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Key and super

Tuesday, November 28th 2006, 6:59AM

by Philip Macalister

So John Key and Bill English are the new leaders of the opposition National Party.

While the media are having a little love fest over this latest coup (phrases like 'dream team', dynamic duo') it will be interesting to see the substance of the new leaders.

We know Key is good on finance, but how about all the other things which are necessary to run a country? I've no idea what he stands for and I bet I'm not the only voter in this camp.

But moving on, my focus is on what does it mean for our industry? As we know Key is well-grounded in this area and English has previously been a finance minister.

I suspect we will see the Nats more engaged in superannuation and related issues. One of the ironies of the Brash era was that we never really knew what he stood for in superannuation. And he rarely fronted at industry events. The vague impression was that deep down he would have liked compulsory superannuation and to reduce the state pension, NZ Super, including raising the age of entitlement.

However, we never really knew - partly I suspect as his views would not have won the party a lot of voter support.

What has been impressive about Key is that he has come into this area with a seemingly open mind, has listened and learned and has tempered his own views as he has learnt more about the issues. While Brash was near invisible in an area you would expect him to have a high profile in, Key was highly visible fronting at many conferences and presentations.

In superannuation he has moved gradually from believing New Zealand doesn't have a savings problem through to acknowledging there may be an issue here.

I suspect he was also one who had moderated National's views on both the NZ Superannuation Fund (aka the Cullen Fund) and KiwiSaver.

This demonstrates a degree of pragmatism.

One immediate change is that as leader of the opposition Key will most likely relinquish his place on the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee which is hearing the taxation bill.

I presume English will take his place.

The importance of this is that Key appears to have been quite influential on the committee's thinking and direction.

The other aspect, and one which has been fascinating to observe, is that Key and Labour MP Shane Jones (who chairs the committee) appear to work very well and constructively together. Although they are from opposing political camps they appear to have put their differences aside and worked together.

Will English bring the same knowledge and attitude to the table? Time will tell.

What can we expect from the new leaders? Maybe they will become champions of compulsory super - after all the public seem to like the idea. Maybe Key will look to level the playing field between residential property investment and other investments such as shares and managed funds.

I'm interested in hearing other people's thoughts about what they would like to see Key do in the financial services/savings space.

Email your thoughts to blog@goodreturns.co.nz

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AIA 4.55 ▼2.29 ▼2.59 ▼2.65
ANZ 4.44 2.89 3.25 3.39
ANZ Special - 2.29 2.69 2.79
ASB Bank 4.45 2.29 2.59 2.65
Bluestone 3.49 3.34 2.99 3.34
BNZ - Classic - 2.29 2.59 2.79
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.15 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 4.60 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 4.55 2.89 3.19 3.39
BNZ - TotalMoney 4.55 - - -
CFML Loans 4.95 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
China Construction Bank 4.49 4.70 4.80 4.95
China Construction Bank Special - 2.65 2.65 2.80
Credit Union Auckland 5.45 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
Credit Union South 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
First Credit Union Special 5.85 2.95 3.45 -
Heartland Bank - Online 2.50 1.99 2.35 2.45
Heretaunga Building Society 4.99 3.50 3.40 -
HSBC Premier 4.49 2.25 2.35 2.65
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - 1.99 - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
ICBC 3.69 2.25 2.35 2.65
Kainga Ora 4.43 2.79 3.04 3.13
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - 2.25 - -
Kiwibank 3.40 3.20 3.50 3.50
Kiwibank - Offset 3.40 - - -
Kiwibank Special 3.40 2.35 2.65 2.65
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Nelson Building Society 4.95 3.20 3.24 -
Pepper Essential 4.79 - - -
Resimac 3.39 3.35 2.99 3.35
SBS Bank 4.54 2.79 2.79 3.15
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
SBS Bank Special - 2.29 2.29 2.65
Select Home Loans 3.49 3.34 2.99 3.34
The Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - 2.09 - -
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40 2.29 2.59 2.79
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40 2.79 3.09 3.29
TSB Bank 5.34 3.09 3.29 3.45
TSB Special 4.54 2.29 2.49 2.65
Wairarapa Building Society 4.99 3.55 3.49 -
Westpac 4.59 3.09 3.29 3.39
Westpac - Offset 4.59 - - -
Westpac Special - 2.29 2.69 2.79
Median 4.55 2.79 2.99 2.80

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