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National Party's weekend conference

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Latest Political News | Monday July 23 2012 6:31

National Party's weekend conference

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As far as party conferences go, the National Party's weekend effort was safe, steady, but not exactly inspiring.

There was little in the way of new information out of the weekend event.

While details about the Government's asset share float were announced they basically just confirmed heavy hints that had been in the public domain for weeks or not months.

An item of note, though, was an increased emphasis on oil and mineral exploitation and much heavier attacks against Labour and Green positions on the issue.

And as for the the much promised protests against the Government, they were no more than a damp squib.

Around 80 vocal protestors were outnumbered by police outside the conference at SkyCity Convention Centre.

Some have suggested the heavy police presence was an overreaction.

National Party Conference Operations Commander, Inspector Peter Gibson, says police were expecting more protestors to turn out.

"The previous Saturday there were 4,000 people marched up Queen Street for the asset sales. On those numbers, we would expect something similar for the weekend, but it didn't come about."

Inspector Gibson says the safety of both protestors and event-goers needed to be taken into account.

"We have to ensure that not only do we protect the venue and keep the peace, but we've also got to ensure the safety of the protestors that turn up because they're marching from one place to another, they're occupying and open road."

Photo: John Key (Getty Images)

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