Sunday News

Getting ready with Chlöe Swarbrick, as the MP turns drag king on the campaign trail

- Glenn McConnell

Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick has embraced her inner king and got comfy in a makeup chair ahead of a drag show her campaign team was hosting. Creating an entirely new persona for the Auckland Central MP was a 90-minute process.

Throughout the campaign so far, the Green Party has turned to musicians, comedians and drag performers such as Hugo Grrrl to donate their skills to put on fundraisin­g and campaign events.

At Swarbrick’s street-front campaign office on Karangahap­e Rd, Grrrl painted and contoured Swarbrick’s face as volunteers looked for the TV remote to find the Warriors match.

“There is real value in finding space for joy and celebratio­n, and that’s kind of the point of a drag show,” Swarbrick said.

“As a queer MP as well, the whole point of the campaign is community building – the queer community has always had Auckland City as a home.”

There’s been a feeling from many parties and commentato­rs that this election campaign has been rather low-energy. The Jacinda Ardern effect is gone, and politics has returned to a new post-Covid normal.

Earlier yesterday, Labour leader Chris Hipkins was asked if he looked “glazed” during a campaign event. He denied he did but said: “I think everyone will appreciate that there are very long days.

“But I'm really enjoying the campaign trail... And, up the Wahs! Yeah, all right. Thanks everyone,” the Labour leader said as he wrapped up another daily press stand-up.

In the news cycle, politician­s are competing against the Warriors and the love-hate tale of the All Blacks.

Hipkins has been less outgoing when it comes to dance and dress-up. At least twice on the campaign so far, he’s declined invites to dance, while National leader Christophe­r Luxon did dress up as a pirate last Sunday.

As well as being an MC for a drag show, a few weeks ago Swarbrick did stand-up comedy beside profession­al comedians such as Tim Batt and Ruby Esther. Meanwhile in Wellington, Green MP Tamatha Paul spent last night with musicians fundraisin­g for her campaign at the bar Meow.

The party was celebratin­g a Newshub Nation poll of Wellington Central – which found Paul at a close third, on 26.6%. Labour’s Ibrahim Omer was leading at 30.6%, and National’s Scott Sheeran was in the middle with 28%.

 ?? DAVID WHITE / STUFF ?? Auckland Central MP Chlöe Swarbrick, left, and drag king Hugo Grrrl getting ready on Karangahap­e Rd.
DAVID WHITE / STUFF Auckland Central MP Chlöe Swarbrick, left, and drag king Hugo Grrrl getting ready on Karangahap­e Rd.

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