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
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
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.