David Cunliffe and John Key are on the road before election day. Isaac Davison will be providing a live blog of the Prime Minister's two-day trip on the National campaign bus while Claire Trevett will be with Mr Cunliffe. Join us for updates throughout the day.
2.40pm - CUNLIFFE BUS: David Cunliffe has spent some quality time campaigning with the man who had his job this time in 2011: Phil Goff.
David Cunliffe outside Mt Roskill Grammar. Photo / Claire Trevett
The latest stop for the big red bus was in Mt Roskill for a fleeting visit to the local primary school and a spot of after-school sign waving at the local parents picking children up.
Mr Goff is the local MP and was Labour leader for the 2011 campaign - so is in a good place to offer Mr Cunliffe a sympathetic ear.
The bus is now on its way out to Cunliffe heartland - out West to visit the new Kelston electorate.
2.40pm - CUNLIFFE BUS: David Cunliffe has left his third stop of the day, popping into Auckland University's quad for a visit aimed at getting the young voters out.
David Cunliffe at Auckland University's quad. Photo / Claire Trevett
It was older voters who were most keen to see him - two men at the pounamu stall jokingly demanded he talk to them rather than a student he had stopped to talk to because the student was wearing a blue jacket.
Mr Cunliffe made it to them eventually and was rewarded with an assurance they would vote for him.
He got a warm welcome and apparent interest in Labour's policies and coalition options from many students inside the quad.
One man Puipui asked which portfolio he would take and Mr Cunliffe replied : "I'm going to have to take security and intelligence just to clean up the mess."
Puipui then asked who his deputy would be - and Mr Cunliffe said that would depend on negotiations.
Puipui later said he was simply wondering because he thought a Labour MP should also be deputy to make the government appear stronger.
However, his encounter with a poodle didn't go quite so well. After he patted it, it opted to go to Jacinda Ardern instead - possibly recognising a kindred spirit on the long hair front.
The frantic pace of Mr Cunliffe's walkabouts proved too much for Ms Ardern - as she bid Mr Cunliffe goodbye she laughed and said "don't go so fast next time."
Deputy leader David Parker has staged a retreat now, and Cunliffe is back on the bus heading to Mt Roskill for some old fashioned sign waving.
2.30pm - PM'S BUS: Despite the small protest in Palmerston North, Key has been met with a mostly positive reception in the city.
Though as the Team Key bus pulled out of the central square, a few locals walk alongside the bus, gave it a thumbs-down.
Key has been challenged several times on the campaign trail today about National policies - on tertiary education funding, jobs and housing.
Briar Stevenson takes a selfie during Key's walkabout around Palmerston North. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Labour and Internet-Mana supporters waving off Key's campaign bus as it leaves Palmerston North. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Asked to respond at a media conference this afternoon, he suggested that some of the criticism he faced in Petone this morning may have been an organised campaign. A union van had been parked around the corner.
"I'm not saying the people were from the union but the questions were a bit specific.
He added: "But that's what makes a democracy and that's what an election is all about.
"I'm proud of the record that National's got ... but it's good for people to test those arguments with us and see whether the answers we give satisfy them."
Key was also asked about his popularity on the campaign trail.
He said it was purely the result of face recognition after eight years in the political spotlight.
He said "there is no magic" to his popularity and any leader of the National Party would get the same reception if they had been in charge for a prolonged period.
At the next stop in Dannevirke, traffic came to a standstill as Key made a fleeting visit to a grocery store on the main street. In a whirlwind 15-minute stop, he took around 50 selfies with schoolchildren before jumping back on the bus.
1.40pm - CUNLIFFE BUS: You've got to be quick on walkabouts with David Cunliffe - he's just had his first of the day at St Luke's' Mall.
He swept in, hurtled up toward the food court at pace, called out "Party Vote Labour" and then started posing for photos. The pace could have been because he was running a bit late - the bus went in the wrong entrance and had to negotiate a six-point turn on a narrow street to get back.
John Key was here a while back - and the man at Pita Pit told Cunliffe he was a lot taller than Key.
Cunliffe manages to get "best start" into every conversation with a parent. And one woman succumbed to a bit of flattery - he asked a boy if the woman with him was his sister.
"She's my mum!" he said. Cunliffe remarked that at least he'd got it wrong the right way round - better than mistaking his sister for his mother.
Photos taken, there was another rapid hurtle back to the bus and on to the next stop: Auckland University.
David Cunliffe meets shoppers at St Luke's Mall. Photo / Claire Trevett
1pm - PM'S BUS: In Palmerston North, a huge crowd of supporters gathered around Key and local candidate Jono Naylor in the central square.
Key's big blue bus was also met by a group of young protestors waving Tino Rangitiratanga flags and the purple colours of the Internet Party. Some of them were wearing pirate costumes and one wore a V-for-Vendetta mask.
They chanted "John Key out" and held placards which said "Honesty is Key".
One of the protestors, Zachary Manick, gave an impromptu speech: "I don't know John Key personally and I don't really know what he thinks of people like us.
"I do know that National's policies are crippling ordinary New Zealanders."
The Prime Minister and his large entourage zig-zagged across the square to avoid the group, which numbered around 20.
Mr Key said last night that he expected the Palmerston North seat to be one of the tightest races in the election, and he was confident Mr Naylor could win it off Labour's Iain Lees-Galloway.
Mr Lees-Galloway has held the seat since 2008, and was re-elected with a majority of 3000 votes in 2011.
12.48pm - CUNLIFFE BUS: Laila Harre's game of "he loves me he loves me not" has ended in a rebuff by Mr Cunliffe.
Ms Harre told a union meeting this morning that she fully expected a phone call from Mr Cunliffe on Sunday to form a new government.
Mr Cunliffe gave a sphinx-like smile at the time - but when asked outside said he was adamant he would not be on the blower to Ms Harre. "Optimism is a fine thing," he said.
He remained adamant he would be able to form a Government with the Greens and NZ First - the Greens again pledged their troth to Labour at the same meeting this morning. However, Mr Cunliffe is still playing his own 'love me, love me not' game with NZ First leader Winston Peters.
Mr Cunliffe is now on the bus heading for a walkabout at St Luke's' Mall.
He has defended his decision to stick to Auckland for much of the final week of the campaign, saying he has earlier visited most regions but at this time any time spent travelling was time not spent "meeting New Zealanders".
Cunliffe gets off the bus at St Luke's. Photo / Claire Trevett
11.45am - CUNLIFFE BUS: Labour leader David Cunliffe kicks off his final two days' campaigning at a union stop-work meeting before he heads out round Auckland on Labour's bus.
The union meeting was an advance peek at a possible coalition: although it was Internet Mana's Laila Harre in attendance rather than NZ First's Winston Peters.
The unions have endorsed Labour, the Greens and Internet Mana - the parties UNITE organiser Mike Treen said best reflected union policies.
Mr Cunliffe has ruled out including Internet Mana in formal Government positions, but Mr Treen then said he would personally be voting for Internet Mana because of his old friends Laila Harre and John Minto and the party's pro union stance.
David Cunliffe relaxes into his bus trip. Photo / Claire Trevett
Mr Cunliffe spoke to the workers about child poverty and "old people freezing in their armchairs" because they could not afford to heat their homes.
He set out Labour's first 100 days programme - including an immediate increase in the minimum wage to $15 followed by a further increase to $16.25 a year later, and repealing National's employment changes such as the 90-day trial period for new workers.
Other political attendees included Green co leaders Russel Norman and Metiria Turei, Internet leader Laila Harre, and several local candidates from each of the parties, including Phil Goff.
Mr Treen said workers were looking forward to a $2 per hour increase in the minimum wage under a Labour Government but would still demand better working conditions, including minimum hour guarantees.
"We'll bank the minimum wage but we also need secure hours."
He said claims employers could not afford to pay the wage increase were hollow.
"They will tell you that some of these things, we can't afford. That is a complete lie."
He said productivity and profits had increased at a faster rate that wages.
FIRST Union's Robert Reid said the stop work meetings in the campaign were not timed for political reasons - they were always held at this time of year however the early election had meant they conflicted.
He said FIRST was not formally affiliated to any party, but preferred the three with union friendly policies.
11am - PM'S BUS: Next stop, Paraparaumu. Otaki MP Nathan Guy and List MP Hekia Parata have joined the tour in the relatively safe National electorate.
The reception for Key at Coastlands Shopping Centre is overwhelmingly positive, and he runs through the familiar parade of baby-kissing, selfies and back-patting.
John Key kisses 3-month-old Edith Parnell, of Raumati South, during his walkabout around Coastlands Mall in Paraparaumu. Photo / Mark Mitchell
"Keep on going. Just keep on going," says one supporter.
A businessman thanks Key for introducing the 90-day trial law for employers.
"It helped big-time. It's helped us bring on more people. I've got three people employed now in my other business in town thanks to it."
He also tells the Prime Minister: "This business about Kim Dotcom is meaningless. No one cares."
Feeling brave, Key makes light of the recent controversy about surveillance in New Zealand.
When a woman asks how he knew it was her birthday, he laughs: "We really are spying on everyone."
David Garden, from Hamilton, confronts Key at the shopping mall about National's policy to remove student allowances for older students.
The 51-year-old tells the Prime Minister he can not get an unemployment benefit because he is studying, but can not afford to continue his computer science course without the subsidy.
"Because of my age I'm being discriminated against. I'm now in the middle of a degree I can't complete," he tells Key. "How am I going to buy food?"
9am - PM'S BUS: And we're off! The Prime Minister is on board the Team Key-emblazoned bus, accompanied by a dozen blue-cad Young Nats. The bus driver tells us we're on "JK One". He also says we're on "the road to victory" but then adds the proviso that he "has a sense of humour".
The first stop on the bus tour is Petone. Key said at last night's Leaders Debate that Hutt South was the seat he was most confident of winning back off Labour. Local MP Trevor Mallard needs to win the electorate to return to Parliament, as he is not on Labour's list. National's candidate Chris Bishop tells reporters Cunliffe has spent little time in the electorate.
John Key and Hutt South candidate Chris Bishop are confronted by a woman in Petone this morning.
Straight away, Key is greeted with warm smiles. "Love you," says the first woman he runs across in Petone's Main Street. But the welcome does not last.
Another woman asks Key why Housing New Zealand is knocking down six blocks of flats nearby.
"They've already made people homeless," she says. "And they'll turn it into grass and sell it off to the highest bidder because that's prime land down there.
"It's good to see you here," she adds. "[But] your Government has no plan about housing."
Another woman stops Key to ask him about jobs for her kids.
"I've got two sons. One is a carpenter and one is an electrician. And no job. Nothing. They are [doing] cleaning, or labour."
Key responds: "That's unusual. The industry's going gangbusters." He tells her to take her sons to Work and Income, or call his office.
And with that, coffee in hand, he jumps back on the bus.