While the Prime Minister wandered around Fieldays flanked by Labour MPs today, one in particular was singled out and asked about the future of his famous red ute.
Wairarapa MP Kieran McAnulty told media he "might not" get another ute amid the Government's plans to encourage Kiwis to buy electric vehicles (EV).
On Sunday, the Government announced that from the beginning of next month they’re rolling out new rebates up to $8,625 for new EV and hybrid cars, and $3,450 for older used models.
It’s aimed to boost uptake in low emission alternatives and help reach the Government’s carbon-neutral 2050 goal, in light of the Climate Change Commission's recommendations.
But the move hasn't gone down well with Kiwi ute-users, such as farmers and tradespeople.
McAnulty won the Wairarapa seat last election and his Labour-branded ute gained attention last year when Jacinda Ardern hopped in for a spin.
But now utes are in the spotlight, the question over its future was asked at a media briefing today.
"I'll upgrade my ute when it dies," he said.
"But I might not buy a new vehicle...I'll have a look at what's available."
He said he needed his ute 15 years ago when he bought it, but says he's doing less manual work these days "so I might not get another ute".
But Ardern said there was consideration given to exempting utes from financial penalties in the new EV scheme.
"I think there's an understanding that we did consider a carve-out and we tried to see whether that would be workable - particularly for those, particularly our farmers who do have that really legitimate use.
"I think there is an appreciation that it was quite a hard thing to design but we did give it genuine consideration," Ardern said.