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Winston Peters Comes Up With Startling Solution

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Winston Peters has come up with a startling solution to high interest rates and the huge profits reaped by the country's foreign-owned banks.

He wants Kiwibank to handle all the Government's $55 billion a year business and to operate as a stand-alone commercial bank with shares that can only be held by New Zealanders.

The New Zealand First leader produced this most innovative of election campaign policies last night in a speech to a public meeting in Tauranga.

He said Australian-owned New Zealand banks made more than $4 billion a year in profits, and all of it went across the Tasman.

Along with it was the profit that came from the Government doing all its business through one of the Australian-owned banks.

"Put all the Government's $55 billion worth of business through Kiwibank, ensuring all the profits stay here in New Zealand and forcing interest rates down," he said.

It isn't a sure thing that Mr Peters or NZ First will be back in Parliament after the election, but the Greens seem sure to be and yesterday they decided to support Labour.

It wasn't a surprise, and co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said while Labour's environmental record was bad National's was much worse.

If the Greens win eight seats, which current polling suggests, they will be a big help to Labour if it gets into a contest with National to put together a governing majority after the election.

In other campaign developments:

* National's leader, John Key, said greater urgency was needed to put in place a government guarantee scheme for money foreign banks lend to New Zealand banks.

"I think you will find unless they have some fairly immediate confidence that this is going to be resolved, they will have no option but to slow down their lending," he said.

* The Government announced an extra $13 million for the aged care sector, just hours after National said it would put in $23 million;

* National announced it would boost police numbers, but only by about 220. It also promised there would be 300 more front line police put into south Auckland, which Police Minister Annette King said would mean raiding other police districts;

* Labour leader Helen Clark said she didn't believe a poll which showed National holding a 14 point lead, she thinks it's more like six points;

* ACT candidate Sir Roger Douglas said the policies of the two main parties would drive New Zealand into a the worst recession since the 1930s depression.

"The country will drive itself off the economic cliff at 100 kilometres per hour."

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