On the trail with Paula Bennett: Business, innovation and ponytails
Just like her previous boss was known to do, deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett wrapped her hand around a ponytail at the weekend.
But unlike former Prime Minister John Key, who in 2015 was embroiled in a bizarre hair-pulling incident, the current National MP had permission.
As part of her campaign trail, Bennett arrived in Taranaki on Saturday where she made stops around the region and mingled with locals.
While in New Plymouth, she called into shopping mall Centre City where 15-year-old Charlie Godwin was found cutting her hair at Just Cuts hair salon as a donation to a cancer charity.
"It's a big move, that," Bennett said.
The minister, who was wearing a blue jacket from New Plymouth's Lushington Jackets, was in an awe of the teenager for lopping off her long locks and encouraged her with some "good motherly advice."
"Show no fear and do it," she said.
Bennett picked up the 30 centimetre-long bundle while hearing the rules of donating hair - that it had to be healthy, no greys and not coloured.
"That rules me out."
On Saturday, Bennett had made her way from Palmerston North, to Whanganui and then on to Taranaki where she stopped in Hawera and New Plymouth.
Along the way she spoke about National policies and local issues such as business growth and innovation in the build up to the September general election.
Bennett dubbed it her "weekend of action," which entailed generating some "energy and a bit of excitement" about the campaign.
"It's really cool because I mean the thing is people now know there is an election on whereas to be quite blunt three or four weeks ago they didn't."
Bennett planned to stay in New Plymouth for the night before heading to Bulls on Sunday.
Heading to Saturday night's rugby to watch the Port Taranaki Bulls take on Waikato may be on the agenda, following a National party function, she said.
"Maybe I'll go for the locals," she said.