Kids hand out playground punishment to Cunliffe

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 09/05/2014
Cunliffe sand pit
NICOLE JOHNSTONE/Fairfax NZ

CASTLES IN THE SAND: Labour leader David Cunliffe builds sand Beehives while children from Rockdale Park Kindergarten look on.

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If David Cunliffe had any hope of building an empire in Invercargill, it was quickly crushed by a preschooler.

The Labour Party leader visited Invercargill yesterday, speaking at Grey Power's annual meeting and visiting Rockdale Park Kindergarten.

Cunliffe took to the sandpit with the preschoolers after talking with teachers and parents about Labour's Best Start policy for young families. He started joking while making beehive-styled sandcastles.

The first beehive crumbled and Cunliffe made a dig about it being a National-led government.

The second beehive was more successful - almost perfect - and Cunliffe said it was a Labour-led government but one 4-year-old quickly crushed that dream, jumping all over it.

Cunliffe struck it lucky at the end of the visit, with a bit of love shown by Quade Clark, 4, who was excited to give him a hug on his way out. There were no hugs at the Grey Power conference but Cunliffe did get some smiles for his speech.

He announced that under a Labour government non-resident foreign investors would not be able to buy New Zealand farms and Labour would set up an aged-care commissioner as well as put standards in place for aged-care facilities.

His proposal to raise the retirement age to 67 did not create a lot of noise but he persevered in trying to sell the policy to those who already know the value of the pension.

His reception was not quite as jovial as that received by NZ First leader Winston Peters on Wednesday.

Cunliffe rounded off the Grey Power annual meeting, which finished yesterday and attracted several politicians from major political parties.

Prime Minister John Key will be in Invercargill today for the opening of the ILT Stadium Southland.

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- The Southland Times

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