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