Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has prepared for a peppering of KiwiBuild attacks tonight saying her opponent, National leader Judith Collins, will be playing "a bit of bingo" over the Government's housing record.
But Ardern says she's not worried, saying she is "happy to take it" when it comes to criticisms over that policy.
Collins, however, will be "reminding Ardern that traffic over the Auckland Harbour Bridge is currently moving faster than her plans to move the country forward".
The pair will face off in the first leaders' debate of the campaign tonight, following a much-anticipated 1News/ Colmar Brunton poll.
Ardern spent this morning touring the Buttabean motivation centre in South Auckland – an organisation that promotes weight loss, healthy eating and provides food boxes to the community.
When speaking to staff, the Labour leader appeared not to be too worried about tonight's debate.
One Buttabean member joked about her "big day," referencing tonight's debate.
"Oh, that," Ardern said, playing down tonight's head-to-head.
"I was thinking, 'today's the big day because of the level 2 move?'"
But when speaking to media after her walkabout, Ardern was firmly on message – "I stand by our record," she said in response to her Government's housing policies.
"We will see the leader of the Opposition tonight play a bit of bingo and you will probably hear that word 'KiwiBuild' frequently," Ardern said.
"If that's her one attack, I'm happy to take it because I'm proud of our record."
That record, she said, was more than just that one housing policy, which Ardern admitted this morning "hadn't met our expectations".
"No Government has built as many houses as we have since the 1970s – and yes, we tried new things because we had a housing crisis.
"And I will stand by trying new things in order to improve the wellbeing of our community."
She talked up the Government's state house building record, saying it was "really happening at pace".
When asked about the debate yesterday, Ardern said her debate preparation hasn't changed much since her 2017 showdown with then-National leader Bill English.
"I see the debates as being an opportunity for us each as leaders to share our own vision and our own plans.
"I spend a little less time thinking about sparring with the person opposite and a little more time directly communicating what our plans are."
Meanwhile, Collins said she was "looking forward to the debate".
"We're facing the biggest economic downturn in living memory and this country needs to have a robust discussion about how to deal with the economic and jobs crisis, and get Kiwis back to work."