'This stardust won't settle' - Jacinda Ardern

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has hit back at her opponent Bill English's latest line of attack on her.

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister said once the "stardust" had settled and Ms Ardern's honeymoon as new leader was over, the focus of the election campaign would shift away from personality and back to policy.

Ms Ardern ran with the line during the Stuff Leaders' Debate on Thursday night. Each of the leaders was given three minutes on the mic to kick off the debate - Ms Ardern said she didn't need three minutes because the crowd would be hearing enough from her over the next 90.

But she did want to share "one simple message".

"This stardust won't settle, because none of us should settle," she told the raucous Christchurch crowd.

"None of us should settle. Christchurch shouldn't settle. New Zealand shouldn't settle for anything less than taking on head-on the challenges that we face this election."