Cunliffe floored by pensioner

VERNON SMALL
Last updated 12:56 20/08/2014
cunliffe rest home

MEET AND GREET: David Cunliffe with the residents of Wesleyhaven Village rest home, Vilma Brooking.

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Vilma Brooking stole the show at David Cunliffe's visit to Wesleyhaven Village rest home in the Hutt Valley this morning.

She posed questions that summed up the campaign and gave a bear hug that put the Labour leader on his backside beside her.

But she was a reluctant star.

"I'm not bloody giving it [her name] to you, my daughter will kill me," she said when she was first asked for her name.

Her opening shot set the scene for a day Cunliffe would use to highlight Government help for the elderly.

"When you first started I didn't really like you but you've grown on me," Brooking said.

She also wanted to to know "why don't you let America have Dotcom?"

Cunliffe replied: "you know we will", but said it was a matter for the courts.

"Yes, but we don't expect you to be too honest," Brooking shot back.

"But as my daughter said at least he [Cunliffe] had the guts to say he wouldn't work with old pimples and that's a start."

Cunliffe chose to interpret that as a reference to the Internet-Mana Party and repeated that the party would not be in any government he led.

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Another resident pitched in with a question about where the money was coming from for Labour's promises.

The promises include raising the minimum wage and Cunliffe hinted he would later today announce a pay rise for rest-home workers.

The answer was that Labour finance spokesman David Parker's "Scottish Presbyterian" background had ensured the spending was fully costed and that a surplus would be delivered.

Cunliffe quickly made a beeline for Brooking after questions and, squatting down in front of her, was bear-hugged to the ground.

After she had met him it seemed a fair bet Cunliffe would get her vote.

But her daughter might not be so keen.

"I daren't go home, my daughter's National," she said.

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