The minority missing in Labour

Labour and Andrew Little have decided to make small business a priority in New Zealand.

Despite signalling in his speech his willingness to assist small businesses, Andrew Little also indicated that he wants to take away workplace flexibility, the single biggest thing that small businesses has been telling Labour in their focus groups.

Small businesses want the 90 day bill to remain, they want flexible tea and meal breaks and they definitely do not want interfering union bosses breathing down their necks.

Perhaps Labour could show they are serious by appealing more another minority group to be added to their caucus representation.

The Labour Party is all about fair representation and all sorts of other bullshit like that.

With the focus now coming on small businesses I want to know when will Labour get small business owners into its caucus.  

In MBIEs Small Business Sector Report the give the following statistics.

Some 97 per cent of enterprises in New Zealand are small businesses. These 459,300 enterprises include those with no employees, micro (1-5 employees), and small (6-19 employees) enterprises. Small businesses make a significant contribution to the New Zealand labour market, with more than 584,000 people employed in enterprises with fewer than 20 people, making up 30 per cent of the workforce. These figures do not include self-employed, which number over 380,000.

So 964,000 New Zealanders work in small businesses.

That is almost one quarter of our population.

Does this mean Labour will introduce a quota system to get this completely disenfranchised group into their caucus?

If they were serious they should consider it.


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  • Murray Smith

    Never in a million years will Labour consider representing an employer. Either big or small.
    Capitalist scum, viewed through red eyes.

  • Reaper

    Small business owners are far too busy working hard to have spare time for pow wows, think tanks, traipsing around the country and spending hours on Twitter trying to promote themselves.

  • Cadwallader

    The need to maintain flexibility in Labour laws and their dogmatic anti-business beliefs can never co-exist. Who does Little Angry think he’s fooling? The answer is: Only those blessed with his special kind of stupid.

  • Isherman

    Considering most if not all small businesses would be diametric adversaries of Unions and their influence I would highly doubt it. That being said, Labour at the moment is almost like the political equivalent of a small (or Little) business isn’t it.

    • peterwn

      Years ago a union organiser called in at a small doctor’s surgery to try and ‘organise’ the nurse-receptionist. Only trouble was – she was the daughter of a National MP in an adjacent electorate.

  • mike

    Besides Jacinda’s stint at the local chippie (which really doesn’t count!) does anyone currently in the Labour caucus have any real business experience besides NGOs, Unions or the public service?

    I mean has any of them actually run a private company or held a management position within such a company?

  • Addedup

    It’s all quite exciting especially with Jacinda Ardern being their person for the job, her vast experience working for numerous start ups and SMEs means Joyce should be getting nervous.

    • Kiwibabe

      She can serve up fish n chips during smoko.

  • Pluto

    Running a small business is hard enough without having a union-led government trying to be “helpful”.
    Stewardship, making decisions for long term prosperity not short term gains, having a clear direction and not factional self-serving, customer focussed instead of crisis management, all things Labour know nothing about. They aren’t fooling anyone.

    • Kiwibabe

      Yeah, just fooling themselves!
      What can unionists or career politicians for that matter EVER know about the realities of business?

  • Wheninrome

    So the 964,000 people working in small business must be the missing million, we seek them here we seek them there, we seek them everywhere those damned elusive labour voters, apologies scarlet pimpernel.

  • Sally

    According to the Labour Party website there is only one MP who claims to have been a small business owner – Clayton Cosgrove.

    But must say the public service sector is well represented.

    • Dave

      And the union sector is over represented, never ever to be trusted.

  • peterwn

    Small businesses will be a priority. Under Labour some big businesses will soon become small businesses.

  • Kiwibabe

    Labour must be very confused people. Good, the last thing we need is a nutty left coalition.

  • Adios Africa

    Thanks Mr.Little, but there is nothing you could offer any SME business-owner in terms of expertise, inducements, or in anything remotely resembling a moral high-ground. The vast majority of business owners actually care more about the well-being of their employees than you do.

    No less than the World Socialist Website roasted Mr. Little.

    “Under Mr. Little’s watch, the EPMU represented about 70 of PRC’s 140 workers. When the WSWS’s exposure of the union’s complicity in the disaster and the
    still-dangerous working conditions in New Zealand’s mines was shared on the
    Facebook page “Investigate Pike River Mine Disaster”, Neale Jones responded:

    In the case of Pike River, the WSWS has documented the relations that prevailed
    between the NZ government, the company and the EPMU both prior to and following the disaster. Between 2008, when the mine began production, and 2010, PRC’s management and the Department of Labour ignored repeated warnings from workers and mining experts about unsafe conditions at the mine. The company was only able to ignore workers’ concerns due to the assistance of the EPMU.

    The EPMU never criticized the company or organised industrial action, despite the
    blatant safety breaches. After the explosions, one former miner, Brent
    Forrester, revealed that a group of miners had once walked off the job
    independently of the union, to protest over the lack of emergency equipment at
    the mine. Forrester said he had telephoned an EPMU official and informed him of
    the workers’ safety concerns.

    Immediately after the disaster, however, then-EPMU national secretary Andrew Little, who is now a Labour Party member of parliament, told the New
    Zealand Herald that there was “nothing unusual about Pike River… that we’ve been particularly concerned about.” He told Radio NZ that PRC had taken “great care” going into production and “had a good health and safety committee that’s been very active.”

    • Cadwallader

      This is gripping stuff. Thank you. I remember at the time of the disaster on this blog much was said about the Greenies’ contribution to PRC being a death trap in waiting. Those fair criticisms do not seem to have been given air in the intervening years during any court hearing or otherwise. My recollection is that the Greenies objected to an open cast mine as it would endanger some sort of snail. Had it been open cast there’d have not been an explosion and no loss of life. The Greenies are as culpable as Little Angry’s squalid union.

  • JustanObserver

    Small Business needs Labour just as much as a worm needs a pair of boots.
    Under Labour, there will be no ‘risks’ taken hiring un-proven staff, there will be no collaboration between staff and business owners, there will be no productivity.
    The union-roar that the 90-day trial is against hiring new staff is NOT true here, most all staff taken on with a 90-day clause are still here, they wouldn’t have been taken on at all if we couldn’t evaluate them, the business would not have grown.
    Each new person is given an OPPORTUNITY to learn and impress, if they choose not to grab that opportunity, is that the manager’s fault …. NO.
    Attitude is everything ….. Labour’s attitude is nothing.

  • Michael

    I love this “make a priority” phrase that everyone uses. What does it really mean? Every other group are now a lower priority? Is this the top priority or just one of many? What action will follow it being “a priority” that would not happen otherwise? All just a lot of hot air…


    That will be the day!! As small business owner taking the lead from Little and his Labour party….dream on!


    This must have been a ‘special offer’ at Jacinda’s fish and chips shop. Obviously labour inspired….

  • Dave

    I once looked into Jacinda’s work background, from memory, not one real job, work experience with ministers, a few years overseas, policy etc, but not even a job in a cafe or at MacDonalds flipping burgers. SO, my question to Labour, given she will speak to, or worse still in labours eyes, speak FOR small business, how the ……. will she have any ideas about what it is like to run a business, or the issues the SME’s actually face?

    Oh, right, she is another scum list MP who, worse than Angry Andy has failed THREE TIMES to win an electoral seat. But, she has gone from 20th on the list to 5th…..

    • Cadwallader

      Yes says it all really. Unless you’ve run a small business successfully nothing in the world can forewarn you for the following:
      1 Lost sleep worrying about cash-flow
      2 Putting up with and defending yourself against staff
      3 Explaining bills to customers
      4 Receiving telephone calls after hours from customers who think the universe rotates around them
      5 Keeping the tax wolves from the door
      6 Explaining to your kids that you won’t be home until after they are asleep

      There’s nobody in the Labour caucus who comes close to understanding the few things listed above other than their belief that the tax swiped is for them to squander. As for the Greenies….????