Andrew Little deflects worst approval rating by Labour leader since 2009: Polls are not 'what motivate me'

Andrew Little has announced he is "not motivated" by poll results on the campaign trail after receiving the lowest approval rating by a Labour leader in almost a decade.

Speaking to Jack Tame on TVNZ1's Breakfast today over his fourth placing as New Zealand's preferred Prime Minister, registering at five per cent, Mr Little implied the number does not reflect the public's desire for social change.

"Those are numbers, that's interesting but right now I take my motivation from the people who are talking to me. So many people come up to me and say 'this is not the New Zealand we want, we need a change'," he said.

The former Alliance Leader says Labour are up against it as the election looms. Source: Breakfast

"In the end I find that stuff [poll numbers] interesting but it's not what motivates me. What motivates me are the stories I get about people who are doing it really tough."

Mr Little's popularity fell by three points to five per cent while Mr Peters jumped four points to 11 per cent in the latest 1 NEWS Colar Brunton poll. It's the lowest result for a leader of the opposition since 2009.

"Look I'm not here to explain the polls, I can talk about my experiences.

"I gauge the type of feedback and the extent of it. People who come up and talk to me now compared to say a year ago, certainly two years ago, it is a world of difference.

"People are coming up to me and saying 'I voted National before, I'm not voting for them again because I don't like the fact there are 90,000 young people out of work'."

Upon further questioning from Tame around whether internal Labour Party polls were showing different results to Labour's disastrous 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll, Mr Little was vague.

"Look there's a whole heap of different polls including our internal ones that have a range of sort of different numbers," Mr Little said.

"The poll is the poll, yeah interesting. In the end, it might sound like a cliche, but there's only one poll that matters and it's on the 23rd of September.

"We've got 10 weeks of a campaign ahead of us. Campaigns make a difference and I'm into it every step of the way."

The Labour leader says polls are interesting but "that’s not what motivates me". Source: Breakfast

Sunday preview: What is the future for whitebait?

Saturday morning at the market. I bite the bullet, line up and buy one. It's a delicious, piping-hot, wee taste of home, but boy do I feel guilty. Not guilty enough to stop at one, though. I go back for a second. Then a third.

I've read the headlines. Read the entire stories. Whitebait are being wiped out because of people like me. They could soon be gone forever - and it's my fault. Or is it?

According to a Department of Conservation report released last year, three of the five whitebait species are "at risk/declining" and one species is "threatened".

Everyone agrees humans are having a huge impact on whitebait habitat, but people don't agree on how much of an impact fishing has on these species.

To help protect these native fish Forest and Bird are calling for recreational catch limits and a complete commercial ban on whitebaiting.

"Here is a species that are in trouble and there's no limit at all to the amount that you can catch" says Forest and Bird's Kevin Hague.

But Dr Mike Hickford, a marine ecologist at the University of Canterbury says fears of wiping out whitebait are grossly overblown. "I don't think we will ever wipe out whitebait" he says.

Hickford says a distinction needs to be made between adult and the post-larvae fish. "There's no doubt that the adult stage of these fish are in trouble, but it doesn't translate to the whitebait".

Hickford says there's no evidence to suggest at this stage that whitebaiting affects the threatened adult population, which spawn in such huge numbers.

"The majority of those whitebaits that are coming back in to the river, they're going to die anyway, they always have died and they still will die in the future no matter what we do".

Despite a lack of clear evidence, Kevin Hague says restrictions on how we catch whitebait, how much we can catch and the sale of whitebait should be introduced before the start of next 3-month long season (Sept-Nov).

"We don't want to interfere with someone's ability to go and get a feed for their family, but we just think there should be some tools that we use to actually reduce the pressure on these species".

Cascade Whitebait, one of New Zealand's biggest commercial whitebaiters, fish each season on the isolated Cascade river, just south of Haast.

Nan Brown, whose parents helped set up the operation 70 years ago, says their records don't show any decline in whitebait catch.   She wants to hold on to their fishery and says, "It would be unfair to let the guillotine drop on something you don't know enough about.” 

Whitebait are being wiped out but people can’t agree on how much of an impact fishing has on these species Source: Sunday


Man in serious condition following assault near Christchurch mall

A 41-year-old man is in a serious but stable condition in a Christchurch hospital, following an attack in the early hours this morning.

Police have cordoned off an area beside the Hornby Mall, on Shands Road, for a scene examination.

It is expected to be cleared by midday today.

Police are continuing to investigate the scene to establish what occurred.

Source: 1 NEWS


Police in stand-off with man barricaded in Huntly house

Police are currently involved in an ongoing stand-off in Huntly, which started around 2am this morning.

The eight-hour stand off began when police were called to a home on Harris St, where a man and woman had been fighting.

Upon arriving at the scene, police found the man had locked himself inside and was refusing to come out. 

At 9am, he was still refusing to come out of the home and police negotiators are currently on site, Waikato police Senior Sergeant Charles Burgess told Stuff.

"He's barricaded himself in the house and is threatening to harm himself," Senior Sergeant Burgess said.

He's not known to have access to any guns, Burgess said but does have access to knives and other items inside the home. 

"A police negotiation team are trying to speak to the man so we can bring an end to this event."

A section of the road has been cordoned off and detours are in place.

No one else is inside the home and no one has been injured.

Police emergency scene
Police emergency scene Source: 1 NEWS

Truck rolls causes road closure in Tararua

A truck has rolled in Tararua and is blocking lanes in both directions.

The truck rolled on Pahiatua Aokautere Road, also known as the Pahiatua Track, about 7.40am this morning.

The driver sustained moderate injuries. 

No other vehicles were involved.

Police are advising motorists to use an alternative route.

A road closure sign in front of a Police vehicle
A road closure sign in front of a Police vehicle. Source: 1 NEWS