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What The Leaders Thought Of Their Debate

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Labour leader Helen Clark and National's John Key talked to reporters after their first head to head debate last night, and this is how they rated it:

Miss Clark: "I enjoyed the debate tonight and I think it was a good, old fashioned debate on the issues.

"I hope that means we've banished any idea this is a bitter kind of election debate. I think people want to hear us up front, straight on what we feel, what our values are, what our policies are, how we see the issues."

Miss Clark wouldn't rate Mr Key's performance.

"I think for the Kiwi public sitting at home watching it -- I'm sure huge numbers were -- I think they would have learnt a lot more about what the two leaders and two parties had to offer."

Mr Key: "I think it was a good opportunity for New Zealanders to compare and contrast, and in the end they'll decide their verdict on it."

And asked about being inexperienced: "Oh look, in the end that's for New Zealanders to decide. But I gave it my best shot and they will have a good sense of where a National government would take New Zealand.

"Hopefully it achieved the objectives that New Zealanders wanted."

And when he was questioned about Labour holding the high ground in the first few days of the campaign:

"In the end it's for New Zealanders and the media to decide that. We've got a really strong programme for taking our economy forward, there were some emergency measures that were required at the weekend and as I've said before, it wasn't possible for us to invoke those without destabilising the banking system.

"But I can promise there's more on the economic front to come. Again, it will be like a whole lot of issues, New Zealanders will get a chance to choose."

And on speaking over a woman: "I just debated with the prime minister and gave it my best. I don't judge people on gender."

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