Like most politicians, Judith Collins isn't above a bit of cheeky misdirection - regardless of how serious the question is.
Asked yesterday about the paltry amount of spending in National's books to deal with economic surprises - $800 million in year one and $700m in year two – Collins talked up National's temporary tax cuts.
Asked if the All Blacks should be allowed to have shorter stays in managed isolation so they can be home for Christmas, she said: "If I was PM, the All Blacks would be winning. That's the only thing you need to know about that. Thank you."
And asked about her MPs making up quotes about farming by the Prime Minister, she said Jacinda Ardern shouldn't be taking credit for the hospital in Greymouth which the National Government approved and funded.
(The hospital construction began under the previous Government, when $78m was budgeted. The current Government increased the budget to $121.9m).
So far Collins' and Ardern's campaigns have often mirrored each other - with talk of a tight Covid-19 border, a focus on jobs jobs jobs, RMA reform, and trying to outspend each other on infrastructure.
But their campaigns yesterday on the West Coast showed sharp differences in what's on offer this election.
Ardern started the day officially opening Te Nikau Hospital, and it was refreshing when West Coast DHB chair Rick Barker, a former Labour MP, asked her to spare his DHB from the amalgamation recommended in Heather Simpson's health sector review.
Reform is on Ardern's agenda and she couldn't say if the DHB would survive. But there would be fewer DHBs, and DHB elections would be scrapped.
Collins, in contrast, wants the number of DHBs to remain and to keep the elections.
The West Coast-Tasman electorate was more blue than red in 2017 and it plays into Collins' strategy of painting a scary scenario of a Labour-Greens Government hurting the fishing (the Greens want no bottom-trawling) and mining (and they want no new mining on public conservation land) industries.
Ardern countered by saying that mining isn't the West Coast's be all and end all, and mining on conservation stewardship land remained an open question pending the outcome of a review.
Perhaps cognisant of Act's 7 per cent in the latest 1 News Colmar Brunton Poll, Ardern said the two-headed monster that voters should really be scared of is one with David Seymour attached.
She also took aim at National's numbers.
"Just to keep services ticking over in our hospitals to keep the lights on, to keep services people expect, that took an investment from us as a Government of over $900 million.
"National has left for everything in that first year $800 million. It just does not add up."
Asked to respond, Collins again accused Ardern of wrongly taking credit for the hospital. She then misdirected with tax cuts: "The number she needs to remember is $3000."
Eventually she said the only spanner in National's books was potentially migration, and that wouldn't be an issue because of Covid-19.
"If it [$800m] needs to go higher … that's because the population would have grown. Are we really going to say the population's going to be growing in a big way in the next couple of years?
"Is that what Jacinda Ardern's secret plan is? Immigration?"
Collins also eventually backed her MPs' non-quotes about what Ardern said about farming by giving her own interpretation.
"I felt the Prime Minister completely dismissing an old world way of looking at farming when I spoke about the absolute distress many families are going through in the farming sector was disgraceful," Collins said.
The context of Ardern's actual quote - "a world that has passed" - was about sustainability, and that farmers were no longer necessarily against it.
Collins is still clearly enjoying herself on the back of her leaders' debate performance, and included as many stops as she could from Westport to Hokitika, including a public town hall meeting.
Ardern's own schedule was comparatively sparse - her entourage had to drive twice the distance as Collins' - but Ardern rejected any notion of complacency, which she has been warning her party against.
They didn't see other until the flight out of Hokitika, where they hung out at opposite ends of the tiny airport.
But their responses to what would have happened if they had crossed paths earlier are indicative of their campaign styles.
Ardern: "Nothing will happen if we do have contact with each other. Our force fields will not create any kind of explosion, so no one needs to worry."
Collins: "I would have said, 'Hello, how are you? Hope you're having a nice day.' Then I would have gone on to talk to the coasters, 'cause I'm not going to learn anything from Jacinda Ardern. She's got nothing to teach me."
The parties couldn't even agree on getting at Covid-19 vaccine when one was available. Ardern will, Collins will, but National's West Coast-Tasman candidate Maureen Pugh hesitated when asked and said she hadn't thought about it.
About the only thing the three of them had in common yesterday was eating whitebait.