Who is Andrew Little? Ctd – Does Andrew Little have the bottle for a fight?

Andrew Little

Andrew Little has been considered the man coming in the Labour movement for a generation.

Strangely for a former student politician and unionist he is not known for having much mongrel in him. He bailed first when Judith Collins sued him and Trevor Mallard for defamation.

Labour’s politicians and activists are usually well versed in the dark arts, and know exactly how dirty politics really is because they have been in the thick of some of the most enjoyable political fights ever.

What has been strange about Andrew Little is that he has not had a great reputation for being willing to fight to get ahead. Contrary to the public story that he didn’t want to enter parliament in 2008 because of his young son, the word from inside Fraser House is that Little wanted Rimutaka when Paul Swain retired. In the murk and skullduggery that went on before that selection Little was essentially out muscled, and decided not to run.   

Little put his own career at risk by deciding to run in New Plymouth in 2011. Winning there was always going to be tough for a man who left New Plymouth as a teenager and worked in Wellington. He had options that involved showing he had the mongrel in him to win a contested selection with a sitting MP, but Annette King refused to go quietly in Little’s home seat of Rongotai.

Despite running a union in Petone and having plenty of willing supporters in Hutt South, Little did not choose to use this union power to beat Trevor Mallard in the 2014 selection. He was advised to repeatedly, and failed to take that advise, putting himself at the mercy of the party’s list ranking.

The 2014 election was good for Labour in terms of picking up electorates. The picked up three Maori seats, the new seat of Kelston and Stuart Nash took Napier off National.

This contributed to cutting the number of List MPs down to five. Little was 5th, and spent a nervous few weeks wondering if special votes would tip him out of parliament.

This means any serious political observer has to wonder how much fight there is in Little.

Is he man enough to have a big stoush to get what he wants?

Will he man up to the deadwood in his caucus and clean them out or will he let them remain?

Will he dump the man ban, or will he cave to the sisterhood?


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  • The Accountant

    I get the sense he is most at home in loud rethoric, only time in the position will show if he can muscle it.

    • Cadwallader

      “Loud Rhetoric” is certainly not a suburb of New Plymouth as he is definitely not welcome home there!

      • The Accountant

        Oops. Thanks for the spelling correction. Don’t you hate it when auto correct doesn’t work? Always catches me the other way!

        • Cadwallader

          Psst didn’t notice your spelling as I was too entranced by your sentiments.

  • MAWG

    I look forward to the next election to see the head to head debates between Key and Little, but if previous form is to be repeated, someone else will be at the helm of Labour before then.

    If a man is unelectable as an electorate MP, then how on earth can he put his hand up for becoming the PM?

    • Cowgirl

      I would be interested to see that too, but I’m not convinced Little will be there in 2017 either. If the poll numbers don’t shift seriously upwards well before then, he’d be in danger of getting the bums rush as well. Labour will get increasingly desperate in the next 3 years if the numbers don’t look like them governing and I reckon all bets are off.

      • yoyoyo

        problem for them is who? are there really any clear next gen leaders maybe Nash or Davis…

        • Cadwallader

          Nash maybe? Davis too soon? it seems the balance of last year’s contenders are now all museum pieces. I would expect some to be heading for the out-door on or before the 2017 General Election. (Jacinda, Mallard, Robertson, Parker, Cunners, Goff, King, Shearer, Mahuta.)

          • Damon Mudgway

            The future of Labour are watching quietly. The new Labour, one that kiwis will embrace, will not be seen this term. The likes of Davis and Nash will be comfortable in the knowledge their time will come. Nash’s biggest problem will be keeping his ego in check. If he can keep the smarmy out of his public rhetoric he has a long career in politics ahead of him. And Davis, well, quite frankly he seems like a good and capable man.

          • Sadly, Davis is probably in the wrong party.

          • Cadwallader

            I am curious, no, dubious…Labour doesn’t have a discernible future!

          • mommadog

            Jacinda is going nowhere. Prediction by left wing journalist on the radio the other day was that Andy will name her as his deputy to replace Annette. For once I agree. Its consistent with the stupid decisions labour makes.

        • Rick H

          Annette King for sure.

          • yoyoyo

            the dinosaur?

    • ex-JAFA

      In the very unlikely event he is still running the show in 2017, the studio people will have to put him behind a drummer’s stage shield so he doesn’t spray Mr Key and the host with his angry spittle.

  • Isherman

    So far he’s come out with the barking and bravado of a Rottweiler, but it seems forced somehow, I think he might eventually reveal himself as more of an ankle biting Jack russel.

  • john Doe

    Talk is easy and cheap. It is action that maketh the man. The public and his colleagues will get sick of the shouty angry Little in short time.

  • Curly1952

    His first speech as leader of the Labour party in Parliament provided the proof to support your article.
    His angry outburst is a classic case of someone who doesn’t have the wherewithal to debate something rationally. He sees attack in the form of angryness (if thats a word) as his way of getting his point across and believes people will be too afraid to confront him. When the pressure comes on and reasonable debate is required he can’t rationalise quick enough so just folds.
    This is what he has done in the past and will continue to dog him in the future.

    • ex-JAFA

      He has the look of someone who attended a play-the-man-not-the-ball school run by John Hopoate.

  • cows4me

    Andy reminds me of a sponge cake without the baking powder.

    • Damon Mudgway

      Or the little fella who stands behind his mates in a pub fight egging them on, but not joining in.

  • Huia

    Has he ever done anything that is notable at all? he comes across to me as an angry bag of wind, and got to where he is by not rocking the boat and by sheer luck.
    The days of the old school unionists is gone, the unions don’t seem to have moved ahead or adapted with the times.
    What business experience has this man had? what qualifies him to run our country and all its various international diplomacies? cannot for the life of me see him on the international stage socializing and doing business with heads of state.
    On a small factory floor shouting at the workers about the ‘parasites’ who struggle to pay them weekly, seems more his place of business and experience.

  • mommadog

    He’s a bully but as with most bullies he also has a lot of bluff in him. He can bully others and tell them what to do but if someone stands up to him in return I don’t think he has what it takes past the loud yelling and tantrums. It will be interesting to watch. I don’t particularly like Annette King but I really hope she doesn’t roll over and voluntarily give up her safe seat to Andy, even though it is obvious he wants/needs it and that would be the only way he will get an electorate. He will never win one on his own merits. It would be popcorn time again watching them duke it out within the labour party.

    • zotaccore

      Some, but not many, bullies become successful (take Trump for example), but even with Trump he’s pretty much unliked by many in the USA – and of course when it comes to politics, that results in a big fail, just as it will be for Little if he doesn’t change his game.

  • G M B

    He’s just a really bad actor. He’s all bravado and fake a typical desperate lefty trying to appeal to an audience that he thinks believe the act.

    • Rick H

      Who writes his notes? Matt McCarten?

  • Dumrse

    He was conceived and hatched in a right of centre house hold. His DNA and genes are therefore of the same persuasion so its no wonder he is constantly angry as his right brain left brain is forever engaged in battle. Give up Andy, it will never settle to the left.

    • Hard1

      Are you saying he is still rebelling against his upbringing ? He is also agnostic and his better half is Catholic.
      Being a hard-line Union Rep is a job that must operate within certain well worn guidelines.
      Now he is free for the first time in his life. Note the ever-present minders?.

  • Sailor Sam

    He is hoping that his deputy for the next 10 months will retire, then he hopes to be the shoein for Rongotai.
    Hope the people in Rongotai see through the little carpet bagger.

    • Aucky

      Annette King has held Rongotai for eight terms and even she suffered a downturn in 2014 presumably because of Dirty Politics and the increasing numbers of voters who are dependent on the film industry. To put up a carpetbagger, ardent unionist and mate of Helen Kelly as the big Labour hope in 2017 would be political suicide for Labour. Angry Andy hardly has a great track record in winning electorate seats in fact he has allowed Jonathan Young to consolidate New Plymouth into a National stronghold. Little is a loser, a leader in name only because his position has been bought for him with union dollars.

  • Je Suis Charlie – Respect!!

    A L is a dick! Simple as that. He is a union flunkie who as others have said will stand back yelling encouragement to those doing the fighting but never actually going into the trenches with them. He loads the rifles but gets others to fire them. Typical lefty freeloader. He is in good company in labour.

  • ex-JAFA

    You give Little too much credit. He wasn’t 5th on the Labour list, he was the 5th of those not elected by an electorate. His real position was 11th – hardly popular in the executive, never mind the caucus!

  • Cadwallader

    To me I can’t look at Little Angry without thinking of a blow-fly in a Pepsi bottle. He spins buzzingly around getting louder and angrier but never thinks to aspire to getting out via the top. Much like his entire threadbare party.

  • caochladh

    I rather see AA as having a couple of “go to” henchmen that he can shout and berate, then they go out and put the fear of god into everyone so that the bidding is done.