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Transtasman Political Letter – July 21 Digest

Transtasman Political Letter – July 21 Digest

Transtasman is a subscriber newsletter published weekly and read widely in New Zealand and abroad. The following is a summary of this week's edition. To subscribe and read the full newsletter see..

Labour, worried by the consolidation of National's poll lead, fired a broadside at Brash's credibility, but got one back over "waste" in education

.... The Nats go after the student vote with the next step of their tax relief package. But can there be tax cuts without spending cuts?

.... Sutton signs a trans-pacific trade deal, but is this as good as it gets in freeing up trade?

.... And what about the enigma that is Winston Peters?

....Through the political fog, we offer some answers.

Looking For The Knock-Out Punch

Even though the election date has yet to be named, politicians were circling each other this week, trying to land a knock-out blow. Labour believes it has stabilised the trend which saw it fall behind National in polls, so it took the offensive, targeting National's trustworthiness and credibility.

Parties In Full Campaign Mode

Both Labour and National are in full campaign mode. Labour's well-tried Campaign Committee consists of the PM, Michael Cullen, Steve Maharey, Trevor Mallard, and Pete Hodgson (who doubles as campaign strategist), who have a conference call each morning.

National Bids For The Student Vote

National, recognising it is far behind in the 18-to-24 demographic (it trails Labour 30% to 52 %), has designed an attractive policy plank in its election manifesto to reverse the trend. As part of its tax relief package, it plans to make interest payable on student debt tax deductible.

Sutton's Trade Moves

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton is to name Alistair Polson as NZ's Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, succeeding Graham Fraser, the former Dairy Board Chairman, in the role.


Are there signs of panic in the Beehive as the gap between Labour and National in political polls points to a change of Govt? Well, yes and no.


Poll Positions

One of the polls guaranteed to provoke hand wringing around this time - and we've had this since 1996 - is the one which shows NZers don't understand MMP. Others will no doubt follow, and they will all show the average NZer has a clearer idea about how to find the square root of -1 than they do about how MMP works..

Transtasman is a subscriber newsletter published weekly and read widely in New Zealand and abroad. The above is a summary of this week's edition. To subscribe and read the full newsletter see..

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