Labour says its education policy - and in particular the move to boost student allowances by $50 - is not a cynical move to grab votes. It's a well-thought through policy, it argues.
Well, is it?
Education is the right of every New Zealander, and we are privileged to be in that situation.
But likewise, studying is not easy.
My student years were among the toughest of my life.
I came through the interest-bearing student loan era, and although my parents are on modest incomes, means-testing meant I received a very small allowance, if at all, from memory.
So I worked three jobs while I studied. I spent Friday nights working in the pub in the Wellington train station - it was called Tracks back then - pouring pints, really badly from memory. And I worked at the National Bank sorting out the filing. And I attempted to write, very badly from memory, stories for the Evening Post sports section that no one else wanted to write, stories about the minor sports. But usually by about Wednesday I was out of cash and I couldn't afford the bus into town to study, so I got up early and walked.
Now, I'm not part of the "in my day" squad who believe that because it was tough for me, it should be tough for everybody, or because I paid interest on my student loan, everybody else should too.
But I am part of the squad that looks at whether this is the best use of money, right now.
And I would argue it's not.
Labour has been quick to point out that its critics will view this cynically. And, well, I can see why.
It's a policy aimed shamelessly at snatching votes. You've snared the student vote in one fell swoop.
It's straight out of Helen Clark's book on how you win an election. Her last minute decision in 2005 to make student-loans interest free was a masterstroke - it secured her a third term. But it saddled the country with an enormous debt that now sits at more then $14 billion. It wasn't a policy that was thought through. It wasn't costed. And the economic burden to the country is huge.
The idea was that it would make education more accessible, but a report by the New Zealand Initiative says the policy has been incredibly expensive and there are no substantial benefits: a foolish policy and at great cost the country.
Yes, I'm all about investing in the future and improving the life outcomes of younger generations, but where would I spend that money?
On health, and trying to meet the enormous unmet need in elective surgery. Clark abolished waiting lists and hundreds of thousands of Kiwis have lived in pain, and have been denied treatment ever since.
Fix that first.
A political party's voter base should be earned, not bought.