Robbo “categorically” denies he’ll take Angry Andy’s job this term


Labour MP Grant Robertson has “categorically” ruled out challenging his party leader before next year’s election.

Speaking on The Nation today, Labour’s finance spokesman said leader Andrew Little had his full support, despite ranking poorly in a recent Newshub preferred-prime minister poll.

“The guy that I work with everyday is working hard,” he said.

“He’s got the vision to say we need to focus on health, education, housing, building up jobs around New Zealand and I think he’s doing a good job.”

He would “categorically not” challenge Mr Little, he said.

Mr Robertson ran in a party leadership race against Mr Little in 2014, narrowly missing out on the top spot.

The fact is that the question was asked.  And nobody asks the question unless there is talk that a leadership challenge is on the cards.

It doesn’t take a genius political analyst to realise Andrew Little is a political dead man walking.  The party is polling lower than when Goff and Cunliffe were punted and his personal numbers are so bad even “down the toilet” would be something Andy would consider an improvement.

Nobody wants the job right now.  Little couldn’t offload it if he wanted to.

That doesn’t stop Robbo from his continuous campaign of undermining Little in private.

The pressure will start to come on around April-May next year when the list MPs realise they’re looking for a new job unless they can get a leader that inspires a more substantial party vote.  Winning won’t be an issue.  Survival will.

Robbo isn’t that person, just quietly.  But strategically it may make sense to stick Jacinda in the job.  Her star qualities will earn back quite a few percentage points.  By the time that starts to wear off, Labour will have another term to sort out their internal problems.

All they have to do is put the Unions back into their place, dump the team responsible for 3 straight election losses, and get rid of the old wood.

But then they’re still stuffed.  Instead of a bunch of able, highly motivated and generally attractive candidates waiting in the wings, Labour have just more academics, unionists and life-long entitled troughers to pick from.

No money.  No talent.  No future.

If that’s not their next election slogan, it should be.


– NZN via Newshub


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  • Nige.

    Labours serious only hope is to put Annette King at the front and hope she passes for Helen who is polling higher than Little….but she doesn’t want the job either.

  • KGB

    Robbo’s seat at the trough will not be threatened by the leadership role…yet. He’s not that smart, but he’s rat cunning.
    “Jacinda I promised the people I would not challenge the leadership again. My hands are tied. You however are perfect for the role. You’re from Auckland, you’re pretty ? , and all the Women’s Weekly readers of NZ support you. I have your back, I won’t throw you under any bus we chase.”
    “Alf…keep the motor running!”

  • Keeping Stock

    What no one is mentioning is that, after failing to win the leadership a second time (losing to Cunliffe and Little), Robertson stated that he would never seek the leadership again.

    But the mere fact that Robertson is being asked about his loyalty to Little suggests that he has let the media know of his discontent with his boss. Having studied the dark art of politics at the feet of Helen Clark, Robertson has fired a shot across Little’s bows, and the notion of a unified Labour caucus is shattered.

  • Edward M Blake

    Had to laugh when I read “All they have to do is put the Unions back into their place, dump the team responsible for 3 straight election losses, and get rid of the old wood.” As if that will ever happen.
    Speaking of “old wood”. Grant Robertson I suspect doesn’t want the helm of a sinking ship. This man is in this job for life. Where else would he go? So that means losing the election (badly) is best left to Andy.
    The question I have is who in labour has safe seats (that is not retiring) and how dismal will the party vote be.

  • Left Right Out

    It is a poison chalice…. nobody was to take the lead mid term of a party that has no idea’s other than sitting down after a budget, having a beer, and talking about what they would do with a magic money tree…. not to mention re shooting it if they didn’t get the “natural” narrative correct

  • Doc45

    Most of us cannot help the face we have so picking on Little’s visage is a tad unfair but his supporters should have factored that in when they proposed he become leader. The best word out there to describe him is lugubrious. He has an unattractive, heavy, wooden demeanour, rarely smiles and somewhat owlish eyes and glasses. It reinforces and exaggerates his negativity and his churlishness.
    Take a look at the picture above again and tell me does Robertson look any more presidential? I put it to you he is almost as bad as Little. He has the same heavy features and owlish look. Given that the “look” is almost more important than the message these days then electing Ardern is probably the best thing they could do. One obviously does not need intelligence or ability to be a Labour leader so they could focus on the women’s mags and solicit votes there.

    • Catriona

      Robertson is not leadership material, despite his looks. He couldn’t cut the mustard on his road trip around NZ with Little & Mahuta &? and he won’t ever cut the mustard as PM. In other words – “he ain’t got what it takes”.

  • oldmanNZ

    what if Andy decided to step down. finally see he going backwards and the best thing to do is quit while you havn’t fallen off the cliff.
    Then the deputy would step in?, Then Robbo would be Deputy?
    Then come election time, Annette may lost the election, and Robbo would be a prime canidate?

  • Brian Smaller

    I keep hearing about how great Jacinda would be a good leader etc etc – but what exactly are her qualifications? Is she just another student union/union muppet or has she actually done anything worthwhile in her life that even vaguely qualifies her to run the country?

    From where I am sitting the only thing she has going for her is that she is not Andrew Little.

    • Catriona

      Jacinda has stated publicly that she does not want to be Leader. We’ll see if she ‘stands by her statement’ shall we?
      And no, she lacks in bucketful’s, the ability to ever become DP or Leader. She is a stark, raving mad Socialist and we’ll all be doomed. Hell, if Angry Andry refers to Employers as “Parasites’, then Jacinda will be gunning for us I fear.

  • Jaffa

    I’m confused, what “Star Qualities” does Jacinda have again???

    • Catriona


    • Asian_driver

      She is the most photogenic, which in media is a star quality


      Sorry guys, but if she has ‘start qualities’ you obviously have been deprived of the real thing for a long time.

  • Wheninrome

    What on earth is he talking about “the vision to talk about health, education, housing and jobs”. What else does any politician talk about.

  • SteveWrathall

    “…when the list MPs realise they’re looking for a new job…” Cosgrove already is. Little can probably rely on his own support. And so it’s only 3 votes (Parker, Ardern & Moroney) he has to worry about.

  • Damon Mudgway

    Cracks me up the fighting over who wants to be leader of the Labour Party. Hardly aspirational is it?

  • XCIA

    What of McCarten? Why has he retained the support of the Labour hierarchy when he has overseen the strategic downfall of the organisation he is employed by. Who is McCarten really employed by?

  • Wayne Peter McIndoe

    Labour actually need to come out with some coherent policies instead of fudging round the issues as Robertson was prone to do on Q and A this morning. Enunciate a vision and a plan that is credible to kiwis

    • Brian Dingwall

      yup, and that plan can be quite simple, either: 1. Get out of industry’s way, and allow it to respond to the profit signals coming from the supply demand imbalance, or 2. More central planning. This one will be harder to sell, as English points out this morning, government (local in this case) planning has been the problem, so no-one believes more of that will fix it.

  • Daniel Church

    I’ve consistently said that they had until the 2016 Budget to roll him. They haven’t, so they’re stuck with him. Even if Robertson attempts to challenge between now and the election, it won’t be successful. It will be Key vs Little in 2017.

  • Cadwallader

    What prevents Little offering his resignation? It would be the honourable thing to do. Oops this is the Labour Party headed by a worn out unionist.

  • Oh Please

    Is this like a British football manager being given the vote of confidence from his chairman? If so, the challenge is already being made.

  • Zanyzane

    Grant Robertson does not even know what is a good job in politics mean. A good job means that you inspire the public to vote for you. When Andrew Little’s popularity keeps dropping, how on earth is that a good job? Does he think that the Labour party is a private commercial business with a CEO that does not rely on the public?? He needs to be reminded that a politician does a good job when he gets votes.