Jacinda Ardern says 'there's still more to do' as Labour launch election campaign

The crowd at Labour’s campaign launch didn't really need warming up with their party riding high in the polls.

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The Labour leader got the campaign rolling with a $311 million subsidy promise. Source: 1 NEWS

But Labour leader Jacinda Ardern had a clear message she’s ready to repeat to all of New Zealand – “there is still more to do”.

One thing she pitched to voters today is an upgraded flexi-wage scheme, which help employers hire people on a benefit at risk of long-term unemployment.

Labour says the scheme will help 40,000 people whose jobs are affected by covid-19 which will cost $311 million dollars.

“We know we are facing high levels of unemployment because of Covid-19,” Ms Ardern said.

“This is a win-win – it targets those who are on government support and subsidises employers to support them giving them employment.”

But National Party leader Judith Collins said the scheme is old news.

“Oh, you mean the National party policy they announced today?” the National leader said today.

“In 2012? That one? It clearly shows good ideas are hard to find, all they have to do is go to the National party and find it.”

But Ms Ardern argued Labour will do more.

“We’re taking a scheme that has already proved it's worth and we are scaling up dramatically.”

The move welcomed by some such as small business advocate Max Whitehead.

“I think fundamentally it's good to see that finally, finally the government are looking at small businesses,” Mr Whitehead said.

The other big talking point of Ms Ardern’s speech at today’s launch was when she called this year a “Covid election” which Ms Collins challenged.

“I think she wants it to be that,” Ms Collins said.

“I think it's important that we keep focussed on the economy, rather than this scare mongering that I've seen from the Labour Leader.”

But with Clarke Gayford introducing his fiancé today, he took the opportunity to say how hard she is argue with.

“I dont know if you know what it’s like to have a disagreement with the world's - Not Howick, not Pakuranga, Not Auckland's - the world's most eloquent leader but it is no easy task,” he said.

“In fact, the last time Jacinda and I were at home and we had a, what you may describe as a wee test of wills, as usual I soon found myself well and truly out of my depth, floundering around doing that thing you do in an argument, just reaching for anything that might help bolster your case.

“It was an utterly hopeless scenario, it was pathetic, so in a desperate, desperate bid to end it, I announced three new roads and a tunnel.”  

She'll be arguing her case to the rest of the population now the campaign has properly begun.