Election 2020: Labour leader Jacinda Ardern fronts media after Christchurch walkabout

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern is on her final visit of the campaign, spending time in Christchurch before moving her focus to the upper North Island for the final two days.

Yesterday, Labour’s policy manifesto was released in full – a set of policies which Ardern said showed a strong focus on Covid-19.

“Tough choices and unforeseen events face all governments. Labour’s top priority in government will be the health and economic wellbeing of the nation,” she said.

However, it was immediately questioned by Act Party leader David Seymour because KiwiBuild was not mentioned in it.

Ardern has said KiwiBuild would continue but, after falling well short of its original promise, on a smaller scale.

She has continued to insist affordable housing was a priority for Labour as news landed yesterday that property values had continued to soar despite Covid-19.

The Labour leader will speak to media after a visit to Hamilton Jet and the first of two “walkabouts” – one in the city centre and Riccarton.

She is expected to again face questions about the wealth tax after Green MP Chloe Swarbrick added her voice to those Greens saying they would definitely put it on the table in potential coalition talks.

In a clear bid to make up lost ground in the polls, National Party leader Judith Collins has continued to insist a Labour-Green government would implement some form of wealth tax, saying she did not believe Ardern’s denials.

“They’re coming for you,” she told a meeting of predominantly retired voters in Waikanae yesterday.

Ardern has dismissed it as “desperate” and “the last throw of the misinformation dice”.

The last week of the election campaign has seen Ardern focus on the large public events which she could not hold while Covid-19 restrictions were in place.

Christchurch has often been on Ardern’s campaign itinerary as the city in which she had to deal with the mosque attacks.

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