A political commentator has likened Phil Goff's new casual look to that adopted by National's Bill English in 2002 when the then National leader stood on the brink of political oblivion.

At Labour's weekend election-year congress Mr Goff sported a more casual look than usual - a suit with a white shirt and no tie.

He was similarly dressed in the publicity photos, standing smiling in a black suit with his top buttons undone and his hands nonchalantly in his pockets.

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