Labour leader Andrew Little says a number of issues have been building up over the summer which Labour will focus on when Parliament resumes this week, including the funding of the SkyCity Convention Centre and a rise in the unemployment rate.
Just before Christmas, SkyCity chief Nigel Morrison said he wanted the taxpayer to bridge any shortfall in construction costs or the company could walk away from the deal.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce suggested Auckland City help to meet any shortfall.
SkyCity was given gambling law concessions in return for building a national convention centre on its Auckland site for $400 million. The latest price has been put at $530 million.
Mr Little also said the rise in unemployment in last week's statistics from 5.4 per cent to 5.7 per cent was unexpected.
Two other issues he nominated for focus were the proposed deployment of up to 100 New Zealand Defence personnel to Iraq in a non-combat training role, and tertiary education.
When Parliament resumes at 2pm tomorrow, National Party leader John Key will deliver the Prime Minister's statement, in which he will outline the Government's plan for the year.
That will be followed by speeches from other party leaders.
Question Time will resume on Wednesday.
Face-off in the House: Ministers and their opponents
Andrew Little, Russel Norman & Metiria Turei, Winston Peters
Little set a high standard for himself soon after winning leaderships by making a big impact in head to head debates with Key. His challenge now will be to judge which fights he takes to Key and to moderate himself. The three main opposition parties will be galvanised and united early in their opposition to sending training troops to Iraq. Key has given them a bulls-eye with his musings that it is "the price of the club." The inequality issue wont go away.
Grant Robertson, Russel Norman, Winston Peters
Robertson is the novice in this company but English's shrinking surplus will be a sitting target , afterall National has been promising it in the 2014 - 15 year since 2011. Inflation is off the table for now as an issue but wages and income isn't.
Annette King, Kevin Hague, Barbara Stewart
The minister is the novice in this portfolio but not to the field; he is a doctor. He has now visited every DHB and appears to have mollified some professionals that got off-side with his predecessor, Tony Ryall. But he has inherited ongoing issues around the efficiency of the state-owned company Health Benefits Ltd designed to save money. Waiting times and aged care likely to feature, too.
Phil Twyford, Kevin Hague, Denis O'Rourke
The redesign of a major arm of the welfare state, state housing, and rise of third sector provision may sound fine in theory but the reality will present headaches for the Government in the able hands of Phil Twyford. Housing affordability in the private sector still a hot topic. The only thing hotter would be over-supply and falling values. Housing affordability has become a proxy issue for NZ First and immigration.
Chris Hipkins, Tracey Martin, Catherine Delahunty
Hipkins got the better of Parata a few times last term so he is match fit in this portfolio. The battlegrounds are less defined now that national standards have bedded in but charter schools will remain a target. Parata almost took education off the rails early in her first term with a series of crises but appears to have stabilised things.
Carmel Sepuloni, Metiria Turei, Daroch Ball
With welfare reforms largely implemented the issue of child poverty remains front and centre of this portfolio. Big vote of confidence in Sepuloni by Little in giving her this biggie. Jacinda Ardern will weigh in as Children's spokeswoman and it's Turei's strong suit as well. Tolley took over from Paula Bennett, both good political operators but progress depends more on John Key and Bill English than Anne Tolley.
Jacinda Ardern, David Clendon, Denis O'Rourke
No glaring issues apart from David Bain's compensation claim and no party would be silly enough to take a political position on it. The costs of access to court and possible further reforms of the court system potential battlegrounds.
Megan Woods, Julie Anne Genter, Denis O'Rourke
Smith has foreshadowed big changes to the Resource Management Act, and has artfully turned it into the obstacle to all things good in the world. Labour hasn't yet decided whether to make it a battleground but it will be a fight to the death for the Greens. The devil will depend on the detail of the bill who gets to block whose view or sun.
• ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
David Clark, James Shaw, Winston Peters
The super-minister has a ready-packaged battleground in the Sky City Convention Centre contract which may cost taxpayers $140 million as opposed to the zero promised. Labour under Little is more likely to leave opposition to mining and drilling to the Greens but to focus on workplace health and safety.
Phil Goff, Ron Mark, Kennedy Graham
Not normally a battleground but with a former Defence Minister, a former soldier and a former diplomat in the mix all opposing the proposed non-combat deployment to Iraq, this troika are likely to put the new minister on the defence.