As Hipkins and Luxon went head-to-head in the second leaders’ debate, the NZ First leader hovered in the rafters.
Where did all New Zealand’s mojo go? Turns out Chris Hipkins had stashed it all in a drawer, and mainlined it ahead of the Newshub leaders’ debate. He was dramatically more animated than he had been in the first outing, and Christopher Luxon more than once struggled to keep his footing. But did Hipkins overdo it? Did he look like the leader of the opposition?
In today’s new episode of The Spinoff’s politics podcast Gone By Lunchtime, Annabelle Lee-Mather, Ben Thomas and Toby Manhire offer their verdicts on the second debate, chaired by Patrick Gower, while assessing the impact of the week’s big political news line: Luxon’s announcement that, yes, it necessary he would pick up the phone and call Winston Peters to discuss working together to form a government. Why did he do that, why now, and how could it affect National’s prospects with just a few days until advance voting begins? Will Luxon’s “I don’t know him” claim about Peters wash?
The team also assess the stars and the flops across other debates of the last week, including the powerbrokers clash on Newshub, and the young voter and kaupapa Māori debates on TVNZ. And what sticks out of the policy morass?