Labour leader Phil Goff has finally managed to take a small chunk out of National's sky-high popularity, but there is still a large chasm between the two parties.

Last night's 3 News poll put National's support at 55.2 per cent (down 4.7 percentage points) and Labour on 30.8 per cent (up 3.6).

The poll, by Reid Research, included reaction to Mr Goff's attack on the "shabby deal" between National and the Maori Party over the emissions trading scheme, which he said benefited the Maori elite.

Other political events included protests over proposed hikes in ACC levies and the furore over Maori Party MP Hone Harawira.

Some accused Mr Goff of playing the race card, a charge he strongly denies.

The poll also recorded a dip in support for Prime Minister John Key, with those thinking he was doing a good job down 9.4 per cent to 72.9 per cent.

Mr Key was the preferred Prime Minister of 49.9 per cent (down 5.9) and Mr Goff was preferred by 8 per cent (up 3.3).

This is the first time in the poll he has risen above his predecessor as leader, Helen Clark, who still registered 6.1 per cent (down 2.1) even though she has retired from politics and works for the United Nations in New York.

Other political parties also recorded minor changes: the Greens up 0.9 to 7.8 per cent, Maori Party down 0.7 to 1.7, Act up 0.1 to 1.8, NZ First up 0.5 to 1.5 and United Future steady on 0.1.

- NZPA