26 Jul 2022

Luxon's Hawaii holiday belies Te Puke social media post

1:43 pm on 26 July 2022

National's leader Christopher Luxon has admitted he was holidaying in Hawaii last week, despite social media posts suggesting he was visiting provincial New Zealand.

National Party leader Christopher Luxon

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Speaking at Parliament this morning, Luxon confirmed he had been in the island state for five days last week while Parliament was in recess.

While he was away, a video was posted on his Facebook page where he claimed to be in Te Puke visiting businesses.

In it, he spoke about provincial towns being the backbone of New Zealand.

"Today I'm in Te Puke, the heart of kiwifruit country, and what a great morning we've had today," it started.

Luxon had in fact been to Te Puke the previous week, and had been on holiday when the post was made.

He denied the post was misleading.

"Yes, I was on leave last week with my family. I went to Hawaii with my family, as I tend to do in July," he said.

"The reality was my social media team released what I'm up to over a given week but the reality for me is I was here in the middle week of recess, working really hard as I was, up and down the country. And I was equally the week before overseas in Singapore, Ireland and the UK."

He said he did not stay at former prime minister Sir John Key's house.

Later in the afternoon, Luxon said the video should have been captioned more clearly to make clear it was not on recent days.

"We made a mistake and we own up to it, we front it, we should have captioned the post differently, that's what we should have done.

"It's my team, but I'm part of the team and I take responsibility for it."

He said he would not lose sleep over the posts.

"I'm not losing sleep over this, I am losing sleep over the rising cost of living, I'm losing a lot of sleep over a failing healthcare system, I'm losing a lot of sleep that only 45 percent of our kids are actually going to school regularly at the moment. They're the big issues we need to be focused on.

He was asked if it was wise to be going on an expensive overseas holiday when New Zealanders were struggling with cost-of-living increases, but he said it was important for people to find time with their families.

"When it's a pretty intense job the last seven months and I think when you work as hard as we do, that to actually get some personal leave with your family for five days is actually really important."

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