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Morning Briefing Oct 16: Ardern prepared to quit if results don't go Labour's way

As New Zealand enters the final day of election campaigning, Jacinda Ardern has admitted she won’t stay on as Labour leader if the party fails to return to power tomorrow.

Jacinda Ardern. Source: Getty

Ardern dropped the bombshell during last night’s final leaders’ debate, telling reporters afterwards she’s been in politics long enough to know when it’s the right time to move on.

National’s Judith Collins, however, says she plans to stay on as leader if her party loses the election. 

The two clashed over several issues during last night’s debate, most notably the country’s child poverty issues and the Greens’ wealth tax policy, during which Ardern appeared to lose her patience with Collins.

However, the leaders did manage to find something nice to say about each other when prompted to do so by debate moderator Jessica Mutch McKay.

1 NEWS reporter Anna Whyte has an overview of all the action here – or you can watch the whole thing for yourself.

Sign up to get the Morning Briefing delivered direct to your inbox – here.

Greens see poll boost

According to the final 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll of the election campaign, it’s unlikely Jacinda Ardern will be stepping away from politics tomorrow night.

Labour is still in a commanding position, however the party would need the Greens to form a government.

The Green Party saw a boost in support, climbing two points to 8 per cent last night, while ACT also remained strong on 8 per cent. NZ First saw a small rise to 3 per cent. 

Ardern is still the preferred prime minister by some considerable margin, while her approval rating also climbed to a healthy +55 last night.

Last night’s poll saw Collins drop to her lowest approval rating of +6 - but she’s told 1 NEWS, “You never, ever give up.”

Meanwhile, the gap is tightening for both referendums, with the poll numbers showing the legalisation of cannabis may struggle to get across the line. Preliminary results for the referendums won’t be known until the end of the month.

But given the number of advance votes that have already been cast in this election, Kiwis should have a good idea about the election results soon after the polls close tomorrow.

TVNZ 1’s election night special, hosted by John Campbell, Hilary Barry and Simon Dallow, will begin from 7pm and feature reactions from around the country.

Jack Tame will then analyse the election results on Q+A from 8am on Sunday morning. Tagata Pasifika will also be on at 7.30am and, from 10am, Marae will focus on what the election results mean for Māori.

Advance NZ cry foul

Advance NZ, which has garnered controversy for its anti-vaccination stance, is claiming "election interference" after Facebook took down the party's page yesterday.

Facebook told 1 NEWS the page was removed for "repeatedly breaching our misinformation policies".

But party co-leader Billy Te Kahika branded Facebook’s action as a “cynical example of election interference” and an attack on “free speech”.

The move comes as an ongoing study recently found the Advance NZ/New Zealand Public Party has been the worst offender for “half-truths” and fake news on Facebook during the election campaign.

Kiwis ready for take-off

More than 350 people are booked to fly over to Australia today as the trans-Tasman travel bubble takes its first steps forward.

According to rules published on Australia’s Department of Home Affairs website, anyone who has been in New Zealand for two weeks – and not been in a designated Covid-19 “hot spot” – can now enter New South Wales and the Northern Territory without having to stay in managed isolation.

However, anyone travelling there will have to quarantine once they return to New Zealand – and pay for it. 

NZ’s climate already changing

A new Government report has revealed climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a significant impact on future generations.

The Herald has looked at five of the most glaring findings from the report, including changes to growing seasons, how nature is suffering – and how more wildfires are in New Zealand’s future.

The report comes as US climate officials say Earth sweltered to a record hot September last month. 

Other news of note this morning:

- Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris has cancelled her upcoming travel plans after two members of her staff tested positive for Covid-19.

- Advance voting figures released to 1 NEWS show motivated Māori voters are flocking to the polls. 

- Police are asking for sightings of a black BMW as investigations continue into the death of a "much loved" Auckland mother.

- The pandemic has harmed NCEA results in Northland, Auckland and Tasman more than in other parts of the country.

- The Queen has carried out her first public engagement outside Buckingham Palace grounds since lockdown began in March.

- And singer John Legend has appeared at the Billboard Music Awards, dedicating his performance to his wife Chrissy Teigen following the loss of their baby boy. 

And finally...

Captain the penguin Source: Supplied

All eyes might be on the election results tomorrow, but another very important vote has already wrapped up this week.

Captain, a 10-year-old, one-eyed penguin, has been crowned 2020’s cutest, very best penguin by the National Aquarium of New Zealand’s followers.

He had been facing stiff competition from the aquarium’s resident bad boy, Mo, but keeper Amy Giddens says Captain’s efforts in renovating his burrow recently and “generally being a good penguin” had touched people’s hearts.