Election 2023: National kicks off election campaign with no new policy, but eight pledges

National kicked off its election campaign at an event with glitz, glamour, bright lights and entertainment - but there were no new policies.

Instead, leader Christopher Luxon released a 'pledge' card detailing eight  previously announced promises.

The big blue political beast of the National Party swung into action on Sunday with an American-style rally to kick off its election campaign.

The event featured candidates walking out as if they were participating in a boxing match, as well as curtain raisers from copious cultural groups. There was also a cute introduction for Luxon from his kids, Olivia and William.

"Our dad is an amazing father and we are lucky to have him as our dad and we know he will make a great prime minister," said Olivia.

The crowd got loud when Luxon entered the room, but wasn't as warmed up as all the warm-up acts would warrant.

National launched its campaign with a postcard - or pledge card as they call it -  with eight pledges about policies it's already announced.  

"The bedrock commitments of a government that I lead," said Luxon.

Usually, a campaign launch has a cracking centrepiece policy like free dental from Labour, but Luxon's already announced nearly 40 policies, leaving him with the card to wave around instead. 

He denied he was out of ideas.

There were no new moves but at least he got a clear run at saying his piece.

"We will get New Zealand back on track," Luxon said.

His opponents' launch on Saturday was infiltrated by the Freedoms NZ lot.

On Sunday, Labour leader Chris Hipkins' trip to the markets became a hectic heckling mare. 

"Screw you Chris Hipkins," one person said.

Brian Tamaki and his so-called freedom followers moved on to the Nats' launch though they didn't manage to breach the building.

The Destiny Church leader called it "fun" to disrupt political events.

"I am not disrupting democracy. I am bringing democracy back again."

Luxon said he had "no time for that at all".

Hipkins called them a "nuisance for every New Zealander".

The two Chrises want a drag race.

"Look beyond the smoke and mirrors and you'll see most New Zealanders will end up worse off and the country as a whole will end up worse off under National's plans," said Hipkins.

"National can take 41 days of attacks but this country can't take three more years of the same old politics and the same familed  policies. There is too much at stake," said Luxon.

Waving goodbye to campaigns of kindness. This is a bare-knuckle fight and only one of them can win.