Aloha, Luxon: chef receives lei TV breakfast greeting, attempts to steer cost of living topic

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Christopher Luxon addressed the misleading social media post on The AM Show saying it should have been uploaded sooner. Video / Three

National Party leader Christopher Luxon said a social media video suggesting he was at Te Puke when he was actually in Hawaii should have been uploaded earlier.

Morning this morning, Luxon was greeted by leis-wearing hosts before being asked about the fiasco.

“Aloha, I love the necklaces, they look amazing,” Luxon said.

“I own that one,” he said of the controversial post. “We should have posted it much sooner and we should have captioned the post to say it was the last few days, without implying it was the day.

“I shot the video when I was in Te Puke before going on vacation,” he told the TV3 broadcast.

He confirmed that he was definitely doing his interview this morning from the Beehive Theatrette.

"We should have published it much earlier," Christopher Luxon told the AM show after his social media fiasco in Hawaii.  Photo / Marty Melville
“We should have released it much sooner,” Christopher Luxon told the AM show after his social media fiasco in Hawaii. Photo / Marty Melville

“I’m definitely in Wellington today and back in the reality of New Zealand – we have big things to focus on.

“We have the cost of living going up, school attendance is a major issue, we have a health crisis and the healthcare system is collapsing,” Luxon said.

“Let’s get back to the real issues now, off the beach in Hawaii.”

Luxon said he called for an inquiry into the Reserve Bank because New Zealanders deserved to know whether the monetary policies implemented with the government’s response to Covid-19 were contributing to the cost of living crisis.

“Given the pain and suffering that New Zealanders are feeling with this cost of living crisis, it is really important that we understand whether these policies have contributed to making the situation worse. [crisis] and what we can learn from it for next time.”

He wasn’t sure how much the survey would cost, but he was convinced it was the right approach.

“Rather than a royal commission or a ministerial review, it is actually important to have an independent public inquiry rather than the Reserve Bank assessing its own performance.”

He said National approved of support for businesses hammered by Covid-19, but said ‘dumb’ spending was happening – such as on the Three Waters Reform, health system restructuring and the merger of TVNZ and New Zealand Radio.

“These are things we just wouldn’t do and spend money on.”

He repeated arguments made several times this year that money spent building bureaucracy in Wellington should have been better spent on doctors, teachers and intensive care beds.

Speaking to TVNZ’s Breakfast about the Te Puke post, Luxon said it had already been addressed and it was well known that he was in Hawaii and not Te Puke when the post was posted.

When asked if a vacation to Hawaii with his family could disconnect him from what struggling ordinary Kiwis experience, Luxon said it was hard work and a well-deserved break.

He added: “[Hawaii] is a good place to go because we spend time with family without being in the public eye so much and that was exactly what we needed to do.”

Luxon was then asked if he understood what the struggling Kiwis were going through.

“Absolutely. I really understand that. We have a very big problem with the government letting down a lot of New Zealanders at the moment,” the National Party leader said.

“We don’t have an economic plan that really deals with rising inflation and the cost of living – and we have to have it and we have to see it from the government.”

Jessica C. Bell