Election 2023: National attacks Labour's record at conference

By Giles Dexter of RNZ

Senior National Party figures have laid out what is at stake at this year's election to its members, calling it the most important election since 1984.

At day two of the party's annual conference in Wellington, campaign chair Chris Bishop told delegates the country was at a turning point.

"This is nothing less than a fight for the future of our great country," he said.

The party has given its membership a goal of hitting 45 percent at this year's election, and launched a volunteer campaign to grow the party vote. National is currently polling in the mid-thirties.

With 100 days until voting opens, party president Sylvia Wood issued a challenge to the more than five hundred delegates present: to each convince five people to volunteer for the campaign.

Much of the content within the morning's speeches focused on attacking the government, in contrast with the first day, which mostly steered clear of negativity.

Wood, who was as expected re-elected party president at the AGM, said National would "clean up the mess" left behind by Labour.

"After six years of Labour, I barely recognise New Zealand. It certainly isn't the country any of us wants to hand over to our children or our grandchildren," she told the delegates.

Bishop painted a doom and gloom picture of New Zealand under Labour, saying "our future is being ram-raided" and accused Labour of overseeing "the soft bigotry of low expectations" in education.

Leader Christopher Luxon will deliver his keynote address later on Sunday morning, and is expected to announce a policy in the law and order space.

Sylvia Wood claimed National would have the "most impressive policy manifesto of any political party in a generation."

On Saturday, deputy Nicola Willis zeroed in on the cost-of-living, while Luxon was expected to unveil a law-and-order policy on Sunday.