Little: “there’s not a great deal more”

While Labour and the Greens are ramping up their co-campaigning, announcing they will have a joint ‘state of the nation’ speech at the end of the month and will tour the country with a joint policy statement, Andrew Little has oddly said that “In terms of big, headline stuff there’s not a great deal more. There will be maybe one possibly two more.”.

That is quite vague as we head into election year.

The union between Labour and Greens seems to be Labour’s headline campaign strategy.

NZ Herald: Expect join Labour-Green policies in the lead-up to the election

Leader Andrew Little told media that his party had one, maybe two, big policy announcements to make in election year, but would mostly focus on existing messages around key issues including housing affordability, crime, education and health.

“In terms of big, headline stuff there’s not a great deal more. There will be maybe one possibly two more. There will be some rules about fiscal discipline that we are working on at the moment so people will have a clear understanding about what our priorities are when it comes to government spending and taxing.”

This lack of preparedness at this stage of the term is remarkable – Labour always seem to be working on policy at the moment, and with “not a great deal more” to announce I wonder what they are going to base their campaign on.

Little said he would not announce new policy on January 29.

That’s his best shot at being noticed in setting out Labour’s campaign plans and he’s not announcing any policy? Remarkable.

“You can expect to see one or two joint policy announcements in the next few months between Labour and the Greens.

“There are plans to do that in different sort of ways. One of them is to get around the country with a joint policy statement – talk to a collection of audiences right across the country on a policy area that we have common ground on. People will see that as the year wears on.”

The Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Greens seems to have been a flop. When it was announced there was a lot of hope expressed on the left that it would lift poll numbers, but that didn’t happen. If anything Labour looks more precarious.

Yesterday in Labour leader Andrew Little to stand as a list candidate, leaving Rongotai open Little acknowledged Labour’s poll problems:

“I have to lead a party that starts from 2014 at a 25 per cent vote, polling at the moment at late 20s, 30 per cent sort of mark.

So we have a lot of work to do, and I don’t underestimate that.”

The biggest emphasis from Little seems to be on what Labour and Greens have in common and how they can work together on. This seems a very risky strategy, and one that can’t be undone or diverted from easily.

It looks like Labour are putting Green eggs in one election basket.

Or is it the other way round?


Is there not a great deal more than this for Labour?

Leave a comment


  1. Thinking more about this, I’m flabbergasted at how lacking in confidence Little seems to be, and how much he seems to be relying on joining at the hip with Greens.

    Policy “we are working on at the moment” and will announce common ground with the Greens “as the year wears on”. Has anyone told him this is election year?

    The MoU has been a flop so far, but both Greens and Labour seem to be doubling down on the mistake.

    • Gezza

       /  18th January 2017

      Doesn’t matter. Whatever he tries I can’t see him even being leader of the Labour Party this time next year. He’s just not convincing people he’s got what it takes, and the Lab Green MoU obviously means nothing to most people uf poll results are anything to go by.

      To be kind though, and just to cover my arse, there’s still a ways to go before November & acts of God may still rescue him from obscurity & appoint him to the throne.

    • PDB

       /  18th January 2017

      I must have missed the earlier ‘big headline stuff’ the Labour/Greens previously announced – in fact apart from vague promises that housing, poverty etc will be fixed I’ve yet to see any detailed policies from them that will do that?

      For example all well and good to say you are going to build more houses but when you are against RMA reform, land is expensive & in short supply, you are anti-contractor & anti-business, you wish to add additional costs onto home builders (especially ‘Green’ costs), and building is currently at optimum capacity the country would really like to (and deserve to)know how they will achieve that.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  18th January 2017

        None of that matters, PDB, because the people who vote for them have no idea what costs and obstructions go into a house and just want someone to wave a magic wand and give them one. Sad but true.

  2. I think they have given up before they’ve even started.
    Obviously their polling shows that the change to English hasn’t changed the situation.
    That’s what happens when you count your chickens before they hatch – egg on face.

  3. Ray

     /  18th January 2017

    I think you are all being to pessimistic, haven’t you noticed the “new image” leader.
    Apparently while he was biking the rail trail he had either laser treatment or was fitted with contact lenses.
    No glasses! Gives him a softer image, no angry Andy!
    It will be like when Big Norm and then Lange lifted their image by getting new suits.
    You heard it here first.

    • Maggy Wassilieff

       /  18th January 2017

      Beat me to it Ray.

      I have tried contacts a couple of times over the last thirty years…. like wee bullets in your eyes.

      It was Little’s blinking and wide eye (lifting upper eye-lid) movements that I noticed. Don’t know how fetching these looks will be when the TV cameras are on him for a 10-15min stretch.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  18th January 2017

    Labour and the Green Party will release joint policies in the coming months and plan to tour the country with a joint policy statement – as well as have their leaders deliver “state of the nation” speeches at the same event.

    Farrar: “This is excellent. I encourage Labour to include the Greens in all their major media events.”

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  18th January 2017

    Another interesting spin from Farrar. Little wanted the Rongotai seat but thinks he couldn’t even win the nomination battle for it. If true, truly pathetic:

    • Brown

       /  18th January 2017

      At the end of the day I suspect it’s not just Little. National have been left enough to appeal to some degree to Labour’s thinking voter base and they have not undone any of the socialist Labour stuff like WFF, gay marriage, legalized prostitution and not smacking children. Labour simply cannot compete in the middle. Going further left with the watermelon party is not going to help and may frighten off many who look at the Greens and have a panic attack. Maybe it’s a problem of a small market with too many players – MMP doesn’t work here because we are fundamentally a two party country at best with a smattering of fringe troughers clipping the ticket but adding nothing of substance.

      • NOEL

         /  18th January 2017

        “fundamentally a two party country”
        We were. No longer does FFP ideology driven policies result in Governments,
        I would suggest both Labour and National have both move closer to the center since MMP.

      • Gezza

         /  18th January 2017

        I think the same thing Brown. We may be in an MMP environment but it seems to me voters & pundits have still largely viewed elections as a toss up between a Labour or a National dominated government. Whether that remains the case in the future I can’t foresee because Labour has no longer had the support of enough of the working population to mount a serious challenge for the Treasury benches under their last four leaders, the Greens scare everyone but eco-idealists, and Winston is a dicey proposition for many. The way is possibly open for a new & vigorous party to rise from the ashes of these others after the next general election, but it won’t be TOP.


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