National leader Judith Collins says she stands by her comments about Labour leader Jacinda Ardern disrespecting Samoa in last night's debate, and today she had a crack at Labour supporters too following the exchange.
During the Stuff debate last night, Ardern said it was "factually incorrect" that Samoa went harder and earlier against Covid-19 a month earlier than New Zealand did at the beginning of the pandemic.
The exchange began with Collins suggesting the Government had been slow to act on Covid-19.
"That is factually incorrect," Ardern interjected, which drew an angry response from Collins.
"It did so, and actually don’t disrespect Samoa, they kept it out, they kept Covid-19 out and they kept it out and they test anyone who wants to go on a plane there," she said to a mix of jeers and applause from the crowd in Christchurch.
Today, Collins was asked about the incident during a walkabout on the election campaign trail in Auckland's Ponsonby.
"I thought her audience that was there were extremely derisory about Samoa and I thought that was actually very disrespectful," she told reporters.
On March 19, Ardern announced New Zealand's borders would close to anyone who is not a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident from 11.59pm that night.
A day later, Samoa declared a state of emergency would come into effect at midnight that night. The order included the shutting down of the border for all except returning Samoan citizens.