Monday was supposed to deliver a return to good old fashioned policies but was instead dominated by a pig wearing lipstick, another party leader pushing the eject seat on the election and a Prime Minister talking about his pimples.

It began with Gareth Morgan calling time on the mania around Labour leader Jacinda Ardern via a tweet. "Jacinda should be required to show she's more than lipstick on a pig."

He went on to say that without good policies, Labour was little more than an empty vessel. "Hero worship from Jacindaphiles pathetic."

He tried to clarify, saying the "pig" was not Ardern at all but rather which party was in power that had done nothing to address inequality. He even pointed to Barack Obama using the expression.


Alas, the damage was done.

Ironically, that one tweet then proceeded to overshadow the two policy announcements being made.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern was in Tauranga to announce Labour would build big trains and restore the halcyon days of rail travel. But wait, there's more. There was also a plan to double the amount in a contestable fund for roading improvements. But wait, there was still more - there was also a pledge to hold a Roading Summit in her first 100 days as Prime Minister.

She had an audience of about 400 and a long queue at the end for selfies - that took an hour to get through. One man even went through the queue twice because his photo did not work out the first time.

Meanwhile National leader Bill English was in Wellington to announce National was extending eligibility for the Community Services Card to 350,000 more people - delivering benefits including $18 GP visits.

Then he too got mobbed - by small children. None of them can vote, but that did not stop him pulling faces at a window or playing peekaboo with a kid under a table. He later quipped it was so chaotic "I think they thought I was Donald Trump".

There was no such danger of mis-identification for Ardern on her school visit, to Merivale School in Tauranga. They had cutouts of Jacinda leaning on the sides of the school hall to help with identification.

Ardern's "relentless positivity" credo involves refusing to talk about anything but Labour. Yesterday that was getting a trammelling.


Ardern tried to brush Morgan aside, saying he clearly had not been listening to her talking only about Labour and she would ensure he was added to their email lists in future.

Instead it was English - the occasional feminist - who leapt to her defence, decrying it as "deliberately appalling", "outside the acceptable boundaries of political criticism" and adding he would not want to work with anyone with such an attitude.

He may well have regretted that just a few hours later when the second big event happened - United Future leader Peter Dunne pulling out of standing for re-election in his Ohariu seat.

The final instalment of day two on the campaign trail was news of English opening up about his teenage struggles with acne. The battle for the youth vote is really heating up.

At the time all this was folding, Ardern was at a school in Tauranga. She'd foolishly begun by asking the children some questions. One was whether anybody knew what MPs did in Parliament. The definitive reply piped up from the second row: "sit down."

By the end, a cup of tea and a sit down was the only sensible solution to day two of the campaign.