Leaders' debate: The greatest hits

by Susan Strongman / 05 September, 2017

Jacinda Ardern, moderator Patrick Gower and Bill English after the second leaders' debate Photo: Supplied / Michael Bradley

Analysis - The second leaders' debate saw some zingers from both Labour leader Jacinda Ardern and National's Bill English, as well as from the moderator, Newshub political editor Patrick Gower.

Here are some of the best moments:

On housing:

Gower to English: "House prices have flattened out at a million dollars - you haven't done enough."

English: "We know how to do this, the houses are coming…"

Ardern: "You've had nine years of practice and we're in the position now when first-home buyers are staring down the face of home ownership that's the worst it's been in 60 years."

On homelessness:

Gower to English: "Your government has purchased four motels. You have got taxpayers into the motel business just to try and keep up with the tide of homelessness. Will you have to buy more motels?"

English: "Are you selling them?"

On the 2002 election:

Gower to English: "Last time you were leader you led National to a historic loss. This time it's close and you could lose again. What's different this time?"

English: "I got up again."

On Labour's finances:

Gower: "We've got an $11 billion argument here. Only one side can be right."

Ardern: "Let's be fair to voters - this is just going to sound like two bickering politicians."

Gower: "We're gonna leave the bickering and we're gonna move on."

English: "Paddy, it's not bickering to say it's wrong."

On wages:

Ardern: "My question is how do people feel … they feel like they're going backwards, because they are. An economy should be about people."

English: "So, why do you put their taxes up? If you're worried about their pay why put capital gains taxes, higher income tax, petrol tax…"

Ardern: "We are not increasing any tax on wage and salary earners, that is patently false, that is scaremongering Bill, you've done it this whole campaign and I'm calling you on it."

On superannuation:

Ardern says she will resign rather than increase the age of superannuation.

English: "Well, isn't that letting down your generation?"

On Auckland:

Ardern to English: "Is Auckland coping?"

English: "Well, it's coping a lot better now that Waterview [tunnel] is open."

Ardern: "Waterview is not a vision."

English: "You can't replace a tunnel with a vision… Are we gonna close the tunnel and have a vision?"

On temporary classrooms:

Gower to English: "You've got 111,000 kids in temporary classrooms in New Zealand and you've just announced that you want to make an app so parents can look at their kids' results - have you got your priorities right?"

English: "Yes we have… We're spending $1bn on new schools in Christchurch because we've got to rebuild them... The policies you're talking about are actually called modern learning environments."

Ardern: "That's a jazzy name for a prefab."

On Māori:

Gower: "What's the one policy that's going to make a difference for Māori?"

English says pushing more Māori kids to get NCEA Level 2.

Ardern says Labour's Best Start, families package and winter energy payment policies.

Look back at how the debate developed with RNZ's blog here.

This article was originally published by RNZ.


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