Cunliffe floored by pensioner

04:36, Aug 20 2014
cunliffe rest home
MEET AND GREET: David Cunliffe with the residents of Wesleyhaven Village rest home, Vilma Brooking.

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.

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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.

Vilma told me "When you first came into the job I didn't think much of you. But... today I'm wearing red"! pic.twitter.com/U63WB7kR2V

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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