Life in opposition more relaxed - Gerry Brownlee

Gerry Brownlee admits life in opposition is a lot more relaxed.

The National MP was attending The Nation's last show of the year on Saturday when host Lisa Owen approached him.

"Is being in opposition as stink as you remember?" Ms Owen asked.

Mr Brownlee simply said it was 'different'. 

"You've suddenly got a lot more time on your hands. Ministers work incredibly long hours and they work seven days a week, and even over Christmas they're sort of on-guard and available, so that's different." he said.

Mr Brownlee went on to explain what makes a good opposition - "being very much over the top of the facts and past the spin any Government puts on." 

He also took the opportunity to refute the Prime Minister's recent claims on child poverty. 

"Good example this week: supposedly 88,000 young people coming out of poverty in 2021, turns out in the regulatory impact statements the number's only going to be something like 62,000 - about 12,000 more than what would've been the case under our government. But also it takes a year longer to get there."

"So you're saying they're doing less than you would've?" asked Ms Owen.

"It looks that way," he said. "They've got a huge spending programme so, you know, that's more than half the working population who miss out on their relatively modest tax cut, but nonetheless significant, particularly if you're a young person saving for a house of paying off a student loan."

The Nation host challenged this with the question of whether capitalism had failed, to which Mr Brownlee replied a staunch "No, of course not."

"How can you say that when 290,000 kids are living in poverty, there's record numbers of homelessness - how can you say that?" she challenged.

"Look, some of those numbers are highly questionable... [National's] not going to argue that because we're going down the social investment track to improve some of those things, but if you look at the way we live in this country, it's not possible to say capitalism's failed."

The Nation's final show for the year was broadcast live from downtown Auckland.