Labour signals students at campaign forefront with cash incentives

Students are soon to be front and centre of the election campaign as Labour sets out to create a "youthquake".

Students are set to be promised more cash by the party - with leader Jacinda Ardern signalling a major policy about to be released.

The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll shows it will be a popular move.

Asked, if students needed more financial support from the Government 68 percent said yes, 28 percent said no, and the rest didn't know.

Labour signals students at campaign forefront with cash incentives

Students Rebecca Adams and Sarah Kirk are making their way through university and finding it hard making ends meet.

"Its not easy - there's a lot of budgeting, which I'm not very good at," Ms Adams told Newshub.

But the election is coming, a chance for them to vote for policies that improve their lot

"I can't lie, like it is definitely appealing - a lot of us will be voting for our first time this year," says Ms Kirk.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says they need to "stay tuned".

"We're looking at student support across the board... Student allowance, student loans, student fees, - they're all having an effect on students' ability to survive and their ability to take up studies."

Newshub understands Labour is building up to a major announcement for students, involving either a universal student allowance or bringing forward its policy of free fees.

Labour signals students at campaign forefront with cash incentives

Put together, free fees and allowances would cost $2.1 billion a year

National campaign chair Steven Joyce calls it a bribe.

"I suspect what they looking at is, you know, buying votes," he said.

"While we're all keen to attract votes, its an election campaign - it's also important that we do the right thing for the economy as a whole."

Jeremy Corbyn promised free education in the British electition and it worked for him. Labour's done it before with interest free student loans in 2005.

Ms Adams said she doesn't think it is a bribe.

"We're the future and you've got to support the future of New Zealand," she said.

The key question - how is Labour going to pay for it?

"I think they are being a bit shifty on tax, they've got lot of things that they don't want to talk about on tax, so if they are going to spend a lot then I think we can safely assume they've got some hidden plans to tax a lot more," says Mr Joyce.

As for Labour's new leader - there is no question, about her priority.

"I fundamentally believe in free education - I think its benefits everyone in New Zealand," she said.