Ardern named Labour leader
Jacinda Ardern says Labour is about to ‘‘run the campaign of our lives’’ in her first media conference as the new leader of the Labour Party.
Ardern was voted in as leader after Andrew Little’s sudden resignation on Tuesday morning. Kelvin Davis was the party’s new deputy leader.
She said she was looking forward to the challenge of the election campaign, talking to reporters shortly after midday.
Ardern said she and the party would take 72 hours to take stock of where Labour was at.
‘‘I will bring a different stamp to this campaign,’’ Ardern said, and highlighted ‘‘relentless positivity’’ and a clear vision for New Zealand.
She said there was no Plan B - they were focussed on the election.
Ardern laughed, and said that she had just accepted the ‘‘worst job in politics’’ at very short notice.
She paid tribute to Little, saying he was first and foremost loyal to Labour. She thanked him for his ‘‘incredible’’ work over the last few years.
Labour’s new deputy leader had the quickest shower of his life this morning when he got a call at 4.30am saying he needed to be on a flight in Kerikeri in two hours’ time.
Davis had planned to be up north on Tuesday morning but got told he needed to be in Wellington.
He was unsure about what would happen with the fact he’s not on Labour’s party list in the election. All of the Labour MPs in Maori seats took themselves off the list earlier this year.
But it could be awkward if Mana Party leader Hone Harawira won the Te Tai Tokerau seat off Davis and he didn’t have the list as a back-up.
Little resigned at a caucus meeting of Labour MPs in Wellington on Tuesday morning.
The move followed revelations Little had consulted his colleagues on whether to step aside over new polling showing the party sinking to a record low result.
Little said as leader you had to take responsibility and he did. The polls were showing a declining trend.
‘‘I do take responsibility and believe that Labour must have an opportunity to perform better under new leadership through to the election.’’
After announcing his resignation Little said Ardern had his full backing, ahead of the vote which confirmed her as the new leader.