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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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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