Opinion: Andrew Little -- 'explaining is losing'

Opinion: Andrew Little -- 'explaining is losing'

By Jenna Lynch

One of the oldest sayings in politics is “explaining is losing”. 

And that’s exactly what Andrew Little is doing on his remarks about blocking immigrant chefs.

 Mr Little he's gone on the defensive and is trying to blame the media for what he said. 

"The way comments made by me have been reported are baffling," he says in a blog post titled "Andrew Little responds".

 Mr Little has also called the stories about it “truly weird”.

Clearly he and Labour are worried about the fallout from his comment regarding the need to "turn the tap down" on immigration and start locally sourcing chefs.

 Baffling? Weird? Well -- let’s look at exactly what Mr Little said. 

"We know that's happening, particularly with a lot of, you might say, ethnic cuisine.”

"So your Chinese, your Indian. A lot of folks come here from overseas to get into the hospitality industry with those particular cooking skills and I think the question is, you know, can we actually source those labour needs internally?"

Those are the direct quotes from Andrew Little that started all this -- from page 14 of the Hutt News. 

Opinion: Andrew Little -- 'explaining is losing'

Yesterday the Press Gallery questioned him about it further -- which was always going to happen. 

Mr Little said the following:

"There are chefs of a variety of ethnicities that already live in New Zealand and they should be able to be sourced locally."

Mr Little then went on to say that as the economy slows, immigration should be capped.

"Let’s just turn the tap down a bit. Let's just moderate the flow then when things are sorted out then lets open the gates again."

Mr Little definitely made the comments, the interpretation was not “baffling” or “weird” as he is claiming, they were his words.

Mr Little has got himself in trouble, tried to explain himself, and thrown the media under the bus.

That's classic Winston Peters' tactics -- much like the comments he made. 

If Mr Little wants to be Prime Minister, he needs to be able to answer the age old Question Time question: “Does he stand by all of his statements? 

Right now, Mr Little’s true answer to that is “no”.