Finance Minister and National’s campaign manager, Steven Joyce, says his party wants to be three points higher than in recent political poll results.
"I know that we've got lots of work to do. We've been quite clear all the way through we're about three points shy of where we want to be and need to be. So we've got a lot of work to do over the next few weeks," Mr Joyce told Corin Dann on TVNZ 1's Q+A programme this morning.
A Q+A Colmar Brunton snap poll shows the Labour candidate is ahead in Ōhāriu, and based on current numbers longstanding MP and National support partner Peter Dunne would lose the seat and his place in Parliament.
In the poll, eligible voters were asked which candidate they would support. Forty eight per cent picked Labour candidate Greg O'Connor, while 34 per cent chose Mr Dunne.
Mr Joyce said National would continue to ask supporters to vote for Mr Dunne even though the party is standing its own candidate, Brett Hudson, in the electorate. Mr Hudson scored 14 per cent in the poll.
"We've got a job to do to encourage people to support Peter, primarily because he helps bring strong stability to the government," he said.
Colmar Brunton began polling last Saturday, finishing up on Wednesday. Five hundred and one eligible voters were polled, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 per cent.
Former National Party President Michelle Boag told Jack Tame on the Q+A panel that the poll spelled trouble for the party.
"If the National Party doesn't have Peter Dunne, they really really need ACT," Ms Boag said.
Mr Joyce also criticised Labour’s plan to introduce royalties on commercial water.
"Labour is saying they'll do a regional fuel tax in Auckland and possibly elsewhere. They're doing this water tax which they won't tell anybody what the amount is going to be. So they're looking very shifty on that," Mr Joyce said.
"If you want these people (farmers) to have the ability to change their farm systems, to invest in fencing off the waterways and all these things, then don't try and tax them into oblivion."