3 Oct 2023

Election 2023 updates: All the latest developments on 3 October

6:00 pm on 3 October 2023

Labour leader Chris Hipkins has held a media conference from his hotel room, over Zoom, saying National Party 'dodges' on who will pay for desperately needed water reforms mean ratepayers will.

Hipkins, who is isolating after testing positive for Covid-19, again attacked National's numbers, saying gaps should be a real concern for New Zealanders' when considering how the next four years could play out.

"They have made no provision to support local authorities with the cost of upgrading New Zealand's rundown water infrastructure in their fiscal plan. And that means the cost is going to fall to local ratepayers.

"The analysis is clear ... it was done when we proposed the water reforms - in the absence of additional support from government, in the absence of significant reform, ratepayers will end up paying very very significant rates increases."

Meanwhile, the Act Party announced a medicines policy on Tuesday afternoon, which they said would improve access to life-changing drugs.

It would require Medsafe to take no more than a week to approve any drug or medical device that had already been approved by two foreign regulatory bodies with comparable or more robust systems than New Zealand.

National promised longer stays in hospital for mothers after giving birth, free glucose monitors for children with type-1 diabetes and more psychiatrist and psychologist training places.

Tuesday was meant to be debate day for Hipkins and National leader Christopher Luxon, but Hipkins' Covid-19 diagnosis scuttled that plan, and National said it could not find another day for Luxon to face Hipkins in the only South Island-based debate - which Labour labelled "chickening out".

Look back over RNZ's blog for all the latest from the campaign on Tuesday:

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