The Jacinda roadshow rolled in with a rapturous crowd of 400 West Coast Labour Party faithful, and the curious, packing the Regent Theatre in Greymouth this morning.
Labour leader Jacinda Adern was feted like a rock star as she spoke candidly off the cuff of her first-hand observation of under-privileged economies having grown up in the provinces, and phrase by phrase spoke of the need for the regions "to be strong and resilient" again.
She wooed adoration from an audience adorned in splashes of red, with waving placards entreating voters to back Labour on September 23.
Anecdotes were recalled of previous West Coast visits by Adern, as a previous Labour government ministerial secretary, and she showed ready name recall by calling to West Coast Labour Party identities in the theatre by name.
It warmed the audience after she arrived fashionably late.
"It's wonderful to be here in the region which is the birthplace and heart of the Labour Party," she said to cheers.
Underscoring her commitment to stamp out economic inequality, she quoted Norman Kirk: "All that everyone really needs is somewhere to live, something to do, someone to love and something to hope for."
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O'Connor was described as "one of the staunchest advocates" for an electorate, and it was in line with this that Labour would advance projects for the West Coast, Adern said.
At the end she was mobbed by individuals for selfies photos and was showered with gifts, prior to a media scrum which traversed the vexed and as yet unanswered question of Labour's tax policy.
- Greymouth Star