ political reporter Michael Parkin tweets @Michael_Parkin
"Don brash says its appropriate he's in chch rather than epsom because the banks/key meeting is only about the electorate" #votenz
So it is now 3:14pm and the top stories once again, if you are just checking out this page for the first time, are:
- John Key and John Banks have met for tea at Urban Cafe today, where Key has endorsed Banks for the Epsom electoral seat.
- Labour doesn't think this "cup of tea" will make any difference for Act and hopes the party will disappear.
- Labour have released their rural policy
- Herald Digipoll had National fall below 50% today, where the Roy Morgan poll has them sitting at 56%. Neither poll has been good news for Labour.
3:10pm: A political cup of tea has been shared today, writes New Zealand Herald reporter Adam Bennett. "Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr Key denied he was telling the people of Epsom how to vote."
"I'm telling them I would not be unhappy if they voted for John Banks." Mr Key said.
3:08pm: Newstalk ZB has reported "The so-called cup of tea between National leader John Key and ACT's Epsom candidate John Banks has caused quite a scene in Newmarket."
2:58pm: 3news reports three men have protested outside the Teed Street Larder, where John Banks and John Key met. Protest claims are regarding Huljich management. With pic.
2:56pm: @3NewsEditor James Murray
"Key has stopped short of explicitly saying give Banks the electorate vote and National Party vote #voteNZ"
2:53pm: NZ Herald reporter Adam Bennett reports Prime Minister John Key yesterday acknowledged private sector, rather than Crown debt is the bigger problem for New Zealand as the worsening European debt crisis threatens the global economy. For the full story see here.
2:50pm: James Murray tweets again. @3NewsEditor
Key says he would prefer a Nats only cabinet. So prob no ministerial role for Banks. #nzvotes
2:48pm: James Murray tweets again. @3NewsEditor
"Two NZ First supporters outside the cafe saying Epsom is a rigged electorate. Saying Act have raped the country for years. #nzvote"
2:46pm: Toby Manhire on his Listener live blog says "This is as tense as those last 20 minutes against France. The Two Johnnies have greeted one another outside the cafe, and it's time for tea." For his full blog go here.
2:40pm: @3NewsEditor James Murray tweets again from the scene.
"As Key and Banks walked into the cafe a member of the public shouted "loony act!" #voteNZ"
2:38pm: Hadyn Green of Public Address tweets @hadyngreen
"RT @willowallecia: Has someone made the Banks' comment about coming through windows a meme yet? Epsom: Hide yo' kids! Hide yo' wife!"
2:36pm: Felix Marwick of Newstalk ZB writes "Labour leader Phil Goff says ACT doesn't deserve to survive."
2:34pm: James Murray tweets again. "Key has arrived and been greeted by Banks #voteNZ." With pic.
2:27pm: Claire Curran posts on Red Alert blog "New Zealand?s economic future lies in weightless exports. The future of the nation relies on Kiwi children becoming digital Kiwis."
2:22pm: Labour Northcote candidate Paula Gillon tweets @paulagillon
"Just spotted Paul Goldsmith in Ponsonby. I suppose he hasn't been invited to the Key/Banks Tea Party..."
2:20pm: APNZ reports "Labour leader Phil Goff does not think the National and Act's cup of tea today will be enough to sway Epsom voters."
2:18pm: David Farrar adds this tweet.
"Seats on Roy Morgan poll: Nat 67, Lab 33, Gre 15, Maori 3, ACT 1, UFNZ 1, Mana 1"
1:59pm Voxy blogger Chris Ford asks on his blog whether John Key, after having tea with john Banks, will have to "sink some whiskeys with Winston Peters" just to get back into government.
For more of Toby's live blog see it here at Listener live.
1:43pm: "We need to rein in government expenditure." Banks on the current economic crisis in New Zealand on Radio Live.
1:39pm: Act has claimed in a press release that Labour's education policy treats children as numbers, not individuals. They claim Labour's system will create a "factory for students" and that it is a policy for "educrats".
1:36pm: Newstalk ZB chief political reporter Felix Marwick tweets @felixmarwick
"Brash says his comments on decriminalising marijuana have been his biggest mistake of the campaign" #decision2011
So it's 1:32pm and time for another summary of todays events!
- John Key and John Banks will be having "tea" this afternoon as an open endorsement for John Banks candidacy.
- Winston Peters has slammed "disgusting media" in today's Herald.
- Herald Digipoll sees National dip below 50%.
- Labour release rural policy on their site.
1:29pm: John Banks says on Radio Live that Winston Peters "will keep the centre left honest."
1:27pm: John Banks and Paul Goldsmith are on Radio Live now with Willie and JT.
1:18pm: Young Labour NZ have labelled John Banks a "bigot" in tweet because of this video from TV3's The Nation.
"Why does John Key want to be in bed with this bigot? It's not the 1980s. It's time for something new. Something."
Watch it here.
1:15pm: Find your local electorate here on NZherald.co.nz.
1:10pm:On blogging site Kiwipolitico it is written that Chris Trotter, of blogging site Bowalley Road, has suggested "frequent and heavily-publicised polls favour the right and result in a self-fulfilling prophecy, depressing support for the left."
1:08pm: National has confirmed the future for Paerau School in Central Otago. The school was going to be closed because of a lack of students but now more have enrolled. Full release here.
12:48pm: Comment From Paul V on NZ Herald live chat with Conservative Party leader Colin Craig.
"How do you feel about John Key meeting John Banks for Coffee today, I really hoped he (Key) would let ACT sink"
Colin Craig responds:
Well ACT are pretty desperate. Not sure it will save ACT anyway. I don't like meddling with the voter choices. Big fan of letting the voters decide in a fair and open contest."
12:31pm: For a quick laugh check out Cats that look like David Cunliffe on Tumblr.
12:19pm: Colin Craig on Herald live chat: "I think politicians should be banned from changing kiwisaver. Needs to be left alone."
It's 12:13pm and the biggest stories so far are:
- 3news political reporter Patrick Gower releases treasury documents that say the government can afford to pay $2 more an hour in minimum wage.
- Labour has released their rural policy on their website
- The meeting for "Tea" between John Banks and John Key this afternoon.
12:10pm: Labour have released their rural policy on their website. Policies include "Labour will ensure such remote areas are given priority under the Rural Broadband Initiative for access via satellite, wireless or other means." For the full policy see here.
12:08pm The Bay of Plenty Times reports it's 'crunch' time as Nats drop in poll. "Tauranga MP Simon Bridges today said he was not surprised a new poll shows National has dropped nearly five points to below 50 per cent in the past week and the smaller parties are picking up support."
12:05pm: John Banks is predicting a close election and believes John Key will need Act in parliament, according to Radio NZ's Midday Report.
11:59: According to Radio NZ news, the Greens have stated they are opposed to the sale of Turners and Growers. Multi-billion dollar German agriculture heavyweight BayWa has launched a $285 million takeover offer for the company, but Dr Russell Norman has questioned whether this is in the countries best interests.
11:45am: NZ Herald live chat with Conservative Party leader Colin Craig on now. Click here to check it out.
11:35am: There has been some speculation around the NZ Herald newsroom as to what type of tea John Banks and John Key will drink. Some vote that both will drink milky white, others have said imbibed with a bitter twist of lemon and others say there may need to be spoonfuls of sugar.
John Banks favourite cup of tea? According to his wife Amanda Banks, it's Chainui. John Key's still to come!
11:28am: ListenerLive tweets a response to Patrick Gowers post re treasury documents. @ListenerLive
"@patrickgowernz TRUE FACT - you got your fancy OIA documents, but Listener Live always first with the scone news" See The Listener's live blog here.
11:19am: The Alliance Party has released a statement warning Labour and National of their free trade "addiction". The statement says free trade deals "pose a threat to New Zealand's economic independence and democracy itself."
11:15am: NZ Herald columnist John Armstrong writes that today's Digipoll is "the best news Labour has had in a while." Full article here.
11:08am: NZ Herald columnist David Farrar speculates in his column what a Labour lead coalition could look like. "What could a Labour-Green-NZ First-Maori-Mana Government look like?"
He goes on to say "Every day would be wonderfully exciting as Phil Goff (who struggles to have discipline even over his own caucus) tries to get Winston and Hone to agree on what laws he is allowed to pass. With a one vote majority, every single MP and party would have a veto over all Government decisions."
10:59am: In another National press release as part of National's education policy, National have pledged "Eight new Service Academies confirmed for secondary schools."
10:58am: National has release a press release that says "Dedicated stroke units in every metropolitan and provincial hospital in New Zealand are highlights of the National Party's health workforce policy."
10:54am: Tweet from the Act campaign: @actparty
"A nice day for a cuppa."
10:46am: Newstalk ZB reporter Anna Cross writes that there's criticism of Labour's plans to establish parent advocates at schools. Critics say this will just add another bureaucratic layer to the school system.
10:35am: APNZ reports that "John Banks says he is excited about a catch-up over a cup of tea with John Key this afternoon - seen as a signal from the Prime Minister he wants his supporters to vote for Banks."
It's 10:21am and so far the big stories of the day are:
- Winston Peters slams ugly NZ media, writes NZ Herald political reporter Derek Cheng.
- John Key will meet Epsom Act candidate John Banks for "tea" today to publicly endorse his candidacy.
- NZ Herald Digipoll sees National go below 50% in the polls.
10:19am: NZ Herald will be doing a live chat with leader of the Conservative Party, Colin Craig today. It starts at 11:45am so check it out.
10:12am: Phil Goff tweets from his campaign trail in Christchurch. @phil_goff
"In Chch today, starting with The Press forum, answering questions from a panel of journalists on Labour's vision for NZ" With pic.
10:09am: Chris Slane has drawn up a cartoon of "Banks and the Banker" just for Toby Manhire's Listener live blog.
9:51am: New Zealand Herald reporter Adam Bennett writes Labour policies' have an air of inevitability. "While they aren't proving to be the 'game changer' the party might have hoped for in terms of its chances at the polls, Labour's policies of raising the NZ Super eligibility age to 67 and of making KiwiSaver compulsory are unlikely to disappear after November 26." Full story here.
9:42am: Herald Online, NZ Herald reporter Isaac Davison and Newstalk ZB report "After weeks of speculation, Act candidate John Banks will this afternoon sit down for what's been billed a "catch up", but will signal Prime Minister John Key wants his supporters to vote for Mr Banks." To read the full article, see here.
9:18am: NZ Herald reporter Lincoln Tan writes "The new right-leaning Conservative Party is hoping the Asian vote will take it over the 5 per cent mark for seats in Parliament.
Yesterday, the party held an 'Asian launch' and introduced its three Asian candidates, who party leader Colin Craig said would play a 'key role' in campaigning for the Asian vote." For the full story see here.
9:09am: The Standard blogger Eddie writes Key will sell all assets eventually. In his post he writes "John Key's promising new capital spending projects left, right, and centre that would be funded by asset sales. But, with the European debt crisis spreading, the odds of getting $5-$7 billion for slices of our energy companies and Air NZ are worsening."
9:06am: NZ Herald political reporter Derek Cheng writes "Resurgent New Zealand First leader Winston Peters this morning railed against what he called New Zealand's road to separate development for Maori and non-Maori. For the full story see here.
9:04am: NZ Herald Columnist David Farrar tweets @dpfdpf
"I wonder if today's attack on John Key will be for Goff to accuse him of genocide over the death of 800 snails in DOC care?"
9:01am: Newstalk ZB reporter Lesley Deverall reports a poll out today suggests the country's in no mood to change the voting system. 63% of those in a UMR poll, commissioned by Keep MMP, want MMP retained in some form.
9:00am: Political reporter Derek Cheng tweets @dchengnzh
"John Banks supporters holding placards on an Epsom roundabout. But where is Banks? Having breakfast with a certain someone?" #votenz
8:56am: Listener live blogger Toby Manhire reports on his site that the Herald Digipoll is very different in comparison to the Colmar Brunton poll he published yesterday evening. See here for his post.
8:54am: Citizen Bomber Martyn Bradbury tweets @CitizenBomber
"With Key and Banks having a cuppa, finally the right wing in NZ have their own far right Tea Party"
8:50am: So far the big stories are:
- National have dropped below 50% in the latest Herald Digipoll
- John Key and Act Candidate John Banks are meeting for "tea" this afternoon in Newmarket to signify a potential partnership of the parties.
8:48am: NZ Herald political reporter Claire Trevett tweets @CTrevettNZH
"TVNZ applies some judicious rounding and decides Winston can go to the ball. Or the debate in this case."
8:43am: Newstalk ZB reporter Lesley Deverall writes that John Banks believes Winston Peters will be back. "John Banks says the polls are closing - and he believes Winston Peters will end up with more than five percent on election night."
strong>8:41am: Political commentator and Herald columnist David Farrar tweets @dpfdpf
"TVNZ just announced that Winston Peters will be invited to be in the minor party leaders debate."
8:39am: Radio NZ reports if the National Party is re-elected, shares in the first State-owned energy company to be offered for sale, could be sold before the end of next year. National intends selling up to 49% stakes in Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Genesis Energy and Solid Energy, as well as part of its shareholding in Air New Zealand.
8:34am: Radio NZ's Morning Report has discussed the Herald Digipoll this morning, saying Labour has dropped in ratings as well.
8:30am: The Rotorua Daily Post reports John Key, on his visit to Rotorua yesterday, pledged an increase in elective surgery procedures, reduced waiting times and faster, more convenient health care.
Mr Key said National's commitment to more efficient healthcare for New Zealanders would be backed up with more frontline staff in the country's healthcare facilities.
8:29am: Patrickgowernz RT @cjsbishop "Am slightly worried about Winston's slow-but-steady rise in the polls" #nzvotes
8:25am: NZ Herald reporter Elizabeth Binning writes Labour's school laptops plan 'should go further'. Labour's plan to give laptops or netbooks to 31,000 children in low-decile schools has been welcomed - but with a warning it doesn't go far enough and middle-class children could be left behind when it comes to e-learning.
8:21am: Listener live blogger Toby Manhire reports that Green Party co-leader Russel Norman is on TV3's Firstline, expounding the Green party plans to impose a nationwide levy for the Christchurch rebuild (see yesterday's live updates). The Green co-leader says the opposition to their suggestion from National and Labour underlines their fiscal imprudence. To check out his full blog, see here.
8:18am: In today's Herald digipoll, Audrey Young reports National has plunged nearly five percentage points to below 50 per cent in the past week and the smaller parties - including a fast-rising New Zealand First - are picking up support.
8:11am: Act Epsom candidate John Banks is on Radio NZ's Morning Report. He said in response to his 'tea' meeting with John Key today: "I am not over confident. We have a lot of work to do."
8:07am: NZ Herald political editor Audrey Young reports that National supporters prefer Act as a coalition partner. She writes the Greens are most favoured by all voters to be a partner of National in government with 38.9 per cent, compared with Act with 18.9 per cent, and the Maori Party on 17.8 per cent.
But among National supporters, Act is favoured more, with 30.7 per cent favouring it. Full story here.
8:00am: TVNZ's Breakfast programme reported that Prime Minister John Key will be having 'tea' with Epsom Act candidate John Banks today. This traditional act signifies which parties are willing to work together in parliament.