National Party leader Judith Collins has revealed Kiwis wanting to start a business will be able to access up to $20,000 from KiwiSaver under its small-business policy.

She told Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB this morning that the money belonged to people yet they couldn't access it.

"The rainy day is here now but they need to have that start. It's their money so why can't they use it?"

The policy is intended to involve measures to make it easier for people who have lost jobs through the Covid-19 economic downturn to start a business.


Collins explained the National policy was about creating a way for cash-strapped people who had lost their job in the wake of the Covid lockdown to get businesses going with their retirement funds.

"Many of us, including myself, have set up and run successful businesses and sold them off at a profit over the years and we know how to do this and we know what's needed," said Collins. "Sometimes you need a bit of capital and if it's your money why can't you use it?"

She said an announcement would take place this morning outlining the rules around accessing KiwiSaver funds for new businesses.

"The main thing is it's already your money because it's in your KiwiSaver account. I've been told by so many people I've got all this money stuck away and I can't access it, I'm losing my job, I know how I could make a living but the problem is I can't access my money."

"Even to buy a ute or something, something to get your business going."

Collins is due to reveal more details about the policy at a press conference at 9.30am.

It is the first new policy she has announced since being elected leader on July 14 that has not involved infrastructure or transport.

Former National leader Simon Bridges unveiled a policy in May to refund GST for businesses badly affected by Covid19.


If the business could demonstrate that its revenue had fallen by more than 50 per cent across two successive months, it would be able to claim back the GST it had paid between July 2019 and January 2020, up to a maximum of $100,000.

The next leader, Todd Muller, unveiled the Job Start policy that would give businesses $10,000 for every new employee they took on after November - $5000 at the time of hire and another $5000 after 90 days.

National Party leader Judith Collins. Photo / File
National Party leader Judith Collins. Photo / File

Collins announced earlier this month that, if elected, it would spend $31 billion over 10 years to fix Auckland's congestion crisis and transform the Upper North Island into the most dynamic region in Australasia.

She described it as "the biggest infrastructure programme in New Zealand's history".

"It's time for boldness and a long-term vision," she said, adding that Aucklanders have been waiting for such a plan for "generations".

More than half of the $31b, some $17b, would be spent on projects in the upper North Island, including Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Whangārei.


But the focus of the package is Auckland – a city that Collins said is currently a "collection of disconnected villages".

The other $14b, which has yet to be allocated to specific projects, will be spent on transport and infrastructure projects across the country.

Charging returnees

Collins also said she wanted to charge those returning from overseas.

"New Zealanders shouldn't have to pay half a billion dollars for people wanting to come back because they feel like it. New Zealanders can't afford this. They're losing jobs."

It comes after the Herald revealed the Government appears to have reached an agreement about charging Kiwis who opt to travel overseas then go through managed isolation upon their return.

The announcement on the new legislation - which would needed to be passed in the final two weeks of Parliament - could be as early as this afternoon.


William Wood

Collins also put her weight behind beleaguered teen Palmerston North candidate William Wood who after a four-year-old photo surfaced of him impersonating reviled German leader Adolf Hitler.

"Poor bloke ... he was only 14 years old. I thought it was bordering on utter bullying by someone to explain themselves at 14 years old. Talk about filthy politics."

She said the 18-year-old had shown immense maturity to apologise for the photo.

National Party Palmerston North candidate WIlliam Wood impersonating Adolf Hitler in a post to social media in 2016.
National Party Palmerston North candidate WIlliam Wood impersonating Adolf Hitler in a post to social media in 2016.

Cook Islands travel bubble

Earlier, on the AM Show, Collins said that if she were leading the country she would be creating a Cook Island travel bubble as early as this week.

"If the Cook Islands, or Samoa or any of those countries who have been able to keep themselves Covid-19 free, if they want to be part of a travel bubble with us then why aren't we doing it."

She said they really do need tourism and many New Zealanders want to travel there.


"I think it's unfair, the Cook Islands have been a lot smarter than New Zealand, they didn't get any Covid-19."

She said they really do need tourism and many New Zealanders want to travel there.

"Why wouldn't we look first to the Pacific rather than constantly look to Australia."

She also continued to play down the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll results which put National at a dismal 25 per cent, saying after a fortnight on the job things were improving.

Collins said the party's internal polling put National on the up describing their own numbers showing "pretty good improvements".