Take a bow, Andrew Little. You’ve done good.

Photoshopped image credit: Pixy

So opines Duncan Garner in this fawning piece on Stuff. ?Quote.

You are a hero to a couple of dozen families who want their men out of that shoddy underground monument to greed, corner-cutting and gross negligence: Pike River Mine. End quote.

But that is the whole point of this ridiculous side-show. No one is getting any men out of any mine.? Little is grandstanding on a proposal to open a drift and go 2.3 km up an access tunnel to a rockfall.? All bodies are believed to be on the other side of that rockfall and no one is going past that point.? The bodies will stay where they are now. Quote.

Many promises were made to the Pike families, and many were needlessly and wilfully broken. National tired of them, and they got political. End quote.

If anyone has promised to retrieve the bodies then, unfortunately, that will be another broken promise. Quote.

Meanwhile, the families fell Labour’s way and Little had a plan ? and it showed. Little has led people before, and it showed. Little has negotiated before, and it showed. Little is not a child politician, and it showed. End quote.

“Led people” – like the Labour Party to historical lows in the polls; negotiated – like the ‘success’ with Ngapuhi; negotiated – like giving part control of Tauranga harbour to Hauraki – Yeah/Nah. Quote.

John Key had promised to bring them out, but clearly words are just words and not a social contract. Words mean nothing without actions. We must judge on actions. National’s record on Pike was buried by simple willpower this week from Andrew Little.

Yes, Pike River won environmental awards, yes we saved snails and plants, but we did so by perversely forgetting about the need to protect our miners at all times.

And we killed them because we chased the money over the safety of men. What a disgusting reality. End quote.

We killed them?? I don’t remember being involved …Quote.

The miners were a distant last. Their families were lower than that by the time National entered 2017. They were seen as a nuisance that wouldn’t let go.

Can you imagine fighting against the might of the state for eight years, only to see the man who promised to bring them out walk away from his Government??But what happened, happened. No-one could change it.

And so began the making of Andrew Little, mark II. He would have had some dark and difficult moments over the past two years, mainly because we in the media deemed him too boring and unable to connect with voters. End quote.

So now we are fawning over him like he’s the new Messiah. Quote.

He’s a simple man, with wife and child. He’s no flash Harry, but his word means just that. I like him. He reads his notes. He spends time in his job. He listens.?At all times, this Pike misson [sic] has had the professionalism and transparency sadly missing when real humans went inside.

National was in no mood to accept it hadn’t done enough, and Judith Collins, police minister at the time, said yesterday that former Pike boss Peter Whittall was the man who should be held to account. She has never said that before.

The truth is there is nothing Labour is doing that wasn’t available to National. The safety concerns were the same for both.

The difference is Little, his calm, mature approach and the fact he put people at the centre of everything he did meant this re-entry is almost now a matter of national pride.

No wonder National feels sheepish. It ran a half race. Now Little has the baton of responsibility. Depending on what lies up the drift, his legacy is only just being written now. End quote.

A matter of national pride?? Really?? I imagine that?a poll of the average New Zealanders, asking whether spending $35+ million on not retrieving the bodies was something that they were proud of, would not give the result Garner thinks.

Depending on what lies up the drift (that is not suppressed) and which may reinforce the various stories of worker and union involvement in safety breaches, Little’s legacy may not be so rosy as Garner believes.