Jacinda Ardern maintains Labour has targets for many of its policies as she hit out at Judith Collins over National’s increasingly “desperate” tactics late in the election campaign.
Ardern was asked today about the Labour manifesto, which was released two days ago, with claims it's full of ideas but light on policies with strict targets.
She denied that that was a response to failing to reach many of the targets Labour set during the 2017 campaign.
"No not at all, many of those targets remain, the child poverty targets have not changed, in fact they’re legislated, our goals around building state houses have not changed, in fact we’ve extended them with an additional 8,000 public houses we intend to build as part of our Covid recovery," Ardern said.
“We’ve legislated our climate targets and we’ve set up a commission to assist with carbon budgets.”
“No, there are plenty of ways which we’ve laid down our expectation and even in this election, we’ve bought forward targets around renewable electricity generation.”
In 2018, Ardern’s Government passed the Child Poverty Reduction Bill.
Her Government aimed to halve child poverty in New Zealand in under 10 years with three targets in that period including: reducing the proportion of children in low income households from 20 per cent to 10 per cent and reducing the proportion of children in material hardship from 13 to 15 per cent down to seven per cent.
Following the 2017 election win, Labour's then Housing Minster Phil Twyford promised 100,000 homes would be built in the decade, but the party managed just under 600.
Ardern said the focus in the first 100 days if Labour were voted back into Government would be in small business and Covid recovery policies.
She also stood by comments labelling some of National’s tactics “desperate”.
“The tactics that have been used, I have called them desperate, because we said at the beginning, we wanted an election campaign and that New Zealanders deserved an election campaign that was fought on the facts, that was free of misinformation.”
“There have been, particularly in the latter part of the election, points where that is not what the opposition has done.”
Ardern highlighted National’s repeated claims that Labour would adopt the Green Party’s policies if the two parties once again formed a coalition Government.
“Some of the tactics in the latter part I have called desperate, some of the framing about different parties’ policies.”
“You’ll see for instance, we have not made assumptions about ACT’s policies automatically becoming the policy of the National Party and yet you see the reverse happening daily.”