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Cullen v Key - Round One

Friday, August 19th 2005, 12:43AM

by Philip Macalister

I'd like to give a big bouquet to the FPIA Auckland's branch for organising the first head-to-head debate between Finance Minister Michael Cullen and his opposite number John Key this election.

The two men went up against each other yesterday in a debate in Auckland that was chaired by Craig Stobo.

I reckon there were around 300 people in the room, being a mix of planners and their clients. A damn fine turn out.

In the not-too-distant future one of these two will control the country's purse strings.

So which one should it be?

My observation is that Cullen came out best, as his grasp of the detail and knowledge made Key look like a newcomer to this game - which he is.

Key certainly hit the mark with some of the people I spoke to afterwards, but that is to be expected, as the audience is more likely to vote National, and Key hit on hot buttons throughout his presentation, even if they were of little relevance.

It constantly surprises me how things, which are pretty small in the scheme of government and nearly irrelevant to our day-to-day lives, can be so polarising.

The Nats may rave on about a big spending government which wastes money - I would counter that and say that the current crowd are tight-wads compared to previous Labour administrations. I would wager that there is not, and never will be, any government that can spend every cent of taxpayers' money wisely and prudently. They all waste some of it, whether they are in the red or blue camp.

Cullen also appeared to be back in his full-control mode and was quite relaxed and at times very witty.

One comment which was made by a number of people is that the Nats just don't seem quite ready for the Treasury benches yet.
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Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA 6.35 5.25 5.45 5.99
ANZ 6.34 5.59 6.05 6.29
ANZ Blueprint to Build - - - -
ANZ Special - 4.99 5.45 5.69
ASB Bank 6.35 5.25 5.45 ▼5.69
Avanti Finance 6.65 - - -
Basecorp Finance 7.25 - - -
Bluestone 6.89 - - -
BNZ - Classic - ▼4.95 5.39 ▼5.69
BNZ - Mortgage One 6.39 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 6.39 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 6.39 ▼5.55 5.99 ▼6.29
BNZ - TotalMoney 6.39 - - -
CFML Loans 7.25 - - -
China Construction Bank - 5.35 5.80 5.99
China Construction Bank Special - - - -
Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - ▼4.89 - -
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 6.25 ▼4.99 5.39 5.89
Co-operative Bank - Standard 6.25 ▼5.49 5.89 6.39
Credit Union Auckland 5.95 - - -
First Credit Union Special 5.85 5.35 5.85 -
Heartland Bank - Online 4.60 4.90 5.29 5.39
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Heretaunga Building Society 6.50 5.60 6.00 -
HSBC Premier 6.34 5.09 5.34 5.59
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 6.00 ▼4.79 5.15 ▼5.69
Kainga Ora 5.85 5.31 5.58 5.97
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - - - -
Kiwibank 6.00 5.95 6.45 6.79
Kiwibank - Offset 6.00 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 4.95 5.45 5.89
Liberty 4.84 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Nelson Building Society ▲6.95 5.55 6.15 -
Pepper Money 5.29 - - -
Resimac 5.59 6.54 6.44 6.98
SBS Bank 6.29 ▼5.39 ▼5.79 5.99
SBS Bank Special - ▼4.89 ▼5.29 5.49
Select Home Loans 6.89 - - -
TSB Bank 7.05 ▼5.65 6.09 ▼6.39
TSB Special 6.25 ▼4.85 5.29 ▼5.59
Unity 5.65 4.95 5.55 -
Wairarapa Building Society 6.49 5.55 6.15 -
Westforce credit union - Special - 5.35 5.85 -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Westforce credit union - Standard 5.85 6.05 6.55 -
Westpac 6.39 ▼5.55 6.05 ▼6.29
Westpac - Offset 6.39 - - -
Westpac Special - ▼4.95 5.45 ▼5.69
Median 6.34 5.33 5.79 5.93

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