Jenna Lynch analysis: Politicians all pots calling kettles black over attack ads

National's accusing Labour of colluding with the unions on a personal attack ad against Christopher Luxon released on Monday. 

National campaign chair Chris Bishop says the ads are disgraceful, but the Labour leader pulled out props to prove a point - that each side has been as bad as each other. 

Stopping in for a pick me up in Hawke's Bay on Monday, Luxon spied a front page newspaper advert featuring his face. It's also on billboards and on screens with text saying, "Out of touch. Too much risk."

The Council of Trade Unions (CTU) launched a multi-media missile at National's leader.

"I just think it's incredibly sad and pathetic to be honest," Luxon said. 

Bishop called a special press conference to call it out.

"This is a highly orchestrated, highly political, highly choreographed American-style hatchet job on Christopher Luxon. It's disgraceful. They should be ashamed of themselves."

CTU boss Richard Wagstaff said this is not personal, it's political.

"The buck stops with Christopher Luxon. He is leading these policies, and these policies are not good for working people. So we are not going to sit on our hands."

National is linking it to Labour.

"This is going to become the most negative campaign in New Zealand history," Bishop said. 

Labour leader Chris Hipkins called that "absolute nonsense".

He held up a metaphorical mirror to the right and its own attacks. He came with stacks of adverts the right have done about him and Labour.

National never goes personal though they say.

"Our attack ads, if you want to call them that, are going to be highlighting the contrast in the policy," said Bishop.

Hipkins said National has been attacking him and Labour since he took on the job.

"I think they are being a bit thin-skinned."

Everyone is acting like they've never seen an attack ad before.

"I don't think we have done personal attack ads. We have attacked people on their behaviour, on policies," said ACT leader David Seymour.

A selective meme-ory perhaps. Not a month ago, ACT bought up a billboard space featuring a picture of Winston Peters and the text, "don't get fooled again".

Seymour denied that was a personal attack.

"That is a behaviour based on making a bad choice that has cost this country. It is a public service announcement."

Not a peep about that from their pals in the Nats, but now the left is doing it, they're upset.

"'Be kind' from six years ago has become under Chris Hipkins, 'be nasty'."

Hipkins said it's a bit rich from National given their ads. Bishop said National didn't want a "personal, vindictive attack-style campaign".  

National is clearly finding it uncomfortable when the shoe is on the other foot. 

Jenna Lynch Analysis

While it would have been confronting for Christopher Luxon to wake up to his mug plastered all over a national newspaper with the words, "out of touch", the pearl clutching was a bit much.

All the National Party's crocodile tears really did was draw attention to the attack ad.

Chris Hipkins took the bait and waved around his own negative attack ads about himself. What an own goal from both sides. 

The takeaway from today? Other than pots calling kettles black, is that this campaign is close therefore they are going to go negative. They're not afraid to get nasty.