Just walking back to our apartment this evening there was a small crowd gathered in a side street we were passing. We stopped for a moment to have a look and someone was making a speech on the pavement outside one of the buildings. We looked again and realised it was Jacinda Ardern, the PM! There were a couple of police officers keeping an eye on things but we saw no sign of bodyguards and people certainly weren’t being kept at a distance.
The PM encouraged the students to make the most of all the educational opportunities offered to them, then there was a bang and streamers flew out over the crowd – a bit more dramatic than just cutting a ribbon -and she declared Te Auaha: NZ Institute of Creativity open!
On a visit to NZ some years ago we went to the Ellerslie Flower Show in Christchurch. We were admiring Chris Beardshaw’s garden exhibit ‘An Englishman’s Retreat’ and five or six people walked past us, interviewing someone. It was the then PM John Key… We certainly couldn’t imagine the same things happening in the UK!