Prime Minister and Labour party leader Jacinda Ardern made her first visit to Hamilton on the election campaign trail today, where she received a rock star welcome.
As the word spread, the small group of supporters outside of Hamilton's Centre Place Shopping Centre soon turned into a large gathering of more than 200 people.
Students, shoppers, supporters and elected officials soon filled a section of Worley Place outside the shopping centre as the Prime Minister arrived to cheers of "We've got this," "Let's keep moving" and even a "vote yes to cannabis" as supporters desperately manoeuvred to get a selfie with Ardern.
Hamilton-based Labour MP Jamie Strange said it would be key to keep Ardern moving to stay on schedule for other events throughout the day, but despite being only 20m from the door to Centre Place, it took her more than 15 minutes to make it inside, such was the demand for people to have a photo with her.
Ardern visited several business within the complex, such as Elias Barber Shop and clothing store Shine. She discussed how they had been affected by Covid-19, what they had done to adapt and what more support they needed.
The walkabout was the second event of the day for Ardern, who earlier visited Green Valley Dairy Company in Mangatawhiri.
There she announced that Labour is promising at least $50 million to help farmers plan to transition to environmentally friendly practices and cope with growing compliance requirements.
"By partnering with the industry we will create a single planning framework that will reduce costs for every farmer and grower, reduce the burden of compliance and help our agri-sector get greater economic returns for their products," Ardern said.
"New Zealand's farmers and growers are creative, innovative and always look to improve their practices. A single farm plan will help them to capture all of their compliance requirements in one place, achieve their economic goals and support the transition to a clean, green carbon neutral New Zealand.
"Our primary sector is world-renowned for its trusted, healthy and safe food and fibre and has proved resilient through Covid-19. The sector is already in recovery with record export prices, helping us to grow our way out of the economic crisis of the global pandemic.
"We've proven through the Mycoplasma bovis eradication effort, He Waka Eke Noa and the development of the Fit for a Better World Road map that partnership with the sector works," Ardern said.
Once fully rolled out, a farm plan will provide a framework that will meet all on-property requirements for farmers and growers, including environmental management, labour, biosecurity and health and safety, replacing the overlapping and wide-ranging reporting, auditing and consents required now.