Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says that neoliberalism, a political model that favours the free market and minimal state intervention, has failed.
In an interview with RNZ, Ms Ardern said she agreed with Former Prime Minister Jim Bolger who had made the statement during an interview in The 9th Floor series.
"My view is that New Zealand has been served well by interventionist governments. It's about making sure that your market serves your people. It's a poor master but a good servant," Ms Ardern said.
She said she disagreed with the assumption that the free market could control outcomes for people, using child poverty as an example of why state intervention was necessary.
Neoliberalism took hold in New Zealand in the 1980s with the large-scale sell off of state owned companies and the popularisation of market principles under Roger Douglas, Labour's Finance Minister from 1984 to 1988.
Bill English did not agree with Mr Bolger's statement when RNZ asked him about it.