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Unemployed To Get "Transitional Assistance"

Unemployed To Get "Transitional Assistance" Debt Relief

National leader John Key says the party's assistance package for workers who lose their jobs as a result of the financial crisis would be "transition" funding to help them keep financial commitments.

Speaking today on TVOne's "Agenda" Mr Key said the package would: "Try and help some people who have liabilities and commitments, who have lost their job and who we're confident will get back into the labour market over time, so to give them a bit of transition support."

Asked by interviewer Guyon Espiner whether the package would be in the form of loans or actual cash assistance Mr Key said it could include both.

"There may be a combination of types of things in that area, so it's specific and it'll be people who can't meet their liability, who would otherwise potentially default for instance on a loan they might have, or their mortgage is an example."

Mr Key wouldn't give detail on the cost of such a package but said it was affordable and essential that it go ahead.

"We're confident we can fund it, we're confident we have a sense at least of the numbers but it's going to be very important I think to put some confidence into those New Zealanders."

Mr Key said the party would give more detail of the imitative by next weekend.


National leader John Key has revealed he intends to take charge of the tourism portfolio if National wins the election.

Speaking today on TVOne's "Agenda" Mr Key said: "I have got an intention to take a portfolio, my interest would be to consider taking the tourism portfolio."

Mr Key said wants to take the tourism portfolio because of its "huge" potential.

"I think it's a massive industry for New Zealand where we can do an awful lot better, it's potentially our largest export earner."


Maori Party president Whatarangi Winiata says the party wants to talk about more than policies when it negotiates with other political parties after the election.

Speaking today on TVOne's "Agenda" Professor Winiata said the party's propriety was to give effect to the Treaty of Waitangi and its concepts of partnership.

"I don't expect that the discussions will start with a bottom line, that's where they might finish, but they must start with an understanding of the relationship between the rest of the house and the Te Rangi Maori house in Parliament."

Professor Winiata said: "We have not achieved that, we do not have a set of arrangements to achieve that and I think that the Maori Party can be instrumental in moving the nation in that direction."

And he said there was a need to reconcile the Pakeha version of the Treaty's concept of "kawanatanga" (governorship) and with the Maori version's concept of "tino rangitiratanga" (chieftainship).

Professor Winiata pointed to the Anglican Church as a model for the kind of partnership and structure the Maori Party would like to see in Parliament.


National leader John Key says he won't have Act candidate and former Labour Finance Minister Roger Douglas in his Cabinet because of Mr. Douglas's stance on "Working for Families."

Speaking today on TVOne's "Agenda" he said: "It's the excesses of what he's proposing. I mean Roger Douglas is proposing to cancel Working for Families, we need to understand what that means."

Mr Key also wanted to scrap "Working for Families" in 2006 saying that National MPs would oppose it with every bone in their bodies.

"There are times where the party's been dominated by excesses and I don't believe the National Party's been at its finest when it's been in those excesses," he said.

"I actually think it's been at its finest when it's been the true centre right party. Secondly when it comes to flip flops okay, look sometimes you have to accept when you're in opposition it's your job to fight strongly for something that you don't think is working well, but you also sometimes have to accept that it become embedded in people's lifestyles."

Speaking of Mr Douglas he said: "Roger comes on Roger's terms and Roger's terms are a very austere government."

"Now okay you can have that but you've got to be prepared some fundamental things change.

"I personally think that New Zealanders look at the welfare system and because there's not overt signs of poverty in the same way that there is internationally they feel better about New Zealand. We actually have a huge provision of education and health coming through the state, I actually support the view that there should be choice in the private sector, but again the state is going to be a large provider, I mean you can't have it both ways, you either have a very very low tax regime and a very low engagement of the state in your economy or you have a slightly grey one, I think we've got the balance you know sort of right in New Zealand."


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