They didn’t tell anyone about it just in case she got side-tracked with other pressing commitments.
But when Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett made an appearance at Everyday Heroes in Botany Town Centre on Saturday, she surprised everyone by staying much longer than expected.
The Minister of Police spent nearly two hours chatting with the community and police personnel at the event hosted by Counties Manukau Police and the town centre.
Enjoying the entertainment at the town centre stage, she was in no hurry to leave for her next engagement in city central.
“This is one of the best community events, there was such a buzz,” she told the Times.
“It’s amazing how engaging the police are and how well they are reaching out and connecting with the community. Today is an important day where the community gets to see what the police do and the services they provide.”
“Thank you to our men and women on the frontline keeping us safe,’ she tweeted from the Everyday Heroes event.
On being asked how the Minister handles the pressure of juggling different portfolios of Police, Climate Change Issues, Tourism, State Services, and Women, the deputy leader of National Party said: “I think I have got the best portfolio in government. It’s easy because I have surrounded myself with very good people who know their job.”
Making her job sound simple she brushed it off saying: “I don’t work more than 16 hours a day. And take half a day off in a week.”
The Everyday Heroes event had a carnival-type atmosphere with entertainment that included a Police Asian Dance group, Counties Manukau Police District Commander Choir, police dog display, Flow Academy of Motion, Baverstock Oaks School kapahaka group, Off Broadway Big Band and the Tatau Samoan dance group.
There were plenty of families interested in learning more about mock crime scenes that demonstrated the techniques they use at serious crime incidents.
Also spotted at the scene was little Henry, Jami-Lee Ross’s son trying to solve a mock crime case.
The police dog display was another big hit with the crowd as was the Taser display and the St John stall that taught children cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
District Commander, Superintendent John Tims and Counties Manukau East area commander Inspector Wendy Spiller both looked very pleased with the turnout and active public participation that made it worth the effort.