National's Christopher Luxon got into the April Fool's Day spirit on Friday morning with an elaborate prank on The Rock radio station he carried out on Roger 'Rog' Farrelly.
The Leader of the Opposition jokingly offered the morning radio stalwart a run for the National Party attempting to win the Auckland Central electorate in the 2023 election.
The pair also joked about the amount of property they own and complained about New Zealand's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Farrelly said Luxon had texted him in the morning for a chat, which he thought was "so weird", before he got the call.
Video of the prank has been published on The Rock's Facebook page with a caption saying Farrelly fell for the gag "hook, line and sinker".
"When I was coming in to see you guys I know we were joking around about you running in Auckland Central, I know this sounds like an odd thought, but just hear me out a little bit. I actually think you'd be really good at it," said Luxon.
"Well I've never really - it wasn't something I was thinking of doing. It would be an incredible change," said Farrelly.
Luxon told the broadcaster his profile he has would be a big help. He said he watched Farrelly on Dancing With the Stars NZ and "there was a hell of a lot of women that seemed to fall in love with Rog".
"Why don't you seriously think about it? With all that profile you've got, all that celebrity, everyone loves you, you'd come in and do something really powerful and make a big difference," Luxon said.
"People from your world have done really well, y'know, Tamati Coffey, Maggie Barry, Lockwood Smith, I sort of thought you'd be up for that.
"When you lead a radio show like you do, a lot of that is very similar to what I was doing [as CEO of] Air New Zealand. A lot of those skills are very transferable into politics."
"Mmm. Yeah, you can see definitely parts are, absolutely," said Farrelly.
Farrelly told Luxon he has always voted National and that the last few years of the Labour government have been "awful". He complained that "nothing seems to really add up with this whole COVID thing", saying Auckland's 2021 lockdown was "terrible" and felt "like we were in a prison".
"It was a shambles," said Luxon, before taking the conversation in a more positive direction by asking: "You've got a lot of property, right? Haven't you got a lot of houses, like me?"
"Yeah I've got the one I live in in Orewa, I've got a bach in Mangawhai and then we've got a rental as well, not far from Orewa in Milldale. And some land at Mangawhai as well," said Farrelly.
"You're sort of the Donald Trump of the North Shore really aren't ya!" said Luxon, triggering laughter from Farrelly.
When asked about any potential skeletons in the closet, Farrelly said he'd been in radio for a long time and The Rock back in the '90s was not politically correct.
After nearly five minutes, Luxon brought Farrelly's co-hosts in on the call and revealed it was all a prank.
"Happy April Fool's Day my friend!" he told Farrelly.
"So it's not happening?" the broadcaster laughed, before conceding: "It'd probably be National's worst ever showing in the seat."
Asked by his co-hosts about his claims to Luxon of owning land in Mangawhai as well as multiple homes, Farrelly said: "I was trying to impress him!"
Farrelly said he was definitely surprised by the political job offer, but part of him believed it wasn't a prank.
"No, not really because he just kept on talking and I was like, well, surely - he might be serious. So I was thinking, Jesus! I was pacing up and down outside, going 'this is life changing stuff'," he said.
"I saw the future there for a second."
The Auckland Central electorate is currently held by Green Party member Chlöe Swarbrick, who beat Labour's Helen White and National's Emma Mellow in the 2020 general election to win it.