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The Men Who Would Be King

The Men Who Would Be King

All three contenders for the Labour leadership will be debating on TV3’s “The Nation” this weekend.

David Cunliffe, Shane Jones and Grant Robertson will join Sean Plunket for the half-hour debate.

Sean is sitting in for Rachel Smalley while she takes a short break.

Topics covered will include their past, their attitudes to current Labour policy as well as how they would see their relationship with support parties like the Greens and NZ First unfold.

All three contenders will be in Wellington on their way to their first debate in front of party members in Levin.

More than the Mad Monk? Who is Tony Abbott?

Across the Tasman there is also an election battle fiercly raging - and it looks likely to instal Tony Abbott as Prime Minister.

New Zealanders may be more familiar with the Liberal leader due to his choice of swimwear – but is there more to Tony Abbott than his budgie-smugglers might suggest? And, if elected, how will he view the Trans-Tasman relationship?

"The Nation" joined the Abbott campaign machine, and spoke to those who have worked with and know Abbott well.

Senior Howard Government Minister, Peter Reith, says if elected Abbott should look to New Zealand economic reform. Former senior Abbott policy advisor, Terry Barnes, says Abbott's love of Rugby, and his Kiwi wife will influential on his outlook.

Editor of The Spectator Australia, Tom Switzer, says Abbott fits comfortably in the centre right of Australian right wing politics - despite some of his social policy leanings. Leanings which Father Frank Brennan believes are influenced by his Jesuit education.

If elected Abbott has said he will be Prime Minister for Indigenous Australia - and Warren Mundine a former Australian Labor Party president will play a big role in advising the Government. Mundine says he will look to the New Zealand model on Aboriginal affairs.

And our Sunday edition - at the new timeslot of 10am - includes the Media Panel with Brian Edwards and this week, ad man David Walden sitting in for Bill Ralston.

As part of "The Nation's" Australia Federal Election coverage Richard Harman spoke to Tony Abbott's Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey, on how a Liberal Government might treat the Trans-Tasman economic relationship. Catch up on it here.

ends

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