"We're going to invest in the future," he said. What did that mean? On Monday, at Southern Cross Campus in Mangere, he announced that National would establish specialist "trade academies" in schools, and had earmarked $6m towards the Mangere campus. "It's about opchontee," he said.
Opportunity, to return extra vowels to the word, was his mantra. Even in his mouth, it sounded more exciting than Helen Clark's message: "Trust." He was playing the market ("A brighter future!"); she was selling a kind of old, possibly reliable, state insurance. He talked about tomorrow; she had history on her side. But who wants history? You never know how the past will turn out.