National and Labour's finance spokesmen faced voters at a public meeting in Queenstown on Thursday night and were quizzed about debt and asset sales.
The National Party will proceed with the partial privatisation of state-owned energy companies Genesis Energy, Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power and Solid Energy and reduce the Crown's shareholding in Air New Zealand if re-elected at the end of November.
National's Bill English and Labour's David Cunliffe both said they can return New Zealand to surplus by 2014, but disagreed about how they will do it this.
Mr English said the only way is to use money from partial asset sales to fund infrastructure.
Mr Cunliffe wants to retain the assets and use the dividend stream to fund spending.