Labour leader Andrew Little is channelling his inner James Bond and taking the ultimate photo-op risk by going skydiving.

Mr Little will do a tandem skydive from 19,000 feet above the Franz Josef Glacier to help launch a new kea conservation programme promoted by Skydive Franz and the Kea Conservation Trust.

Photo ops have been known to go awry, such as when Don Brash, while National Party leader, walked the plank and David Shearer, when Labour leader, held up two dead fish in Parliament.

However, Mr Little is willing to take the risk that the skydiving footage could be used for "Little in free fall" coverage of future poll results. He joked it would be his "Skyfall" moment -- a reference to the James Bond movie.


"What happens is I leap out of the plane with a set of skis on, get to the top of Mt Aoraki, ski down onto the glacier, pick up the kea, save it, and then that's it."

It actually involves just the skydive aspect of that, without the skis or the kea saving, after which Mr Little will give a donation to the kea programme.

"One of the finer characteristics of us in New Zealand is our conservation estate and we ought to be doing what we can to protect not only our flora but our fauna as well. So this is a fauna attempt."

Mr Little said the dive itself was also a factor. It is the highest skydive in New Zealand.

"Having done a tandem parachute jump at 10,000 feet before, naturally I have an interest in exciting activities, and the prospect of jumping at 19,000 feet was just simply something I could not pass up."

However, he then admitted that last jump was in the late 1990s, putting a wee bit of time between his Action Man stints.

Mr Little will make his dive on Friday afternoon.