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Transtasman Political Letter – 18th August 2005

Transtasman Political Letter – 18th August 2005

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..

This issue - 18th August 2005

David Lange’s death overshadowed political events this week in NZ. Family, friends and NZers mourned the passing of perhaps the most charismatic leader NZ has had since Richard John Seddon. Students are left to absorb the lesson of his years as PM: “No Gain Without Pain.”Reminding another generation that those who do not learn from history are forced to re-live it....Voters are in a state of anticipation: will Don Brash play Father Christmas?....And how will Labour respond?

Two Steps Forward for NZ in the US Relationship

NZ relations with the US, currently the subject of domestic election tensions, are taking two (tiny) steps forward: the US has allowed NZ to join a combined military exercise off Singapore, and US Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns will be hosted by PM Helen Clark at a lunch in Auckland on Tuesday, when trade between the two countries will be the key issue.

Nats Gear Up To Deliver Tax Relief

The death of the flawed genius of a politician David Lange, has triggered a flood of memories, as well as some re-writing of history. It has also inevitably had an impact on the election campaign, with the wave of sentiment it evoked working in Labour’s favour, particularly over the anti-nuclear issue.

Can Tax Cuts Swing The Crucial Votes?

Just how many votes are swinging on tax cuts is now the key to the election - and this in turns depends on how much tax relief is offered. The Sunday Star-Times predicts National will put as much as $20 in the weekly pay packets of middle income earners.

Lange’s Foreign Policy Legacy Lingers

David Lange’s passing marks the closure of an extraordinary period in NZ’s foreign policy. His waspish tongue and devastating one-liners entertained NZers as he pursued his goal of a nuclear free NZ. However, in international relations there is little room for levity.


US Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns will visit NZ next week meeting PM Helen Clark and Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton. Talks will focus on exports to the US and WTO trade liberalisation negotiations.


Debates About Debates

MASH once had an episode where Hawkeye threw a wobbly about the Korean War peace talks. The big nanas involved were arguing about the shape of table before they even sat down to negotiate. Shades of the 2005 election campaign.

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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