The first leaders debate took place on Native Affairs tonight. Key and Goff were interviewed by Julian Wilcox. Key was lacklustre – if New Zealanders were finding it tough to make ends meet it was all down to global circumstance, nothing to do with him. Goff by contrast was impressive – blew that argument apart with the observation that it was the choices Key’s government made inside New Zealand that mattered. Those at the bottom got a pittance from National’s tax cuts, while those at the top did very well. One could see why Key does not like being face to face with an incisive interviewer.
Then it was the turn of the other party leaders – Sharples, Peters, Turei and Harawira. There was a quite a coalescence of views, on Rena and oil exploration, opposition to asset sales, support for jobs and a fresh ideas for a new approach to the economy and the environment, with Sharples the least impressive.
The video is not yet up on the website but will no doubt be so soon. If this first appearance is anything to go by, the debates will be very interesting. We could see the odds shift, just like they did last night.
[Eddie: Video now up at above link]