The Nation – Little, Morgan and water

On The Nation this morning:

Labour leader Andrew Little on how he’s going to pay for his election year promises, Superannuation, and housing.

And talks to about his new party and its TOP policies.

An interesting comparison – this week Gareth Morgan spoke in Dunedin – in the same venue and to a bit smaller crowd than Andrew Little last month.

See Morgan:  New party would ban fossil fuel subsidies

See Little: Labour’s Dunedin digital plan welcomed

Also covering clean water issues.


Gower starts by bragging “we set the agenda”.

Little says that he will cover the rising cost of Super by raising GDP above Treasury projections.

Little mentions people in physical workers – he is pushed on numbers and he avoids it, just saying it is “large”.

He says they are certainly not going to adopt Peter Dunne’s “mad policy”.

(Peter Dunne has responded “All this shows is Labour’s absolute abhorrence of giving people any individual choice over their retirement – one state to rule them all!”

He’s doing a Key and putting his leadership on the line over keeping the age at 65.

Sticking with Kiwibuild 100,000 houses built over ten years on top of existing increases in building.

Tax thresholds – “let’s have a look at it”.

The policy commitments Labour will make will be able to be funded out of current tax levels and surplus forecasts.

Dissing the Maori Party as “lap dogs of National” again.

Pushed on how far he demoted Nanaia Mahuta and he avoids that several times. So he is told 6 places.

Little was put on the spot a few times but has obviously been practicing his media management and is getting better at diverting and pushing his own points, although he sometimes fluffs around until he works out what to switch to.


“War for water major election issue check out Caitlin McGee’s yarn online” – not sure how much of an election issue water will turn out to be.

We are only up to March and currently have housing, Pike River, Super, immigration and now water as ‘major’ issues.


Gareth Morgan sounded positive at first but then seems to concede that he is an ideas person that wants National and Labour to take on his policies but doesn’t realistically doesn’t expect to get into Parliament and doesn’t really want to be in Parliament. That’s not going to win him votes.

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22 Comments

  1. alloytoo

     /  March 11, 2017

    Somebody should remind Little that you can’t legislate GDP.

    Reply
    • I think he’s just banking on more optimistic forecasts for GDP growth will make it look like their election budget can be paid for.

      Reply
      • Kevin

         /  March 11, 2017

        Isn’t that what all pollies do? Promise the world then when they don’t deliver say it was because of things beyond their control.

        Reply
      • Steveremmington

         /  March 11, 2017

        So Little is saying that the economic management by National has been excellent and the GDP growth in his opinion is going be be going gang busters when he takes the helm.

        Nice to hear Andrew, I assume you will be two ticks National.

        Reply
  2. Reply
    • PDB

       /  March 11, 2017

      This is where his whole ‘universal benefit’ falls down…………..$10k you can’t live on so you end up keeping all the benefits that the universal income is meant to replace & in fact you are worse off because on top of that the govt also then pays a lot of people not claiming any welfare 10k each.

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  March 11, 2017

        That’s right, to help pay for it Gareth is going to tax all your assets (your family home, that painting on your wall, your car) but not give you a tax-rebate if the value of such things goes down. Everybody will need to file a very complex tax return regarding asset values and no doubt lawyers and accountants will rejoice. The guy is a nut.

        Reply
      • Kevin

         /  March 11, 2017

        If it has to be topped up then there’s no point in having it as it’s supposed to replace welfare with something cheaper and a much lighter bureacracy cost. Most people currently under welfare would be worse off under a universal benefit. One of the ideas though is that a UBI would kick start the economy meaning more people would have jobs.

        Reply
  3. Reply
    • Conspiratoor

       /  March 11, 2017

      Can’t see stoners summoning up enough energy to ‘turn out’ in sufficient numbers to threaten the margin of error. Less than half a percent last time so they have a long way to go

      Reply
      • Kevin

         /  March 11, 2017

        Well not many of them voted for the ALCP party in Mt Eden. But cannabis law reform is a big issue and it’s a pity the ALCP is so damn useless.

        Reply
    • PDB

       /  March 11, 2017

      I hope they do flock to TOP, the stoners currently bothering to vote would be predominantly Green party supporters so anything reducing their vote has my support…..

      Reply
      • Conspiratoor

         /  March 11, 2017

        In theory yes pants but methinks top will have as much influence on the election as the kim and hone party last time. By the way did hone ever get his 500K

        Reply
      • Jay3

         /  March 11, 2017

        The Green Party came out last week and said that if they get into government they will make sure the Puhoi to Wellsford highway project is cancelled. Northlanders should take note.

        Reply
  4. JAY3, well if it was my decision, I would cancel it too. But I would replace it with a Puhoi to Kaitaia superhighway!

    Reply
  5. Looking at water as a potential election issue means we have to look at the nature and size of the resource and demand for potable water, and the ability of local government to provide the infrastructure to deliver it to the consumers. Then there is the question of the nature and extent of Maori involvement in the ownership and management of local water supplies in relation to the Treaty of Waitangi. Add in the treatment of stormwater and sewerage to meet the “clean waters” standards in streams, rivers and estuaries, and who controls and pays for this. Next consider the cost of treating animal and human waste and the control of nitrogen and other topdressing minerals. How much water should be exported? What is the value of that water which is exported and to what extent are exporters liable for payment of royalties for the use of extracted water. What about irrigation and its control and costs, who pays what? Is there a formula for calculating the visual value of bodies of water from a tourism point of view? Should use of lakes and streams for recreational boating be free to NZ citizens? Who pays for the facilities?

    I think I will put it all in the pending basket and have along think about water?

    Reply
    • Too complicated. If it’s going to be an election issue you need a couple of simple opposing phrases for the media to keep repeating as being contentious.

      Reply
      • Hey PG, that recipe is for politics, not a rational understanding of the complexities of something that on the surface is as clear as … water?

        Reply
        • Politics, especially in election year, tends to avoid complexities, too hard to sell policies and too hard to sell newspapers.

          Reply
          • Sadly PG, you may be right. I have no problems about sales of newspapers, they get what they deserve, but we need our politicians to articulate what they stand for, I hope?

            Reply
            • Politicians in campaign mode play as safe as they can and commit themselves as little as possible. And any policy positions they state can be negotiated away after the election.

              Most people vote on their perceptions of personality and leadership skills.

              So we only get depth if we want to drill down into bills before Parliament.

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