8 Aug 2021

Collins signals focus shift to 'big issues' in conference speech

2:10 pm on 8 August 2021

National leader Judith Collins has used a speech to party members to signal a shift in focus away from race matters and on to seven "big issues" facing New Zealanders.

Judith Collins at the 2021 National Party conference

Judith Collins at the 2021 National Party conference Photo: RNZ / Craig McCulloch

Addressing her party's annual conference in Auckland this afternoon, Collins rallied the crowd, noting the next election was fast approaching.

"We have just over two years. It is an election that is easily winnable - if National focuses on the things that matter to New Zealand."

In the lead-up to this weekend's AGM, Collins spoke at a series of regional conventions, accusing the government of smuggling in a "separatist" agenda.

The party also drew attention to the He Puapua report through a new campaign - "demand the debate" - and railed against alleged "secret" efforts to change New Zealand's name to Aotearoa.

Judith Collins at the National Party AGM.

National leader Judith Collins. Photo: RNZ / Eva Corlett

But, speaking on Sunday, Collins made only fleeting mention of the He Puapua report.

She instead laid out the party's direction for the next two years with a fresh focus on "seven fixes".

Collins said National would continue the "demand the debate" campaign with a focus on lifting incomes, growing technology and building houses.

The party would also push for solutions when it came to crime, education, healthcare and immigration.

"National can win the next election, but we need to be focused on the issues that matter to Kiwis," Collins said.

"And we need to show that National is the party that can get things done, that has the solutions for New Zealand's big issues."

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