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Molesworth & Featherston (Weekend) – 30 September

Molesworth & Featherston - Weekend Update edition

Business and Political News
30th September 2005

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Government talks
Who can count to 62?

With the result of the special vote count due at 11am Saturday talks between party leaders have stopped (although the behind the scenes horse-trading goes on) and cabinet and the party caucuses are taking a break.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that (ignoring for now any change after special votes) Helen Clark is working towards a Labour-Progressive minority Government (51 seats) supported on confidence and supply by the Green Party (+6 = 57), with New Zealand First either abstaining or coming to the rescue if the going gets tough on confidence motions. The Maori Party may also abstain, leaving 54 votes out against the Government.

With Helen Clark's right-hand woman Heather Simpson conducting a series of bi-lateral negotiations on possible policy outcomes the smaller players are being finessed out of the play.

Each is waiting to see what crumbs fall from the Labour table, and in the interim vetoing each other from a role in cabinet. What they seem to be missing is that the main game is not what Labour is prepared to give them, but is really – from Labour’s point of view – getting into Government.



With specials to be counted, it’s looking likely only Labour and Progressive will be in government. Will the election result mean a change of approach for the big parties?


A new trade deficit sets a record as our overall account with the rest of the world begins to nudge the ‘uh-oh!’ point. [page 3].


There is new leadership on the way at two of the larger trade unions. [Page 4]


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