National Party leader Simon Bridges has wrapped up his nationwide roadshow, saying he has heard many personal stories from New Zealanders on issues from trying to survive on benefits to worries about young people leaving the country.
Mr Bridges estimates at least 10,000 people have attended his public meetings from Gore to Kerikeri, with numbers ranging from about 100 in small towns to 500 in cities.
"We've had hard questions, easy questions on all the things you'd expect - health, education, law and order - but all your very personal stories," he told 1 NEWS in Tauranga today.
"I remember a mum who couldn't get by on the benefits and also felt that she wasn't incentivised with her young children to get into work. And she wanted to see what we could do differently," he said.
He had also heard from elderly people "who have real concerns for their children's future in New Zealand. worry about them leaving for overseas".
"It's been really good for me, not just to listen, but also to get a real sense that we're on the right track in a bunch of areas, and the work we need to do to make it a competitive, exciting election where New Zealanders have a real choice in 2020."
Mr Bridges said he got a real and reassuring sense from New Zealanders "that we got things right in National in the economy, we were strong on that, we managed it well with their help as New Zealanders".
"But there's also other areas where they want to see us maintain relevance, they want us to recalibrate and modernise.
"And so we're in a process right now of making sure we listen this year. But then we get out and discuss our ideas, we put some things on the table next year so New Zealanders have really concrete proposals and plans before them in 2020, they've got a real choice at that election."