Christopher Luxon takes aim at parents, 'culture of excuses' for truancy crisis, but Jacinda Ardern fires back

National Party leader Christopher Luxon has added to his growing list of people who should take responsibility for the truancy crisis, with parents in the firing line.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has slammed the comments, saying Luxon has over-simplified a complex situation for political gain.

Luxon's pointing the finger at parents and has no time for excuses.

"You chose to have these kids, you have to wake up at 7am, get your kids to school at 8am," he said.

"You have now got subsidised free lunches, free breakfasts, subsidised period products, subsidised school uniforms.

"There is no excuses. What we have in New Zealand is a culture of excuses."

Last week, Luxon put principals on notice.

He told AM: "There is a mixed standard of leadership across our schools and across our principals that actually means they're not focussing as strongly on getting kids to school as they can."

It came after figures showed just 40 percent of children went to school regularly in term two this year.

Luxon on Monday called it a "social failure", a "moral failure" and a "future economic crisis". 

It's a crisis he's now laying at the feet of parents.

But Ardern doesn't agree and believes National has a "simple view of the world". 

She's laying Luxon's comments - past and present - at his feet.

"We've heard people called bottom feeders, we've heard teachers blamed, now we hear parents blamed."

National is talking tough on crime in response to ram raids. Last week it announced it would bring back boot camps.

"We are going to show some tough love in order to get them on the right path again," Luxon said.

But Ardern has criticised that as well.

"The only debate should be what works. We know, because history has told us, that boot camps don't work," she said. 

Both sides are talking tough here and the targets are everywhere - principals, teachers, parents, but mostly, each other.