National Party leader Judith Collins says she's surprised her comments on obesity have turned into a hot topic in the lead-up to election.
Speaking to Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking this morning, Collins said the reaction had surprised her.
"I was simply saying people do need to know what to do and need to take personal responsibility.
"It's not that hard...the science is there."
Collins said professional boxer-turned health guru Dave "The Brown Buttabean" Letele was "a bit of a character."
Letele is among community voices who have condemned Collins' comments surrounding obesity that it was not an epidemic and that it was on the individual.
Letele is now well-known for his work to tackle obesity within the Pacific and Māori communities particularly in South Auckland and West Auckland.
Collins acknowledged that the work Letele is doing in the community is exactly what she was calling on people to do.
On the discussion around the Green Party's wealth tax policy and the possibility of a Labour-Green coalition, Collins said: "We know what their fall back is always - which is to tax."
"They can't grow the economy because they have no plans to do it."
Collins hit out at the media, saying the treatment of Labour leader Jacinda Ardern meeting large crowds at shopping malls compared to the treatment of her walkabout in Ponsonby - when claims of a rent-a-crowd of National supporters were brought in to make her look better - was "pathetic".
"If I'm out there talking about policy, I'm not gonna be at the mall."
Collins said at times she felt like she was speaking to press secretaries for Ardern instead of reporters.
She said there needed to be more diversity in the press gallery.
Come Saturday, Collins said she wanted to see Labour below her.
"I hope that they land in a position below us, actually, with Act."
She said she still believed National could win the election - but said that was why they needed people to give their party vote to National.
"Yeah, we can [win], actually. But it is very hard."
Collins said she believed the Act Party would get over the line and also thought the Māori Party would get at least one seat.
With two campaign days left until polling day, Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has drawn a line in the sand by ruling out a wealth tax for as long as she is Prime Minister.
It is the same commitment she has undertaken on ruling out a capital gains tax (CGT) and keeping the age of superannuation eligibility at 65.
LISTEN LIVE ON NEWSTALK ZB - 7:35 JUDITH COLLINS
It will be a particularly hard pill for the Greens to swallow, as they came up with the wealth tax because of Ardern's stance on a CGT.
Greens co-leader James Shaw said last night: "Let's have an election and then let's have a negotiation ... it's not the only thing we're running on."
National leader Judith Collins remains insistent that the Greens' proposed tax on net wealth over $1 million would be implemented under a Labour-Green government.
The issue will feature in tonight's final leaders' debate - though it's unclear how much the debate will swing votes, given that 1.4 million people, or 41 per cent of enrolled voters, had already voted by 2pm yesterday.
Yesterday Collins announced a policy in Hamilton to establish a Seniors Commissioner to advocate for pensioners' health, a position that Ardern said she agreed with while she campaigned in Christchurch.
But that was where any agreement ended, with Ardern calling Collins' comments on the wealth tax a "desperate tactic", while Collins told Ardern to stop "name-calling" and admit the prospect was "very real".
Green MP Chloe Swarbrick added fuel to the fire yesterday, saying it was "really disingenuous for Labour" to rule it out because it was ultimately voters who decided the strength of each parties' post-election mandate.
Asked if the Greens might refuse to support a Labour-led government, Swarbrick said: "There are ongoing discussions all the time and I can tell you there is a variable of different opinions - and it would be bad if there wasn't. That's freedom of thought."
Shaw said the party's poverty plan, which includes the wealth tax, would be brought to the negotiating table, but that didn't necessarily mean it would be adopted.
Co-leader Marama Davidson said people with a lot could pay "a little bit extra" and it would make little difference to their lives, but it would make a huge difference for those struggling to live with dignity.
Ardern was not concerned about a Greens walk-out in any negotiation, suggesting it wasn't likely because Shaw has said the party has no bottom lines.
"I'm not going to get into whatever discussions are being had by backbench MPs," she said of Swarbrick's comments.
Ardern would not go as far as Labour's revenue spokesman Stuart Nash, who said he would resign if the wealth tax was implemented - but she ruled it out for as long as she is PM.
"I won't allow it to happen as Prime Minister."
No other country had this kind of wealth tax, she added.
"Now is not the time to be experimenting with tax policy when we need to focus on our economic recovery."
Labour wants to introduce a new top personal tax rate of 39 per cent on income over $180,000.
Collins talked up National's temporary tax cuts - which would deliver $3000 to the top quarter of income-earners on the average wage or higher - to a senior audience in Hamilton.
She then fired a shot at all Green MPs, telling the meeting that the Greens believed tax was love - a comment made by Marama Davidson - because they never paid much tax before they became MPs.
"Most of them are unemployable, I would have thought," Collins said afterwards when asked to clarify what she meant.
"I don't wish to be nasty, but there we are - it's the truth."
Shaw retorted last night: "I would say we wouldn't work for Judith Collins, no matter how much she paid us."
Collins also batted away questions about whether her MPs were undermining her after MP Mark Mitchell said obesity was "more complex" than just personal responsibility.
Collins said Mitchell was saying the same thing as that she had said but in a different way, and she repeated her own view: "It is important to not tell people that they can't take charge of themselves. I've seen it myself, and actually have done it myself."
Ardern said the comments appeared to show that not all of Collins' team agreed with her, and repeated Labour's line that National is no longer the party of John Key and Bill English.
"Under the leadership of John Key and Bill English, they did take a science and evidence base to this issue. It is another area you can see this is not the same National Party it once was."
Meanwhile the Greens wrapped up their day with a rally in Auckland, where they appealed to voters to take a longer-term view.
Labour didn't go far enough or fast enough on many issues including climate change, Davidson said, and she highlighted the climate, biodiversity and inequality crises that the Greens want to address.
Act leader David Seymour spent the day in Christchurch, where he said the Government's Canterbury rebuild had left the city in two halves.
"You've got the bit in the middle that the Government took responsibility for and tried to centrally plan, and then you've got the very vibrant outside where everybody has moved to get on with free enterprise," he told Newstalk ZB.
"I just look at this situation and say, 'What the hell.'"
NZ First leader Winston Peters told a public meeting in Auckland that there was no substitute for experience.
He talked up his time as Acting PM and as Foreign Affairs Minister, including helping tens of thousands of Kiwis return home during the Covid crisis, as examples of how NZ First had made the Government better.
He also took a shot at Davidson's about tax being love.
"What planet are they on?" Peters asked.
Meanwhile efforts by the media to name the two people charged with fraud in relation to the NZ First Foundation before the election was dismissed because it would be unfair to those who have already voted.
Neither of the two charged are a minister, sitting MP, candidate, staffer, or a current member of the NZ First political party.