Hide rates Little too

Rodney Hide praises Andrew Little and his ‘State of the Nation’ speech in Little captures our attention.

He’s new and his speech was an opportunity to learn where he’s directing Labour and, potentially, the country.

And here’s the money quote: “As a union leader I was always conscious that wealth had to be created first before it could be shared. We need to do what’s right for business so we can do what’s right for workers and their families and to keep skills in New Zealand.”

Little recognises the need to create wealth before it can be spent.

And he acknowledges that business creates wealth – and, by implication, not Government. That’s a big statement from a Labour leader.

He told us how as union leader he helped business to help workers and their families.

He’s not a “worker-versus-business” guy. He worked with Fonterra to achieve productivity gains and so boost the pay to workers and farmers.

The bit about farmers is important. He understands the economy is interconnected and farmers are part of his economic equation.

It’s all good news.

Little spoke of reducing inequality. Good. And even here he was interesting: he says the spin-off of reducing inequality is better growth. That, too, would be better for business and farmers.

Jobs and growth are his focus. And small business. That sets him apart from Key who, in his deals with Warner Bros, SkyCity and Rio Tinto, is tied to the big end of town.

Little didn’t attack Key. He ignored the Government to focus on what he and his party have to offer. That’s a welcome change.

Little has outlined his vision and direction. His challenge now is to deliver policy that convinces middle voters he will deliver.

Delivering policies that attract middle voters won’t be easy, there’s signs that the ‘further left’ faction of Labour is trying to gain more influence in their policy council.

But if Little lifts Labour in the polls and keeps getting good media coverage with a minimumj of stuff-ups he should pull the party in his direction – that’s what good leaders do.

Little rated against Key

NZ Herald reoports on a 3 News/Reid Reseach poll (I can’t find it on the 3 News site) and asks Has Key met his match?

A 3 News Reid-Research poll has revealed 55 per cent of voters think Little is potentially a better match for Prime Minister John Key than his Labour Party leader predecessors.

3 News political editor Patrick Gower said the poll result was a huge boost for Little.

“It means more than half of voters think he can do a better job than Phil Goff, David Shearer or David Cunliffe,” Gower said.

“And the fact that it’s over half shows it’s well and truly beyond the people who vote for Labour normally and into centre voters and probably some National voters as well.”

It’s too soon to tell, and Labour’s recovery will take more than Little to step up a few notches, but this poll result looks promising for Little’s prospects.

Little said the poll result was “nice” but he wouldn’t be taking any false hope from it.

“Things like this kind of go up and down. You’re in favour and you’re out of favour … it’s nice to have the kind of start that I’ve had. But we’ve got a long way to go yet and a lot of work to do so I’m focused on that.”

Little sounds realistic about where he’s at now.

A Key spokeswoman last night told the Herald on Sunday: “The Prime Minister never underestimates any leader of the Opposition.”

There’s signs that National is very wary of Little. That’s good, it will keep them on their toes.

So this is promising for Little but more important for Labour will be the party poll result, which will be revealed on 3 New tonight at 6 pm.

90 day trial on The Standard

There were some interesting and perhaps suroprising discussions at The Standard on Andrew Little’s speech and the lack of a mention of 90 day trials given the Standard is a ‘labour left’ blog.


I suggest the 90 day trial is quite popular with small businesses. It will be interesting if Labour drops their objection to it.


Why would they?
The 90-day trial is only popular with incompetent employers. How many small business owners are incompetent, do you think?


There is enough antidotal evidence that has been gathered which points to the ‘fire at will legislation’ is not being used as prescribed (spun) or a cynic would say used to an advantage by a scumbag employer.

Expected responses, albeit with nothing provided to back up claims like “enough antidotal evidence “.

But another thread was less anti.


Interesting he mentioned removing the zero hour contracts which is a safe announcement but nothing about the 90 day bill

Colonial Rawshark:

Even though most will not use it, small/medium business owners generally like the 90 day right to fire, a lot.


I guess the question is does the positives of the 90 day bill outweigh the negatives

Colonial Rawshark:

All I know is there are too many people out there who can’t be bothered turning up to work on time, every day, day after day, in a fit to work state.


I know alot of small business owners with the same story workers not turning up turning up late turning up stoned or hung over not willing to do a fair days work with the minimum fuss.


It is possible to give reasons for not keeping people on in those cases. The problem is not so much the 90 day trial period per se, but that no reason need be given for firing someone during that period. If no reason needs to be given, there is no room for dispute, which is what the employers like about it. However, it does leave room for bad faith employment practices.

There’s always ‘room for bad faith employment practices’ no matter what the legislation is. The key is whether there is a case that bad practices have significantly oncreased under 90 day trials, and whether that overweighs the benefit of encouiragung employers to take on more staff.


Exactly Olwyn. The big problem with the 90 day rule is that it is open to abuse by employers. If someone is late, comes in stoned , doesn’t do their job properly then give them a warning. If the unacceptable behaviour continues in spite of warnings then the employer is perfectly entitled to sack them.
The “no reason required” 90 day rule means some employers who have no intention of providing a longterm job are able to mislead prospective employees taking on what are actually temporary positions..

This ‘no intention of providing a long term job’ is often brought up. That can be achieved easily without using the 90 day trial.

No evidence provided of how prevalent this might be (or if it happens at all), just a statement that it could happen.

Again this is all very mild discussion about 90 day trials.

Then ‘nadis’ joined the discussion:

As a small business owner, the 90 day rule is very beneficial. I’ve never used it, but I can see the attraction. Whats not recognised by many commentators is the risky nature of most small businesses which run on a week by week basis where meeting the payroll is often a close run thing, and so many small business owners have provided the family home as security.
When viewed through that prism – you can see the attractiveness of the 90 day policy. I’d love to see any stats on how many employees don’t get kept on – does anyone know a number?

If an employer has form in churning, then bring in a rule that takes away their 90 day right for a 2 year period. Define churn as something like more than 10% of employee hours over a financial year or something similar.

Also bring in a rule that says 90 day let go employees get cash compensation – 3 weeks pay or similar.

A couple of rules like that would retain the good for thee employer aspects of the 90 day rule while penalising bad behaviour.

I’d like to see what Little proposes in actuality for boosting SME’s. Some quick ideas:

– retain a 90 day rule though with some protections
– change the provisional tax system to a pay as you go based on monthly cashflow
– streamline the provisions around firing and redundancy, too many confusing areas. A clearer process would be good for both employers and employees
– don’t tax retained earnings for the first 3 years of a business’ life – just tax distributions.
– give businesses (say) 50% of the dole for 2 years when they take on an unemployed worker.
– incentivise businesses to invest in third party provided training

Forget subsidies and funding initiatives – they aren’t necessary and will get siphoned off by unproductive businesses who know how to play the system. A well executed business with proper governance and sound practices can get funding already.

A couple of mild responses only to that.

Another thread:


I am actually thinking that Little will probably keep it.


If he keeps to the center and sticks with popular National policies then he’ll probably be the next pm of NZ

Party member and unionist Te Reo Putake:

Current LP policy is for removing the 90 day provision. I don’t see that changing, though I doubt Little is likely to promote the policy when talking to or about small business.

btw, the LP Policy Council has a few vacancies to be filled. I know of some very progressive candidates who are wanting to take the spots to help move the party in a better policy direction.

Hoping for a policiy move to the left.

Karen added:

RNZ are reporting Little confirming that the 90 day rule will be gone under a Labour government. Must have covered it in the Q&A session after the speech.

If Little said that it’s a bit odd as he has said that all party policies are up for review. There’s likely to be a lot of discussion within the party on the 90 day trial.

The result for then 90 day trial may depend on what sort of people are attracted to getting involved in Labour’s rebuilding and policy development.

It was surprising to see on a ‘labour left’ blog more support for the 90 day trial asnd only mild opposition.

Little speaks to his strengths, needs to build on them

Andrew Little gave his first big speech yesterday to kick off his political year. He wisely spoke to his strengths, building on his uniion past which involved working with businesses. I give him ‘a pass mark, will do better’ as he grows into the position.

In it, I set out my vision for a stronger, more equal New Zealand — one where our businesses thrive and we once again have the lowest unemployment in the developed world.

If you want to see the full text it’s here - State of the Nation 2015.

Little’s presentation is a bit mixed. This is to be expected at this early stage of his leadership. It’s a hugeb step up in public scrutiny. He should improve over the next three years.

Targeting small business for job creation is a reasonable approach, and he has the background to contribute. But he and his minders need to anticipate basics – he wants New Zealand to have the lowest rate of unemployment but he didn’t know what the actual target needed to be. Not a major slip but he needs to avoid this happening.

As a new leader at the start of the parliamentary cycle I’m fully aware of the task I have ahead to build our organisation and the policy platform we will take into the next election. This is a major job.

Acknowledging a major job, which it is. Not just for him but also for the Labouir caucus and the party.

Because as a party committed to creating good jobs for New Zealanders, we know that many of the jobs we want to create will come from businesses like those represented here today. That is the only way to drive down unemployment. We can only do this if we’re all in it together.

For a political party with social democratic values at its heart, like the Labour Party, there is one crucial question: How do we create wealth generation that means everyone gets to fairly participate and share? Which is to say, wealth generation that is inclusive.

Targeting job creation through small businesses is a good approach. Committing to work together with the business community is very good.

But there are a number of policy areas that will be challenging for Little and Labour.

With Labour, it will be easier than ever to start a business and make it succeed.

Labour will make small business a priority.

Will they retain or scrap the 90 day trial?

We will do more to use our tax system to support investment in innovation and Research & Development, so that more Kiwi businesses can compete on the world stage in the cutting edge industries that make up the 21st century economy.

What about the business tax rate. Will Labour propose to leave it as it is, lower it, or raise it.

Will they ramp up the minimum wage? That will impact on small businesses.

There’s still a lot for Little and Labolur to do on this. They have the time to get it right.

This is a good enolugh start to Labour’s year. Little spoke to his strengths but a lot of building on them is required.

‘Angry Andy’

Cameron Slater continues to push the ‘Angry Andy’ meme amongst his prolific (several posts a day) attacks on Andrew Little. Even when the posts don’t seem tio be targeting Little he gets barbs in, like today in “Independent” political commentator Bryce Edwards has no clue:

“so now the pressure is on Angry Andy”

“Angry Andy is stuffed”

But this isn’t getting much traction. Fair enough to describe someone as angry when they display anger, but to keep claiming something on a daily basis when there’s no sign of it then it just looks tedious.

Apart from Whale Oil repeats the angry meme doesn’t seem to have been picked up anywhere else, but this description came up once in Parliament last November. 3 News reported:

Andrew Little fired up over Dirty Politics

Andrew Little has taken the Dirty Politics debate to a new level.

The new Labour leader told Mr Key to “cut the crap” in Parliament today.

“Why doesn’t he [Mr Key] just cut the crap and apologise to New Zealanders for running a smear machine out of his office?” he said.

That’s been criticised by some but I don’t see anything wrong with it. Parliament could do with a lot more straight talking and crap cutting.

Mr Key has responded, saying it is going to be a “very interesting three years”.

Labour liked Mr Little’s call so much they made an online ad, while Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce created a new nickname for Mr Little.

“He looks a bit like Angry Andy,” he says.

Perhaps Slater has taken that and kept running with itt, but he’s the only one continuing with it.

Mr Little is fuming about Dirty Politics.

“Why won’t [Mr Key] admit the truth – that his office worked with his blogger to use information held by his security agency to attack his political rival, and the buck stops with him?”

But Mr Key said that was not truth.

He is refusing to take responsibility for the way former deputy chief of staff Phil de Joux used inside information from former SIS spymaster Warren Tucker, with Mr Key’s taxpayer-funded dirt-digger Jason Ede working with Slater, who obtained it under the Official Information Act (OIA) to attack then-Labour leader Phil Goff.

“The black ops operator, Jason Ede, two doors down, doing his job, ringing up the bloggers, manipulating the OIA and getting the attack lines out,” says Mr Little.

Slater might want to keep bringing up this sort of history and his links with Key, whikle Key seems to have wanted to distance himself with as little fuss as possible.

But if Slater keeps promoting negative nickname memes through Whale Oil like this then Key is at risk of being seen as associated and tainted no matter how distant he is from the ongoing Whale Oil campaign,

If Little is smart he could use this to his advantage. Not by dredging up ‘Dirty Politics’, but by turning the ‘Angry’ into a positive.

There’s a difference between uncontrolled rage type anger and justified irate anger.

If Little occasionallly displays controlled anger as long as it looks justified then it could work to his advantage. If people feel pissed off about something they won’t mind seeing a party leader pissed off about it, as long as it’s not overdone.

People like strong leaders so this could strengthen Little’s credibility. But he has to get it about right. David Cunliffe’s emotion sometimes looked contrived (along with other things he tried), adding to his difficulties. Phil Goff can sometimes get into extended anger that can go too far.

Helen Clark could effectively display anger without putting on a display. Sometines just a withering look is enough.

Politicians are human. They’re allowed to have normal human emotions, like anger, and it should be fine for them to show it.

So there’s nothing wrong with saying forecfully “I’m bloody angry about this”  (or “cut ther crap”). If you then move on to a suggest some positive alternative action then all the better.

As long as Little doesn’t start throwing microphones across the house in a rage then a bit of hackle with the heckle won’t hurt.


Slater has just posted another attack on Little – Who is Andrew Little? Can Andrew Little Speak Under Pressure? Slater is trying to put pressure on Little but I don’t know if any of it will get through. He continues his meme.

“He gets all angry and shouty and doesn’t look as if he is in control at all”

“He gets angry and shouty, and loses his composure”

He also compares Key to Little – Key after eight years as party leader and six years as Prime Minister, versus a rooky.

The key will be comparing them during the campaign in 2017. Little has time, but he’s got a lot to learn.

Has Bradbury given up on Mana?

In a post at The Daily Blog Martyn Bradbury asks Is it over for the Greens?

From what he says (laments) it’s fair to ask if it’s over for the Mana Party. He starts his post referring to Mana but ignores them in hismusing about the future for the left.

With MANA knocked out of the election by Labour

That ignores the fact that Mana’s wounds were largely self-inflicted. Labour can’t be blamed for trying to maximise their vote and their electorate wins.

I helped start up MANA 5 years ago because Labour + Greens could never make it over 50% without needing NZ First.

He not only “helped start up MANA”, he was on Mana’s payroll a couiple of years ago.

His main point is how NZ First will cut the Greens out of power (which has happened before, in 2005)..

With Labour now chasing the middle, the Greens find themselves at risk of getting politically snookered again.

It was a scenario that was quietly bubbling away at the least election.

If Labour + Greens don’t equal over 50%, then they need NZ First. If Winston is in the mix he will want a Labour-NZ First minority Government with just the Greens as a support Party. This strategy will be the preferred option of Labour who showed last election how focused they are to killing off any real left wing politic

It’s a big question as to whether Winston will be in the mix in 2017. Without him NZ First will struggle to maintain support.

To avoid this political castration, the Greens need to kit 15% and Labour need to hit 36%. With Polls showing the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind still love John Key, those totals 3 years out from the 2017 election look optimistic in the extreme.

Far more likely is Labour and NZ First cutting a deal that leaves the Greens out in the cold again.

Labour has to get back above 36% if they are to recover successfully, but Greens look like they have hit a support ceiling and 15% looks a difficult target for them, They were confident of getting 15% last election and failed to gain ground despite Labolur’s weakness.

But an interesting thing from this post by Bradbury is that he doesn’t include Mana in his musings about the future.

Has he given up on Mana?

Has Mana given up? The last post on the Mana website is a Media Advisory dated October 7, 2014.

Labour poverty message mangled

Social media doesn’t always work the way you want it to. Yesterday Labour posted on Facebook about poverty – “Since John Key was elected 20,000 more Kiwi children are living in POVERTY.”.

There’s that many numbers thrown around about poverty I’m not sure if that will be an effective message or if it’s just another eye-glazer.

Regardless of that when I say it this morning the Top Comments have mangled Labour’s message.

Matthew Small:

That might be true, but John Key is not to blame for all of it, some people decide to have more kids when they can’t afford it; which statistically puts the kids straight into poverty.

Surgey Teer’s”

Funny how so many people believe that if you live in poverty it is somehow the governments fault. I grew up in poverty, having to stick cardboard inside my shoes because they had holes in, always hungry, all clothes were charity and hand me downs. Theonly person who I could blame was my father and step mother, both did not work and did not want to work. They still had money for cigarettes and alcohol though!!

The only people who can change the cycle is you, individually. Work hard, take any opportunities you can. For me, the apathy of my family with regards to work made me strive for success, I did not want my children to go through the same things I did. I did not want them to grow up in a doss hole of an area ridden with crime and scum.

I would never have thought as I was growing up that I would have moved my family half way around the world and would be living in near luxury, but, I earned it and I have never took a cent of charity. I never, ever thought that I was owed something from any government. Yes, they were on the dole, it was difficult and the money was pitiful, but, it should have been less, there would have been more incentive to go and get work.

Joy Jackson:

We are a first world country with endless educational and employment opportunities. It is simplistic and defeatist to blame a government because they are not providing you with money you have not worked for. I don’t worry about the National government,

That’s not the response Labour would have wanted.


Scrolling down showed standard opposition lines that were less populazr

Mervyn John Peter Oquinn:

John Key doesn’t care about people it’s all about money

Donald John Robinson:

Why blame this government, John Key played the same game as Labour, but nearly a million lazy thick incompetent, selfish ignorant New Zealanders didn’t VOTE !!!!!!

Carol Kara:

Profits before People should be the National party slogan.

Counter message versus same old slogans.

Another problem with this is that it isn’t easy to ‘Get the facts.” There was no obvious links to any facts. Most people wouldn’t bother trying to get them.

There’s also no sign of anything on this on Labour’s home page on their website. It’s not on their News page either.

Googling “labour children poverty living” hits Labour’s Children page that has it’s last post dated 8 July 2014. Nothing on this Facebook post.

So I don’t know what facts they are claiming.

Labour have failed to win hearts and minds on their Facebook post and have failed to provide the facts that they wanted us to get. Or did they want us to get the facts?

I see faux pas and no facts. It’s a mangled message.

Labour MP calls for tax debt amnesty

This is odd for a number of reasons – Labour MP for Napier Stuart Nash has called on the Government to declare a tax amnesty.

All About Hawke’s Bay (press release):

Napier MP call’s for an amnesty on overdue tax debt.

Labour is calling on the Government to declare an amnesty after Napier MP Stuart Nash released the figures for overdue tax debt.

Figures show Palmerston North debt is $139m, Napier is $496m and Whangarei has $86m outstanding.

Outstanding taxes have increased in Nelson by $67.9 million (119 per cent), Timaru $15.6m (76 per cent) and Greymouth $5.6m (51 per cent) in the last six years.

In total, Inland Revenue is owed more than $5.03 billion, up from $4.5b in 2008-09. IRD spends about $90m a year chasing outstanding debt.

Mr Nash said the figures, which don’t include child support or student loan debt, demonstrated a high level of economic hardship and deprivation in many regions.

He said much of the debt was held by small-to-medium business owners, not large corporates or high-net-worth individuals who have engaged expensive lawyers.

As a Labour party list member, Mr Nash is now calling on Revenue Minister Todd McClay to declare a government amnesty.

Nash isn’t a Labour Party list member, he’s an electorate MP. Surely a press release would get that right? The Labour Party website:

Stuart Nash

  • MP for Napier
  • Spokesperson for Forestry
  • Spokesperson for Energy
  • Spokesperson for Land Information
  • Spokesperson for Statistics

And Nash isn’t spokesperson for anything to do with Revenue (Clayton Cosgrove) or Finance (Grant Robertson), nor does he have any leadership role (he’s 26th in the \website pecking order).

And this press release is not yet on Labour’s ‘News’ web page.


But the oddest thing of all the suggestion that there should be an amnesty on tax debt. He says that Inland Revenue is owed about $5 billion.

Has he thought this through?

Stuff checked things out with the Minister of Revenue in Tax debt rockets, Labour calls for amnesty

(Todd) McClay says a debt amnesty wouldn’t be fair to those who pay tax on time.

“It has been proven to be ineffective in other OECD countries and we will not be implementing one here,” he said.

“Most taxpayers pay their fair share and IRD actively pursues those who do not.”

He pointed out that  tax debt was reducing in most regions.

“Last year [IRD] collected $4.1 billion in overdue tax, which was a $752 million increase on the previous year – 69 per cent of that recovered tax debt came about after IRD made direct contact with the people and businesses in default.”

Left wing wishes and fantasies

A post at The Standard – Andrea Vance on Andrew Little’s game plan – asks:

What do you want/expect to see in Andrew Little’s state of the nation?

The resonse was a number of wishes and wishlists.


I would like to see him define the debate on Labour’s terms – so, say, talk about jobs, wages, salaries and fairness in a world of the 1%ers. Within that framework talk about looking at a UBI, about workplace reform – maybe with German style workplace councils to stimulate productivity (but also introduce backdoor worker organisation without using the dreaded “trade union” words) and worker buy in.

UBI = Universal Basic Income is a minimun wage/benefit set at a ‘livable’ level.

Talk about the need to create a fairer society through better wages. In other words, make the argument where National are not delivering anything at all to the vast majority of Kiwis – wages and salaries.

Oh and how about saying that under Labour a bunch of scoundrels and pirates in rusty old fishing boats would not be allowed to humiliate our Navy and plunder fish stocks in the Southern Ocean.


The want lists includes.

  • Concrete policy on climate change. Divest from fossil fuels.
  • A clear independent foreign policy based on peaceful cohabitation of the planet with other cultures and nations.
  • Pull out of TPPA deal
  • Significant tax increases for the wealthy and corporations.
  • Massive investment in public transport
  • Investment in regional NZ.
  • Rebuild NZ’s local manufacturing in areas where .
  • Promote sustainable farming practises.
  • Build 100,00 state houses.
  • Change laws on rental properties to dis incentivise Multiple ownership of property.
  • Stop all foreign ownership of businesses, land and property.
  • Nationalisation of energy, transport, water, telecommunications, health and other core national interests.
  • Political donations only through membership of a political party and at a low rate of say $30. So the numbers of your supporters, not the wealth is what counts.
  • The reinstatement of genuine public broadcasting.
  • Democratic workplaces..cooperatives, worker owned companies.
  • Highly subsidised public transport
  • The conversion of inner city carparks into green spaces

I think an unqualified apology for the events of 1984 to 1990 would make for a cleansing break from Labour’s tragic embrace of neoliberalism.

Colonial Rawshark”

A full time youth jobs guarantee for those 25 and under. 37.5 hrs per week at the minimum wage, where you are expected to perform to a full employment standard.


A return of freight back to rail. Especially in regions with high truck traffic levels, and highway gridlock.

Lastly cartridge of dangerous and hazardous waste by rail. Never should Petroleum and oils be carried by road.


I’ll just be grateful if we could just have one Labour leader until the 2017 election.


A caucus that spends less time waiting for their turn in government while playing internal politics and more time on making sure that they win a general election.


I would like to see the Labour Party categorically state that the policies of greed and self-interest, as promoted since the Labour Party of 1984, do not work and that people simply do not go about their lives on the sole basis of greed and self-interest (bizarre thought isn’t it).

…. then link that statement to the current government, plus failures the result of those policies such as leaky homes, the GFC, Pike River, etc

Murray Rawshark:

I think there needs to be an unqualified apology for the events of 1984 to 2015. Without the Lange regime, this year would be very different politically and economically.

Miracle Worker:

The day I see Andrew Little take on John Key over South Canterbury Finance, which is John Key’s biggest achilles heel by a country mile, the issue that will bring him down and banish him from the political landscape for good, as well as set National back for at least a decade, is the day Labour will win back my vote.

Until that day comes, I have written Labour off as National-lite. When Labour KNOWS how corrupt Key and his cronies were over that issue and they do nothing about it, they are just as corrupt for turning a blind eye to it. I am sick of listening to their empty rhetoric and bullsh*t.

George Hendry:

@ Paul’s list –

# Divest from international ‘reserve’ (with a snap of our fingers we create the money you need, but you’re not allowed to try this trick ) bank system

# Exercise sovereign right to create independent government-backed local currency

# Hand over SIS and GCSB files to ordinary citizens spied on, ‘illegally’ or otherwise

# Stay alive if possible – look out for extrajudicial assassination drones with which PM is comfortable


He probably should be promising a public broadcasting channel.


I’d like Andrew to show to all Kiwis that he has the vision thing and that he has the passion to take us along with him.
I’d like him to demonstrate that he is a quick but not hasty decision maker, that he is thoughtful and analytical and then committed to his decisions.

I want him to show that he is a team builder who supports his bench with his big strength and toughness.
Andrew needs to continue showing that he knows himself and that he is very comfortable in his own skin. The public want to see his character and to understand the role it plays in his leadership style.

Policy Parrot:

1. Most voters are employees – tailor policy to them.
Over 70% of FTE workers are employees. It is our challenge to remake society so that one again can be successful through thrift and hard work as an employee, not solely through property trading or business ownership. Increases in minimum wage, industry specific wage floors, guaranteed union representative access, changes to work trials etc. Improve and expand the current apprenticeship system.

2. Making the tax system work
Making the tax system fairer. Sure the tax system would be simpler with a single rate of tax, but this rate needs be to discounted at the lower end so that lower income people can both survive and contribute to society, and thus compensatorily needs to be elevated at the higher end in order to pay for the discount at the lower end.
There needs to be a commission into tax to address horizontal fairness (i.e. all sources of income being treated the same for tax purposes), closing loopholes through a system design which also achieves the social policy objectives, and cracking down on tax fraud through omission and false statements. Establish a department within IRD specifically to help SME’s deal with tax/regulatory issues.

3. Regional Development + Extractive Industry
Regional development through direct central government investment, i.e. moving some staffing resources back into regional cities, tax incentives for large manufacturing businesses to locate their factories in regional New Zealand. Continue to allow extractive industries in negotiation with the local people in regions such as Northland, East Cape, West Coast – with the stipulation that a portion of profits be reinvested in the same regions. Encourage regional diversification. Make use of Solid Energy as the main/dominant operator of all mining/extractive operations wherever possible – as it is a SOE, and thus theorectically subject to political and social considerations in a different political environment.

4. Living and Transport
Improve and update the KiwiBuild policy – perhaps a new moniker as well. Build warm and dry, energy efficient houses in communities serviced by public transport. There needs to be another 50k state houses built.
Build up feeder/domitory towns that have public transport available/potential.
Reintroduce commuter rail to Christchurch, and improve existing services in Auckland and Wellington.

5. Education Sector
Increase the hours available in the 20 hour free scheme to 30, and lower the starting age to 2.
Continue with the excellent school fee policy.
Reintroduce funding for the night courses scrapped by National.
Review NCEA to make sure it is delivering its policy objectives.
Changes to the student allowance eligibility criteria, i.e. if there remains an income threshold, there should also be an asset test, and increase the weekly borrrowing limit for living costs for those dependent on student loans.
Review the whole tertiary funding sector with a view to eventually establishing universal student allowances at a living level, with minimum pass/grade levels required.


I would like to here that the ordinary people matter to him, and his labour party.
that he will work to bring back the 40hour week and 8 hour day. I would like to here him differentiate labour from the greens. I would like to here precisely how labour is diiferent from national.


For me to vote Labour again I would like to see Little concentrate on the key economic concerns of people that have been ignored for the past 30 years and are issues that National will never deal with in a million years.

a) Apprenticeships – Re introduce the old apprenticeship system for trades. Its senseless that the hands on trades such as hairdressing, florists are learnt in a classroom rather than the practical hands on experience of the old apprenticeship system. Higher education institutions have been coining it out of the young for far too long and fail with their theory learning only to give these youngsters the practical experience that the employer needs. Its time to send them down the road as these youngsters not only end up with not having the practical experience required, but also end up with a huge hefty student debt to pay off.

b) Food costs – Why are we paying what we do for food in our supermarkets. What is the breakdown for the cost of milk, bread and butter. Its interesting that the only Labour Party member to mention this issue was looked down by Labour as a filthy closet National Party supporter and that this issue was not picked up by any other member when he departed the party. Why is that? Is there more to this issue than the general public knows and are Labour too scared or just simply don’t know how to tackle it.

c) It is not only the employees that are getting a hard time, there are also plenty of self employed or contractors that don’t get a fair deal when dealing with the bigger corporates. Offering support for these people would help with a fairer society for businesses rather than big corporates being the dominant players.

d) Workers definitely need representation, since the introduction of the ECA Act in 1991 (which Labour did nothing about during their 9 years of power) wages for Kiwis have become low and no longer give people the income to meet soaring living costs.

e) Unions are the dinosaurs of yesterday, a new method of worker representation needs to occur. Unions fail to give people the choice of their representation ie: if you work in a shop than your union is the shop workers union despite if you think they are good, bad, effective or jack shit useless. It needs to change where workers despite their role, get to choose the group that represents them therefore keeping those that choose to represent workers do as the worker wants rather than what they want.

f) Living costs – Again, like the food, why are we paying what we do for rates, power, insurance, housing and transport (petrol) costs. Are these costs valid in that is what it costs to provide these services or are the 1%ers coining it off the rest of us?

Little needs to return Labour back to their original tradition of looking out for the key economic concerns of people. He also needs to recognise that the welfare reforms National have made are necessary and need to stay. Labour fell into the trap of allowing welfare to become a alternative to working rather than a helping hand. Little also needs erode the PC ideology that currently dominates the Labour Party. PC ideology that does nothing to help the average family put food on their tables.


Seems to me at this stage he needs to play to his strengths and focus on education/training — which he would have had a lot to do with during his EPMU stage — perhaps with a dash of innovation and supporting of manufacturing. At the moment, he just needs to be solid, play a straight bat with no outrageous hook shots.

The Chairman:

Little may like to point out market voids (such as housing, export growth, employment, etc) and explain how a hands on Government will fill these voids – i.e. build more homes, create new export focused SOEs, thus grow our wealth and provide more decent paying jobs.


Less anger, more smiles, more reason, more about what he’s going to do to lead this country (if that comes his way), less about sniping at the current government, but more about saying what he would do. Have more of a global view.

He could also do with a good media adviser to help him come across more clearly, engage with voters, speak more clearly – keep people engaged for the long game.


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