It's off to Nelson today for Labour leader David Shearer, who says he's doing everything he can to boost his profile in regional areas of New Zealand.
The former aid worker continues to barely register in leadership polls and has been criticised for low public recognition, despite having been leader since December last year.
But Mr Shearer says that's because he's been concentrating on meeting people face to face, talking to smaller crowds and in regional areas.
"I think that pays dividends in the long run, it doesn't necessarily pay them in the short run. I'm convinced that's a really important part of my role - to understand how all of New Zealand ticks, not just Auckland and Wellington."
Mr Shearer says the regions have problems.
"The roading budget is being cut vis-a-vis what's happening in urban areas. Government departments and services being pulled out of regional areas. The bottom line is we need our regions to succeed. If the regions don't succeed then New Zealand won't succeed."
He's speaking to the Pipfruit Industry conference today as part of a visit to a range of businesses in Nelson.
Photo: NZ Herald