Labour leader Chris Hipkins reacts to what Kiwis really think of him in surprising 'word cloud'

Labour leader Chris Hipkins has reacted to new research revealing what New Zealanders think of him as a person.

The research survey, conducted by Talbot Mills Research, asked Kiwis what words came to mind when they think of the former Prime Minister.  

The different coloured words are then put together to create a 'word cloud', with the size of the word depending on how often it was used.

Labour leader Chris Hipkins reacts to what Kiwis really think of him in surprising 'word cloud'
Photo credit: Talbot Mills Research

"The two big ones in the middle are 'weak' and 'unsure', what do you make of that?" AM host Lloyd Burr asked. 

Hipkins responded: "Well I'm the leader of the opposition, so I guess the reality is I'm not going to be making a lot of decisions that make me look particularly strong at the moment." 

"That is the nature of the job that I have. I'm kind of providing a running commentary about what the Government of the day are doing rather than, necessarily at this point in the election cycle, being able to talk about what we would do differently." 

He admitted "a lot of people haven't made up their mind" about him as a person as a result of the situation.

Other negative words include 'socialist', 'soft' and 'useless'.

"It's early days in the election cycle at this point, there's still two and a half years to go before the next election," Hipkins said.

"It's a marathon and not a sprint."

Other words in the cloud include 'nice', 'caring', 'honest' and 'good'. 

When asked what his reaction was to the more positive responses, he said: "It's nice when people say nice things about you". 

"But I'm also not obsessed about it either," he admitted. 

He said sometimes what you have to do in politics can make you unpopular.

"I remember making some very big decisions during the COVID-19 period and thinking 'This is going to make me the most unpopular person in the country'. In fact, the opposite happened."

"But at the time it certainly didn't feel like they were the sorts of decisions that were going to make us very popular."  

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon's word cloud in March consisted of 'business', 'leader' and 'greedy'.