Yesterday, I had the pleasure of a couple of hours spent (in a very ‘last-minute’ action) travelling out to Paraparaumu, with a crew of Bowen staffers and some local Green supporters, to join with Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons in a small media stunt, ‘door-stepping’ John Key on climate change policy as he passed through Coastlands Mall on his campaign trail.
We travelled comfortably, Jeanette opening her briefcase & reviewing some documents as we journeyed, at one point. We had no security personnel, we were casually attired, and we did not ask for, or need, a security escort by Police.
How different was the scene surrounding Mr Key – such a lot of staff, media from both networks and the print outlets, and lo! a contingency of Police shadowing him around the very dangerous environs of the Coastlands Mall. Our spotters in the carparks had seen the cavalcade of crown cars arriving, not a difficult group to spot! I had never before considered a Muffin Break café to be a possibly dangerous place, but then I haven’t been trained by the FBI.
Jeanette’s comments on the exchange with John Key
We stayed there long enough for the media to disperse, and to do some quick networking with Mana and Horowhenua Greens who had come to support the activity. Some of us ate some lunch, and then we all caught the 1pm service back to town.
Train staff were interested in what we’d been doing, and we had quite an informal discussion on the economy, the future of rail services, and how the cost of living is escalating, with two very friendly and articulate guards in our suburban unit train. To the incidental infotainment of the other passengers in our section …
It was a lovely day out on the Coast, and the views from the train are stunning. Now we just need to get a bit more money put into improving maintenance on the tracks, and getting some new rolling stock up and running, and we’ll once again have a KiwiRail service that is efficient, commodious, and ready to fill the gap that rising oil prices and climate change initiatives have created in our public transport needs.