Either Grand Coalition or a Council of Economic Advisors -- that's the suggestion of Fran O'Sullivan for what's needed to deal with the economic crisis now that "the collapse of the New Zealand dollar has burst the air of surrealism clouding the election campaign."
The argument for Grand Coalition has two main prongs: that the two major parties have more in common with each other than they do with the minor parties with whom they're presently planning to coalesce with, which is undeniable, and that there are "there are stellar players in the senior ranks of both parties" -- a far less defensible claim.
Now it's true that the two main NZ parties coalesced to deal with the first Great Depression in the thirties (and as things turned out, they were never again to part), and even without any "stellar" performers in the Liberal/Reform cabinet they made a reasonable fist of the job -- they cut public service wages and payrolls, and allowed wages and prices to fall to meet the new economic reality caused by the deep contraction and the enormous public debt, and by 1934 the worst of it was over.
But things are different now. The ghost of Keynes now controls the economic psyche, and rather than cutting public spending and allowing wages and prices to fall, as they must if things are to correct, the main solution to the financial crisis from both the Tweedledum and Tweedledumber parties is to borrow big for a mammoth infrastructure spend-up. But when capital is drying up for productive private businesses, this is not what the doctor should be ordering.
So a Council of Economic Advisors is a better hope, but could one expect either Bill English or Michael Cullen to take advice? I'm afraid the words "forlorn" and "hope" spring all too quickly to mind.