Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick has hit back at ACT leader David Seymour during a debate on AM, with the former labelling the latter “deeply patronising”.
As the MPs debated New Zealand’s rental market on Monday, Seymour took several swipes at Swarbrick over her Green Party’s promise to implement rent control if elected in October.
“Chlöe’s nice, she’ll smile, it’ll sound great… and their policies will have the opposite effect of what they promise,” Seymour said.
Swarbrick took issue with Seymour’s remarks.
“Can I just say, that is so deeply patronising,” she said. “To say those things about me as an individual and I just have to say, David, whenever anything is lobbied in your direction that is the equivalence of that, you get incredibly defensive.”
Swarbrick asked if the debate could get back on track to “the facts and the evidence that we’re talking about”.
“You present it very well but it’s dangerous and people need to see that,” Seymour said of the Greens’ policy.
AM host Ryan Bridge was then forced to intervene, pointing out there would be further heated debates as October’s election got closer.
“Would you like, Chlöe, for David to not ever refer to you in a personal manner like that again – and vice versa?”
Swarbrick told Bridge there was “a frequency of which David will personally seek to attack me or the Greens”.
“If we are to talk about policy and to have a discussion about evidence, let’s do that.”
The Green Party on Sunday revealed a new policy called “Pledge to Renters”, with the aim of further tightening rent controls. The controls would limit how much landlords can increase rent each year, homes would need to have a rental ‘warrant of fitness’ and there would be a national register of landlords and property managers to show who owns rental properties and how much rent is charged.
ACT, meanwhile, favours policies such as reforming the Resource Management Act on a property rights basis, allowing builders to opt out of council inspections if they have private insurance and scrapping the bright line test.