Queen Maker Stands On Centre Ground - The man who maybe the Queen Maker in this year’s election is firmly stamping his mark on the middle ground. Recent polls have indicated New Zealand First may once again hold the balance of power on November 27 when the country goes to the polls. New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is drawing a sharp distinction between his party and that of the other third parties, ACT and the Alliance, which he says have extreme political agendas. He says they abandon common sense and that a lot of New Zealanders do not want that.
ACT Attacks Peters’ Former Treasury Role - Meanwhile ACT says last week’s poor economic figures do not necessarily reflect badly on the Government, but on Winston Peters. Both Labour and the Alliance say National has lost any hope it had of holding on to power. The Current Account and GDP figures last week showed a larger than expected deficit and a shrinking economy. But ACT leader Richard Prebble says this just shows what an impact Winston Peters had on the economy. When Mr Peters took over, Mr Prebble says, New Zealand had a growing economy and unemployment was under six percent, and we had a credit upgrade. In 18 months we saw increases in unemployment to 7.5 percent we’ve had a credit downgrade, a recession.
PM My Fly To Timor - Prime Minister Jenny Shipley may fly to East Timor to visit New Zealand troops before the election on November 27. Helen Clark says if Mrs Shipley does go to East Timor it will merely be grandstanding. Jenny Shipley told Larry Williams she hasn’t decided yet whether she will go or not. However, she says she is flying to Palau to the South Pacific leader’s conference.