Labour's leader Helen Clark says she is sure the Reserve Bank will ignore high inflation when it reviews interest rates on Thursday, despite inflation peaking at 5.1% in the year to the end of September.
However, National's leader John Key is confident bank governor Alan Bollard will still slash interest rates.
Statistics New Zealand says if oil price rises were excluded, inflation would have been lower at 3.7%.
Miss Clark says higher oil prices obviously had a big impact on the latest inflation figure but she believes the Reserve Bank will look through that figure.
She says oil prices have now fallen considerably and food prices are also dropping.
Mr Key says the latest figures show inflation is outstripping New Zealanders' pensions and wages, and it is no wonder many people feel like they are falling behind.
He criticised Labour's economic management, saying if National had been in power over the last three years, people would have more money in their pockets through tax cuts.
Mr Key says he expects Mr Bollard to respond by cutting interest rates, and probably quite aggressively.