Election 2023: Chris Hipkins intervenes over another inaccurate post from MP, Labour launches new attack ad

Chris Hipkins has once again had to intervene over one of his MPs' incorrect statements about National's policies.

He told reporters on Tuesday morning that he had asked Michael Wood to correct a statement he made on Facebook, which said National would abolish the winter energy payment, something the party has been clear it won't do.

"On that particular post, I have spoken to Michael Wood this morning and said I expect him to correct it," Hipkins said.

According to edit history on Facebook, Wood changed the post at 7:42am on Tuesday to remove that incorrect statement. 

It comes after National on Monday launched a new website calling on Labour to "Get Back on Facts" and listing examples of what National believes is "misinformation" from their opponents.

Labour has been under fire throughout the election campaign for numerous examples of MPs spreading misinformation, including Willie Jackson saying National and ACT would lower the minimum wage, Andrew Little claiming the parties would "sack all the teachers", and Shanan Halbert saying National would decrease sick leave. Those aren't the policies of those parties. 

Earlier this month, after questions from Newshub, it's understood Hipkins sent out a reminder to all candidates to stick to the facts. Hipkins also told Little to remove his post, which Little did.

Questioned about National's website, Hipkins on Tuesday said he had "made it clear that I want our MPs and candidates to be focused on highlighting the areas where National are actually proposing to cut things".

But he also said National was spreading its own "misinformation" by claiming its tax plan "fully stacks up". 

"Almost every economist and tax expert in the country is saying their tax plan doesn't stack up. Their website is just 100 percent spin," Hipkins said.

National's tax plan - which includes adjusting income tax brackets to account for inflation, paid for by several changes, like a foreign buyers tax - has come under criticism since it was released late last month.

The main point of contention has been over how much money its foreign buyers tax would bring in. National claims it would be on average $740 million per year for four years, but other modelling has shown the actual amount would be much lower.

This criticism has been dismissed by National. Leader Christopher Luxon and finance spokesperson Nicola Willis have expressed confidence in their scheme and said independent advice they've received about the plan has shown it to be "possible and plausible".

However, the party has refused to release the modelling behind its costings. 

Asked if it was fair to call National's claim about its tax plan "misinformation" when some economists have said the costings could be "plausible", Hipkins said: "The overwhelming weight of opinion suggests National's tax plan simply don't stack up". 

"There is a reason they are not releasing their secret costings, it's because they know they don't stack up." 

Recently, Hipkins has begun the start of his media standup each day by noting another day has gone by without National releasing its costings.

Labour on Tuesday also launched a new attack advertisement. It features a cartoon Christopher Luxon and David Seymour and questions what cuts National and ACT could make in Government, such as to public transport fares and to public services.

"National may have to make even deeper public service cuts if they can't make their numbers add up. And with multiple economists now saying they can't, that means more cuts that Kiwis can't afford," Labour campaign chair Megan Woods said.

"Christopher Luxon would have never been able to get away with hiding numbers from Air New Zealand's board, so why is he hiding them from voters?"

National campaign chair Chris Bishop said on Monday that the incorrect claims being made by Labour MPs show the party is "desperate and deprived of ideas".

"While Labour is spending all their time spinning mistruths, National is focused on the issues that matter to New Zealanders like the cost of living, rising crime, our under-pressure health system and declining educational achievement.

"National is concerned that Labour’s misinformation campaign won’t stop and that voters will believe the lies and mistruths Labour is telling them."

He said the Get Back on Facts website would be updated "every time Labour spreads misinformation about National".