NZ Election 2020: Jacinda Ardern, COVID-19 fight at centre of Labour's first television ad

New Zealand's "hard and early" approach to COVID-19 is at the centre of the Labour Party's first election television commercial.

The commercial, released on Friday afternoon, features Labour leader Jacinda Ardern sitting at a desk in a bright red blazer staring down the camera.

"Together, we went hard and early to fight COVID. Our plan now is to rebuild the economy even stronger. We will create new jobs with infrastructure and environmental projects, make apprenticeships free to prepare for tomorrow's jobs, and back business and grow trade with targeted support," Ardern says.

"These are uncertain times, but we have seen what we can achieve with a strong plan. So, let's stick together and let's keep moving."

Megan Woods, the party's campaign manager, said in a statement that Labour had done things "a little differently this year", launching the commercial to the party's supporters before airing it on television and social media. 

"This is a people-powered campaign, made possible by thousands of volunteers around the country, and it only felt right that they saw our commercial first," Woods said.

"This year, our television campaign is about getting our message of progress in front of New Zealanders - we went hard and early to stamp out the virus, but to rebuild the economy we need a strong plan and the trusted leadership of Jacinda Ardern."

The election is scheduled to take place on October 17. Parties have been out campaigning all week with a raft of policy announcements.

On Friday, Labour proposed relaxing COVID-19 border rules to allow more skilled workers into the country, while the National Party said it would free electric vehicles (EVs) of road user charges until at least 2023.

Party leaders spent Friday morning pitching their economic plans to BusinessNZ

In summary, all five of the political parties touted investment in technology, smart borders and infrastructure spending as the most promising ways of helping New Zealand get through the COVID-19 economic slump.