Weather Foils Front-Runner Seymour’s Travel, Spurs Unexpected Civic Engagement


In a stroke of unfavorable weather, Act Party’s trailblazing front-runner, David Seymour, had his travel plans thwarted, causing him to miss two planned public meetings in Ohakune and Taumaranui. Seymour’s dedicated airborne chariot, affectionately christened the ‘Flying Pinky’, was deemed inadequate for the anticipated turbulence. Andrew Hoggard, fellow Act Party candidate, was left to commandeer the meetings in Seymour’s stead.

Reluctantly adopting New Plymouth as an impromptu port of call, Seymour made the most of the unscheduled detour. Despite the dreary weather, Seymour embraced the opportunity to gauge the pulse of New Plymouth’s local businesses. Trade was slow, yet this did nothing to hinder Seymour’s engagement with the locals, drawing cheers and wishes of goodwill from both business owners and patrons alike.

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Seymour’s unexpected layover included a constructive discourse with Dean Eggers, the general manager of Symons Group. The conversation revolved around the fortification of local economy through the reinstatement of Port Taranaki’s container shipping capabilities, a facility lost since 2014.

A seemingly ephemeral pause in Seymour’s campaign trail, the visit to New Plymouth elucidated important notes on local infrastructure. Ivan Chapple, Symons Group’s pragmatic manager, shared his vital insight into city planning with Seymour, voicing his concern about the preference of cycleways and bus lanes over much-needed road maintenance.

Seymour’s journey continued on foot through New Plymouth’s downtown locale, where he engaged in substantive dialogue with the local business community and their patrons. His journey bore fruit, unlike the previous one in Auckland’s Remuera. Hair salon owners spoke about the struggles of wage increments and longer intervals between clients. Lottery store owners expressed their undeniable frustration at the rising cost of living and crime rates. The grievances shared were numerous, from the hefty price of road repairs to the increase in tyre blowout costs.

Despite the downpours and dismay, Seymour soldiered on, engaging teenagers on school holiday and servants of the travel industry on his campaign trail, buying scratchie tickets in the hopes of winning and making light-hearted comments with local residents.

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