Labour leader Andrew Little has had a jump in popularity, possibly on the back of his visit to Australia, in the last Herald-DigiPoll survey of the year.
But he is still nowhere near the levels of Prime Minister John Key.
Mr Little has risen by 2.9 points as preferred Prime Minister to 16.2 per cent.
Mr Key has risen by 1.5 points to 65.2 per cent.
Mr Little has had a high profile in the past month with a highly successful first conference as party leader. He followed that by a controversial trip to the Australian Parliament to highlight discrimination against New Zealanders who arrived in Australia after 2003, and he advocated for New Zealanders being held in detention under new immigration laws.
His rise appears to be at the expense of New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, who is down down by 3.7 points to 7.9 per cent.
Labour front bencher Jacinda Ardern is on 2.8 per cent, down by 1.1.
And former Prime Minister Helen Clark comes in fifth at 2.5 points, virtually the same as before.
Mr Little took over as Labour leader in November last year, after David Cunliffe led the party to a disastrous election result, 25.13 per cent.
Mr Cunliffe's personal rating in the last Herald DigiPoll before the election was 16.2 per cent, so Mr Little has only just reached that point.
Jacinda Ardern's popularity has dropped back a little from August when the DigiPoll was the first poll to register a jump in her support.
She polled 3.9 in August from almost nothing four months earlier.
Under laws passed a year ago, any person convicted of 12 months imprisonment or more no longer has the right to remain in Australia. The individuals have been detained pending a confirmation or appeals of their immigration status.