Who is Andrew Little? How did Little go at Ratana?


Who me? No it’s Andrew Little not Stuart Little

If you look at media reports Andrew Little didn’t do so well at Ratana.

And those media reports are subtle but brutal showing that the as yet un-filled PR position in his team is going to have a hard job getting two positive stories about a dopey looking, dour, grumpy leader into the media.

The photo the Herald used on Saturday was dreadful.

The comments by Claire Trevett worse.

Andrew Little has survived his first address to Maori at Ratana but was well and truly upstaged by NZ First leader Winston Peters when it came to wooing the nannies.

Beforehand, Mr Little admitted to having butterflies in his stomach given the historic relationship between Labour and the Church followers.

He was also the third Labour leader in as many years and the Church speakers had issued a warning that Labour had to up its game after the faith Maori placed in it in last year’s election.

It may have helped that none of his predecessors – David Cunliffe, David Shearer and Phil Goff – attended this year. But the pressure went up when he discovered he’d also have to give his address in front of National MPs.

Usually the Government parties and Opposition are welcomed on to Ratana separately, but this year delays prompted the organisers to opt for a joint powhiri.

Mr Little managed to get through his speech without looking at his notes. He even managed to get in a few jokes, saying of the prophet Ratana that he was “80 years ahead of Gareth Morgan. And he didn’t have a book to sell”.

However, he didn’t get many laughs, possibly because Dr Morgan was on the paepae alongside the Ratana elders, having been welcomed on yesterday.

It is subtle but leaves the impression that Andrew Little was struggling in front of what should have been his own audience.

But on the marae, Mr Little was followed by Mr Peters who had them rolling on the paepae with his first quip that politicians were “fast on the lip and slow on the hip”.

They were still laughing when he told them their koha “was in the email. We’re a modern party”.

Even Deputy Prime Minister Bill English managed to get more laughs than Mr Little with a pun on prophet and profit and a joke about Mr Peters offering to stop using his Super GoldCard to help the Government coffers.

Afterwards Ratana chairman Waka Palmer said he was reasonably impressed with Mr Little on his first outing. However, “I guess this is like an annual review. We make up our minds how he’s going each year and if we’re not happy at least we can say something about it.”

The nannies said afterwards that they thought Mr Little was a bit boring but gave him leeway as a first-timer.

They were far more enamoured with Mr Peters’ pitch. So the nannies will do their own annual review next year. Be warned, Mr Little.

So even Ratana, Labour’s usual constiuency, think that Andrew little is boring and dour.

Not good news for Andrew Little off of the back of a bad Roy Morgan poll.



– NZ Herald


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  • Sally

    Next up is his State of the Nation speech on Wednesday. He is going to try and woo business people and Aucklanders.

    • STAG

      Higher taxes, compulsory union membership, massive increase in minimum wage, 90 day rule gone. … the list of unacceptable policy is endless, can’t wait.

    • Adam Michaels

      Perhaps he will pretend to the audience that he lives in Auckland, like he pretended to live in New Plymouth when he was campaigning.

  • conwaycaptain

    The Nannies sit in the back but THEY RULE THE ROOST

  • Richard

    I agree, absolutely dreadful photo…thing is, it was probably the pick of the bunch.

    • Huia

      Anyone else think he looks like David Bain?

      • Effluent

        Yes, but with none of his charisma and personality.

  • Valid Point

    I can understand having butterflies before a speech. I often find a few nerves before a presentation converts into a good performance. But you never admit to having them.

    Besides, a senior politician’s main armour is inspiring confidence with their words and actions. The best of them (and I’m thinking of Winston), can sway your thinking with their rhetoric even if you disagree with them.

    Can’t see Little getting to this level. He’ll be gone before year-end.

    • pak

      Exactly the point. Very gauche and uninspiring to admit his nervousness. If he was asked about it I suppose he had to answer, but should have come up with a good response like yours about a few nerves enhancing performance.

  • Nige.

    Butterflies before a speech.

    This is the man who would be prime minster.


    • STAG

      I do the odd but of paid lecture work, the last time I had butterflies was 5th form, if public speaking isn’t his thing, why take to job? I look forward to him stumbling though a presser the next time one of his MPs makes a fool of themselves.

      • Mags

        If you know your subject there is no need for nerves.

        • STAG

          Exactly, his schedule is laid out months in advance, plenty if time to know your subject. Key does so does Winston there’s no excuse for poor preparation.

    • Wheninrome

      Maybe he would have preferred to have said caterpiilar, and then he could crawl off into the undergrowth, he might get lucky and be protected by the greens as a rare and unusual species.

  • Bart67

    I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. I have had the dubious pleasure of meeting Mr Little. He has no presence, no stature, and appears to be a charisma free zone. He seems unable to engage with people. He struck me as a very poor leadership choice, and one foisted on the caucus by a Union desperately clinging to any form of relevance. He will make David Cunliffe look like the messiah, and David Shearer look even better, but he is the Unions man, and only serves to illustrate exactly how stupid and misguided that the selection process that Labour has adopted is! I for one hope that they keep using it for the foreseeable future!

    • The Whinging Pom

      And being the unions’ man to such an obvious extent means that Labour will never, under his leadership, be able to throw any mud at National regarding cash for influence as any they do throw will just be returned in far greater quantities.

  • cows4me

    “Labour had to up it’s game”. Little should have told them all to naff off , these people get on my nerves, they are beyond ignorant. The Maori Party with the Backing of National have done more for their cause than the brain dead left has ever done. But that’s not what it is about with these children, it’s about butt kissing and groveling around on the floor, it’s about getting politicians especially honky ones cow-towing. Why they even bother is beyond me.
    edit gramma

  • Rodger T

    I`ve said it before,the guy is permanently bewildered ,Forrest Gump would run circles around him in a debate.

    • Wheninrome

      What about doing the lawns, and obviously his box of chocolates are all the same hard and chewy, unlike Forrest’s.

  • Greg M

    Why do they even bother going? I don’t get the significance of the whole thing.

  • I’m Right

    @GregM…….its politics 101, in their heart of hearts no Govt leader would want to attend Waitangi day ‘celebrations’ either as its just an excuse for activists to protest that they should get more of this and that. The Ratana annual prilgramage is just the same…if a party does not front up the rest of the other parties present point fingers and shout ‘look they dont care about maori, look…look’. A waste of time and effort for 15% of the population that the majority vote for left parties anyhow. Key should ignore Waitangi day and ‘celebrate’ it at a local function and make the activists actions pointless with him a no show!

  • fergus

    Butterfies HUH?…I don’t mind you having butterflies in your stomach (nerves).
    But you and your whole party appear to have them in your head’s.
    Come up with some worthwhile and workable policies and maybe , just maybe people will listen, until then you and your party are just a tuneless clanging drum.

    • Hard1

      They weren’t Butterflys, they were Moths.

  • CouchKumara

    Reading up on Mr Ratana in very interesting but his theology seems a little off with his insistence to referring to the faithful angels in the same sentence as The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. By all accounts he was a humble man so its strange that he allowed himself to be referred to as Te Mangai or the mouthpiece of God. He sounds like a man of his time pulling Maori out of their previous superstitions and it appears he was quite the miracle man. Fascinating really.

    I do find it odd that the Crescent and Star icon on the entrance to the Temple is almost identical to Islams and the Temple even looks a bit Mosque like from the front. How bizarre!

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    1. Ratana’s warning to Labour is a joke that is cracked every year. They will only vote Labour no matter what

    2. Labour has 6 Maori seats, so everybody knows who is preferred

    3. Even if Handy Andy read from the notes, it wouldn’t have made any difference. Still Labour will get their vote….

    So let us move on without rejoicing too much about Handy Andy’s performance and whether Ratana is not happy with Labour.,

  • Rick H

    How is it possible for any left party to want to have any association with the “Ratana Church”?
    Ratana was a prophet, but his time was 1918.

    Lefties are all in support of the Islamists, who believe in Mohammat / Muhammad – depending on spelling preferences.
    He was, according to Islam, “The Last Prophet”.

    So, what are any lefties doing, attending events celebrating a “Kafir’ or false prophet?
    Ratana MUST be a false prophet, going by Muslim beliefs.