Who is Andrew Little? Can Andrew Little Speak Under Pressure?

Andrew Little is going to face a huge amount of scrutiny for his public speaking. To compete with John Key he is going to have to speak fluently and with enough charisma to make people want to listen to him. This may be beyond a man who manages to speak as if he is boxing, always on the back foot and bobbing and weaving to get away from the punch.

In his maiden speech he is passable. A maiden speech is an easy speech with low expectations, and he manages to live up to those expectations.

The pressure goes on Little during the leadership campaign, and he does not do very well. He hems and haws and bobs and weaves and generally looks like he has not prepared properly.

His 45 second “My vision for Labour” is not particularly impressive. This is a set piece without anyone hostile around, so he can deliver it exactly as he wants, and repeat it if he does not like what he comes up with. It is a very slow start.

Then we go to the speech in Palmerston North during the leadership campaign.

Compared with Key he is poor. He makes a slow start, and doesn’t get much better through the rest of the speech. He continues to move around as if he is nervous, and hems and haws in a way that a statesman does not. He repeats himself, he ad libs badly, and generally looks like he needs a good year or two with an old fashioned speech and drama coach.

His first press conference as leader doesn’t go very well. He forgets to turn his phone off. Then he gets asked a series of hostile questions that he doesn’t really have great answers for. He looks under prepared and not the kind of man to take on John Key.

Finally, his first chance in the house as leader, which should have been the pinnacle of his career thus far, he completely blows. He gets all angry and shouty and doesn’t look as if he is in control at all, losing his train of thought and making wild accusations that will likely come back to haunt him. For a man who wants to be New Zealand’s premier statesman on the world stage he makes a lot of mistakes. At the 1.15 mark he loses his thread. Then at the 2.45 mark he starts going on about the Dirtiest, Filthiest, Vilest Campaign Ever, setting himself up for being called a hypocrite when Labour decide to practice normal politics.

The worst part of this speech is his speaking technique is so bad he starts losing his voice at the 4.15 mark. He gets angry and shouty, and loses his composure because he cannot speak under pressure.

John Key doesn’t need the Roy Morgan Polls, or even Farrar telling him that he can take Andrew Little without breaking into a sweat.

Little doesn’t handle pressure well and an experienced, competent politician like Key will ensure he is under huge pressure often to see if he will crack.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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