Dogs and slammed doors are usually the biggest problem confronting political party doorknockers, but a volunteer helping Labour MP Jacinda Ardern in Freeman's Bay yesterday was given a bit of a shock when a man answered the door stark naked.

Ms Ardern, who is Labour's candidate for Auckland Central, said that although she had been greeted by people wearing only towels, it was not common to come across a naked person at midday on a Sunday in the leafy suburbs. "He might have been trying to teach us a lesson."

The volunteer was experienced in knocking on people's doors to enrol them and try to win their vote. However, she did not think she managed to hand over any brochures this time.

"She may not have wanted to have his hands leave a certain area. I believe the volunteer was very polite to him, but I'm not sure she went through the process of enrolling him. I don't think she lingered long."


Ms Ardern said she had had a man turn around to urinate in his garden while he was filling out the enrolment forms. "I let him keep the pen."

Labour leader David Cunliffe said one memorable encounter he had was with a woman in her 80s while visiting pensioner flats. She agreed with everything he said only to then say she would be voting for NZ First.

"I said, 'Why? You like all our policies.' She looked over her glasses at me and said, 'Well, you might be too young to understand, young man, but I'm voting for Winston because he can put his slippers under my bed any time.'"

Mr Cunliffe said he did feel slightly pleased that people of that age still had such thoughts.