There's waste everywhere and Act leader David Seymour's shoe just squelched through a rotten marrow.
That's what happens when a courgette isn't harvested. It grows to a marrow. There's no money in it.
For courgette producer Brett Heap, this is what he wanted - one of those Wellington politicians to come to Waipapa in the Far North to witness the reality of what's actually happening in places where fruit and vegetables were grown.
This harvest season, those are the places struggling to find workers because New Zealand's borders are closed and the 14,000 annual seasonal foreign workforce is shut out.
The visit from Seymour - three and a half hours' drive from Auckland - came the day after the Herald revealed Heap had let fields of courgette go to waste because he was blocked from importing from Thailand the 11 workers he hired each season.
As a result, Heap was left scrabbling to hire locally and - even with a crop 60 per cent of his usual - those who had worked for him struggled to fill the gap of his experienced workforce.
Seymour said: "There's nothing worse than seeing someone defeated not through any fault of their own or natural disaster but because of needless restrictions placed on them by someone else.
"The Government knew this season was coming, they knew there would be a labour shortage, they knew there were options to get people in from Covid-free countries to do private MIQ for low-risk people in remote regions - we knew all that.
"The Government did nothing and now we have courgettes rotting in the fields."
He said the Government needed to work with private business and should have anticipated problems then found solutions before now.
"The Government has left people like Brett Heap questioning whether their business has any future because after this season, you can understand they don't want to do another one."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was quizzed by broadcaster Mike Hosking on NewstalkZB about the labour shortage at harvest time.
Ardern said there wasn't a shortage. "We have the people. We just need to get them to the right place."
She said there were 6000 foreign workers still in New Zealand from last season. "We want to make sure we are redeploying them across the country." She said work was under way to do that.
There were also 14,000 people on a working holiday who had their visas extended, she said.
Heap's claim he couldn't get good help brought an angry public response, but he hasn't resiled from it.
Heap pays minimum wage of $18.90 an hour plus 8 per cent holiday pay for those starting out in the job. In the past, he has paid workers with experience and skill $23 an hour plus holiday pay.
The difference, he says, is the nature of seasonal work and the variable nature of harvesting. A cold day means the courgette grows slowly. Warm weather supercharges growth. "It can go from a one ton pick a day to five ton the next."
It means he needs workers who will work seven days a week, 14 hours a day, when the courgettes are growing.
"For seasonal work, you're either all in or you miss the boat. If you're all in, you're grossing $3000 a fortnight."
There is also a degree of expertise involved often not appreciated - the courgette has to be harvested at a specific weight or it doesn't sell. It needs to be removed from the plant carefully.
What's more, those harvesting the plant are operating at ground level. It's leg-aching, back-breaking work to which, Heap says, New Zealand workers are unsuited.
To those who say "pay more", Heap says: "Pay has nothing to do with it. This is a bogey they have been pulling out for years and years.
"It comes down to stamina. [Local workers] just don't have it. And you've got to pay attention to detail and have pride in your work. This is what RSE workers bring. They are committed.
"They have a goal and they want to achieve something. That's not here. It's all been taken away from New Zealanders.
"Worth ethic is work ethic and you either have it or you don't. You apply yourself to the job or you don't."
Heap's courgette season is winding up. He doesn't need workers for this season and is wondering whether there will be another.
"I've pretty well lost the crop. This crop, I'll be lucky to break even."