Health the most important issue for voters according to 1 NEWS Vote Compass survey

More than 120,000 voters have already used the 1 NEWS Vote Compass - our online tool that lets you have your say and find out where you stand on election policies.

It's one of the largest surveys of its kind and has produced some unexpected results.

Voters have traditionally put the economy first at election time, but the 1 NEWS Vote Compass has thrown up a surprise with health care topping the list as Kiwis' most important issue.

Click here to use 1 NEWS Vote Compass.

The survey shows 18 per cent of people putting health care at number one. This is especially true for women with 23% believing it's the top priority.

It's also an issue felt strongly in the South Island, where almost a quarter of people who answered the survey put health care first.

Health is a big ticket item for the Government, spending more than 16 billion dollars each year, with another billion dollars a year added in the latest budget.

Jennifer Lees-Marshment from Auckland University believes the Vote Compass results means the parties vying for votes this election need to take heed of the issue.

"This is a major challenge for the parties to respond to this sudden realisation that health is a big issue," she said.

1 NEWS Vote Compass is live online right through the election campaign.

More than 120,000 voters have used the online tool to find out where you stand on election policies. Source: 1 NEWS

Sir Colin Meads brother 'blown away' by Maori farewell for the All Blacks great

Sir Colin Meads brother Stan was "blown away" after the All Black great was given a full Maori farewell today from local iwi.

Meads family took the fallen legend to a major Ngati Maniapoto marae in Te Kuiti, where his brother Stan thanked all who attended.

"On behalf of the meads whanau, I would just like to say how blown away we are by all this.

"To give us this welcome is absolutely humbling," Stan Meads said.

Just like the man himself, there were blunt tributes for the All Blacks legend.

Maori warriors welcomed the revered All Blacks legend onto the Marae as a moving haka rang out. Source: 1 NEWS

"I'm here representing the players that have been coached by Colin, managed by Colin and also had our arses kicked by Colin," former All Black Aaran Pene said in tribute.

The whole country will get to farewell Sir Colin at his funeral on Monday.

Pinetree's family took the fallen legend to a major Ngati Maniapoto marae in Te Kuiti. Source: 1 NEWS


'They shut down everything' - Kaikohe voters tell candidates to bring prosperity back to the Far North

Voters in Kaikohe have told election candidates they must bring prosperity back to the Far North.

With a stalling economy leaving a wake of crime and unemployment, Kaikohe locals are urging politicians to help.

There are many empty shops and people say Kaikohe is struggling.

"They closed down the forestry, they shut down the banks, they shut down the post office," one woman told a candidates' meeting in the town last night.

"They shut down everything. And then people went to town, people went off to Auckland. Is there some way we can win that back to happen in our town, bring the prosperity back to town?"

Locals had a message for the politicians vying for their vote.

"I'm looking for a champion for Kaikohe and the north," one man said.

Kaikohe used to be known as the hub of the North. But now many services are moving east to Kerikeri. The Ministry of Social Development is still in Kaikohe and quite often it's one of the busiest places in town.

Two years ago National lost its Northland seat to New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.

Mr Peters said people have been taken for granted.

"As you travel around this electorate all you see is decades and decades of neglect," he said.

Matt King, National's Northland candidate, told the meeting: "We got sent a message. And the message was 'National, you have got to do better in Northland'".

"National committed to the largest infrastructure spend in Northland that we've ever had," he said.

Labour's candidate Willow-Jean Prime, from nearby Kawakawa spoke of severe deprivation.

"We have real poverty in our communities and we have to do something about it," she said.

With a stalling economy, crime and unemployment, locals are urging politicians to help. Source: 1 NEWS