Jacinda Ardern was asked some tough questions when she visited Northland yesterday.
But it wasn't the media who were asking them.

The Labour Party leader visited Kaeo Primary School yesterday with Whangarei candidate Tony Savage, Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis, and Northland candidate Willow-Jean Prime. She was quizzed by students who, although small, asked the big questions.

One student asked Ms Ardern what she would do for children, to which she said:"Well I want to make sure that every child has a warm dry house. Lots of kids in New Zealand get coughs and colds because we don't have houses that a warm they're not all insulated and that's what makes houses warm and dry."

Another asked what she would do for homeless people and when one student asked what happened to the promise of two-lane bridges Ms Ardern said: "There's another guy called Simon Bridges you might need to ask about bridges."


In the Northland byelection in 2015 National minister Mr Bridges promised to replace 10 one-lane bridges in the region - that hasn't happened, yet.

Ms Ardern also presented awards to some students during the assembly.

Principal Paul Barker said it was important to host Ms Ardern. Mr Barker has been principal of the school for 11 years and said it was the first time a leader of the opposition had visited.

"It's really important because quite often places like Kaeo, or places like it, we feel like we're forgotten because we're so far away from the decision-makers. And decisions are being made that affect us that we never get an opportunity to have a say."

Mr Barker said the community was excited to be able to raise concerns with Ms Ardern.
Anna Valentine, a school parent, spoke to Ms Ardern about her concerns about water quality.

"The water has had a boil water notice on for two and a half, even three years, but that doesn't boil out the heavy metals that are present in the water. And that bioaccumulates in our bodies and it causes all sorts of long-term illness, she said.

"It's really important [to relay my concerns to Jacinda] because water is a basic human right and we have a lot of water in Kaeo, it's famous for flooding and we're having trouble getting clean water out of the tank," Ms Valentine said.

Ms Ardern pointed her in Ms Prime's direction and suggested she would be more in touch with what was going on locally.


After visiting Kaeo, Ms Ardern headed to Kaitaia for a mix and mingle at the Far North RSA Bowling Club.

Ms Adern was due to make a community development announcement with Kelvin Davis, Labour Deputy Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, in Kaitaia today.