Election 2023: Christopher Luxon makes eight-point 'personal pledge' to New Zealanders at National campaign launch

National leader Christopher Luxon is making a "personal pledge" to New Zealanders with a new eight-point pledge card unveiled on Sunday.

Pledge cards, which set out a party's main commitments in a glance, have been used with effect in previous elections, including by Labour's Helen Clark.

The card revealed at National's election campaign promises a National Government would:

  • Lower inflation and grow the economy

  • Let you keep more of what you earn

  • Build infrastructure

  • Restore law & order

  • Lift school achievement

  • Cut health waiting times

  • Support seniors

  • Deliver Net Zero Carbon by 2050

Election 2023: Christopher Luxon makes eight-point 'personal pledge' to New Zealanders at National campaign launch

“New Zealanders have had enough. They want a new direction. So does National and today I’m putting my name to a pledge guaranteeing eight commitments if National is elected on October 14," Luxon said.

“This simple eight-point manifesto will be the bedrock commitments of a government I lead. It will focus National in government, and every New Zealander will know our priorities."

Asked what he thought of pledge cards, Labour's Chris Hipkins on Sunday said: "We've had pledge cards in the past, they're quite a useful way of being able to convey what we stand for and what we're proposing to do in the next term of government."

"As we announce the rest of the manifesto commitments we've got we will be releasing a summary of those and it may well look quite like a pledge card."

Labour finance spokesperson Grant Robertson earlier released a statement saying the National pledge card should address the "gaping holes" in the party's tax plan released this week.

Labour has raised doubt about whether there will be enough foreign buyers of $2 million plus homes to fund the National tax plan and questioned the credibility of National's claims of a gambling loophole.

Robertson said Labour had put together a pledge card for National, including going back and properly costing its tax scheme, apologising for "dodgy costings" and buying a "new calculator".

"National need to ditch their discredited tax scheme and start again," Robertson said.

"It does not add up, and it is based on damaging cuts to the very measures that Labour has put in place to ease cost of living pressures and support Kiwi families and households."

Luxon on Sunday said National's "fully-funded tax plan" would give $250 a fortnight to the average-income household with children (this includes National's proposed childcare rebate), up to $100 a fortnight for an average household without kids and $50 per fortnight for a median income worker.

Prior to Luxon's speech to the crowd at the campaign launch, there were speeches by deputy leader Nicola Willis and Luxon's children, Olivia and William.

Election 2023: Christopher Luxon makes eight-point 'personal pledge' to New Zealanders at National campaign launch
Photo credit: Newshub.

Supporters of Freedoms NZ were also present at National's campaign launch after causing trouble at Labour's event on Saturday.

Brian Tamaki, who leads the umbrella political party, called on Luxon to "openly declare his Christian faith and commitment to upholding Christian family values".

"Today, we call on Mr. Luxon to be unequivocal about his beliefs and the leadership style he will bring to our nation," Tamaki said.

Earlier this week, a press conference being held by Luxon was interrupted by a Freedoms NZ candidate who questioned why Luxon had promised not to make any changes to abortion services despite his Christianity and stance on abortion.

Hipkins visited Avondale Markets on Sunday morning, touring the stalls alongside a contingent of Labour MPs and supporters.

While most people allowed Hipkins and his entourage through and some posed for photos, there were a couple who took issue with him being there. One man got angry with police, claiming they were trying to move his son as the Prime Minister walked through the market, while a couple of others yelled out claims about COVID-19 vaccines and restrictions.

Hipkins said there was a lot of "goodwill" and "warm wishes" from people. He denied he struggled with small talk when a reporter said Hipkins appeared to have had some awkward interactions.

He said he felt safe despite the few hecklers.

"I acknowledge that there are still people who have very strong views around vaccine requirements that were in place two years ago, and they're entitled to share their views during the election campaign as is everybody else is."

Labour held its campaign launch on Saturday, announcing a policy of giving anyone under the age of 30 free dental care by 2026.