Jacinda Ardern hits out at National's 'farcical claim' on income tax

The latest Colmar Brunton poll has National ahead of the left bloc, but by just one point.

Both continue to campaign hard.

National leader Bill English cast an early vote this morning and will head north on the campaign bus, destination: Auckland.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern is in Canterbury, and will be urging young people to get out and vote. Advance vote numbers have been high, but youth enrolment will be a concern for Labour. It's typically more popular with younger people, but on Sunday the Electoral Commission reported 68 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are enrolled. At least 90 percent of those over 35 are enrolled. 

Refresh the article for the latest updates.

3:25pm - Jacinda Ardern hits out at National for "farcical claim" on income tax

Jacinda Ardern has spoken out about her frustration with the National party campaign, saying they are misleading voters over Labour's tax plans.

While on the campaign trail today Ms Ardern was asked if Labour was raising income tax, a false claim that National have made.

When asked whether she could have hit back harder against the claim Ms Ardern replied:

"I've absolutely taken them on every time that they've said we would increase income tax. I thought it was a farcical claim when they raised it, it continues to be, I certainly didn't expect people to have picked up on it as they have.

"The only place for blame to go is on the party that has spun the lie."  

Ms Ardern said right now there is urgency for Labour that goes beyond correcting National. "I would ask voters to think about whether they can afford another three years of National."

2:30pm - Bill English was met by protesters in Whanganui

One of the protesters said "You're not welcome here, Bill" and was holding a sign that said "No 2 seabed mining". 

2:10pm - Over 800,000 people have cast an early vote 

806,043 voters have headed to the polls early so far, the latest figures from the Electoral Commission show.

133,781 people voted on Wednesday, and there are still two days of early voting before election day on September 23.

Voters can enrol and vote at the same time at any advance voting location, but they cannot enrol on election day. 

The number of advance votes for the 2017 election has now surpassed that of the 2014 election - where 717,579 people cast an early vote.

Jacinda Ardern hits out at National's 'farcical claim' on income tax
Photo credit: Electoral Commission

1:50pm - Catherine Delahunty has left her office for the last time as an MP 

Green MP Catherine Delahunty will be stepping down from Parliament at the election. She's the party's spokesperson for water, education, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and has been an MP since 2008.

1:40pm - David Seymour wants the next government to declare a 'housing state of emergency'

ACT leader David Seymour wants the next government to declare a 'housing state of emergency', he says it will mean new homes can be built within the first 100 days.

The ACT party want a new housing skills shortage list to bring in workers and want to "use emergency powers and public, including military, land to create Kaikoura-style Temporary Worker Villages, so skilled migrants have a place to stay."

Earlier this week Mr Seymour told the AM Show that he would struggle to afford a home in his electorate, and said that the National party had failed on housing. 

Mr Seymour is a candidate for the Epsom electorate, which he currently holds, and his party was on 0.6 percent in the September 12 Newshub Reid Research poll.

1:30pm - Jacinda Ardern is visiting Meadow Mushrooms in Christchurch

They've supplied red hair nets for the visit. Later this afternoon she will visit students at Canterbury University.

1:20pm - Voters think Jacinda Ardern was right to hold off on capital gains tax

A clear majority of voters think Labour was right to hold off on introducing a capital gains tax, according to the latest Newshub Reid Research poll. Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says any recommendations from the tax working group won't be implemented until after the 2020 election.

12:38pm - Winston Peters: Euthanasia should be decided by every adult

New Zealand First has long been an advocate for binding referenda, including on the question of assisted dying for the terminally ill.

ACT leader David Seymour's member's bill on assisted dying  has been before the House since June 2017.

NZ First leader Winston Peters says the bill should not be a conscience vote before Parliament.

"Euthanasia should be decided by every adult on the electoral roll, not some boy scout from the ACT Party," he said.

Speaking of David Seymour, he popped in for a Facebook live with Newshub's Isobel Ewing this morning.

11:45am - Expect a poll tonight

Newshub political editor Patrick Gower has just receieved the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll.

You can expect the results to be shared at 6pm.

What will it say? We await Gower's adjectives.

11:22am - Jim Bolger's advice on dealing with Winston Peters

Jim Bolger has turned up to meet the National Party campaign bus, offering advice for Bill English, should he end up negotiating with Winston Peters.

"You've got to respect Winston's position. He's been in politics a long time, and he expects to be respected for that," Mr Bolger said.

Under Bolger, Mr Peters was Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer in 1996. 

Mr Bolger threw his support behind Mr English, saying the National leader has "a very sound intellect and very strong values, and that's what New Zealand needs".

Jim Bolger addresses media.
Jim Bolger addresses media. Photo credit: Newshub.

10:53am - Ardern: Lack of self-belief 'worst enemy' for women

Ms Ardern has appeared on Mai FM, answering questions on life with security tailing her and offering advice for women.

Answering a listener question, Ms Ardern said her advice for women in male-dominated environments is 'self-belief.'

"When it comes to the ladies, we are our own worst enemy. I always look for the things I've done wrong in everything. Just your own self belief will carry you a long way."

Answering another question from a listener, Ms Ardern said security has to come with her wherever she goes during the election campaign.

For that reason, Ms Ardern said she has been "too embarrassed to go and do any exercise, because they'd have to do a run-walk with me."

Jacinda Ardern on Mai FM.
Jacinda Ardern on Mai FM. Photo credit: Mai FM

10.33am - Half of Auckland's Special Housing Areas have building underway

It's been four years since Auckland's Special Housing Areas were set up to fast-track development.

But building is underway on fewer than half of the 154 SHA sites, and 25 have been disestablished. Since 2013, 3105 homes have been built in 31 SHAs.

The report from the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) also revealed the Government failed to meet its target for housing consents last year.

Council consented 13,930 sections or dwellings, 82 percent of the goal of 17,000.

Read the full story from Nicola Kean here.

10.25am - Problematic sign in tree comes down

A Labour election hoarding that was stuck at the top of a very tall tree in Christchurch has been taken down by arborists.

The owner of the property the tree is on claimed the sign blew up the tree in the wind.

It's posed a problem for Labour - election rules say signs have to be taken down by midnight on Friday.

The property owner claimed the wind blew the sign up the tree.
The property owner claimed the wind blew the sign up the tree. Photo credit: Twitter/Andrew Kirton

10.22am - Te Matapihi calls for Māori housing finance think tank

Māori housing advocacy group Te Matapihi is calling on the next government to establish a think tank for Māori housing finance.

"Finance is one of the few persistent barriers when it comes to Māori housing, and we all need to work together to create options that better support the needs and aspirations of our people and the complexities of building on Māori land," says Te Matapihi Chairp Rau Hoskins.

10am - On board the National bus

Bill and Mary English are en route to Auckland from Wellington. They'll be stopping in towns along the way.

Newshub's Jenna Lynch is on the National Party campaign bus, and says the playlist includes Chainsmokers and Coldplay.

9:15am - Bookies have Labour and National on equal footing

With two days to go until the election, Labour and National appear very much on equal footing in the polls.

It's so tight that Australia's bookies have both parties on $1.83 to win.

9am - Bryce Edwards believes Labour have the edge

But on Thursday morning's The AM Show, political commentator Bryce Edwards said Labour's potential coalition partners give it an advantage.

"I'd say Labour have the edge - they have more coalition possibilities, they might be able to put together a coalition with NZ First or the Greens, and the Maori Party. I think they have the edge."

Speaking about the Wednesday night TVNZ debate, he said it was lacking spark.

"They did fire at times and they had their clashes, but mostly I thought it was like two sumo wrestlers leaning up against each other. Neither of them could dominate, and I think they both wish it was over... I don't think you would have seen a lot of uncommitted voters get swayed by what happened last night."

Dr Edwards said Labour's last-minute decision to wait until the next election to implement the findings of its tax working group could worry some people.

"That does trouble some voters. We're looking at a Government coming in… that's had nine years to get these things right, and they haven't. People do worry about competence, they do worry about whether Labour's ready to govern when they see them doing these changes at the last minute."