Every Monday until the election The Front Bench will take on the biggest talking points of the election campaign. Heather du Plessis-Allan, Newstalk ZB political editor Barry Soper, former Act Party press secretary Trish Sherson and former Labour Party minister Chris Carter have the inside word and analysis.
National has self-inflicted a critical wound to its campaign with its $4 billion mistake in its alternative budget. Labour's finance spokesperson Grant Robertson torpedoed National's campaign launch with the revelation, and National's finance spokesman Paul Goldsmith quickly had to admit he'd made the "irritating mistake". But just how badly has this hurt National?
Former Labour Party Minister Chris Carter and Heather du Plessis-Allan get into a heated debate over Jacinda Ardern's selfie with a group of people in Palmerston North. Ardern has admitted she made a mistake by ignoring physical distancing rules, but while Carter believes the issue has been closed with the apology, du Plessis-Allan says it's a kick in the guts for business owners.
Last week we got a much clearer picture of the state of the NZ economy after last week's GDP and Prefu numbers. GDP was down almost 13 per cent ... and the Prefu revealed governments will run deficits for a long time. So who do voters trust to run the economy? And which party has got the better plan to turbocharge our economy?
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In Auckland Central, Newshub polling over the weekend had Labour's Helen White on 42 per cent, National's Emma Mello on 27 per cent and the Greens' Chloe Swarbrick on 24 per cent. Twenty per cent are still undecided. Will White ride into Parliament on Jacinda Ardern's coattails? And should Chloe Swarbrick be doing better to save the Greens?
Shane Jones has conceded NZ First's future can't depend on him winning the seat in Northland ... and he's vowed to kill off the Greens in the meantime. The panel debates whether this is a good way to get NZ First polls back up.