As it happened: 1 NEWS' multi-party leaders debate in Auckland

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8.03 The leaders predictions on the election: Light thinks Labour. Fox says "there's mood for change but it's very very tight", unclear who she predicts. Seymour says the only Government will be a National ACT coalition. Shaw says "at this point it's pretty clear there's going to be a Labour Greens coalition government, that doesn't rely on Winston Peters." This excites Shaw he adds to end the debate.

8.00 Shaw says he could never form a Greens National coalition. Saying he wants to form a coalition with the Labour Party.

7.59 Light says he doesn't trust Winston. Fox says the change of Labour leader doesn't really make it easier to form a coalition with them, adding "will Kelvin Davis be there after the election, that's a genuine question".

7.57 Seymour says if Winston thinks "he's above being here" to debate in front of the people of NZ, he doesn't deserve to be in parliament. Shaw adds Winston is a "bad date, he's stood us up tonight, is he going to stand up the Labour Party". The statement gets a round of applause from the audience. Light won't join in on the Winston bashing saying "it would take all night". 

7.52 Could the Greens support a Labour NZ First Gov if they needed the Greens supply to let them govern, "could you give it James Shaw?" Shaw says they could but you can't leave it up to chance because Winston will not let on which way he is going to go. Shaw says he trusts Jacinda, but suggests he does not Winston. But Shaw will not rule out working with a Labour NZ First Gov. Seymour says he could not support a Labour Gov, but he won't join National necessarily. 

7.50 Fox is asked if she could support a National, NZ First, ACT Government. She says "I hope we never have to". She adds it's the NZ First component of that coalition "that we might have some issue with, around entrenching the Maori seats". 

7.49 Fox says teaching Te Reo in schools is about "building a nation that is united around culture". Most eloquent thing said tonight by far. 

7.47 Light says we should be looking at Te Reo Maori, but also sign language. Corin suggests this isn't realistic, that there won't be enough teachers.

7.44 James Shaw is against national standards in school saying the whole teaching profession is against them. Shaw says people are "teaching to the test rather than getting a good all round education". Shaw says national standards do not teach for creativity. Seymour says national standards have a "lot of short comings" and "fail to reward kids who are a long way ahead" but says in general he is in favour of them because there is no other realistic alternative.

7.42 Fox loves national standards in education, saying it enables you to see the disparity within a school between Maori students versus non Maori, and if there's an issue it's not about "whipping the school it’s about asking how can we help you?"

7.39 Light says he thinks it's fair enough if there is a tax on industry for water use because they are the one who have been polluting the rivers, but we need to "start moving away from an agricultural society," citing the NZ gaming industry, and how it could grow the economy in the coming years. Original thought to say the least. 

7.36 Do you think the free market has worked with water? Have farmers polluted our water? Seymour says "we haven't had a free market with water, the council tell you how much you can take". Fox agrees; "that's right" she says.

7.35 What pays for our lifestyles in the cities? It's the rural sector? Corin asks. Shaw says the Greens "are not trying to punish" our rural sector saying there are amazing innovations that allow our farmers to make more money off their land than were previously from "lower impact" forms of farming.

7.32 Fox says the Crown does not own our water but Maori have rights when it comes to water. "We need to recognise those rights under the Treaty of Waitangi", Fox says.

7.30 Seymour says the Greens policy would bankrupt our farmers. Seymour says there should be property rights for farmers instead of taxing water.

7.27 Does Labour's policy on a water tax go far enough? Shaw says "If we want to stop polluting our rivers, we should just stop polluting our rivers" Shaw says the Greens want to put a levy on the pollution itself and then use that money to transition farmers into more environmental sound farming.

Marama Fox says despite there being senior Maori MPs in Labour, they are needed as an independent voice. Source: 1 NEWS

7.24 Break again. Next up: does anyone own our water?

 7.22 Fox says we had better not "throw out the baby out with the bathwater" in the intensification of property across Auckland and city centres, adding the environment could be destroyed through the intensification process.

7.20 Damian Light says United Future doesn't have a definite bottom line at the moment.

7.18 Seymour says payment for teachers should be based on "who is putting in the effort" signalling teachers should be paid individually on merit - not at a uniform rate.

7.15 We're back, Corin wants to talk about bottom lines. What is the one thing you will push the hardest for in negotiations? James Shaw says, climate change, clean up all of our rivers, and child poverty. Shaw says we want to pass the zero carbon act in the first 100 days a Greens coalition Government. Shaw says he would like 20 per cent of new vehicles to be electric. Shaw assures farmers he "will not make them broke".

7.10 Short break. Corin says next up they will discuss what will the Green's want in any potential Labour/Greens coalition.

7.06 Damian Light is here on behalf of the United Future party because they still have a house in parliament. What do they represent? "We need to look into the future" says Light, and denies that Peter Dunn was the entire United Future party. Light implies he could take off like Jacinda did, to some amusement from the crowd. "We will make 5 per cent because we have to," Light says of United Future.

7.04 Seymour says he needs 30,000 to get a second ACT seat in parliament, signalling his optimism for the election. Fox says the Maori party definitely has a place in either a red orblue Government. Fox agrees the Maori party is the "king maker" and the election will come down to 3 or so seats.

7.01 Corin starts out asking the leaders if this election has become a two horse race.

6.55pm: 1 NEWS Political Editor Corin Dann will moderate tonight's live 60 minute debate, which will feature leaders from:

Green Party leader James Shaw.

ACT leader David Seymour.

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox.

United Future's new leader Damian Light, who has just replaced Peter Dunne.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters announced last night he would not be taking part in the debate.

Tonight's debate follows last night's 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll, showing both Labour and National would need help from all of the minor parties in order to govern.

Dann is filling in as host and moderator for a sick Mike Hosking.

TVNZ's Head of News and Current Affairs John Gillespie said Dann is the ideal person to replace him, having been on the campaign trail talking to all the party leaders for the past several weeks.

"He's energised to be stepping up for our Multi Party debate. He's hosted a number of debates on Q + A and is absolutely plugged into this Election. We're looking forward to bringing viewers a robust and informative debate," Gillespie said.

With a little over two weeks until polling day, Gillespie says there's high viewer engagement in political coverage.

Source: 1 NEWS



Question Time live: Simon Bridges to press Jacinda Ardern, after Government announces increase to refugee quota

Tune in live as National look to heap more pressure on the Government over the chief technology officer role. Source: 1 NEWS

Winston Peters explains party's support for raising refugee quota

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says NZ First shared the Labour Party's "aspiration" to increase the refugee quota, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced it will be raised to 1500 today.

The NZ First Party leader's position was in stark contrast to comments made at the start of the month at the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru.

"We never made a commitment to double the refugee quota," Mr Peters told media at the time.

The Deputy PM went on to argue there were other priorities for the Government.

"We've got 50,000 people who are homeless back home, and I can show you parts of the Hokianga and elsewhere, parts of Northland, with people living in degradation.

"We have to fix their lives up as well before we start taking on new obligations of the level that some people would like."

However, while standing next to Ms Ardern during the announcement today he took a much softer line on the refugee issue.

"This is about people not about politics and controversy, the fact is it was put to me in Nauru that the 1500 figure was already there, which it wasn't.

"The Labour Party policy I knew was an aspiration towards that, so was New Zealand First's an aspiration towards that, and I knew the Greens had a higher target," Mr Peters said.

"All I did was put out the plain facts and to say that it was a work in progress and I'm not surprised with the speed at which the progress has taken place.

"This was always on the cards that we'd get it done when we had all the background work done on refugee centres and a host of other things," he continued.

PM Jacinda Ardern made the announcement today. Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealand's refugee quota was previously 1000, after being increased by the National-led Government from 750 in 2016.

The new quota will take effect from July 2020. 

Major points

- There will be six new settlement locations, on top of re-establishing Christchurch as a settlement location.

- Expanding the public housing supply for 150 extra refugee families is expected to cost $32.5 million over three years.

- Budget 2018 included money to build new accommodation blocks at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre  

The NZ First leader said the increase was “always on the cards”. Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

New Zealand's refugee quota jumps to 1500 per year from July 2020, Government announces

New Zealand’s refugee quota will be raised to 1500, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. 

It was previously 1000, after being increased by the National-led Government from 750 in 2016.

"It is the right thing to do," said Ms Ardern. 

"It puts New Zealand much more in line with the humanitarian policies of other developed countries."

Deputy PM Winston Peters said the increase was "about people, not about politics and controversy". 

The NZ First leader said the increase was “always on the cards”. Source: 1 NEWS

The new quota will take effect from July 2020. 

Major points

- There will be six new settlement locations, on top of re-establishing Christchurch as a settlement location.

- Expanding the public housing supply for 150 extra refugee families is expected to cost $32.5 million over three years. 

- Budget 2018 included money to build new accommodation blocks at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre 

ONN 1 News at 6 promo image
For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

Background

Yesterday, Ms Ardern told media she wanted to see the current quota increased but a sticking point has been the vastly different policy positions of Labour's Government partners. 

Labour pledged to raise the quota to 1500 and the Green Party aimed for a quota of 5000.

Earlier this month NZ First's Winston Peters told media in Nauru that the focus needed to be on New Zealanders struggling at home.

"We have 50,000 people who are homeless back home and I can show you parts of Northland where people are living in degradation," Mr Peters said, while being questioned at the Pacific Islands' Forum.

National's Simon Bridges said yesterday if the refugee quota was lower than 1500 it would be a demonstration of "Winston Peters undermining the Prime Minister".

"If you look at the Prime Minister's rhetoric she's made great play about being a globalist, a progressive with soaring rhetoric on these issues.

"It's all very well to do the photo ops, the international pieces, but when you've got important questions like this back home that... [are] now are up in the air because of a lack of unanimity and cohesion."

PM Jacinda Ardern made the announcement today. Source: 1 NEWS


Don Brash says Massey's Vice Chancellor should consider resigning after email dump

Former National Party leader Don Brash is calling for Massey University's vice-chancellor to consider her position, saying it's "almost untenable".

The university prevented Dr Brash from speaking at its Manawatū campus last month.

He was due to give a speech about his time in politics, but vice-chancellor Jan Thomas cancelled the talk for security reasons.

The university had cited a Facebook post on 3 August that linked to the event page and included the comment "take a gun".

Documents obtained under the Official Information Act contain correspondence to and from Ms Thomas in the run-up to the cancellation.

In one email, on 9 July, the vice-chancellor said she did not want a "te tiriti led university to be seen to be endorsing racist behaviours".

On 10 July, Ms Thomas emailed to say she would like to know the options for banning the politics club from holding events on campus.

She said the "racist behaviour of Dr Brash - given te reo is an official language of NZ and we are a tiriti-led university - can't be ignored".

Speaking from China, Dr Brash said he considered Ms Thomas' position almost untenable and told RNZ that he believes she was "totally misleading".

"Quite frankly, I don't know if she can stay in her position."

Dr Brash has previously said he believed it was his views, rather than safety concerns, that led to him being banned from the publicly-funded university.

The documents also contain many emails sent to the university objecting to its cancellation decision.

- By Amy Williams

rnz.co.nz

Massey University vice-chancellor Jan Thomas and Don Brash Source: rnz.co.nz