Hipkins in great demand

Chris Hipkins
Chris Hipkins
Labour Party education spokesman Chris Hipkins has been in demand during the election campaign as party MPs and candidates seek his help in explaining education policy to voters.

Mr Hipkins was in Dunedin yesterday with Dunedin South MP Clare Curran and Dunedin North MP David Clark but was heading home last night to spend the last two and a-half weeks of the campaign in his own electorate of Rimutaka.

Labour and National have two very different policies, with Labour wanting smaller classes and more teachers and National wanting an executive-type level of teachers travelling to help schools and teachers with training and advice.

There was wide interest in education as a policy and Mr Hipkins realised he needed to spend a lot of time out of his own electorate campaigning for others.

''Home is where I go to get a clean change of clothes before leaving. It is exhausting living out of a suitcase but we are nearly there - the home stretch.''

However, it was just as important to campaign on behalf of the Labour party vote as it was campaigning in his own electorate. And he had a strong team of volunteers working on his behalf.

When he was at home, he made sure to attend community events and talk to voters.

Mr Hipkins had attended every candidates meeting in his electorate and expected to be attending a few more.

He had attended education forums throughout New Zealand and said parents were always keen to talk about any proposed changes to education.

It was one of the hottest issues of the election.

While in Dunedin, Mr Hipkins conducted a session on civic-type issues at King's High School.