National leader Judith Collins says 90-day trials give businesses confidence to take a chance on hiring a person, including in some cases when a potential employee is a different ethnicity.
Another way to boost the economy was to tap into oil and gas reserves, Collins said during the first Newstalk ZB Leaders Breakfast today, which could make New Zealand the "North Sea in the south".
Collins said she backed 90-day trials.
"They give businesses confidence to give people a go, when ... maybe there's something with that person - maybe there's something in their background, maybe they're not quite qualified enough, maybe they're not that experienced, maybe they don't know them that well.
"Maybe they're a different ethnicity - you know, this is about actually giving people a chance."
The Labour-led Government restricted the trials, which were brought in by National and allowed new employees to be let go within the first 90 days of employment. Now, only firms with 19 or fewer employees can use the trial period.
The first question from Mike Hosking in the two-hour interview was whether Collins was politicising her Christianity, after being photographed praying at St Thomas Church in Auckland yesterday, before casting an early vote.
Collins said she wasn't, and had been a Christian all her life.
"We just happened to be voting in a church ... the minister said, 'Would you like to pop in and have a prayer?' ... I didn't invite the media in.
"It just happened to be that I was in a church ... I was hardly going to turn it down."
Much of the interview focussed on the economy, and the massive challenge posed by Covid-19. How would National drag the country through?
Oil and gas reserves should also be tapped into, which Collins claimed wouldn't make a difference to climate change.
"Gas is something that is part of the world. We have potential to be, basically, the North Sea in the south, with the seismic testing I have seen, when I was Minister of Energy and Resources, off the East Coast of the South Island - there is enough there, according to the geologists, for what basically looks like a North Sea.
"And that's how places like Norway became so rich ... but we have fear being stoked up by the Prime Minister; 0.17 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions - come on, we are not the problem, we are the solution."
So far house prices have continued to boom, but the National leader said that couldn't last, given there is almost no migration, and people are worried about losing jobs.
"There is obviously going to be some sort of downturn. There is going to have to be ... interest rates do also have a way of going up."
Collins reiterated National's support for charter schools. NCEA worked for "some kids", but alternatives like Cambridge were still needed.
"There are too many photography classes, too much media studies, too much woke stuff. Which is great, except there are not jobs in those areas," Collins said of NCEA, saying more focus was needed on "Stem" subjects; science, technology, engineering and maths.
Asked if Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Adrian Orr, was doing a good job, Collins said "I suppose so".
"I trust him for telling us the truth about what he is doing ... he is very frank about the fact he is going to have to make some things up as he goes along."
Hosking asked about our seeming path towards negative interest rates. Collins said there were down sides, including a form of hyperinflation, but Orr was upfront.
However, he needed to be careful of his embrace of "wokeness".
Hosking put a number of rapid-fire questions to the National leader, including which politicians in other parties she rated.
"I know that people will be strange about this, but I quite like the youth and naive - I should try and not say a word that's mean - but, naive belief and self-belief that Chlöe Swarbrick has," Collins said of the Green Party MP.
"I can't help but to admire that. And see in her, myself at that age - where I thought I knew all the answers, and I actually didn't know anything. But I do like her gutsiness and self-belief."
Collins - who also announced new policy to investigate Auckland Council and its off-shoots including Auckland Transport and WaterCare - delivered a final message to voters: businesses were failing, and "the Government at the moment has no idea what to do - their only plan is to keep borders locked and to talk Covid".
"The economy is key," said Collins, who was bullish about the chances of a National-Act Party coalition after October 17, despite the latest 1 News Colmar Brunton poll putting National (33 per cent) well behind Labour (48 per cent).
"National and Act together can actually do it. We can do it," Collins said. "It is almost impossible according to the pundits, but they also wrongly called Brexit. They also wrongly called Scott Morrison. They wrongly called Boris Johnson."