Andrew Little

Angry Little Andy prefers honesty over pretending to keep the high ground

What do you mean I need a media person?

Labour leader Andrew Little says his party decided to back Winston Peters in the fight for Northland after the first polls came out showing the New Zealand First leader with a commanding lead.

But he expects Mr Peters would have won with or without Labour urging their supporters to “send a message” to the Government – a thinly veiled endorsement of the 40-year political veteran. Read more »

Is Winston Peters the only opposition leader with moral authority?

Winston Peters win in Northland means that he is the only opposition party leader who actually has won a seat.

He put his name on the ballot and got elected, rather than getting the arse from the electorate like Andrew Little, Metiria Turei and whichever of the four leadership aspirants of the Greens win a seat.

So now Winston joins ACTs Seymour and United’s Dunne and the Maori Party’s Flavell as well as National’s John Key as having a mandate from an electorate.

Winston should challenge the other wanna-be opposition leaders to win a seat like him, prove they can do the hard yards in an electorate and prove that they can actually get people to vote for them.   Read more »

Will Angry Andy give Carmel Sepuloni’s welfare spokesperson job back?

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The fact that Carmel’s mum’s been convicted of benefit fraud is not relevant to Carmel.  Well, it shouldn’t be, if it wasn’t for the fact Angry Andy took some of her responsibilities away because it would be a conflict of interest. Read more »

Trotter on the effects of Northland on Labour and National

Chris Trotter has always been a keen observer of Winston Peters and in his blog he comments on what the victory in Northland means for Labour and for National.

To hold Northland will NZ First be required to veer to the Right – thereby alienating the thousands of Labour supporters whose votes provided the foundation for Mr Peters’ upset win?

Will the National Government, looking ahead to 2017 and beyond, begin to re-position itself as NZ First’s future coalition partner?

How will Mr Peters’ Northland victory influence Labour’s political positioning – especially its relationship with the Greens?

Good questions which Trotter goes some way to explaining.

Labour, if it is wise, will seize the opportunity provided by Mr Peters’ victory to put even more distance between itself and the Greens. In his continuing effort to “re-connect” Labour with its traditional constituencies, Andrew Little must already have marked the numerous ideological affinities that draw non-National provincial voters towards one another. These are conservative people, whose personal morals and political values often place them at odds with the more “progressive” voters of metropolitan New Zealand.

The extent to which Labour’s Northland voters defected to Mr Peters indicates that, at the very least, the NZ First leader’s political values presented no insurmountable barrier to Labour’s people following their own leader’s tactical advice. Indeed, just about all the insurmountable barriers to the re-connections Labour must make if it is to regain the status of a “40 percent party” have been raised in the cities – not the provinces.

Even in the cities these obstacles persist. Labour’s traditional urban working-class supporters have more in common with their provincial brothers and sisters than many Labour Party activists are willing to admit.

Shunting-off their social revolutionaries to the Greens might decimate the ranks of Labour’s membership, but it could, equally, swell the ranks of those willing to vote for the party in 2017. Shorn of its radical fringe, Labour not only becomes a much more comfortable fit for NZ First – but also for working-class New Zealanders generally.

Read more »

Good luck with that approach Little Andy

Andrew Little thinks he is in charge of the opposition and he says he is going to start to work closely with Winston Peters.

Labour leader Andrew Little plans to pave the way for a closer relationship with NZ First leader Winston Peters when they meet this week.

After a win by more than 4000 votes in Saturday’s Northland by-election, Peters has made life more difficult for the Government to govern.

Little told Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report on Tuesday that it had been weeks since he had met with Peters, but he intended to do so this week.

“As leader of the Opposition, it’s my job to forge as best a relationship as possible with all the parties,” he said.

“I’ve been working with the Greens and will work more closely with NZ First now the by-election is out of the way.”   Read more »

What is Winston’s price for cooperation? Is it to see Key go?

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says Prime Minister John Key is “acting like a spoilt brat” by saying he doubted Mr Peters would work constructively with National.

Mr Key said yesterday reforms to the Resource Management Act would have to be scrapped or diluted because National no longer had the numbers to pass them. He said he doubted Mr Peters would work with National on such issues even if they benefited Northland because Mr Peters was an oppositional MP.

Mr Peters said National had not even put anything in front of him to consider. “I’m not going to have Mr Key roaring when his toys have been taken out of the cot, as they were last Saturday, making these sort of protestations. What you’re getting now is protestations of innocence and good faith which don’t exist. The National Party has not come to us.”

It’s payback time alright.   Read more »

Herald Editorial “suspicious” of Key’s keen scuttling of RMA reform

The Prime Minister was quick to “rip up” the Government’s intended reform of the Resource Management Act after the Northland byelection. Suspiciously quick. He may be oddly relieved to lose the numbers he would need in Parliament to force National’s policy into law. It wants the act’s guiding purposes to include economic development alongside its present list of environmental and heritage protections. It seems reasonable both should be on the RMA’s scales but this is not the first time Mr Key has backed off the idea.

He spent much of the previous term trying behind the scenes to persuade partners Peter Dunne and the Maori Party to drop their opposition to the measure. Last May he publicly announced he had failed to get their support and he said he would take the issue to the election in September. But sometime between May and September the party decided not to make it an election issue and the subject was barely heard in the campaign. Read more »

Is it even possible? Labour even more irrelevant and marginalised

Labour is offering to look at “sensible changes” to the Resource Management Act as the Government takes its proposed amendments back to the drawing board.

“There’s just no question that you’ve got to rip up what we’ve got now, go back to the drawing board and have another go,” Mr Key said.

Last week Environment Minister Nick Smith admitted it would be more difficult for the Government to make the RMA changes it wants if Mr Peters won Northland.

“There is no doubt that if National is not successful in the Northland by-election the job of resource management reform is going to be more difficult,” he said.

Labour’s environment spokeswoman, Megan Woods, says the Government never had broad political support for its proposed changes. Read more »

Labour to refund donations

Sadly, not the secret ones that got laundered through Greg Presland’s dodgy trust on behalf of David Cunliffe.   And God knows, Labour need money.

Why on earth would they want to give any of it back?

The [Labour] party has offered to refund money donated to fund a leaflet-drop for candidate Willow-Jean Prime after the party hinted its voters should actually support New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.

“We have a policy that if people are not happy with the way their money, their donation, has been used we can refund the donation,” says Labour leader Andrew Little.

His comment comes after 3 News obtained an email sent out on March 5 requesting donations for a leaflet drop. It said the party would need to use New Zealand Post to get the leaflets out to potential voters, something which costs money. Each leaflet costs about $1 to send – the price of the stamp, envelope and printing the leaflet. Read more »

Where was this story during the Christchurch East by-election?

Media are at it again – only highlighting National’s use of taxpayers’ funded travel during by-elections.

The by-election battle for Northland has seen a steady stream of Government ministers visit the region.

And all that travel is putting scrutiny on their use of taxpayer-funded resources like Crown limousines.

Northland has never seen so many Crown cars with a flock of ministers and MPs parading through the electorate every day to support National’s candidate, Mark Osborne.

“It’s pretty extraordinary that National is not only pork barrelling the electorate, but accessing the pork themselves to get themselves around the electorate,” says Russel Norman, Green Party co-leader.

Oh really?  And your party’s co-leadership battles are all funded from non-taxpayer funds?   Like when they all flew to Auckland to be on TV?   Yeah, I didn’t think so.   Read more »