Little’s chief press secretary abandons ship

Andrew Little’s chief press secretary has quit, leaving perhaps the most disappointing job in New Zealand.

Her brief was to get Little into the 6pm news as often as possible and to a certain extent she succeeded. Unfortunately it was often for all the wrong reasons.

Labour’s chief press secretary and former editor of the Woman’s Weekly, Sarah Stuart, has resigned from Andrew Little’s office.

Stuart will finish in late May and cited “family reasons” as her motivation for leaving.

“I will be sorry to leave but have made this difficult decision for family reasons. I will miss the cut and thrust of Parliament, the talented team in the Leader’s Office and the strength and integrity that Andrew embodies,” she said.  

Stuart, whose other former roles included deputy editor of the Herald On Sunday and the Sunday Star Times and head of APN’s regional and daily community newspapers, has also worked in Sydney as a journalist.

Her appointment as Labour head of media and communications in February last year was initially delayed after Little’s first choice for the job pulled out in favour of a higher-paid role with a major corporation.

“Sarah is an experienced and senior media professional and has brought real focus and energy to the role. She has achieved high media and communications standards in my office. Sarah has been a huge support to me. I am sorry to see her go,” Little said.

There may well be another reason for her departure.

Labour’s talent pool is as shallow as a bird bath, it is far better to work in the private sector than for a party doomed to perpetual opposition.

The only reason someone works for opposition leaders is they one day think they will be in power. No one thinks that about Andrew Little.


– Fairfax


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  • shykiwibloke

    Perhaps she felt a little crowded out as Little already has at least two press secretaries – one is sometimes called the Editor of the Herald, and the other head of News at Red Radio.

    • benniedawg

      True and I am sure the 28 or 25 or 22%, whatever it is today, are very happy with their personalised radio station catering to their political needs. As for the Herald I can’t comment. However, it is going to be interesting to see how much support red radio has managed to bleed away recently when the next listening figures are published.

      • shykiwibloke

        Apparently, Captian Y-fronts is thinking of writing a book when this is all over – working title is “Union Hero to Zero – How I transformed the party”

  • one for the road

    Andrew Little “Schultz” must be an impossible person to work for – full of anger, lies and deceit not to mention lack of savy. This “press secretary” seems to be a corporate wonk (where they dont condone these sort of shenanigans) and has worked at the Womans Weekly which would have a much better family culture…. No wonder she bailed!

  • Tom

    There goes anymore front page spreads on Womans Weekly for Ardern. She will be so disappointed all that Airbrushing was much cheaper than an orthodontist!

  • Seriously?

    It intrigues me that people who work such positions always seem passionate about “the cause”. I would have thought some dispassionate professionalism was better, but I guess it is hard to interest such a person in the job.

  • Union Jack

    For a propaganda specialist surely she could have come up with something more original than “family reasons”.

  • Blokeinauckland

    Heading to head the merged media co in NZ. Just saying….

  • Keanne Lawrence

    With strains of billy Joel’ “Honesty” ringing in the background it is certainly something that Stuart lacks but then it would be a wasted opportunity when trying to make Captain YFront look good. Yet it could be true if the family have been giving her enough flack about how bad he really is. English is a great language with some very interesting variance, nuances and ambiguities but the Captain is better with being described with the simpler 4 letter selection. “Honesty, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb de-do dumb.”

  • Dave

    If she could keep a straight face when stating that, she is either really naive or a really good PR Person…..

    “the talented team in the Leader’s Office and the strength and integrity that Andrew embodies”

    Nearly spilt the afternoon espresso reading that.

    • Left Right Out

      I choked on my apple… was not pleasant all round

  • BR

    The Woman’s Weekly job would have been the most cerebral.


  • OT Richter

    Family reasons? Perhaps her entire family thinks Little is a dullard.

  • Genevieve

    Hardly surprising, with at least another seven years in Opposition, this job would feel like Groundhog Day.

  • Dan

    Is this position the one that has as a KPI to boost facebook likes and twitter….whatever ranks twitter? Poor thing should have read between the lines if true.

  • SAM51

    Perhaps he got rid of her so he can offer the job to Andrea Vance?

    • biscuit barrel

      Did Vance arrange to meet Little at a cafe, but he didnt turn up? But she did find a job offer in a magazine she asked for at counter- isnt this how it was done at Fleet St