Erasing Little from Labour: Billboard changes come with 'a little bit of cost'

Out with the old: A Labour Party billboard featuring former leader Andrew Little and new leader Jacinda Ardern in South ...
ALDEN WILLIAMS/STUFF

Out with the old: A Labour Party billboard featuring former leader Andrew Little and new leader Jacinda Ardern in South New Brighton, Christchurch.

It is uncertain if Andrew Little's sudden decision to step aside as Labour leader in favour of Jacinda Ardern will cost the party politically.

But there will be a cost in time and money as the party erases Little's face from the campaign.

Labour's campaign manager, Andrew Kirton, said the billboards featuring Little and Ardern were being talked about, but he was not concerned about the cost of replacements.

In with the new: Replacement Labour signs have already been erected in Wellington.
ROBERT KITCHIN/STUFF

In with the new: Replacement Labour signs have already been erected in Wellington.

Fresh party donations on Tuesday following the leadership change would offset that cost.

"Everyone's asking about the billboards. We'll be focusing on getting those swapped around," Kirton said. 

"There will be a little bit of cost to be honest, but we've already had quite a few more donations come in so we're in pretty good shape."

No decisions about the new campaign had been made, but it would reflect Ardern's vision.

"We're going to make those decisions pretty soon and Jacinda said in her stand up when she announced that she was leader [on Tuesday] that she wanted to stamp her mark on the campaign and she will do that."

Because political campaigns were more and more conducted online, Kirton said the cost to the party was not as large as it would have been in past elections.

"The technology has moved on a little bit so it is getting cheaper and cheaper to do this stuff."

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The door-knocking campaign would continue as normal, he said. 

Kirton said, in addition to donations, new members signed up to the party on Tuesday. 

"Jacinda has got a really positive aspirational message about fairness and making New Zealand better.

"Those are her values and we're going to be thinking about how we're going to run that campaign to express those values.

"We have the campaign of our lives now."

Labour's Wigram MP Megan Woods said the leadership change was "an unexpected turn of events", but she had not been asked to change tack on her campaigning.

"I think Andrew made an incredibly courageous decision and has shown how he always puts the party before himself.

"He has made an assessment that we could do better with Jacinda."

Ardern said the party would take "72 hours" to regroup before making further announcements.

 

 

 

 - Stuff

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