Jacinda Ardern questions Bill English's poverty target

Jacinda Ardern wants to know what Bill English's figures are after he pledged to lift double the amount of children out of poverty as the Labour party.

In Monday night's Newshub  Leaders Debate, Bill English said he would bring 100,000 kids above the poverty line, the first time a solid figure has been put on the poverty goal in National's nine years in power.

Mr English said that in April next year National's families package would bring 50,000 kids out of poverty, and National would "have a crack at the next 50,000 children" if the party is re-elected.

But on Tuesday Ms Ardern told The AM Show despite only pledging half of his goal, she's confident she can still top the National Party.

"[50,000] was what we were able to work out from our figures... I don't have access to the same kind of detail as him. If he knows that his tax package can do that, ours is more generous for low and middle income earners so I know we can top that."

Ms Ardern says Mr English's surprise announcement left her scratching her head.

"[Newshub] used an image of me talking to Bill afterwards... that was me going over and going, 'hey that's great what's your baseline?' I just wanted to know what was his starting point.

"Because you'll notice last night I said look we've got 290,000 kids in poverty in New Zealand he immediately said I was wrong. So I was a little bit confused."

"Here's the difference. He's saying he'll do 100,000 with his incomes package - ours was more generous than his so whatever he's said, based on what his baseline is, which I haven't figured out yet, I know we can match that.

Ms Ardern applauded the commitment from Mr English.