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Thursday, 16 October 2014

LABOUR WONDERLAND: GRANT ROBERTSON TRIMS DOWN FOR THE LEADERSHIP RACE (HERALD 16 OCT)

Labour leader candidate Grant Robertson has been accused of being too beltway so he has trimmed the size of his belt, losing 20kg over the past 10 months. The dramatic weight loss was a potentially risky manouevre. He is, after all, in Labour, where even shaving off a beard was seen as a sign of a leadership challenge by David Cunliffe. Mr Robertson began his diet and exercise regime a few months after Mr Cunliffe beat him in the last leadership run-off last September. It was a New Year's resolution and ambition is clearly a steel rod for willpower: he claims it is the first resolution he has managed to keep. However, he is at pains to insist it was nothing to do with ambitions for the leadership or to make himself more camera-friendly. "Absolutely not. It was nothing to do with that at all. I decided for the sake of my own health and longevity on the planet I should do something about it." He said he also wanted to be fit for the election campaign. "You need to be fit." He said he initially timed it to hit his target weight later in the year - but had to bring it forward after Prime Minister John Key called an early election. He said he had done it through "a radical plan of eating less and exercising more" and is now a regular at the Parliamentary gym. He now weighs about 96kg and to celebrate has had a couple of new suits made - just in time for Labour's leadership husting meetings. Asked where his suits are from, he says "Auckland", but when pushed he admits, slightly abashed given Labour's working class roots, that they are made by Crane Brothers. He swears he has bought suits from Hallensteins sometimes in the past. LINK: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11343024

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