Stop the bus: Passengers react to Jacinda Ardern as the new Labour Party Leader

Jay Morris, 18, from Auckland, said he was voting Labour for the three years' free study policy.
DONNA-LEE BIDDLE/STUFF

Jay Morris, 18, from Auckland, said he was voting Labour for the three years' free study policy.

Jacinda Ardern has taken the wheel of the Labour Party but will voters get aboard the bus?  Stuff asked travellers at Hamilton's central bus station if they thought Jacinda could steer the country in the right direction. 

Platform D at the Hamilton Transport Centre Pai Pisa, 48, was on a quick stop-over in Hamilton. He was heading home to Porirua, where he works as a labourer.

Pisa wasn't aware that Ardern was the new leader but asked to see a photo of her to confirm it was the person he had pictured. 

Pai Pisa, 48, from Porirua, said he will vote for Jacinda Ardern based on her picture.
DONNA-LEE BIDDLE/STUFF

Pai Pisa, 48, from Porirua, said he will vote for Jacinda Ardern based on her picture.

After what felt like an awkward amount of time confirming Ardern's identity, Pisa finally peeled his eyes away from the phone. 

"Oh yeah, I'd vote for her," he said.

Suraya Antonievic, 25, from Hamilton, said, "I'm a feminist so I'm all for empowering women. Having Jacinda as leader will definitely influence the way I will vote."

Pania Peta, 55, from Hamilton said Jacinda Ardern lacks experience.
DONNA-LEE BIDDLE/STUFF

Pania Peta, 55, from Hamilton said Jacinda Ardern lacks experience.

Brendon, 54, who would not give his last name, said he had been a loyal Labour Party supporter for decades and although policies are important, personality is equally so. 

"I couldn't do it, I couldn't vote for Andrew, he doesn't have the personality for it," he said.

"I heard a little whisper that he may be stepping down and I'm glad he did because I can now vote Labour."

Terry Foster, 59, from Hamilton, says Labour need to come together and show a united front."
DONNA-LEE BIDDLE/STUFF

Terry Foster, 59, from Hamilton, says Labour need to come together and show a united front."

And while others were on the fence, such as Auckland student Jay Morris, who said it didn't matter as long as Labour kept the three years' free study promise, others say they will change their vote entirely. 

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Pania Peta, 55, from Hamilton, said she will not be voting Labour.

"I've been a long time Labour Party supporter but I couldn't vote for her," Peta said.

"It's a bit worrying, to be honest. She lacks the experience needed to not only lead a party but to lead the country."

Terry Foster, 59, from Hamilton, said he felt sorry for Andrew Little.

"There was little support for him from the caucus," Foster said.

"I don't believe that she's the wrong choice but I wonder if this is the right time for her. They need to come together and show a united front."

And Matamata man Matty Paul, was more concerned about his love life.

"I don't think Labour will win. It doesn't matter if they change leaders," Paul said.

"I judge by what's going on, on my Facebook page and it's all National supporters out there. National haven't done a good job for me though, I'm still single."

 - Stuff

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