In the first of a special series of extended interviews and profiles, the National Party's Bill English has told Morning Report's Guyon Espiner that the government has a strong record on tackling homelessness.
Watch the full video here:
Mr English said homelessness has almost been eliminated in Hamilton, by dealing with people who have been living on the street - and their complex social problems - one by one.
He said a similar housing-first scheme that has been set up in Auckland has helped 150 people in four months.
But he said the National government also had the massive task of re-housing tens of thousands of people who lost their homes following the Canterbury earthquakes.
Mr English said they had learned lessons from that and he could see a time where homelessness was rare in New Zealand.