Closures subdue Sue Moroney's opening
Labour MP Sue Moroney opened her temporary campaign office in the Hamilton central business district but excitement was tinged with sadness because there were far too many options in the city to choose from.
She said this reflected desperate times in the city.
"The sad part of this exercise was that we had so many choices of empty shops all over the CBD and it's a bit of a wake-up call."
The Hamilton West candidate said her office on Ulster St was unsuitable as a campaign headquarters as it was funded by Parliamentary Services and a new place was found on the corner of Victoria St and Collingwood St.
It was a high-profile site in the CBD and accessible for the public but business in the city was "a very sad state of affairs".
She said the Hamilton economy should be "pinging" on the back of high dairy prices but the trickle down just wasn't happening.
"I found it really easy to find a high-profile corner site, we were able to haggle over the pric," Moroney said.
Landlords were in a desperate situation and the cashflow from her short-term deal was quickly gobbled up," she said.
"We came and saw it on the Saturday. We haggled over the price on Sunday, we signed the lease on Monday and we are open for business on Thursday."
"We had a very, very willing landlord who was keen to get a tenant - even for six weeks."
Labour deputy leader David Parker was in Hamilton to talk party policy with manufacturers and attended the opening of Moroney's new digs.
Parker untied the ribbon to officially open the office but his day was spent talking with business leaders about Labour's policy of an economic upgrade with better jobs and higher wages.
"When we announced our policies for the forestry industry, one sawmiller in Hamilton said they would invest an extra $100 million for an extension to their factory, which, of course, adds to the value of our exports and we can employ more people," Parker said.