Chris Bishop claims New Zealanders sick of 'Ardern-style politics'

Chris Bishop claims there's too much "Ardern-style politics" being forced on New Zealanders, something the National Party wants to change if elected to Government in October.

Speaking to Newshub Nation in Wellington, ahead of National's annual conference, Bishop - the party's campaign chair - said it would focus on "practical, sensible, commonsense policies that will take the country forward".

"Our big focus over the next few weeks and months is to talk about fixing the economy to get the cost of living down and get an economic growth plan for this country," Bishop told host Rebecca Wright. "But also restoring law and order, and improving our schools and our health service - those are things we're campaigning on and so you are going to see some announcements around the economy and law and order."

He then took aim at Labour and former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

New Zealanders were over "big, aspirational ambition with pie-in-the-sky numbers", he said. "They had that under Labour; people remember 100,000 Kiwibuild homes, light rail by 2020, dragging hundreds of thousands of poverty - that was the Ardern-style politics. We've had six years of that and, actually, Kiwis are over that."

Wright asked: "So, how would you describe the Christopher Luxon-style of politics?"

"Practical, commonsense policies to take New Zealand forward and get the country back on track," Bishop responded.

His remarks echo those made by Luxon, National's leader, who has repeatedly said New Zealand was "going backwards" and his party wanted to deliver "outcomes". 

Bishop took aim at the Government's record on the economy, saying it "drives every other social outcome in New Zealand".

On New Zealand as a whole, "many people think that the country is heading in the wrong direction", he said.

"Just look at the publicly-published polls, most New Zealanders think that. Many New Zealanders look at the state of the country and are very worried and anxious about it.

"It's not just inflation but it's law and order and the health system and education."

He said the National Party's plan was "to fix the economy to reduce the cost of living and get the country back on track".

Bishop also denied claims National didn't have a plan to address inequality in New Zealand.

"Education is the great equaliser in New Zealand," he said, pointing to his party's "back to basics" policy with a heavy focus on reading, writing and maths.

Bishop, also National's Housing spokesperson, claimed his homes plan would also help address inequality.

"I am absolutely passionate about fixing housing in this country because it is a massive driver of inequality, that's why we've got to have a planning system that allows more houses to be built and makes it more affordable for people to exist." 

There was "no one silver bullet" to addressing inequality, he said.

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