It was a day to talk of cabbages and kings -- or at least kingmakers -- for Labour leader David Cunliffe in Napier.
Mr Cunliffe visited Hawkes Bay to help Labour candidate Stuart Nash and Tukituki candidate Anna Lorck's campaigns -- kicking off at Petershead School.
Mr Cunliffe, a keen gardener himself, was taken to see the school vegetable patch and was clearly impressed by the brassicas.
"I can never get cabbages to look like that," he told them.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Cabbages weren't the only greens occupying his time. Mr Cunliffe also had to contend with National friendly comments coming from the Green Party. By day's end an assurance had arrived that the Greens would still support a Labour-led Government -- they were simply trying to poach a few National voters who were concerned about the environment.
Earlier Mr Cunliffe had delivered the primary school aged children a promise he would send them to pre-school as well as setting out Labour's Best Start package for new mothers by referring to what mummy would get when there was a baby in her tummy. They listened politely -- but the promise that got the best response was when he told them Labour would also deliver subsidised digital devices.
Then it was on to Now communications company for an in-depth talk with CEO Hamish White on broadband uptake -- a topic close to Cunliffe's heart after his efforts as ICT Minister.
That was followed by a game of ping pong on the table in Now's office. Cunliffe told White a 67-year-old Chinese woman in New Lynn could whip him. After playing for a few minutes, Cunliffe attempted to declare a 22-nil win for himself clearly more happy to be playing ping pong than polls.
Finally it was off to Napier for a traditional street-corner meeting standing on a mosaic seat in the main shopping stretch. Napier is a marginal seat and Labour's Stuart Nash is not standing on the list so it is a do or die fight for him up against National's Wayne Walford and Conservatives Garth McVicar.
Mr Cunliffe was delighted when a young boy hurled himself up for a hug with a Superman T-shirt on and promptly called him "Stuart Man." He then issued a leaflet with Labour's regional promises on it and said Labour would reopen the Napier to Gisborne railway "if we possibly can."
One man standing in the audience quietly observed to his friend "'if we can.' That's the key words isn't it? If we can." Cunliffe certainly believes he can, despite the polls. He was further warmed when he ran into two young voters coming out of Glassons who told him they had voted for him already. "We don't like John Key."