It is never an encouraging sign for politicians when ear plugs are handed out to everyone present upon their arrival.
But Labour leader Phil Goff was in safe hands when he was taken on an outing by his deputy, Annette King, to A.E. Tilley - an engineering factory in her Rongotai electorate in Wellington - where he could be assured of a warm but loud welcome.
It was a day in which the deputy leaders of both National and Labour had a warm-up for the main campaign.
While Ms King took the safe option of staying on friendly soil, National's Bill English took the more risky step of a visit to Grey Power in Upper Hutt.
At the factory, the workers warmly welcomed Ms King - a regular visitor - as she and Mr Goff were led around by Don Tilley, a spry 79-year-old who took over the family business in 1958 and is now worried about the plight of local manufacturing.
"Thanks for your support," Mr Goff said as he farewelled each worker, regardless of whether they had voiced any support at all.
But it was Ms King who was the Queen here. She was invited to a wedding by one worker and another, Vinod Kanji - who was also a drummer - revealed he had persuaded Ms King to dance at Diwali festival celebrations.
One worker waited until the MPs passed by and then said Ms King should be Labour's leader. Things got a little hairy when store manager George Dornan said he had started in 1972 "and was in my 20s when Annette King came round the first time".
"At that stage I was 10," Ms King slotted in, unconvincingly.
Meanwhile, at the other end of town John Key's deputy was having a more uncomfortable time speaking to about 60 Upper Hutt Grey Power members.
Bill English tried to soften the crowd by telling of his days as a milk delivery boy in Upper Hutt, where he went to school. He went on to relate how the PM had recently had a nightmare about turning up to the hustings.
"The All Blacks had won the Rugby World Cup and Richie McCaw turned up as the Leader of the Opposition."
The crowd tittered in appreciation before settling in while Mr English got to work inducing the afternoon nap with a speech on the economy.
Unfortunately for Mr English, they livened up rapidly at question time.
There were questions about young wastrels on benefits, migrants, and whether Mr English would sell off all the schools and hospitals after they were renovated from the proceeds of selling off other state assets.
There was the obligatory question about whether the Super Gold Card would be cut back.
"No changes!" Mr English promised, to a cheer. Then someone came up with the idea of giving a 20 per cent power bill discount to cardholders.
The crowd looked hopeful, for just a moment. The election loomed, after all. But: "As I said, no changes," Mr English repeated with a grin.
One man wanted to know why there were 120 MPs when 80 would do the job. Mr English advised him to make his views known through the MMP referendum before saying he preferred the 3MP system: "John Key, myself and Jonathan [Fletcher - National's Rimutaka candidate]."
His trial ended after one strong advocate for farming employment said the soft options were office jobs or "becoming a parliamentarian".
Mr English smiled, but began to look as if he needed some of those ear plugs Mr Goff was given. "One day I'll get a real job."