The TDN editorial is titled “Little’s prospecting fails to find paydirt“.
Labour’s Andrew Little wants to be the next MP for New Plymouth. So in an election year, with Labour desperate to bridge the gap on National, it seems fair to assume that if he says something of import, it has come from the man who would be our representative in the House; who would take forward our hopes, our ambitions and our concerns – should he be elected to do so.
The trouble is that Mr Little, at the moment anyway, wears several other hats: not only is he Labour Party leader and a premier in waiting, he is also head of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.
Andrew promised he would resign as EPMU National Secretary and Labour Party President to focus on being the candidate for New Plymouth only. One has to wonder when? Many candidates are already campaigning full-time.
And that’s where it gets a little tricky. Because the path to such lofty leadership ambition is predicated on him winning the New Plymouth seat. And he must co-ordinate a campaign while delivering a number of messages in language suitable to the wider party and the national union. Messages that may be lost or, worse still, spurned by the ear of the electorate he hopes to sway.
Sand-mining off Taranaki’s coast is one such subject. It may be the official policy of Mr Little’s Labour Party to support the processing of offshore iron sands at a coal-fired steel mill; it may be the accepted doctrine of a national union and its leader who wants to keep his members in employment and their industries in work.
But it is too early to say whether the people whose votes Mr Little needs on November 26 are supportive of such endeavours when there are clear and valid concerns about the impact of sand mining on the Taranaki coast and its ecosystem.
In fact, it may be that Mr Little, in the act of putting on and adjusting so many hats, has misjudged the measurement and found the headgear slipping over his eyes and skewing his political balance early in what is a crucial year.
This is the difficulty when you were three hats.Tags: editorials, New Plymouth, Taranaki Daily News