Cunliffe fails to win TV3 leaders debate; stumbles with accusation on National tax cut plan; Winston edging closer to National

Cunliffe fails to win TV3 leaders debate; stumbles with accusation on National tax cut plan; Winston edging closer to National

By Bernard Hickey

With 9 days to go until the September 20 election, here's my daily round-up of political news on Thursday September 10, including the latest from TVNZ's Colmar Brunton poll and the verdicts of the TV3 Leaders' debate.

TVNZ published its now-weekly Colmar Brunton poll result showing National down 4% to 46% in a poll of 1,001 voters from September 6 to 10. Labour fell 1% to a record-low 25% and Green rose 1% to a record-high 14% in this poll.

New Zealand First was unchaged at 7%, while Conservative rose 1% to 4%. Internet Mana fell 1% to 1% and Maori rose 1% to 1%. ACT also rose 1% to 1%, although the margin of error on the poll was 3.1% at the 95th percentile. The poll found 12% of eligible voters were undecided, up from 7% the previous week.

If this poll result was repeated on election night, National would need the support of ACT, United Future and Maori to only just retain power. In theory, Labour/Green/New Zealand First could just win power if it was able to count on the support of Maori and Internet Mana.

Last night's TV3 Leaders debate was one of David Cunliffe's last chances to score a win over John Key and peg back National's 25 point lead in the polls.

Cunliffe put up another more combative performance, but failed to clearly beat Key, according to most of the verdicts.

The Labour leader tried to reverse Key's 'gotcha' moment from The Press leaders debate last week by saying Key had incorrectly inflated his own tax cuts. Key said earlier this week the tax cuts would deliver families up to NZ$1,500 per year. Cunliffe said in the debate this would cost NZ$3.4 billion, not the NZ$1.5 billion claimed by National.

But after the debate Cunliffe backtracked, saying he had got his claim wrong and the tax cuts were going to cost NZ$2.4 billion, not the NZ$3.4 billion he said in the debate.

"I meant NZ$2.4 billion," he told reporters afterwards.

Fairfax's Tracy Watkins wrote Key had probably won because he had delivered the line that was most likely to stick: that Labour's Capital Gains Tax was a dog.

In the New Zealand Herald , Fran O'Sullivan and Audrey Youngdeclared Cunliffe the winner, arguing Key's line about New Zealand being "on the cusp of something special", instead "sounds like empty claptrap.John Armstrong wrote Key was rock solid and won, while Toby Manhire viewed it as a draw.

KiwiSaver option

Russel Norman formally announced a Green Government would offer a publicly-run KiwiSaver option to reduce management fees.

"The fund can be managed by the Guardians of the $26 billion New Zealand Superannuation Fund while Kiwibank or the Inland Revenue Department can provide the front-end management of individual KiwiSaver accounts," Norman said.

Kingmaker not so Royal

Winston Peters told Kathryn Ryan on Radio NZ's Nine to Noonprogramme yesterday that he was now happy with the more limited inquiry set up by John Key into Judith Collins and Cameron Slater, appearing to backtrack on his calls last week for a full Royal Commission.

The comments suggest Peters is already shifting into post-election negotiating mode, given polls appear to show him assured of getting over the 5% threshold.

Conservative near 5%

TV3's Reid Research poll published last night showed National solid and Labour failing to make much ground. Conservative, meanwhile, was close to the 5% threshold.

Support for National rose 0.3% to 46.7%, while Labour rose 0.2% to 26.1% and Green rose 0.4% to 13%. Conservative was up 0.5% to 4.7% and New Zealand First rose 0.1% to 5.9%. InternetMana was unchanged at 1.7%, while Maori was down 0.7% at 1.3%, ACT was down 0.3% at 0.3% and United Future was unchanged at 0.1%.

The poll taken from September 2 to 8 had a 3.1% margin of error.

Green electric car plan

Meanwhile, Green Co-Leader Russel Norman and Energy Spokesman Gareth Hughes released the Party's Energy policy, including the reiteration of its target for 100% renewable energy generation by 2030 and reducing household power bills by NZ$300/year per year through launching New Zealand Power.

A Green Government spending NZ$10 million to roll out electric car refuelling stations and NZ$10 million on cash-back payments to electric car buyers at a rate of NZ$1,000 each to the first 10,000 buyers of new electric cars.

A Green Government would also replace the Crown limousine fleet with electric cars.

(Updated with Green energy policy)

See all my previous election diaries here.

See the index for Interest.co.nz's special election policy comparison pages here.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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Updated with Green energy policy.
Green Co-Leader Russel Norman and Energy Spokesman Gareth Hughes released the Party's Energy policy, including the reiteration of its target for 100% renewable energy generation by 2030 and reducing household power bills by NZ$300/year per year through launching New Zealand Power.
A Green Government spending NZ$10 million to roll out electric car refuelling stations and NZ$10 million on cash-back payments to electric car buyers at a rate of NZ$1,000 each to the first 10,000 buyers of new electric cars.
A Green Government would also replace the Crown limousine fleet with electric cars.

... if the Green's were in government , they could bring their own cars to Wellington , and have them converted to electric power ....
 
Mind you , the Trabants were heavy and clunky enough as original , let alone with the addition of 50 re-chargeable batteries in the boot ....

I've got a relative in the US who got an even bigger incentive than that from the government when he purchased his plug in. He's an electrical engineer working for a consultancy firm which designs networks.
 
His employer had a plug-in station in the building garage and his co-workers started asking management whether he had to pay for the re-charges he was getting. Answer was - not up until that time anyway. So management decided that he needed to keep a log of his 'fill ups' - and provide them with a form regarding his useage prepared monthly, along with a cheque to reimburse them. He figured out that the half hour it took him to fill in the form cost more than the amount of the electricity he was reimbursing them for :-).

You talking about those all day ........ suckers

... nip across to the ODT ( Otago Daily Times ) ... they had actual pictures of the Gummies standing tall and proud ...
 
Curious to know if it's only women who eat them .... bloody well hope so !!!!!

Trabants are 600kg, that is 'heavy'?
What do you drive, Del BOys old 480kg Reliant Robin? http://www.carfolio.com/specifications/models/car/?car=226149

I hope the Conservatives get their 5% , we need some new faces with new ideas instead of the past -the -sell-by date of the rest of the miinor parties leadership

If you want new ideas never look to a right of centre voice.
They are all just concerned with obtaining and holding on to power. That is the only reason Key appears to offer leftist tidbits. Pragmatism at its seamiest.
Even if Craig comes up with a wish it will all depend on whether the Nats think there is something in it for them. Thus the Craig referendum wish has already been squashed.

Labour however are no better.
"leftist tidbits." agree but if ppl cant see what the Hagar book is showing them of the inside of National, I suppose they/we get what they/we deserve.
 
regards

You should maybe look at crazy colin's policies. New they are not, fundie christian view they still are at heart.  If you can find the detail of them of course, nicely vague with wording that can go either way, or be mis-interprted , or contradictory or simplistic, good luck.
eg
"A belief that the natural environment and resources of New Zealand should be used responsibly ensuring that future generations inherit an environment that is clean and safe"
so is that "Im" for stopping climate change? or not?
reading deeper, not, hence "clean and safe" is not fullfilled.
regards
 
 
 
 
 

A couple of policy changes that David Cunliffee mentioned that I hadn't heard before were:
- scrapping secondary tax
- upping the benefit abatement threshold from (present) $80.00 to (new) $150.00
 
In addition to raising the minimum wage these are really good incentives in terms of boosting employment, particularly for those thinking of returning to work part time, and/or taking on a second source of income. 

kate   he is not scrapping secondary tax - simply reducing the initial tax to the basic rate - meaning no need to claim a refund and about 8% of the secondary income reaching the pay packet direct -    not sure tat will be boosting employment much -  although the abatement may help encourage some benificiaries back to work -   only single people asthe WFF rort means that abatement has no value to anyone with children

Minimum wage rises will begin to improve that WFF "rort" (as you refer to it). It is pure and simply a low wage subsidy. 

kate   he is not scrapping secondary tax - simply reducing the initial tax to the basic rate - meaning no need to claim a refund and about 8% of the secondary income reaching the pay packet direct -    not sure tat will be boosting employment much -  although the abatement may help encourage some benificiaries back to work -   only single people asthe WFF rort means that abatement has no value to anyone with children

If mass production of electric cars was economically vialbe  , dont they think it would be going gangbusters ?
Talk about hare-brained
The Greens really do come accross as the lunatic fringe at times , and totally out of touch with reality

Mass production of electric cars is economically viable, but the cost of batteries needs to decrease. It's happening, just as the cost of solar panels has decreased markedly over the last few years. Running costs of electric and hybrids are far lower then petrol or diesel in a daily commuter situation. I think NZ is uniquely suited having a surplus of renewable energy, we just need a few more years for the technology to consolidate. The one thing I wonder about is fast charging; pushing high amps into batteries decrease their life and generate lots of heat. Tesla seemed to have worked this out though.

The battery problem is much tougher to solve.  We haven't come far in batteries in the last century, and the materials for the advances we have had recently are in short supply.
I'm not holding my breath for cheap long range electric cars.  I think there's a good market for ones with cheap small short range batteries that will serve well as a second car that commutes to work and back and doesn't need to get to the beach on the weekend.

The UK has a "Low Pay Commission' to set minimum paay scales. The result is that the issue is taken out of politics and fair rates are set. Surely all parties could sign up to such a scheme here  in the same way that we have interparty agreement on super. 

"in the same way that we have interparty agreement on super."
I can't tell. Is that meant to be ironic?

Boatman, haven't you heard of Tesla?
I think the Nasties, I mean National supporters, are the ones that are out of touch.

Tesla is a microscopic niche manufacturer of very expensive status symbols. They are very far from anything that could be called mass production. New Zealand imports more cars than Tesla makes. Can't Greenies use google?

What was remarkable was that Ford grasped the implications of a horseless carriage and had the vision, perseverance, and ability to make cars for the multitude of Americans. Many experts scoffed at the car. Woodrow Wilson called it the “new symbol of wealth’s arrogance.” But Ford dreamed of improving its quality, cutting its price, and selling millions of them to average Americans all over the country
A bit of a counter to your view of tesla don't you think?
http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/henry-ford-and-the-triumph-of-the-auto-industry
 

Rastus, I am a fan of TSLA and believe electric is the future of transport. However, Tesla intends to be Rolls Royce, not Ford. The critical mass for electric cars is still 20 years away. Holding Tesla as an example of mass production of EV's is ludicrious.

Agreed.  And  I don't buy into what the Green are doing re power policy.  Far better to leave the market alone, keep the revenue from the govt shareholding  and use it to reduce demand via more efficent use (be it home insulation or whatever).  Lowing the price increases consumption, makes efficency/solar programes less cost effective.  Nuts and contradictory.
Far be it me to comment of tesla's strategy.. us mere observers can only speculate.
 

Trouble is Rastus, is we don't have an electricity market.  It has been left alone and developed into a crony monopoly setup.  They dictate - we pay.   The companies collude, but thats more sophisticated than a smoke filled room.  They can collude without even communicating with each other.
To get a real market we need a very strong referee.  We don't have such. 

Did i miss Rolls Royces announcing a forthcoming model selling for 35k?  Surely they'd put a BMW or Mini badge on that.
 
http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/02/the-mass-market-tesla-e-will-have-a-200...
 
Whether Tesla acutally deliver is another matter.

Well worth reading even though it does contain a couple of errors e.g. government has a surplus.