Labour leader Andrew Little says he'd rather be a "straight shooter" on the issues than play personality games with Prime Minister John Key.
Mr Little appeared on TVNZ's Q&A on Sunday, where he was questioned over whether he was concerned he wasn't connecting with voters - with only seven percent picking him for preferred prime minister.
But Mr Little said his main concern was to prioritise important issues such as homelessness, and speak to those issues.
"I'm not going to try and be something I'm not," he said.
"I'm not a show pony ... I'll be a straight shooter and a straight communicator on the issues."
New Zealand needed a leader who was prepared to "front up" and come up with practical solutions, he said.