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This week on the Raw Politics podcast: Who to believe over the state of the nation’s books, and why the public might not even care; Plus What’s eating the Act Party as its historic highs in the polls fade at a critical time?

Both major political parties used the opening of the books this week to claim that their theories on the state of our economy and their solutions deserve your vote. Things are either hopeful or dire, depending on the colour of your election rosette.

Our panel debates whether the numbers matter to individual voters or if they’re so intent on ‘change’ that they won’t take Grant Robertson’s advice and be careful what they wish for.

The same can be said for economists picking holes in National’s tax policy to levy foreigners for purchasing homes costing more than $2m. Voters seem to have taken any wrong assumptions or calculations by National in their stride so far, according to the polls. National seems to be getting the benefit of a great collective shrug, and an impatience for the country to try something, anything else.

Later in the podcast we examine the ebbing away of Act’s poll numbers – from 15 or 16 percent weeks ago in some polls to now be sitting at 11 or 10 in major polls. Which is still mighty good for a party that’s best election result was 7.6 percent 2020 and 7 percent in 1999 and 2002.

We discuss if Act peaked too early – with leader David Seymour out on the campaign all year, and if his controversial ‘jokes’ and questionable candidates on Act’s list might have made people think twice. Or, if National just got better and squeezed its centre right alternative.

Act hold its own campaign ‘launch’ on Sunday, weeks after its rivals, and one panelist thinks Seymour will want a theatrical impact to grab back some attention.

Our reader question is whether Christopher Luxon can hold his own in a debate, with the first one due next Tuesday on TVNZ, despite his talking down his chances. And do those debates even move the dial in NZ politics?

This week’s recommendations include an RNZ series on the pre-election wishes of devastated areas of the East Coast, a toe-to-toe interview between TVNZ’s Jack Tame and Christopher Luxon and a Newsroom profile of a new face almost certain to make it to Parliament for Act.

Every week, Newsroom editors and political journalists talk through the big issues and scrutinise politicians’ performances in a lively 25-minute show aiming to take viewers and listeners inside the actions and motivations of our elected leaders.

Watch Raw Politics on YouTube, or download or listen to it as a podcast on Spotify, or via Apple Podcasts.

And send your burning political questions to and we’ll endeavour to find the answer and explain the issues.

This week’s recommendations:

Marc: Jack Tame’s interview with Chris Luxon at the weekend on TVNZ’s Q&A

Emma: From a series RNZ has been running on small town East Coast pre election

Tim: David Williams’ profile of an Act Party ‘Sure Thing’ on Newsroom 

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