Labour would slash immigration

Andrew Little says that Labour would slash immigration, to the consternation of some on the left. It seems to be an attempt to compete with NZ First for some votes further to the right.

NZ Herald: Andrew Little: Labour will stop ‘tens of thousands’ of immigrants from coming to NZ

Labour leader Andrew Little has vowed to slash immigration by “tens of thousands” of new arrivals but won’t be more specific about exact numbers.

Speaking to Focus after the Government announced a tightening of immigration rules, Little said Labour would go much further in order to give the country a “breather”.

“The commitment I am making is we have to be serious about it, we have to cut immigration. It has got to be in the order of tens of thousands,” Little said.

“And it has got to be immigration that meets the genuine shortage of skills that we’ve got, not just the open slather policy we’ve got right now.”

Asked by how much would Labour cut immigration, Little said he did not have an exact number and flexibility was needed from year to year in order to match the right migrants with skill shortages.

Another sort of policy announcement without any specifics.

He criticised Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse for not being able to estimate how many people the package of changes announced on Wednesday would keep out of New Zealand.

But he wouldn’t give numbers himself.

This election is shaping up as being a contest of the vaguest policies – trying to sound like something but largely meaningless.

Theresa May calls for snap election

Missy has details of the big news from the UK overnight:


This morning Theresa May has called for a snap General Election on 8 June. She will take it to the House of Commons tomorrow for the vote, she needs 2/3 majority to overturn the Fixed Parliament Act for this election. Labour have indicated they will vote for the snap election.

She reportedly spoke to the Queen yesterday to tell her of this decision, and discussed it with Cabinet this morning. At just after 11am local time she spoke to media.

It appears the disruptive politics of the opposition parties, and the threats to undermine and disrupt Brexit, has led her to this decision. She is essentially calling the bluff of the opposition who say that the Government has no mandate for their Brexit strategy.

This is a smart move. There was talk a month or so ago that she would call a General Election before triggering Article 50, but when she didn’t, all talk of it stopped. However, by having the election now it means that instead of about a year post Brexit, there will be about 2-3 years post Brexit before the General Election.

There was no indication that she would be calling an early election, though some speculation began this morning when No. 10 said there would be an announcement by the PM, but it was still a surprise to everyone in the media and other MPs. Corbyn was interviewed on GMB this morning and nothing was mentioned about the possibility of a GE.

Theresa May reportedly made the decision over Easter, and has moved quickly on the decision.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/18/breaking-theresa-may-make-statement-downing-street-1115am1/

The radio this afternoon has been interviewing MPs from other parties (all men) who have all been very negative, and suggesting that Theresa May is running scared, and that she wants to have an election before her disastrous Brexit plan becomes public, to be honest they were sounding more desperate and scared than May.


Nicola Sturgeon has claimed that calling an early General Election is a huge political miscalculation because Scots will reject the PM’s divisive agenda. It is a little ironic that she is calling the PM’s agenda divisive since her agenda since last June has been divisive.

Nicola Sturgeon didn’t answer questions as to whether her case for a second referendum would be undermined if the SNP performed worse than in 2015. She claimed that the 2016 Holyrood election result has given her the mandate for a second referendum, however, Ruth Davidson – leader of the Scottish Conservatives – plans to make opposition to a second Independence referendum central to their campaign, and send a strong message that they oppose the SNP’s divisive plan for a second referendum.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/18/nicola-sturgeon-surprise-general-election-political-miscalculation/


Labour seem to be in disarray – again.

There is a lot of speculation on what will happen to Jeremy Corbyn after the election and the expected severe losses that Labour will suffer. Already he is being asked if he will resign after the election if Labour loses seats, but he is not being drawn on that.

One senior Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, said he will not stand in the election due to differences with the labour Leadership, and not long after his announcement another MP, Alan Johnson also said he will not stand again, it is expected that more will follow.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/18/jeremy-corbyn-refuses-say-will-step-labour-loses-snap-election/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4420822/Corbyn-admits-mistakes.html

The Spinoff on Andrew Little

Simon Wilson has a lengthy profile of the Labour leader: A man for some seasons: Andrew Little meets The Spinoff

Will Spring be Little’s season?

Andrew Little may have largely succeeded in uniting his party caucus since becoming Labour leader in late 2014, but he’ll need to find an extra gear or two to have a serious chance of becoming prime minister after September 23. In the third of The Spinoff’s election year interviews with party leaders, Simon Wilson talks to Little, and tries to work out if he has what it takes.

In summary

A decent bloke who has managed to lead in whatever he has become involved in. Who believes in being true to himself and backs his integrity, although that wobbled a bit over his Hagaman attack. Is struggling a bit with a lack of charisma and inspiration. Believes he can make a difference but so far is fairly vague on how he will achieve that.

On message

Labour has a simple message for this election: health, housing and education. Oh, and jobs. They’re going to focus on social policy.

Little has banged on about these things. It seems that every Labour candidate has repeated the boilerplate phrases when announced.

Labour believes the critical issue that will persuade voters to return is if they believe it really will make a difference on social policies.

Andrew Little put it this way: “When I talk to business meetings, the number one issue they’re most concerned about? It’s housing. And after that? Education.”

So, housing, education, health. I asked him about mental health.

“You know,” he said, “in the general meetings I have, the community meetings, that’s the thing that comes up first. Mental health. I’ve started working it into my stump speech.”

But what will Labour do? “We need to find out how big the problem is. We need an inquiry.”

Is it the biggest health issue? “I just don’t know. There’s also the pressure of an aging population.”

Little and Labour have said they will spend more on a range of big budget items, but they won’t spend much more overall.

Changing teaching without changing teachers

What he says is never revolutionary and rarely inspirational and usually it sounds like common sense.

Little wants to sound sensible, who wouldn’t? But he also needs to sound competent and motivational. He needs to make voters believe he has the ability to make the right thing happen. So he told me, “The key to education is teachers,” which is true, but blandly so because no one disputes it. He told me, “The biggest changes will come in education,” which is not so much blandly true as just blather.

One of Little’s and Labour’s biggest problems right now is having little in the way of definitive policy. Everything is waiting to be announced, or is being deferred until after the election, or waiting on an inquiry.

This is big and difficult. Little wants to reform teaching without getting grief from teachers, quite a lot of whom he will be counting on as voters. No minister in recent times has done it but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

Especially not National ministers. If anyone can do educational reform without a revolt by teachers it’s Labour. But what would they reform? Teachers seem to like to be politically active about things that don’t involve them having to change.

Housing

“Housing,” he said, “sits at the centre of the inequality challenge.”

Which is true. The New Zealand Initiative, a right-leaning think tank, has argued that inequality in this country has not significantly widened in decades – if you take housing out of the equation. But factor in housing, as we all have to do, of course, and the gap has widened enormously. If you own property you’re probably getting wealthier, at the expense of those who don’t.

But no, Little said, “we have no plans to bring down house prices”. I pressed him on that and he was clear.

He wants to stable the needy without scaring the horses. This seems to be a recurring credibility problem for Labour, they want people to think they can fix everything without being prepared to make hard calls.

No tax cuts

Andrew Little sat at that café table, pointed his knees out and stuck his hands on his thighs, the expansive confident man, and said that was nonsense. “We won’t pull back from our promises,” he said. “There will be no tax cuts. And spending will be phased in.”

That means they will roll out the social programme only as fast as the economy allows, given that they intend, as they did for nine years, to balance the books.

To the chagrin of left wing activists who want rapid social and economic reform.

So, again, if a centre-left government proposes to roll out reforms only inasmuch as they do not upset the country’s existing fiscal settings, which is what centre-right governments do, what is the point of voting for it? Yes, I did ask Andrew Little. Possibly with a little less of the lecture.

He was quick and sharp with his response.

“Three things. One, we’ll review the tax system.” If you earn income you should pay tax on it? Corporates, everybody? No, he didn’t say that. But tax review is a Pandora’s box and Labour is going to open it. Who knows what will come out?

That’s probably what many people think about Labour at the moment. Who knows what will come out before the election or after the election?

“A positive and constructive role for government.” That’s classic social democracy: government is, or should be, on the side of the people. But what will Labour do? Reform the way frontline welfare staff treat their “clients”? Work with local councils on transport policy, give more support to iwi social initiatives, ramp up the campaign against domestic violence, restore the status of the arts? There were no details.

Again, no details.

Is Labour driving away urban liberals? Little said he doesn’t think that’s happening. Party organiser Matt McCarten was more blunt when I asked him about it recently: “Where are they going to go?” he said. “The Greens, that’s where. And that’s fine. Their votes stay on the left.”

But it’s nowhere near that simple. They can choose not to vote. That doesn’t help Labour. They could vote for the Maori Party. For Peter Dunne. Even for National or ACT or NZ First. Politics and vote choices are complex.

Maori Party

Labour and the Māori Party are going at each other so bitterly right now, you’d think it was the main event.

Doesn’t Little want to keep the door open? The Māori Party wants to be a “permanent party of government” and he might need them.

“I don’t see it happening. It’s Greens first, New Zealand First second, and then the rest.”

I said to Little, are you saying that if it comes to it, you would forego the chance to form a government because you don’t want to work with the Māori Party?

“I’m not saying that. But I don’t think it will happen.”

Another thing they are trying to avoid considering.

What does Little think are his skills as leader?

“I’ve drawn everyone together.” That’s true, and if it sounds easy remember he’s the first Labour leader since Helen Clark to do it.

In the Labour caucus perhaps, but it’s far from evident in political social media. In fact division is what is evident.

But it’s only the first requirement, isn’t it? “Yep, that’s the baseline.” He talked about his skill in picking which fights to have. His example, from the week in which we talked, was the vaping debate. Vaping is legal now, but what does Labour think? They never said and probably nobody noticed.

Vaping is a vapid example. Little’s skill in picking fights wasn’t evident in the Hagaman defamation case, and that got a lot more attention than vaping, he was accused of crossing a legal line.

“There are lines not to be crossed. People want to know you won’t do those things.”

And there it was: the heart of Andrew Little. You stay true to yourself. You have political principles to motivate your decisions. And your personality, your way of being in the world, is what it is, so you stick with because that’s how you look yourself in the eye when you’re cleaning your teeth.

He was very confident about these things. He is, generally. Confident of who he is, what he values and what he can do. That’s why he’s a leader.

And yet there’s a problem: the integrity plan isn’t working. Labour is climbing very slowly in the polls and Little himself is stuck.

Labour’s latest attempt to address this has been to promote Jacinda Ardern to deputy leader and promote her alongside Little. It’s risky for a leader to be seem as less popular than their deputy.

He can make a good speech: his state of the nation address this year was a commanding performance and a hint of what he might produce come campaign time. But he is not naturally inspirational. That’s the quality he lacks.

I saw and heard him more or less repeat that speech in Dunedin the following week and it was quite uninspiring. Disappointingly so.

An integrity politician. Do people care?

But Little is probably not seen as having any more integrity than Bill English. And no more charisma or inspiration.

On top of this he has a challenge that his opponent doesn’t. The election is not shaping up as Little versus English.

It is English versus Little and Ardern with Turei and Shaw.

That’s probably why they are promoting ‘change the government’ and not ‘change the Prime Minister’.

Q+A suggest new Labour deputy

Yesterday @NZQandA tweeted:

QARobertsonDeputy

Just a mistake?

Or was someone getting ahead of themselves?

That was deleted and replaced by:

But not before some responses:

 

One Little tax for tourists…

…but it was described as a levy so maybe it doesn’t count.

Three weeks ago Labour said that “Labour would definitely not increase taxes”, but yesterday Andrew Little said that he supported a tourist tax.

Newshub (11 March 2017): Labour has no plans to raise taxes – Andrew Little

Labour’s not planning on going into this year’s election with a policy to raise taxes, says leader Andrew Little.

Speaking to The Nation on Saturday morning, Mr Little said Labour’s spending promises can be paid for out of existing tax revenue.

After the interview, a Labour spokesperson contacted Newshub to clarify Labour would definitely not increase taxes.

But yesterday, in response to a The Nation interview with Minister of Tourism Paula Bennett, Little says that he wants a ‘tourist tax’.

NZ Herald: Labour leader Andrew Little calls for tourist tax

Labour leader Andrew Little wants a “tourist tax” charged at the border to help pay for tourism infrastructure, rejecting Tourism Minister Paula Bennett’s concerns it risked making New Zealand look like a “rip-off.”

Little said a “modest” levy would be ring-fenced to pass on to local councils to use on tourism-related infrastructure.

He rejected Bennett’s suggestion New Zealand risked being seen as a “rip-off” if it added too many extra costs. “We are in desperate need of new infrastructure. A reasonable sum paid at the border is a more efficient way of getting infrastructure built and making sure tourists don’t s*** all over our free camping areas and our beaches.”

Little said it would be simple to add the levy – since 2015 there has been a levy of about $22 to pay for border control added to the cost of a ticket. In its first five months, that had generated $27.72 million – well above the forecast income of $20.22 million.

It would be simple for a Government to add a lot little levies.

Little needs to be careful what he proposes and supports before thinking it through in relation to commitments made.

 

Backward politics

I don’t know if this is part of the official Labour Party feud with the Maori Party, or one Labour candidate being nasty. Tamati Coffey:

CoffeyBackward

Coffey is Labour’s candidate for the Maori electorate Waiariki this year:

About

My name is Tamati Coffey and I am the Labour Candidate for Waiariki electorate in 2017. Authorised by Andrew Kirton, 160 Willis St, Wellington.

I don’t know of Kirton authorised his backward swipe at his opponent via that same Facebook account.

Coffey will be standing against Te Ururoa Flavell in Waiariki, who won against a different Labour candidate by 3,889 votes in 2014, with Mana’s Annette Sykes a close third about 350 votes back.

Mana won’t stand this year in an agreement with the Maori party so Coffey will have to do something extraordinary this year to stand a chance. Playing the backward card is unlikely to help his chances in the electorate. It will be interesting to see what sort of list position Labour give him – reward or not.

30 years of Rogernomics

Apparently today is the 30th anniversary of Rogernomics.

Stuff: Towns full of weeping women: Rogernomics, 30 years later

It was 30 years ago today. Former Cabinet minister Michael Bassett would go on to describe the anticipation, the nervous excitement, in his book Working with David: Inside the Lange Cabinet: “During the last days of March 1987 ministers held on to their hats, hoping that the first day of the SOEs wouldn’t result in too many April Fool’s Day jokes.”

April 1 was a Wednesday. Did it turn out to be funny? Not really. As Bassett writes, within a week of the radical conversion of government departments into State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), 4732 people had taken voluntary redundancy and another 100 went for early retirement. That is close to 5000 redundancies in one week, largely in small town and rural New Zealand.

Then-deputy prime minister Geoffrey Palmer predicted it would be the biggest change in New Zealand public sector history. He was right. It came as a kind of blitzkrieg. Then-finance minister Roger Douglas argued that it had to happen quickly. Bassett: “Speed was enormously important to managing change. As [then-minister of labour, state services and State Owned Enterprises] Stan Rodger would observe years later, sometimes there were so many rabbits loose in the field that opponents of change weren’t sure which to try to shoot.”

“In all, 19,133 departmental workers in Lands and Survey, Forestry, the Electricity Division, Civil Aviation, State Coal and the Government Accommodation Board were affected by the changes,” Bassett wrote.

Act fast and keep them guessing. In the 1980s, this was called Rogernomics rather t

Labour versus Maori/Mana continues

Labour seems to be ramping up it’s attacks on the Maori and Mana parties, especially through Willie Jackson who won’t have to attract votes of his own, but Marama Fox has returned a co-operative serve.

List candidate Willie Jackson: GUEST BLOG: Willie Jackson – Courageous Move from Labour Māori MPs

Congratulations to Labour’s Māori seat Members of Parliament who have asked to not be included on the parties list for this year’s election.

It is a brave decision from the MPs who have surprised and outmanoeuvred their opponents.

Of course Jackson likes it, one of the aims was to allow him to jump a few more places up Labour’s party list to enhance his chances of getting into Parliament.

The line that Andrew Little pushed his MPs off the list is an insult to our Labour MPs’ intelligence, and Marama and Hone should do themselves a favour and engage their brains before they open their mouths. And in terms of this constant waffle about Andrew not being allowed to talk about Kaupapa Māori, what’s that about?

How is it that Marama Fox, Te Ururoa Flavell, and even Hone Harawira talk about Kaupapa Pākeha every day and then Marama and Te Ururoa chase their Pākeha rangatira Prime Minister Bill English around the house, challenging him ‘supposedly’ over kaupapa Pākeha issues, but the minute the Pākeha leader in Labour talks about Kaupapa Māori, they label him a racist! What a load of rubbish.

The reality is that they are shocked and hurt by how brave the Labour MPs are, and are now looking to defame and smear the decision to not go on the list because they realise that political oblivion beckons.

Loads of irony as Jackson goes hard out trying to smear them.

The Māori/Mana’s political strategy is in real trouble – we know that because they are now telling outright lies about the Labour Māori strategy. Sadly, they are desperate, worried, stressed and on edge because they know the end is near and they have been totally trumped by this move from our MPs to not stand on the list.

I guess Jackson feels he can safely attack like this because he is not putting himself forward for election himself, he has tried to work his way up the list and get in on the party vote rather than on his own merits (like the Labour Maori MPs are doing).

Kelvin Davis takes a more careful swipe: Kelvin Davis defends Labour Māori MPs’ decision not to stand on list

In an interview with The Hui, Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis described the strategy as providing “more choice to Maori”.

“It’s the greatest thing for Māori since Kupe spotted land.”

Maybe that’s just Maori rhetoric but it sounds fairly over the top.

Mr Davis told Mihingarangi Forbes he believes the strategy will bring “three of four new Māori MPs into Parliament”.

By trashing some other Maori MPs? Davis, Jackson and Andrew Little want all Maori MPs to be under Labour, which must surely reduce their power.

Meanwhile despite Jackson’s outburst Marama Fox has taken a quite different approach.

Newstalk ZB: Maori Party says it would jump sides if Labour changes govt

Party leader Marama Fox said all her party wanted was to address disparities for Maori.

She told Newstalk ZB’s Andrew Dickens if Labour changes the Government in this year’s election, the Maori Party would jump sides.

“If they are successful then we will happily work with them,” she said.

“It is better to be at the table at the decision-making end, and have as much influence as we’re able.”

This could be a clever move to counter Jackson’s confrontational approach.

But would Labour want to deal with the Maori Party? It would be interesting to see which way Labour went if they had a choice between Labour+Green+Maori Party and Labour+NZ First – especially given that the Greens are getting more pro-Maori and NZ First oppose having the Maori seats.

Labour-Green ‘budget rules’

Labour and Greens, headed by Jamews Shaw and Grant Robertson, have launched a joint attempt to present themselves as economically responsible.

Liam Dann at NZH has Big Read: Can these politicians be trusted with the economy?

They aren’t revealing tax policy detail or spending plans, so what exactly have Labour and the Green Party cooked up with the Budget Responsibility Rules they’re signing up to today?

The parties have formally committed to staying in surplus, paying down debt and keeping core crown spending at about 30 per cent of GDP.

“It’s an important signal,” says Labour finance spokesman Grant Robertson.

“We understand that voters in September are looking for parties that are responsible with the finances but will also address the big issues around housing and health and education.”

The rules aren’t specific on policy – for example, the statement on tax is pragmatic and vague enough to allow the Greens to keep campaigning on a carbon tax.

But they do represent a statement of intent, one which is politically notable for the way it has been handled, in tandem by the respective party machines.

The message is clear, simple and directed at business and the financially comfortable middle classes who have been stubbornly loyal to National for the past nine years: vote for us and we promise won’t ruin the economy.

As the headline suggests, it is a big and detailed read.

Not addressed is an obvious difference between Labour and the Greens – Andrew Little has made it clear Labour won’t increase tax (but with some caveats) while Greens have a big shopping list.

Greens announced through Facebook:

We’ve created new budget rules with the New Zealand Labour Party to help us build a sustainable and stable future for everyone.

This links to:

Budget Responsibility Rules

The Budget Responsibility Rules will allow us to govern responsibly.

Economic sustainability goes hand in hand with environmental sustainability. Both are about living within our means and leaving the world better than we found it.

Our Budget Responsibility Rules show that the Green Party and the Labour Party will manage the economy responsibly while making the changes people know are needed, like lifting kids out of poverty, cleaning up our rivers, solving the housing crisis, and tackling climate change.

  • Deliver sustainable surpluses
  • Reduce debt
  • Prioritise long-term investments
  • Be careful with expenditure
  • Build a fairer tax system

We will judge the success of our policies by improvements in the living standards of New Zealanders, improvements in key environmental indicators, and improvements in the economy.

We will establish a body independent of Ministers of the Crown who will be responsible for determining if these rules are being met. The body will also have oversight of government economic and fiscal forecasts, shall provide an independent assessment of government forecasts to the public, and will cost policies of opposition parties.

For New Zealanders to have enduring quality of life, prosperity, and security, governments need to manage revenue and spending decisions carefully. Good fiscal management is a core part of what it means to be a good government.

The Budget Responsibility Rules enable us to govern responsibly and transparently with Labour, while we invest in our priorities.

Read the full Budget Responsibility Rules here.

 

 

A Labour BLiP at The Standard

‘BLiP’ is well known at The Standard  for his list of alleged lies told by John Key. A lot of the items on that list were quite questionable, but that didn’t stop The Standard re-displaying the list from time to time.

BLiP was not required to provide evidence in support of his claims – anyone attacking Key and National in particular and also other parties at The Standard can say virtually what they like without being moderated.

Some of the moderators (BLiP is one) are much more touchy about any criticism of Labour in particular, and also criticism of their allies, the Greens.

In a recent exchange:

red-blooded 1.2.3

Peters has always said that he’d deal with the largest party first. This does suggest problems, as L/G are not one party (plus his antipathy towards the Greens is well-known and longstanding). I hope I’m wrong, but I do think we should be concerned about the idea of Winston choosing who forms the next government.

  • weka1.2.3.1

    So either that means he would first deal with National. Or, he’s going with the intent of MMP and he would deal with L/G first if they had higher numbers. But given Peters has monkeywrenched MMP I also don’t have much hope. More likely is he will imply something and then just do whatever afterwards.

    This stuff really needs to be clarified by the MSM during the election campaign.

Several claims about Winston Peters that were left unsubstantiated, as is normal.

I responded:

Pete George 1.2.3.1.2

But L/G ends on election day. It is a campaign arrangement with an end date before coalition wrangling begins.

Labour obviously want to keep their coalition options open. Particularly if NZ First gets more votes than Greens (a distinct possibility, if voters dump National they are more likely to vote NZF than Greens).

The MSM can’t clarify what Peters will do before the election. I doubt Labour will clarify what their strategy is either.

Remember that Labour has shat all over the Maori and Mana Parties and has ruled out dealing with them. That leaves either NZF or Greens.

Unless Labour+Greens can for a majority on their own the Greens are in a weak bargaining position.

[BLiP: Provide evidence of Labour having “ruled out dealing with [maori and Mana parties]” in your very next comment or do not post here again for one week. Up to you.]

Touchy, and a typical double standard.

I responded three times with different justifications for my claim. BLiP has not even acknowledged my replies, instead leaving the impression that I didn’t comply with his demand. I presume that is deliberate.

Andrew Little and Labour have made it clear they don’t want to deal with the Maori and Mana parties. They have made it clear they want to deal to them – to wipe them out of Parliament.

NZ Herald reported on Little at Ratana in January:

Labour leader Andrew Little has further distanced Labour from the Maori Party while also dismissing Hone Harawira’s Mana Movement as “irrelevant”.

Speaking at Ratana Pa near Wanganui this morning, Little all but ruled out forming a post-election coalition with the Maori Party or Mana Movement, which have agreed to work together to win back Maori seats.

Little said Labour would work with parties which had “a practical set of ideas of what can be done” for Maori.

The Maori Party had been “shackled” to the National Party for nine years, and National had failed Maori, he said.

“Why the Mana Party would want to now shackle itself to the Maori Party is entirely up to them, but they are totally irrelevant.”

Last month also from the Herald:

But it takes two to tango and Labour leader Andrew Little was putting on dancing shoes with sprigs.

He was not interested in the tango.

He was interested in the danse macabre; he wanted to kill off the Maori Party completely.

Little went into a lengthy, full-blown tirade against the Maori Party on RNZ.

He downgraded the Maori Party as a future support partner from “far from the first cab on the rank” to “simply not in my contemplation.”

He then declared the Maori Party was “not kaupapa Maori” [based on Maori values].

From Stuff in early March: Little signals Greens will be ‘first cab off the rank’ in post-election talks

“There are two other Opposition parties, apart from Labour, that we work closely together with and I contemplate both being candidates for partners or support partners to form a government.”

In an interview on The Nation earlier this month:

But do voters deserve to know that? You know, he’s a potential coalition partner. Would you countenance him as Deputy Prime Minister?Little: Voters want to know what are the parties that we have good relations with and who are likely to be part of a coalition arrange – a set of coalition arrangements. We have a good relationship with the Green Party. We have a good relationship with New Zealand First.

Okay, so you’re not ruling it out. You’re not ruling it out.

Little: If I have the privilege after the 23rd of September to form a Government, my first phone call will go to the Greens and New Zealand First will be not far behind.

Noticeably excluded are the Maori and Mana parties from Little’s contemplations and ruling in.

Why is BLiP so intent on suppressing an impression that Little has repeatedly made obvious?

I note that BLiP made no attempt to argue against Labour’s impression, he just banned and censored what he didn’t want posted.

Posted under Little’s name on the Labour Party website:

“If Māori want to see progress on the problems they face in housing, health and education, then they should back their Labour candidate.

“We have a plan to turn the position of Māori around and we’ll be running a campaign to show how Māori will be better served by a strong Labour Māori voice around the Cabinet table.”

He seems to think that Labour alone can properly serve Māori.

I’ll leave this post with this impression from Andrew Little: Maori King is ‘abusing his office’ by endorsing Rahui Papa for the Maori Party:

As to the plan to restore a relationship between Labour and Kingitanga, the Maori King movement?

“We’re going to campaign and win and we’ll beat the Maori Party,” he said.

“The problem with the King is that for whatever reason he’s allowed himself to become a mouthpiece for a single political party in a way that no previous head of Kingitanga has done.

That’s rather ironic given that Little is the mouthpiece for a single political party that  wants to be the sole representative of Maori voters.