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Labour leader Jacinda Ardern and National leader Judith Collins again went head to head in the second televised leaders' debate tonight.

It is less than three weeks until the general election (October 17); overseas voting began today, while advance voting starts on Saturday.

The MediaWorks leaders' debate was hosted by Newshub national correspondent Patrick Gower. 

THE ISSUES

Covid-19

The first question asked what Collins and Ardern would do if there was community Covid-19 outbreak on Christmas Eve in Christchurch.

Collins said she would put Christchurch in lockdown, then contact trace to learn how far it had spread.

"I think you do have to put people's health first ... you shouldn't have to lockdown because it shouldn't be in the community."

Ardern said she'd do the "exact same" as she did in Auckland and put Christchurch in alert level 3 and the rest of the country in alert level 2 until they learned the extent of the outbreak.

"Very unfortunately we'd have to move that way while we learn the full spread."

How will we pay back Covid-19 debt?

Collins said grow the economy.

Ardern said we are already seeing the economy grow - especially for exports.

Collins says she will stimulate growth with a 16-month tax cut.

But Ardern said that was irresponsible. "We should be investing in our people, in their skills".

Both leaders ruled out new taxes and said no to a ban on sugar at school.

Cannabis: Have you used it?

Collins: No. She will vote against the referendum.

Ardern: She used it a long time ago. Won't say how she will vote on it. "I want the public to decide."

Health

Gower asked the leaders to describe health chief Ashley Bloomfield in a word.

Collins said: "I've never met him but I think he's competent."

Ardern replied: "Considered."

And about the state of New Zealand's health system:

Collins said: "Generally a good system."

"Broken," said Ardern.

Te Reo Maori in schools

Asked if te reo Māori should be taught in schools, Ardern said it should be compulsory, while Collins wants it as a option.

House prices

Gower asks "Do either of you want house prices to drop?"

Ardern: Won't say she wants them to drop. She says she doesn't want them to grow.

Collins said in some cases they will have to go down.

Wage subsidies

Gower asked about wage subsidies and large businesses that took it - then cut staff.

Ardern said that was morally wrong.

Collins said if people don't need the money they shouldn't take it, and if they have, pay it back.

Climate change

Ardern says climate change is an emergency. The Government tried to declare one in Parliament but National voted against it. She promises she'll declare a climate emergency if re-elected.

Collins is asked how big climate change is. But she says she is more focused on the economy and says New Zealand is not the problem.

Ardern says if all countries took Collins' view that their emissions didn't matter, nothing would ever change.

Question: Is Winston Peters irrelevant?

Collins: Yes.

Ardern says that's disrespectful.

Collins rules out working with NZ First in the case of a coalition.

Ardern says she's worked with him for three years, she won't rule out working with him.

Source: RNZ and ODT Online

 

 

 

 

Comments

Good debate which Collins won hands down. Trump and Biden could learn from them.

Climate change is an emergency. Which is why China needs to stop building power stations. The largest power producers in China have asked the government to allow for the development of between 300 and 500 new coal power plants by 2030.
Until then, stop throwing OUR taxes down the drain!

Collins responses to the Health system, Covid and Climate change showed how out of touch with the reality of what we have to live with, National are. We can't secure the border with words and Collins already knows this but her repose is lip service only. Collins may not have met Ashley Bloomfield, but after witnessing his handling of the Covid response, competent doesn't do the man justice and I have never met the man. Collins response to an outbreak scenario in Christchurch was nothing new or amazing, Labour already did that. The tax break is not meant for all workers in NZ by their own admission. So far everything that Collins has said shows she is a step behind in ideas, not in front.

Am I the only one that understands what a debate is? Clearly Gower and Campbell don't. A debate is not an interview. In a debate the moderator, apart from putting the question, keeps his mouth shut, he does not use follow-up questions or inject his own observations. The moderator keeps the time and when time is up he should have a microphone cut off switch and use it mercilessly. Same with interjections, if they become more than brief quips or too regular the microphone cut switch should be used as well.
The Prime Minister won this debate, in so far as addressing the issues put to her and responding to whatever nonsense it was that Crusher was spouting. Crusher showed she was good at the smart-ass responses and the insults and making the event about personalities, but she had nothing of any intellectual value to offer.

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