The best zingers from the Stuff leaders' debate

by Susan Strongman / 08 September, 2017

Bill English makes a point in the Stuff debate. Photo / Stuff

Last night's fiery and aggressive leaders' debate delivered a number of burns from both contestants.

It was a rowdy night all round with Bill English and Jacinda Ardern both landing blows while answering questions on topics ranging from the Christchurch rebuild, climate change, child poverty and tax policy.

Here are some of their greatest hits:

Jacinda Ardern on being called "stardust":

"This stardust won't settle. Because none of us should settle ..."

On Winston Peters as kingmaker:

Ardern: "The role of PM is off the table ... Quite keen on that one myself."

English: "... Labour could probably learn about fiscal discipline from Winston."

On Canterbury District Health Board funding:

Ardern: "Bill, you cannot talk to an audience that has a DHB that is underfunded by over $50 million about the quality of healthcare."

On the "fiscal gap":

English: "Your team have let you down."

Ardern: "Your team have lied."

English: "I've done eight budgets, I know how it works."

On water quality:

Ardern: "We're not going to have a system that allows a river, 20 percent of the time, to be dirty, which is currently what the standard has."

English: "Oh, so are you going to stop storms?"

Climate Change:

Ardern: "In order for us to have a proper conversation about the action required, will you release the report from MFE [Ministry for the Environment on the impact that climate change is going to have on local and regional communities..?]"

English: "I think it's been released … Leaked if that's what you want to say…"

Ardern: "Why not release it?"

English: "Well, it doesn't matter much ..."

Ardern: "It doesn't matter much? It doesn't matter much? Billions of dollars of infrastructure, people's homes ..."

Jacinda Ardern, Stuff Debate

On reducing child poverty:

English: "If you want to reduce poverty, you've got to increase their incomes. I have to say, if you're worried about people's incomes you don't go and tax them more - especially if they're on the average wage."

English to Ardern: "You should listen to this policy, because you should adopt it."

On housing:

English: "29,000 new homes have been built in Christchurch ..."

Audience member: "There was an earthquake, Bill."

On finance:

Ardern: "I stand firm on Labour's history and record when it comes to managing the economy ... Helen Clark and Michael Cullen got net Crown debt next to zero. They produced nine budget surpluses. They had the strongest continuous economic growth since World War II ..."

English interjects: "Grant Robertson is no Michael Cullen."

On superannuation:

Moderator Tracy Watkins to Ardern: "You've promised to resign rather than raise the pension age. Aren't you letting down the very people you claim to be speaking for - young New Zealanders who are going to have to bear the rising cost of super?"

Ardern: "No. That generation was let down the moment National stopped contributing to the superannuation fund.

Ardern to English: "... My generation has been sold down the river by your government."

English: "I know this generation - I've raised it."

This article was originally published by RNZ.

MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

The rise of the social enterprise
83384 2017-11-21 00:00:00Z Business

The rise of the social enterprise

by Sally Blundell

A new breed of business, the social enterprise, is more intent on benefiting the community and protecting the environment than on maximising profit.

Read more
Best for who? The pressure on school leavers to choose university
83358 2017-11-20 15:22:07Z Education

Best for who? The pressure on school leavers to ch…

by Nicole Barratt

Thousands of school leavers will make big decisions this month, but a pressure brewing for years has skewed the decision-making process for some.

Read more
Dominatrix: The Renee Chignell story
83339 2017-11-20 12:58:50Z Crime

Dominatrix: The Renee Chignell story

by Donna Chisholm

Former teen dominatrix Renée Chignell was once NZ's most infamous woman. She talked to Metro in 2009 about one of the country's most notorious murders

Read more
Drugs in small town NZ: 'It's easier to get meth than cannabis'
83326 2017-11-20 11:23:30Z Crime

Drugs in small town NZ: 'It's easier to get meth t…

by Tim Brown

Meth is no longer a big city problem. Otago's sleepy Clutha District is awash with the drug - but there aren't enough addiction services to help.

Read more
Rebecca Gibney’s thriller Wanted is heading for our hills
83324 2017-11-20 11:19:10Z Books

Rebecca Gibney’s thriller Wanted is heading for ou…

by Russell Baillie

The second season of Wanted comes to NZ as the creators find out whether the show has won the International Emmy Award for best drama series.

Read more
Shortlist of three options for Auckland America's Cup bases
83317 2017-11-20 07:27:31Z Economy

Shortlist of three options for Auckland America's …

by Mei Heron

Team NZ's preference for a $190m wharf extension to host the America's Cup in Auckland is winning little favour with either the council or government.

Read more
Crooked: Is the back-pain industry doing more harm than good?
83311 2017-11-20 06:41:01Z Health

Crooked: Is the back-pain industry doing more harm…

by Jules Older

If shots and surgery and addictive pills don’t relieve back pain, what does? Jules Older talks to the author of a spine medicine exposé.

Read more
Win the Listener's 100 Best Books of 2017
83307 2017-11-19 16:57:02Z Win

Win the Listener's 100 Best Books of 2017

by The Listener

Each year, the Listener offers one lucky subscriber the chance to win all 100 of our Best Books.

Read more