Cunliffe nerves about Campbell Live could be well founded

17 April 2014
Politicians never refuse an opportunity to get good positive media publicity. That is until last week when David Cunliffe turned down Campbell Live twice to appear on its ‘meet the leaders’ spot. David CunliffeIt seems even more overwhelming when the Labour leader, floundering in the polls, said people would like him once they got to know him. As a media training specialist, I would ask him: “How will voters get to know you if you refuse gift appearances like this? Here’s my theory. When people vote, they usually ask themselves one question before they cast their ballot. National want them to ask the question: “Who are the best economic managers”? If that’s the question, National usually come out on top. The question Labour want people to ask is unclear. But my guess would be something like: “Who will help the under-privileged and create a more equal society.”? Labour may get a tick if that’s the question asked. But here’s the point. If that is Labour’s question, David Cunliffe seems uncomfortable showing the Campbell Live audience his expensive house when wanting to help the less well off. He sees it as a disconnect with the question. He shouldn’t and it shouldn’t be an issue. But his unfortunate comments a few weeks ago about downplaying his wealth have made it an issue. So now he will either have to pass up a wonderful opportunity to show the ‘real David Cunliffe’ or be comfortable being a wealthy Labour Leader. If he was a media training client of mine, I would encourage the latter. Time will tell. For more on our media training, contact

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Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

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