Andrew Little on The Nation

New Labour leader Andrew Little was interviewed on The Nation yesterday by Lisa Owen – Little to put Labour members on trial.

Key points:

  • On Dotcom and the Internet Party – “…the fact that a single person wealthy enough to write out a big fat cheque to fund an entire election campaign, it wasn’t seen as the Kiwi way.”
  • Compromise your fundamental beliefs in order to get votes? “Uh, well, no. You have to make a political judgement.”
  • “The fundamental belief is fair tax system.”
  • Two houses, is that OK? Three houses? “With all due respect, Lisa, it’s a silly question. That’s not what the issue is about.”
    So you don’t want to answer that question? OK. “No, the question doesn’t get us anywhere.”
  • “So there’s talk now about, ‘Do you have special conditions? Special interest rates for after you’ve bought your first house?’ And those sorts of things.”
  • “We look for every opportunity we can to raise funds—”
  • “We need to do a lot better at fundraising”.
  • “I’m going through the process of the moment of interviewing everybody as we prepare for the portfolio allocations.”
  • “We haven’t seen indiscipline in the caucus so far, but people will get the message very clearly that this is what we are here for. These are the objectives. This is your job; this is your role. Anybody who steps out of those expectations can expect there’s gonna be a response, and there will be.”

On policies:

  • He likes “ KiwiBuild – our plan to build 100,000 houses”.
  • “I haven’t spoken a great deal about Power NZ or NZ Power.”
  • “Capital-gains tax, I’m very… my view is, and I’ll be putting it to the party forums that make these decisions, is we should not go into the 2017 election with.”
    “capital-gains tax is not the solution to a whole heap of problems.  It is one part of a range of things that are needed to address a number of issues.”
  • “Lifting the age of eligibility for superannuation – take it off the agenda.”

On responsibilities in the new Labour caucus.

  • “I haven’t talked David Parker around.”
  • “‘Let’s try some people in new slots. Let’s try some combinations.’ But, listen, we may well come to review those, and it may well be that we’ll have people in place for the next year or so. But, in terms of the team we go into 2017 with, that might not become absolutely crystal clear until the end of next year. So give people a year to try a role—”
  •  I’m gonna try people out.”
  • “By the end of next year, two years out from the election, let’s crystalise who the team will be that’ll take us charging into 2017.”

Full transcript:

Lisa Owen: Good morning, Mr Little. You heard Laila Harre there saying that, basically, Labour and the Greens lost the election to the left. What’s your response to that?

Andrew Little: No, I don’t accept that. I think all the Labour Party activists and campaigners who I’ve spoken to and picked it up myself were very clear. New Zealanders didn’t like the deal that was done between the Internet Party and the Mana Party, and the fact that a single person wealthy enough to write out a big fat cheque to fund an entire election campaign, it wasn’t seen as the Kiwi way. It wasn’t acceptable to people. They were suspicious of it, and they didn’t want a bar of it.

OK. Well, these are new times for Labour. You are the new leader. You’ve been saying over the last few days – even the last month – that there’s policies that didn’t work for you with voters. Capital-gains, raising the super age, the state-power agency. So what policy do you actually like that Labour’s got?

Well, there are a lot of policies. I think a very important one right now is KiwiBuild – our plan to build 100,000 houses, uh, through state support, and then selling them and going through over a period of 10 years. You know, one big issue right now is housing affordability. Far too many people can’t get into their own homes, we’ve seen now, and the attempts by this government and the Reserve Bank to try and suppress house prices, not working, and in fact, it’s keeping first homebuyers out of the market, and it’s allowing property speculators to get into the market. So, listen, housing and homes is absolutely crucial.

I want to talk about KiwiBuild in more detail in a little moment, but first, just to be clear – capital-gains tax, raising super-eligibility age and Power New Zealand, do you personally think they should be off the agenda for Labour? Go on.

Well, I haven’t spoken a great deal about Power NZ or NZ Power. Capital-gains tax, I’m very… my view is, and I’ll be putting it to the party forums that make these decisions, is we should not go into the 2017 election with.

Ok, super eligibility?

Lifting the age of eligibility for superannuation – take it off the agenda.

OK, anything else that you think you should ditch?

Well, no, because, I mean, those are the policies where, when you talk to people, overwhelmingly, they come back and say, ‘That’s the reason we didn’t vote.’ But what people do—

But, in saying that, Mr Little, those are very core policies, or were very core policies, to Labour going into this election. So are you saying that the Labour Party that people saw at the last election wasn’t real Labour Party?

Uh, it was very much the real Labour Party. There were a whole heap of other policies that we didn’t get to talk about, ironically, because the very reasons that Laila Harre’s just talked about. But what people want to hear from Labour is they want to know what our priorities are about, uh, solutions to the problems that they’re facing. We know right now. I’ve talked about housing. Another big problem. A growing number of people can’t get decent work; can’t get decent pay for their work. And we’ve seen the horror story this week, now, of, you know, some rogue employers who think it’s OK to deduct pay for things that are well beyond the employees’ control. I mean, it’s those sorts of things, and there are little stories like that that end up all over the place.

Do you think it was the real Labour Party…? If you think it was the real Labour Party, is it just that it’s the Labour Party that you don’t wish to lead? Because you’re not just tinkering around the edges. You’re getting rid of some fundamental policy plans or you want to.

Well, capital-gains tax is not the solution to a whole heap of problems. It is one part of a range of things that are needed to address a number of issues. You know, making sure that investment goes to productive purposes. Making sure that the tax system is fairer. Um, making sure that the Government can raise additional revenue. Well, we can look at each of those objectives, and we can find other solutions around them. I’m not saying abandon capital-gains tax. I’m saying let’s come back to it. Let’s come back to it in a bigger context.

But you defended that policy. Mr Little, you defended the capital-gains tax on the campaign trail. In fact, uh, so you’re flipping now. Were you just toeing the party line then?

Well, I’m obliged as a candidate to promote the party policies, which I did, and then, listen, actually, I do believe in it. But also—

No, but you also said it was a matter of fairness. You were at an election meeting in Taranaki with the Taranaki property investors there, and you said, simply, ‘it is a matter of fairness.’

Yes, that’s correct, and I don’t resile from that at all. But what I do have to do, and what the party has to do, because we are a political party and we’re trying to win the confidence of the people, we have to make a political judgement.

So compromise your fundamental beliefs in order to get votes?

Uh, well, no. You have to make a political judgement. It is quite clear—

Mr Little, I am asking you – compromise some of your fundamental beliefs? You said it was a matter of fairness. Compromise those to get votes?

The fundamental belief is fair tax system. Broadening the tax-based Crown revenue and directing investments into more productive uses. Those are the principles. The capital-gains tax was a policy that sought to achieve that, but it turned a lot of people off. There is no question – capital-gains tax prevented people from voting for us. And, in fact, it didn’t just prevent people from voting for us. It stopped them listening to us. So, at that point, you have to make a political judgement. Do we carry on beating this drum, which we have done for two elections in a row, or do we say, ‘Let’s clear the obstacle out of the way for a moment, and let people hear the rest of what we’re saying like KiwiBuild, like better employment laws.’

If not capital-gains tax – as Mr Parker said – if not capital-gains tax, then what?

Well, if the objective is to broaden the tax base, let’s look at alternatives. Let’s look at, you know, taxes on wealth. Let’s look at property speculators. Not the mums and dads who, you know, do all the extra overtime, get a bit of money aside and buy themselves an investment property that they use for their retirement. Let’s look at the people who are buying 8, 10, 12 houses. Let’s look at the people who are buying houses one day, 18 months later selling them again—

So are you saying to me that it’s OK to own two houses? Three houses? Four? Where’s the cut-off, Mr Little? How many houses is it OK to own?

Let’s go back to what we’re talking about here. So it is about a tax system that, overall, is fair. It raises revenue. It treats people fairly, uh, and it allows people to get ahead. So that’s what it’s all about. When it comes to designing a tax system, I think that’s an exercise better done when you’re in government; when you have the resources of Inland Revenue, Treasury, various other government departments. You have all those resources, and you have the bully pulpit of government to go and debate the issue and lead up a public debate and discussion about it. Very hard to do in opposition.

Mr Little, you’re promising a direct, um, style of leadership. I’m asking you a direct keystone, personally. Two houses, is that OK? Three houses?

With all due respect, Lisa, it’s a silly question. That’s not what the issue is about.

So you don’t want to answer that question? OK.

No, the question doesn’t get us anywhere. If you’re asking about tax policy, let’s talk about that. But if you’re asking about how many houses you should own, I don’t care how many houses you own. What people want to know is that people are going to be treated fairly when it comes to their tax, uh, they’re gonna be taxed fairly. That’s what that issue is about. And I am saying is, you know, when we are putting out policies, we have to make a judgement. Is this fixing a problem that we see today? Well, we put that capital-gains tax policy out there two elections in a row, and the judgement is very clear. People don’t see it fixing a problem at all. So let’s take it off, and let’s start again.

Towards fixing the problem, then. Towards fixing the problem. The day after you were elected as leader, you sent out an email saying that you want to launch a housing campaign to fix the country’s housing crisis. So what is your idea? Is it Kiwi Build?

KiwiBuild is part of the issue. That’s on the supply side. We have to get more housing and more affordable housing too. That’s the problem we’ve got. First homebuyers can’t get into the houses. The Government and Reserve Bank’s LVR policy is failing. Failing everybody outside Auckland. Not even helping people in Auckland. So we have to do something. We have to do something else. So more affordable housing. Then there is the issue of how we deal with property speculators – those people who are in and out of houses, clearly doing it as a business. Clearly doing it to raise income, but, um, are inflating house prices. So there’s talk now about, ‘Do you have special conditions? Special interest rates for after you’ve bought your first house?’ And those sorts of things. So there’s a range of things that we can look at, but we, you know, if we want to make housing more affordable, two things – we’ve got to have more supply, and we’ve got to take measures to dampen down house prices.

OK, well, KiwiBuild – 100,000 affordable homes over 10 years, and Labour says it will generate about $2 billion in economic growth a year, apprenticeships, two-thirds of the houses in Auckland. The Nation has talked to some people about this, and the feedback we get is, ‘It sounds great. Sounds really good. In fact, too good to be true.’ Is it?

Uh, no. It had been very carefully prepared, that policy, and the Labour Party has spoken to people in the industry, in the business, and they say it is doable. I mean, part of the thing is—

How do you pay for it? Because your books were balanced on the basis that you were going to raise Super eligibility as one element, and that balanced your books out. So how are you going to pay for that?

Well, this is a capital expense. So we build the first 10,000 houses. They get sold. The revenue raised from selling those houses funds the next tranche of houses, and so it goes on.

So you do need to get a flow-on for that? So, initially, there’s gonna be an outlay that you’d need to pay?

Yes, and so you know, as the Government always does, it raises the finance. It’s capital expenditure. You do it to fund the first set of houses. You sell those, raise the revenue, carry on with the rest of it, and then there’ll be a little bit of margin in it. So, um, so it can… The fore cost of it, ultimately, can be self-funding.

OK, well, talking about raising revenue, also in that email, you were appealing to people to give you money. It was basically a ‘give a little’ campaign. You were asking for donations. So is Labour out of cash?

We… Look, for every opportunity we can to raise funds—

That being said, are you down to your last dollars now?

Well, we are more secure now than we have been for a long time. So we had an election campaign – we got to fund that. We are in good heart. We need to do a lot better at fundraising, and one of the things that I’ll be putting together with a team in the next short while is a three-year fundraising campaign. But, listen, an exciting event like the election of a new leader – new party leader – is good for the party, and so we put the message out there, and we have raised money off that. A pretty healthy sum, I understand.

OK, well, your caucus – how are you going to keep that caucus unified?

Well, I’m going through the process of the moment of interviewing everybody as we prepare for the portfolio allocations. I have to say there is a high degree of goodwill. I think everybody’s got the message, and they will find, with my style of leadership, that I will be very clearly communicating the purpose we’ve got, the objectives we’ve got.

So how are you going to enforce discipline? Can you give me one concrete way in which you will enforce discipline within the caucus?

Well, we haven’t seen indiscipline in the caucus so far, but people will get the message very clearly that this is what we are here for. These are the objectives. This is your job; this is your role. Anybody who steps out of those expectations can expect there’s gonna be a response, and there will be.

So, this next week, you’re really gonna be building the foundations for your leadership going to the election. How are you going with things like deputy leader and have you talked David Parker around?

I haven’t talked David Parker around. I had a very good—couple of very good conversations with David Parker. I’ve had very good conversations with every caucus member. You know, I think—

Jacinda Ardern?

Yeah, a very conversation with Jacinda—

About the deputy leadership?

No doubt more to come about the roles that people are most suited to and I’d like them to be playing in the party—in the parliamentary wing of the party. I think what I’m looking at at this point is we’ve got three years. We’ve got, uh, we’re trying to achieve a fresh look. We want to harness the talent that we’ve got. So I may play a bit of the role of the coach and say, ‘Listen, let’s try some people in new slots. Let’s try some combinations.’ But, listen, we may well come to review those, and it may well be that we’ll have people in place for the next year or so. But, in terms of the team we go into 2017 with, that might not become absolutely crystal clear until the end of next year. So give people a year to try a role—

So you’re gonna try before you buy?

Yeah, a bit of that. I’m gonna try people out. This is… We’ve got some new people. We’ve got people that have been around a while but haven’t been tried in senior roles. So we wanna do that, and I think for the sake of their own confidence and confidence of people looking on, let’s try. Let’s give them a go. Let’s try them out while we’ve got a bit of an opportunity to do that. But, by the end of next year, two years out from the election, let’s crystalise who the team will be that’ll take us charging into 2017.

All right. Thank you very much for joining me this morning. The new Labour leader, Andrew Little.

Pleased to be here.

Source: Scoop

The Nation – Little and Harre

Today (and tomorrow) on The Nation:

This weekend Laila Harre breaks her post-election silence. We’ll ask her about the future of the Internet Party and her leadership.

Then Lisa talks to the new Labour leader Andrew Little about the policies he wants to throw out and how he’s going to rebuild the party.

And our reporter Torben Akel heads to Tonga as the country’s second ever election approaches.

Paddy Gower, former Labour Party president Mike Williams, and PR consultant Matthew Hooton are on the panel.

See you there – tomorrow at 9.30 or 10am on Sunday.

Crimson Cryer a Little critical

Scott Yorke is at his self-deprecating best showing how Labourites will Support Andrew Little.

A lot of Labour Party and other left-leaning folk have been bleating about Andrew Little and how disappointed they are that he is the new Labour leader.

But these people aren’t doing the party any good by moaning in public. What’s done is done, and it’s time to fall in behind the person chosen through a largely democratic process.

So what if our dreams for a better New Zealand under the inspirational leadership of our chosen candidate are now forever shattered? That’s no reason not to fall in behind Andrew Little.

Little’s vicious and spiteful supporters may have denied us the one thing we desperately wanted for the party, but that’s no reason to take it out on Andrew Little, or indeed those vicious and spiteful supporters, bastards all of them. It’s their fault he’s leader now, that your candidate didn’t make it, and that everything is now utterly ruined.

But let’s stay positive.

There’s no point in crying over spilt milk, because the milk had probably been poisoned anyway by Little’s union mates, and nothing will be achieved by dwelling on this disgusting travesty of justice. I intend to give Andrew Little my full support, and so should you.

Don’t dwell on the past, because focusing on this monstrous injustice will not do anyone any good. Don’t let your entirely understandable rage get the better of you.

Support Andrew as leader, because we need unity as a party, and the worst thing we can possibly do is show the world how divided we really are by this appalling result. You may well regard Andrew Little’s election as Labour Party leader as the final nail in Labour’s coffin, but don’t be too hasty to rush to judgement. Room can always be found for a few more nails.

So our candidate didn’t make it. Big deal. Harden up. It’s not the end of the world. The fact that our chosen person lost the contest may well mean the death of a once-proud party, but life will go on.

This was signaled in a post early in the contest: Random thoughts on the Labour Party leadership contest

Don’t fret

It’s a tough choice for those of us Labour Party members and affiliates who get to have a say in the contest. Each of the four candidates has a lot going for them, and while I currently have a favourite, I’m still not sure how I’ll rank numbers 2 to 4.

But there’s no need to panic if I get it hopelessly wrong, because I will probably get another go at it within the year.


Everyone in the party wants unity, and members want to know that whoever wins, the caucus and membership unite behind them.

I agree. We must all put this division, dissension and wrangling behind us, because it puts voters off.

Accordingly, I pledge my absolute and unwavering support to whoever wins this contest, unless the person I rank number one doesn’t win.

Yorke is well known as the Crimson Cryer. He claims this title was earned due to his stoic pro-Labour proclamations, but this alleged photo of him after the election is probably closer to the mark.


Stepping up in the Labour boat

Andrew Little – obviously he has to step up big time. He’s put himself forward as leader, he has been chosen, and he has a massive job to do.

Labour caucus – while Little has to work on uniting his Caucus all the MPs need to unite behind Little and contribute to recovering and rebuilding.

Past leaders – Phil Goff, David Shearer and David Cunliffe have all had a go and failed. It is their duty to help Little succeed.

Grant Robertson – he ran a very close race and will be bitterly disappointed. He needs to take some time to get over it, then do his utmost to help Little and Labour succeed. He isn’t leading the party but he can and should take a significant role in leading the Caucus support of Little.

David Parker – has indicated he doesn’t want to be deputy and doesn’t want to be Minister of Finance. He may be disappointed and he may be hurting, but this is very disappointing. Parker thought he was good enough and committed enough to be Labour leader, so he must be big enough and committed enough to be a strong senior member of Little’s caucus. He go in on the Labour list for another three year stint, like all the other MPs he owes it to Labour to do his utmost repair the damage and rebuild.

Nanaia Mahuta – has been criticised for being low profile and insignificant in her EIGHTEEN YEARS as an MP for Labour. She felt she could take on the huge challenge of being party leader. She must step up and repay her party.

Andrew Little has taken on a huge challenge. His success will be partly up to him, and it will just as much be up to all other 31 Labour MPs in Parliament, as well as the Labour Party.

If they all don’t out in the effort and work together they will live down to National’s expectations (this was a multi-party dig but it could be applied to Labour’s past performance on their own):

LabourRowboatOr this will be the Labour boat:


Mixed blog reactions signal a major challenge for Little

There have been mixed reactions to Andrew Little’s elevation to Labour leader around the blogs.

On the left there seems to be a stronger reaction than to the election result – that may be because it was a tight race with uncertainty in the result in Labour’s leadership contest, compared to a predictable election result, there were feelings of despair in Labour circles well before the September vote.

The Standard is mostly congratulatory and supportive of Little in And the winner is …

This isn’t a surprise, they have been Cunliffe supporters and promoters and switched to Cunliffe’s choice in this contest. And there are significant union leanings and involvement at The Standard.

In contrast Andrew Geddis at The Pundit is very negative about it.

Worst. Result. Ever.

The only thing worse than electing the wrong person as leader of Labour is electing him by the narrowest of margins, by virtue of the influence of a handful of individuals acting under instructions.

Labour just made the wrong choice, in the worst possible way.

Obviously, I think that the decision to choose Andrew Little over Grant Robertson was the wrong one however it came about … that’s because Grant is a good friend whom I think will one day make a fantastic Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Russell Brown is just about as negative:

News from home …

I’ll be brief (it’s 5am where I am and have to catch a plane) but the Labour’s leadership result and the means by which it was achieved both seem disastrous for the party and for the prospects of the centre-left.

Little didn’t win the support of the party or the caucus, he loses his electorate more badly every time he contests it, and he’s vowing to dump all the intellectual capital built up by David Parker. I can’t see any good thing about this.

Am I missing something?

Martyn Bradbury laments the languishing of his revolutionary dreams:

And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ

The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew, he was the leader of the EPMU, one of the most conservative Unions in NZ, so don’t expect revolution, expect tepid evolution. With MANA killed off, Labour can now try and out-gallop the Greens to the centre because activists and members can’t politically go anywhere else so expect National lite for the next 3 years.

Some interesting blog votes though. That post currently scores a low 2.2/5 approval. And in comments:


Martyn, why are you writing off Little before he has even had a chance to do anything? This is not helpful. Give him a chance and stop bagging him before he has even started.

Rating: +44 (from 60 votes)


I’m not writing Little off – Labour are trying to reach muddle Nu Zilind now, they aren’t waving the flag for the Left – their pitch will be centrist, not progressive.

Rating: -14 (from 62 votes)

John Minto also has a post at The Daily Blog:

Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem

The corporate sector will be particularly happy with his appointment because they know that when the tide runs out on John Key and National they can be assured Labour will continue to run the economy on their behalf.

His personal style is thoroughly inoffensive and this is what Labour thinks it needs at the moment.

But how important is this to the progressive movement in New Zealand?

Not much. Little will lead a Labour Party which seeks power not because it has a policy programme to make a big difference for working New Zealanders but because senior Labour MPs hope they will soon get another turn to run the free market economy and receive the baubles of power which go with it.

Little won’t cause waves outside the party either. The mainstream media have endorsed him as Labour’s best choice for leader because he is deeply conservative economically and in particular doesn’t support a capital gains tax. He hasn’t advocated any change to economic policy settings that would make a significant difference either to corporate profits or the plight of hundreds of thousands of families struggling on low incomes.

The ability to drive an ambitious policy programme to back up a big vision for working New Zealanders is simply not in Andrew Little’s genes.

Not surprising that Little is not revolutionary left enough for Minto.

And Chris Trotter’s post is more of a Grant Robertson lament:

Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over Grant Robertson.

THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond the confines of the Caucus Room to become a genuine party-wide movement.

It’s all there in the numbers. From being the strong partisans of David Cunliffe, the allegiance of a clear majority of ordinary, rank-and-file members has shifted to Grant Robertson. It is a measure of just how hard Robertson’s people worked for their man’s victory that another 100 votes would have clinched it for him.

He went on (and on) about Robertson and his campaign, and barely touched on Little until the final paragraph – with the only positive comment being directed at Robertson.

Little’s victory is, therefore, a win for those Labour members who still believe in the party’s emancipatory vision and in its antagonistic stance towards the demands of Capital. That it was so narrow is not simply a testimony to Robertson’s political skill and determination, but a worrying indication of just how strong the temptation has become among Labour members to stop struggling against the treacherous currents of capitalism – and turn the boat around.

The left remains strongly divided, with both the hard left (Bradbury and Minto) and the centre left (Brown and Geddis) bitterly lamenting Little’s elevation.

Andrew Little has a massive challenge – and so does the Labour caucus and Labour Party.

Little Labour cake

This is the Labour cake Andrew Little would like to have taken over.

Little Labour cake 1This is what he’s got to knock into shape.

Little Labour cake 2Leadership contest success might be briefly sweet but there’s a lot of reconstruction to be done.

Thanks for permission and assistance from Sarah MacKenzie Photography.

Andrew Little needs a fair go

Andrew Little has been voted to be Labour’s next leader, just.

A lot has been said about how close the vote was but that’s irrelevant, in a democratic process once someone wins they’re it/

Little has been getting hammered by media.

I heard Mary on Radio NZ spitting down her microphone at him, pretty much telling him that Labour have been crap and there was nothing he could do about it.

Patrick Gower made a big snarky thing about how divided the caucus was, before Little has started on the job.

Like those two have their jobs by unanimous support.

Party leaders don’t exist to live up to the dramatic wishes of journalists.

Whatever has happened for Labour over the last six years, however the vote added up, Little is now leader.

For the good of Labour Little has to step up and make a difference. That’s a huge job for him but someone has to try.

For the good of Labour their caucus needs to pool their talents and support Little’s leadership. Actively support it.

For the good of Parliament and the god of the country Little and Labour need to sort their shit out and grow up, and grow back into a credible opposition party. Once they have done that they need to provide National with serious opposition.

If Labour remains stuffed then our democracy is seriously weakened. There is no other party in a position to step up and take their place.

Andrew Little needs to be given a fair go – by his party, by journalists and by the country.

He needs time and should be judged on results, not on preconceptions.

I wish Andrew well. I’ll applaud anything he does well, and I’ll be critical when he stuffs up – every politician stuffs up. But just as every misstep (like Gerry Brownlee’s) shouldn’t immediately result in a resignation – how many journalists resign when they stuff up? – every misstep should not be seen as nail in another labour leadership coffin.

Little and Labour need to be much better. And they need to be given a fair chance.

Good Standard on Labour leadership

An unusually good post and comment thread at The Standard on Labour’s leadership contest – My (late) vote.

Lyn Prentice is a campaigner from way back and has a good idea about how things work, especially with Labour – he’s it bit off the mark with some of his claims about National but that’s not his strength.

For a review of the leadership contenders and an insight into Labour campaigning it’s worth reading through the post and most of the comments.

Prentice happens to pick the leadership contest similar to I would (I’m not a Labour member so haven’t had to decided):

  1. Andrew Little
  2. David Parker
  3. Nanaia Mahuta
  4. Grant Robertson

I think I’d reverse Mahuta and Robertson.

And another old school Labour campaigner Anne names her preferred front bench.

  1. Andrew Little
  2. David Parker
  3. Grant Robertson
  4. Nanaia Mahuta
  5. David Cunliffe
  6. Phil Twyford
  7. Jacinda Ardern
  8. Annette King
  9. Phil Goff
  10. David Shearer

Her comment:

Yep. I came to the same conclusions for exactly the same reasons as lprent. A Little/Parker combination is what the Labour Party needs with Robertson, Mahuta, Cunliffe, Twyford, and Ardern taking the next five places. Annette King and Phil Goff still have a lot to offer in the way of experience and knowledge, but they have to give way to a new team. Having said that, I think they should – along with Shearer – take the next three places.

Leader plus ex leaders/acting leaders fill half of those positions – experience is valuable but it’s time the worked out how to work together and put the party ahead of their own ambitions or grievances.

I’d swap Robertson/Mahuta and Twyford/Ardern to put more female presence up the list. And I’m not sure that Goff should be that high, I’d rather look to the future more through Hipkins instead.

It’s worth repeating – interesting and worthwhile post and comments at The Standard.

‘Labour West’ promoting Little and Mahuta leadership

An apparently authorised Labour group (Labour West) is promoting a ‘Meet Andrew Little and Nanaia Mahuta’ event in West Auckland that currently appears to exclude the other two leadership contenders. The group has strong connections with ex leader David Cunliffe.

‘Labour West’ on Facebook states:

This is the page for the New Zealand Labour Party in West Auckland. Have a look at our posts, check out what our leaders are up to, and visit events.

It has a photo of Labour MPs including David Cunliffe (MP for New Lynn) – the Facebook page seems to have mainly been a promotion for Cunliffe’s leadership and Labour’s election campaign.


Note also the promotion of an event this Saturday – an opportunity to meet leadership contenders Andrew Little and Nanaia Mahuta. Despite the photo including all four contenders it seems that Grant Robertson and David Parker are not included. This seems very odd for a Labour Party promoted event.

The Facebook page ‘Description’:

This is a page for West Auckland Labour members and supporters. No parliamentary services money has been used in the construction of this website and if it needs authorisation (which is denied) it is authorised by Greg Presland of 512 South Titirangi Road, Titirangi. Go Labour!

Authorised by Greg Presland, a well known supporter and associate of Cunliffe.

There is also an event page on Facebook promoting this meet half the candidates event - Meet Andrew Little and Nanaia Mahuta:

An invite for westies to meet with Andrew Little and Nanaia Mahuta and chat with them about their aspirations for the Labour Party and what they want to achieve if they become leader.

“If they become leader” is an interesting phrase.

Labour West leaders edit

It’s easy to guess who might be behind this promotion.

There have been obvious signs of some angling towards favouring a Little/Mahuta leadership team at The Standard, where Presland happens to be an author and sometimes posts under the pseudonym ‘mickysavage’.

Although it is under the generic name of ‘Notices and Features’ this event is also being promoted at The Standard.

Meet Nanaia and Andrew in West Auckland this weekend

By: Date published: 11:44 pm, October 29th, 2014 – 5 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, labour, Nanaia Mahuta – Tags: , ,

Labour West are hosting an event this weekend where you can meet two of the Labour leadership candidates:

Meet Nanaia Mahuta and Andrew Little

5pm to 7pm Saturday 1 November

Ghazal restaurant, Glen Eden

An invite for westies to meet with Andrew Little and Nanaia Mahuta and chat with them about their aspirations for the Labour Party and what they want to achieve if they become leader.

Facebook event details here.

The West Auckland husting is a week and a half later, on 10 November at the Massey High School Performing Arts Centre. Facebook event here.

One can presume who is responsible for that post.

While it is not unusual for The Standard to be taking sides in leadership contests or attempted coups it seems odd that an apparently authorised Labour organisation is promoting two contenders – and excluding the other two from an event that is obviously leadership contest related.

Labour leadership contest – Andrew Little

(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway)

Q & A Summary – Andrew Little at The Standard

From campaign website:

I’m Andrew Little and I want to be the next leader of the New Zealand Labour Party.

Our party – and our movement – needs to rebuild after the 2014 general election.

I’ve got the experience, the skills, and the will to get Labour fighting fit for 2017. But I need your support.

You can follow my campaign on Facebook or Twitter; make a donationto help me and my team get our message out to the Party and the whole of New Zealand; or put your hand up to help directly.

Over the next few days my team will be uploading resources you can use to show your support online.

Supported by:

  • Geoff (The Standard): Why I’m voting for Andrew Little
    Little’s a bit of a dark horse, but if he gets Labour into the fighting fit state he got the EPMU into, and I think he will, then he’s exactly what we need.
  • Union backs Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    EPMU National Secretary Bill Newson confirmed the National Executive unanimously endorsed Little as a candidate and would recommend that conference delegates give him first preference on their ballot.


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