Tim Shadbolt has issued a plea to Jacinda Ardern, asking her not to crush Invercargill.
The city's Mayor said like a lot of New Zealanders, he's overwhelmed by the Labour leader's warm, friendly style, enthusiasm, debating skills and positivity.
But he said the Labour Party's Zero Fee policy for tertiary students will undermine Invercargill's marketing edge, and innovative point of difference.
Mr Shadbolt said he doesn't object to the policy, saying imitation is the highest form of flattery.
But he said it's only fair the Government helps Invercargill to go one better, and offer rent free accommodation to tertiary students.