Shopping for votes at Howick Village Market

Judith Collins created a flutter of excitement at Howick Village Market on Saturday morning. Times photo Farida Master

From tolerating trolls on social media to naysayers and dissent in the party, being leader of the opposition is a tough job, and yet an energetic Judith Collins seemed to take it all in her stride as she did a walkabout at the Howick Village Market on Saturday morning.

National leader, Collins was in east Auckland on the weekend campaigning with MP for Pakuranga Simeon Brown and was part of the human hoarding at street corners with National Party candidate for Botany Christopher Luxon and Brown on Sunday.

National leader Judith Collins was campaigning in east Auckland with National Party candidate for Botany Christopher Luxon and Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown. Times photo Reay Neben

The feisty leader of the opposition kept the traditionally blue heartland of Howick, Pakuranga and Botany for the last part of her campaign trail.

Creating a buzz on the day the village market was back in action after almost three months–an energetic Collins shopped for shortbread cookies from Gloria of Cheltenham Cakes who joked saying she would have worn a bikini had she’d known the national media was covering her little stall.

“My husband loves shortbread,” said Collins who was gifted a blue mask by one of the stall owners.

“It’s the perfect colour, now all I have to do is win,” smiled Collins as she reached out to every John, Jane and little Johnny at the market.

Stopping by to talk to shoppers and stall owners, several locals reached out to the opposition leader with words of encouragement, saying they had already voted for her.

“It’s exciting as we reach the finishing line,” Collins told the Times as she stopped by for a cuppa at Hancock’s Cafe.

Leader of opposition Judith Collins takes a small break for a cuppa with Simeon Brown, wife Rebecca and baby Anna at Hancock’s Cafe. Photo supplied

“Howick is a great place to come to; it has such a sense of community and family. I’ve come here many times as I was the electorate MP for Clevedon which is very close to Howick. There is such a beautiful coastal feel to Howick and I enjoy being here particularly on Saturday at the Howick Village Market.”