Debate Preparation

Arrived in Auckland at 5 pm and got to hotel (Heritage – very nice) at 6.15 pm so have an hour before I have to head over to TVNZ.

Reasonably nervous, which is unusual for me. I’ve done TV dozens of times before, but as far as I can recall this will be the first live programme I have been part of. I have been part of the studio audience for the last three election debates at Avalon but in theory you are not part of the programme (in reality my heckling of the PM almost got me evicted by Paul Holmes 🙂

The more I think about Dr Cullen being a no-show the more amazed I am. All the polls say that this is shaping up to be “the issue” of the campaign. There’s a one hour programme on tax with every other party participating, and the Finance Minister refuses to attend. This is quite extraordinary. I spent enough time in the Beehive to know that normally one would move heaven and earth to change one’s schedule to take part in a debate like this.

Anyway better get ready. Hopefully I will update live from the studio (starts at 8.30 pm on TV One) but they were not 100% sure this would be possible. Will be interesting to see how the format goes – with 30 people and 44 minutes of screen time, I expect most people will only get to speak once or twice, and hence one won’t get much actual debating.

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