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Could the Prime Minister have made it any more clear that she didn’t want to be in Auckland today?
You know when you have to go around to the in-laws on Christmas Day but you don’t really want to?
So, the moment you pop in you immediately start making excuses that you really have to dash off shortly to the next place and you only have time for one drink and you drink that drink faster than you've ever drunk a drink before?
She just did that to Auckland.
The PM visited one business.
One business in a city full of businesses.
And it’s a business that has been able to operate this entire lockdown.
By contrast, David Seymour estimates that he visited 30+ businesses – two were in his diary and the remainder were on his three walkabouts in three different suburbs in his electorate.
Then the PM visited a Pasifika vaccination centre, where you can guarantee a fan base to ensure wonderful celebratory pictures for the TV news.
And then it was over. And she was off.
I fully accept that her diary will be in part dictated by what flights are available in and out of Auckland at the moment.
And I fully accept that a walkabout was not an option for her given how angry so many Aucklanders are.
It would’ve been way too risky to let her wander around Newmarket with TV cameras rolling in case people start wanting to have a stern word.
But could she not have met with just a few more business people? The very people bearing the brunt of this lockdown?
The people who are selling their houses or closing their bushiness or laying off staff.
The hairdressers, the bar owners, the restaurateurs?
We’re all savvy enough to understand a visit to Aukland would always be a tightly controlled and staged appearance.
But this was so staged as to be meaningless.
We all know who’s really hurting in Auckland and did any of them get the PM’s time? No.
Is this leaving any of us with the impression that she’s really listened to the right people? No.
Does this only add to the impression she really didn’t want to be in Auckland? Absolutely.