In fiery exchange with PM, Judith Collins accuses Government of 'failing to deliver'

In fiery statements before and during Parliament's question time today, National leader Judith Collins argued that the Government has "failed to deliver" on key policies during its time in power.

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The PM said the previous National government left the country in a housing crisis. Source: 1 NEWS

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, however, had plenty to fire back as the two sparred over how to characterise her leadership.

"KiwiBuild should have been announcing 16,000 homes built and she’s got fewer than 400, rents have gone up not down, homelessness has gone up not down and child poverty, which she is in charge of and was going to sort out, has gone up not down in seven out of nine indicators," Ms Collins said prior to question time.

"About the only thing I could find that has gone down is business confidence."

Ms Collins went on to say the Prime Minister is "incapable of delivering anything but slogans".

National's leader then pressed Ms Ardern on the Government's "failure to deliver" during a combative question time in the House.

Ms Ardern defended her Government's record by contrasting it with that of the previous National Government's, of which Ms Collins was a part.

She said the number of homes delivered by KiwiBuild was "still more than that Government did in nine years".

"What that member is criticising us for still far outstrips anything that her Government did," Ms Ardern said.

The Prime Minister went on to say the previous National Government left New Zealand with a housing crisis her Labour-led coalition Government is still fixing.

Ms Ardern also cast the previous Government's record in a negative light when answering questions on her Government's billion tree planting programme and stalled Auckland light-rail project. 

"I would point out to the House that all of these initiatives, all of the progress on environmental challenges, on climate change, on mental health and on housing, are more than that Government even thought about, or even delivered a press release on, because they did nothing in those areas."

The exchange may have set a precedent as to how upcoming leader debates will play out before the September 19 election.

TVNZ's Your Vote 2020 coverage: Debates, polls and election specials

The first of the TVNZ leaders debates is on August 25. Election night coverage on September 19 will be followed by a morning of special election programming on the Sunday.