Labour leader flies flag in Levin
If you want to know the mood of an area, visit a school - and at the end of the day stop somewhere for a beer.
That's David Shearer's theory on visiting the provinces and one he put into action when the Labour Party leader visited Otaki and Levin yesterday.
Mr Shearer's itinerary included Te Takere, the Horowhenua Learning Centre and Weltec in Otaki.
Not to mention Waiopehu College and Levin East School.
"Schools are a really good barometer of a community. If kids are doing it hard you know families are doing it hard.
"There's definitely a change of mood," Mr Shearer said. "The shine's come off the Government."
Mr Shearer said poor policy, particularly around education, and issues such as the Kim Dotcom saga were hurting National.
"At the same time we've made some big announcements in education and jobs. It's about holding the Government to account but also showing what we've got."
Mr Shearer said National Standards still tended to be "the first thing mentioned" at schools.
He said the policy was a failure.
"Almost every single school you go into they say the same thing, ‘we didn't learn anything we didn't already know'. It hasn't changed how people teach."
Labour had risen in the polls, Mr Shearer said, since he came to Palmerston North in February.
As for the beer, he said he would be stopping somewhere before he headed back to Wellington.
"People can come up to you, sometimes they bash your ear, sometimes they give you a suggestion."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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