Ahead of the second leaders' debate tonight, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern isn't backing away from her comments over the National leader's history with the Serious Fraud Office.
Judith Collins has called for Ardern to retract her comments about her "engagement with the SFO" leading to her "job loss" as minister for the organisation in the lead-up to the 2014 election.
Collins called her statement "disgusting" and "untrue".
But Ardern this afternoon stood by the comments in an interview with The Country.
"In my mind it's just a statement of facts in the leader of the opposition's history. She had a resignation that was in relation to the SFO - that's simply my reason."
Ardern was also asked whether viewers might see "a bit more fire" from her after a number of commentators said her performance in last week's debate was lacklustre.
"I think people have seen fire from me before. If you've been in the job a few years, people get to know you and I don't think they make one judgment out of 90 minutes. Time will tell.
"I'll take a similar approach this time though. My view is that our job is to give people the best insight into our policies, our recovery plans, the leadership we offer, the stability we bring and this is what I'll bring to the table again in this debate."
The pair will go head-to-head on the MediaWorks leaders' debate this evening, hosted by Newshub national correspondent Patrick Gower.
The debate kicks off at 7.30pm and we will have live coverage and analysis at nzherald.co.nz from 7.15pm
Tonight's debate comes as a strong majority of voters say they back Labour over National to manage Covid-19 and keep the deadly virus out of New Zealand.
But the new NZ Herald-Kantar Vote 2020 poll showed National had a slight 4 per cent lead over Labour in who was trusted to rebuild the economy.
The latest 1 News Colmar Brunton poll, released on Monday, showed Labour was still very comfortably ahead on 48 per cent - but would need the Greens who were polling on 7 per cent to form a government.
National managed to pull itself up to 33 per cent, up 2 per cent from the same poll the week before.
Rate the Debate
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Ardern and Collins first went head-to-head last Tuesday in the TVNZ leaders' debate.
Three of the four Herald political experts declared Collins the winner with political editor Audrey Young saying while Collins "didn't exactly trounce Ardern", she made an impact on issues.
Since then, Labour has released its health policy, a promise to ban single-use plastics by 2025 and a $50 million proposed package for farmers.
National has promised to double the Serious Fraud Office's budget, released its mental health policy and unveiled its agriculture policy.
The parties have also criticised each others' fiscal plans, with Labour saying the numbers in National's alternative budget "just don't add up".
But National says Labour needs to explain how it will pay for its $10 billion light rail and pumped hydro plans.