Labour leader hopeful Grant Robertson was dealt a blow in south Auckland today, when members of the religious and socially conservative faction of the party came out in force to make it clear they don't like that he is gay and won't be voting for him.
The unions will play a big part in deciding the next Labour leader, but many in south Auckland have another union – with God. And that wasn't working well for Mr Robertson.
"I don't like gay people. I don't like him," said one person 3 News spoke to.
"I don't like gay people. I don't want to see him as the Prime Minister," said another.
The 3000 workers were rallying against employment law changes, but only two of 40 people 3 News spoke to supported Mr Robertson.
All three leadership contenders were told not to come to the rally as it would be a distraction, so David Cunliffe and Mr Robertson battled Prime Minister John Key in Parliament, but Shane Jones turned up.
"I was due to ask a question of the Prime Minister, but he doesn't have a vote in this contest. The rank and file of the union whanau do," says Mr Jones.
The unions are hugely important. They make up 20 percent of the vote, and while Mr Jones wasn't allowed to speak today, he's making the most of his time, though he's got a lot of work to do.
The battle is about to head on a nationwide roadshow, but south Auckland is hugely important not only for the leadership race, but for winning the next election too.
source: newshub archive