4:01pm: David Farrar discusses Progressive MP Jim Anderton vs the police on his blog saying "His arrogance is the same as that which destroyed the Alliance. He demanded the party members surrender total control of the organisation to him, and effectively make him dictator. They refused, so he left." full article here.
3:46pm: Labour said National's ETS policy will cost $500 million that they have not accounted for in the budget, according to 3news.co.nz. Labour MP David Parker said "It has cynically announced this policy after the Prefu has been published, in which National banked the revenue from these sectors. That amounts to a fiscal hole of $500 million, according to the Caygill ETS review."
3:38pm: Nzherald.co.nz reporter Amy Rosenfeld wrote "Labour's latest list targets talk of economic recovery." The list of 15 quotes as posted by Labour MP David Cunliffe today includes Key quotes from the previous election campaign won by National in 2008, including "I am sure the country can have enormous confidence in my leadership as we look to deliver productivity growth in a stronger economy," (John Key 16 Dec 08).
3:25pm: Liberal blogging site No Right Turn has posted United Future MP Jim Anderton's response to the Electoral Commission after they referred him to the police for violating electoral advertising law. He said: "I'm authorised to send my constituents any message I damn well like. This is my electorate. And if the Commission wants to start stopping electorate MPs from communicating with their electorate, they'd better get prepared for a breach of privilege complaint, because that's what it amounts to. They are interfering with the regular work of an MP."
3:19pm: ACT Leader Dr Don Brash has rehashed his "One law for all" speech in Tauranga today. In it he has once again launched attacks against "special" privileges for Maori and has said "Treaty settlements will never solve these appalling Maori social statistics", including high unemployment and low education statistics. For the full speech see here.
3:14pm: The Green Party has released a statement saying National's environment policy lets down NZ. "National won't make a real commitment to protect our environment and isn't prepared to make the hard calls to secure a clean, green future," said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman. He was responding to the National Party's launch of their environment policy in Nelson today.
"National has already watered down our Emissions Trading Scheme so much it will have virtually no impact on greenhouse emissions, and now National is further delaying its phased implementation," said Dr Norman. "These delays mean that the taxpayer will pay more and polluters will pay less."
3:04pm John Key has apologised for not observing the minutes silence for quake victims in Christchurch yesterday, according to the Otago Daily Times. When Key was questioned about the incident he said he had not known there was a minute's silence.
3:01pm The Dominion Post reported that four candidates for the Wellington seat - current Ohariu MP Peter Dunne for United Future, Labour's Charles Chauvel, Katrina Shanks for National and Gareth Hughes for the Greens - took questions from online readers in dompost.co.nz's live chat today. When they did the insults started flying. Mr Chauvel led the way in barb-trading in today's chat, accusing Mrs Shanks of using her status as a mother to pull votes.
"We all have families Katrina - it's just that some of us don't flaunt the fact as a vote-getter," he said
2:42pm: National has released a press release that says irrigation investment is an economic priority for National. "Well-designed water storage and irrigation is a win for the economy and for the environment," said Mr Key today at the release of National's primary sector policy. For more information see here.
2:29pm: Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater has criticised Trevor Mallard's responses given in the live chat to the NZ Herald. When Mallard was asked about raising the minimum wage and how this will affect some businesses, Mallard's response was "If you can't train someone up to contribute more than $15 an hour to your business then I have doubts about your ability as an employer." Slater responded to this comment by saying "Trevor mallard epitomises all the nastiness that exists in Labour."
2:23pm 3news Facebook page is filling up with comments regarding John Key's discussion during a minute of silence for Christchurch. Many readers have accused him of being disrespectful and ignorant to the Christchurch earthquake victims.
2:18pm: Green MP Catherine Delehunty tweeted: @greencatherine
"Presented anti TPP sovereignty letter to Gov General's First Secretary at gate of Govt House, not holding breath!"
2:06pm: Pundit blogger Tim Watkin writes that the Greens popularity is a result of Labour's lack of momentum and popularity in the polls. He claims the Greens have been very strategic in changing their approach to appeal to a more middle class electorate and in the way they won't focus strategy purely on the environment. See here for more details.
2:03pm: 3news.co.nz reported that John Key caused an upset when he talked through a minutes silence at Addington Raceway yesterday. Full story here.
1:56pm: In his live chat Labour MP Trevor Mallard has taken responsibility for allowing Phil Goff to debate John Key without being fully prepared with the required information about Labour's costings.
1:52pm: New Zealand Liberal blog tweeted @norightturnnz Idiot/Savant
"John Key now says he'll spend privatisation proceeds on irrigation" #voteNZ.
1:46pm: Lloyd Burr tweeted: @LloydBurr
"Labour's David Parker: agreed with Nick Smith on a number of issues but made a main point - farm water runoff needs to be regulated." #votenz
1:40pm: New Zealand Herald columnist Brian Rudman wrote that National is so confident of a win this election that they have already appointed bankers Lazard Pty in Australia as an independent advisor on asset sales. Full story here.
1:34pm: Tim Watkin of blogger site Pundit will be hosting an Epsom candidate's debate at Somervell Presbyterian on the corner of Remuera Rd and Greenlane East tonight from 7.30pm. All the candidates will be there and taking questions from the floor.
1:31pm: Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater has written regarding the marginal Labour seats in Rimutaka. "The margin in 2008 was just 753. A 27% gap means Labour are in big trouble in Rimutaka. Chris Hipkins has not done a lot wrong except be a Labour Party MP and not rolling Goff when sage political judges were saying he would tank Labours vote."
1:26pm: Labour have released quotes on economic recovery here. David Farrar of Kiwiblog has written "They spent two years demanding the Government spend more money because they kept themselves proclaiming how strong the recovery was, and in fact their finance spokesperson even accused the Government of talking the recovery down."
1:24pm: The Green's copyright and satire bill is now available online. See here for the details.
1:20pm: Political satire site The Pigeon posted a (not to be taken seriously) story that begins "John Key's latest faux pas, an infant-murdering spree in central Auckland, has done little to shake National's firm grip on the upcoming election." This story is just to emphasise how strong John Key's position in the polls is at present.
12:27pm: Trevor Mallard in NZherald.co.nz live chat: "Youth unemployment is costing us $900m a year and Labour is prepared to invest up front to save those kids and the country."
12:20pm: According to Radio New Zealand Midday Report, National released their climate change policy, which will slowdown the implementation of the emissions trading scheme for some sectors. Full report on the National Party site here.
12:16pm: 3news.co.nz reported Winston Peters was accused of using a Victoria University student's poster design without permission for the New Zealand First campaign. Peters campaign manager Josh Van Veen and Wellington NZ First candidate Ben Craven have since contacted the student and promised to pay.
12:06pm: The Labour Party's health policy is now online. See here for details.
11:51am: Labour's sport and recreation minister Trevor Mallard is live chatting on nzherald.co.nz now.
11:47am: The New Zealand Nurses Organisation welcomed the release of Labour's health policy today. "Focussing on prevention and community health, for example with the alcohol and oral health initiatives, is a great first step to making sure New Zealanders get the health interventions they need, when they need them," says NZNO president, Nano Tunnicliff.
11:31am: TVNZ news report the Greens have accused Labour of "copycat politics". Green co-leader Metiria Turei said that Labour keep "nicking" policies from the Greens and said it is the Greens that will keep the Labour Party honest. Full story here.
11:20am: nzherald tweeted:
#LiveChatAlert: Labour's Trevor Mallard will be joining us for a live chat from 11.45am: #VoteNZ
11:14am: Pundit blogger Morgan Godfery wrote the "battle for Tamaki Makuarau is on" and Labour MP Shane Jones will find it "tough to topple" Maori Party MP Pita Sharples. If Shane Jones loses this seat, a loss will spell the end of his career.
11:10am: The National Business Review reported that advanced polling begins today for those who can't make it to a regular polling booth of election day.
11:04am Blogger Cactus Kate reviewed ACT MP Epsom candidate John Banks appearance on Campbell Live last night. She said he produced "an absolute media masterclass under a huge amount of pressure in staying on message, owning the angle and telling the story.
10:56am: The Maori Party has released a press release that says attack politics have had their day. Maori Party Tauranga candidate Awanui Black said Maori activist Annette Sykes has been using character assassination to "lead our people astray". Black claimed Sykes has tried to pin asset sales on the Maori Party which is wrong, as Maori do not support asset sales.
10:50am: David Farrar on Kiwiblog wrote that Phil Goff has attacked John Key again, this time in comparison to American president Barack Obama. As reported on 3news.co.nz "Labour leader Phil Goff says United States President Barack Obama is a great leader whereas Prime Minister John Key is a poor leader despite both nations having high unemployment and receiving credit downgrades since both leaders took office."
Farrar responded with: "But let us also look at how Americans actually rate Obama and Kiwis rate John Key. Barack Obama's net approval rating is -9%. John Key's net approval rating is +53%. Note this is not a favourability rating asking do you like them. This is asking if people approve of the job they are doing." See here.
10:44am: The New Zealand Listener wrote "Labour's eat-the-rich mantra, and National's "muddling through" approach suggested this would be a line-of-least-resistance campaign all round. Now it's clear that even if the poll gap between Labour and National doesn't close up enough to make it a real race, this campaign is going to be a permanent game-changer."
10:40am: New Zealand Listener tweeted:
"The election campaign has gone off its medication in a most welcome fashion, says Jane Clifton."
10:30am: New Zealand Herald chief political commentator John Armstrong wrote Goff needs to take the fight to Key because Key does not need to bring it to him. Labour needs to dent Key's credibility and so far have only been embarrassed by Goff's antics. Full story here.
10:19am: New Zealand First announced in a press release that it will "press for rates relief to be extended to retirement villages and continue pushing for health insurance to be deductable for SuperGold card holders".
10:10am: The Standard reports that "National's policy is all about trying to drive people off welfare, all about trying to stamp out the bludgers. For that reason it is punitive and damaging to the majority of genuine welfare recipients."
9:57am: Cunliffe said: "This election is a clear choice for New Zealanders." Labour has a long term plan to a better future. That means moving some savings into investment to provide for the reduction of debt and this is supported by Labour's monetary policy.
English said: "Well, National's built a track record of sensible and balanced decisions under John Key's leadership, through some pretty tough times. We've protected families, we've supported the economy to keep the jobs going for families and we have the opportunity now to build on the economic growth that's gradually coming to NZ."
9:51am: Cunliffe said: "Labour is the foundation upon which the next government will be built." He also said the Greens are a viable alternative to the centre left for Labour.
9:49am: Michael Laws on Radio Live asked Cunliffe about the Fairfax poll. Cunliffe replied that the Fairfax poll doesn't matter. He believes Labour will beat the polls by a long margin.
9:47am: Metiria Turei has tweeted:
@metiria Excellent great the Dunedin police respect peaceful protest RT @3Politics Police won't remove Occupy Dunedin protestors
9:44am: Cunliffe and English debated mineral mining. English said National will not be held to ransom by the Green Party.
9:27am: Bill English countered: We need to grind down the costs for businesses with better regulation and controls to help make them more competitive. We are cutting ACC levies as we are running it much better now. Incomes of NZ depend on our ability to earn money overseas.
9:25am: It's our private debt that is the problem, said Cunliffe. Our models should be agricultural countries like Denmark and Finland who have developed successful economies. "We need monetary reform so we don't have an exchange rate that bounces around like a yo yo."
9:22am: Bill English said "This is a world where less debt is better. This is why we have set a challenging path to get back to surplus. Secondly we need to diversify our exports."
9:20am: On Radio Live: David Cunliffe said Labour's plan is to address the issues that are holding New Zealand's economy back. We don't save enough. We don't export enough so we have a huge economic debt.
9:17am: On Radio Live: Bill English said Labour's policy is just about giving more cash to beneficiaries which will will just trap them on the benefit. Cunliffe said the government has just been giving excuses. He adds "It can't be the fault of the parents of New Zealand's poorest children." He also said there are just not enough jobs.
9:14am: Michael Laws interviewed Labour MP David Cunliffe and National finance minister Bill English on Radio Live. LIsten to it live here. Cunliffe is about child poverty and said: "It's pretty damn hard to feed a family if you're earning half the medium wage."
9:10am: Andrew Geddis, Pundit site blogger wrote that National's 'tougher on crime' stance is a "breach of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, s.26 right to be free from retroactive penalties and double jeopardy. "
9:07am: NZ Herald tweeted @nzherald
A survey indicates Labour is winning the fight for the youth vote. #VoteNZ
9:02am: The Greens are polling strongly, now at 12.6 % reports Radio Live.
8:54am: TVNZ political reporter Jessica Mutch tweeted @MutchJessica
At the Aquaculture Industry Conference in Nelson covering John Key #votenz
8:50am: Green party co-leader Metiria Turei has appeared on TVNZ's Breakfast programme to discuss the concept of a "teal deal' between Green and National. She also discussed Green party initiative "Hey Kiwi" which is a site designed to encourage young people to vote by using the promise of free music downloads.
8:45am: Radio New Zealand news reported that the Green, New Zealand First and Mana parties want to abolish education National Standards. Labour wants them to be voluntary and United Future wants to change them. As they are supported by the National party, this is believed to be a weak point for National's policy.
8:37am: TVNZ speculates whether this is the "Calm before the storm" for Labour which has steadily lost support in the polls. It reports "unbridled power for one party has always been considered an unlikely outcome," but right now it is the Greens who may be the last party standing to "hoover up the protest vote."
8:24am: New Zealand Herald political reporter Claire Trevett and political editor Audrey Young wrote that National hit back at Goff's "top ten vital statistics" released yesterday on National's failures of government. Prime Minister John Key has refuted Goff's claims and called them "rubbish". See here for the full story.
8:13am: Grant Robertson, Labour spokesperson told Morning Report that Labour wants district health boards to be "more transparent". He also said dental care is an important health issue because "for many New Zealanders dental care is unaffordable". In response to comment about Labour's descent in the polls, Robertson said: "There's only one poll that counts."
8:08am: Political commentator David Farrar's Kiwiblog questioned Labour's ability to win the seats it needs to take office. Labour has dropped 5.4% since the last poll taking it halfway to the 21% National got in 2002. See here for full details.
8:00am: On the Radio New Zealand's Morning Report, Labour's policy regarding alcohol reforms was announced. Labour wants to take a tougher stance on alcohol with restricted availability and marketing. They also want to lower the alcohol tolerance levels for drink-driving offences.
7:56am: Radio New Zealand reported National is still well ahead according to the latest Fairfax opinion poll, with support for the party at 52.5%.
7:53am: Labour's Grant Robertson told Radio New Zealand news they will increase funding for the health system but won't put a figure on how much. Mr Robertson said the government has underfunded health by $275 million over the past three years. The policy will include ways to fight obesity and implement cheaper dental care.