Simon Bridges blasts Jacinda Ardern's speech as 'Trump-like' and 'desperate'

Comparing Jacinda Ardern to US President Donald Trump, National leader Simon Bridges has blasted the Prime Minister's speech on Sunday as a waste of time.

Ms Ardern promised to deliver a "major speech" in Auckland that would set "out a comprehensive set of priorities" for the Government.

But the National Party leader said she instead simply delivered a "rah-rah speech" that failed to live up to the hype.

"They think that a photo op 10 months in is a substitute for a plan and an ability to improve the lives of New Zealanders. It's not," he said.

During the speech, Ms Ardern announced "12 priorities" that would drive the Government's working programme, including to "govern responsibly" and "value who we are as a country".

"Every New Zealander can clearly see what the Government is doing and what our priorities are. While not everything we will do is listed, it provides certainty on our direction and the issues we are focused on," she said.

Mr Bridges said the speech was a desperate plea by the Prime Minister to show a united Government after weeks of questions around cracks showing in the coalition.

The Prime Minister has been attempting to brush off concerns that New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has been trying to make a power-play over employment law changes, the refugee quota and Crown-Maori relations.

"This was a lost opportunity for Ms Ardern to admit her mistakes, acknowledge the cracks in her coalition and focus on policies that will genuinely benefit New Zealand," he said. "Instead, we've been given a show designed to distract from her weak leadership and lack of new ideas".

He went on to compare the speech to a TED Talk which "shows a Trump-like attempt to avoid tough questions with a stage-managed pep rally and carefully vetted questions".

ACT leader David Seymour called the speech "underwhelming", but says it was no different to how the previous National Party operated.

"In a speech reminiscent of an 'all style, no new substance' TEDx talk, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spouted the same tax and spend policy approach we came to expect from National," he said.

"John Key could have delivered this speech but with better dad jokes."

Ms Ardern had meant to appear on Newshub Nation on Saturday and TVNZ's Q+A on Sunday, but cancelled the interviews days before due to a "diary issue".

It was the third time this year the Prime Minister cancelled going on Newshub Nation. Mr Bridges appeared in her place.

She is also dealing with the fallout of Clare Curran's resignation and an inquiry into Minister Meka Whaitiri allegedly assaulting a staff member.