Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and National leader Christopher Luxon may be on opposing political parties, but when it comes to some of the country’s most popular issues the pair, for most, seem to be in agreement.
The two leaders faced off in TVNZ’s leaders’ debate for the first time on Tuesday as they vied for New Zealanders’ votes in this upcoming election.
During the debate, the pair took part in quick-fire rounds to show Kiwis where they stand on popular topics – with both agreeing on a lot of the topics.
Both Hipkins and Luxon agreed that it is not the time for New Zealand to become a republic, nor should we formally change our name to Aotearoa. However, both leaders supported changing the national flag.
When it came to compulsory Te Reo Māori in schools, Hipkins said it should be “universal”, meaning every child should have the option to learn it, while Luxon opposed it being compulsory but said New Zealand needs more reo teachers.
The pair agreed to bilingual road signs and on public buildings.
When asked whether cell phones should be banned in schools, Luxon said yes, while Hipkins said schools already have the ability to do that themselves. They both agreed on free lunches in state schools but Hipkins said it should be targeted.
Both leaders agreed the ban on nuclear power ships in New Zealand’s waters should be continued, cannabis shouldn’t be decriminalised and vapes should not be prescription only.
Neither agreed with a wealth tax or a vacant housing tax and when it came to transgender people participating in sport, the pair said it should be up to the sporting bodies.
There was disagreement among the leaders, with Luxon agreeing the health system is broken while Hipkins saying “no”.
Turning to more personal questions, both Luxon and Hipkins have had speeding tickets and bought their first homes at 24 years old.
The two have both been to church services this year, however, they admitted they were mostly part of campaigning.
Luxon’s favourite beach is Onetangi Beach in Waiheke Island, while Hipkin’s is Raumati South by Wellington.
Finally, both leaders favour a four-year Parliamentary term over the current three years.