Whaleoil Investigates – Who is Andrew Little? Ctd

Earlier I posted Andrew Little’s maiden speech.

In the interests of providing all the source material I can find so you can make your own mind up about Andrew Little here is his speech to the party faithful in Palmerston North during the leadership election.

Here is the transcript.

Tena koutou katoa.

Good evening everybody.  My name is Andrew Little and I want to begin first of all by thanking you all.  This has been a pretty tough year, for us a hard year and in the end a pretty disappointing result for us.

But it is a testament to your dedication and commitment and to the spirit of this great party that so soon after that election and the events of election night you are prepared to turn out to be part of this very important democratic process for this great party.  So thank you for doing that because this is important as my fellow leadership contenders have pointed out.

New Zealand’s values are Labour values.  They are the values of looking after each other, doing things together, solidarity you might say.  Making sure that no one is left out and no one is left behind.  That is what we stand for, that is what we have always stood for.  

The truth about New Zealand today is that growing numbers are being left out and are being left behind.

We have a quarter of a million children living in poverty, living below the poverty line.  Turning up to school with empty bellies, and not being able to learn.  They are being left behind.  And we have situations in our workplaces now where growing numbers of working people are dependant on multiple jobs, part time jobs, low paid jobs, insecure jobs, just to make ends meet.  They are being left behind.

This is not the New Zealand that we ever expected and nor is it the New Zealand that we should accept and tolerate.

And we have another major challenge as well that we are about to face and this is about the future world of work.  Technology is rapidly going to change the nature of work, the availability of work, and what people do.

And if we are to confront that challenge as well as the ones that we have right now then we need a Government that takes work seriously.

It sits at the centre of so much of what people do.  The way people earn and whether or not people earn determines whether or not people can fulfil their dreams and their ambitions.

But for so many people they do not even have dreams any more.  Young people on reasonably good incomes who no longer aspire to owning their homes because it is just so far out of reach.  That’s the New Zealand we have got today.

There is only one political party in our political system that takes these issues seriously and actually works to ensure that people do get ahead, that they don’t get left behind, and that they don’t get left out.  And that is the New Zealand Labour Party, our party.  The party we worked so hard for this election, and the last election and the election before that.

And the truth is, we are not getting elected, we are not in government.  And because we are not in government we will not see those issues being properly addressed.

But if we want to be in Government the reality is that after three successive defeats and a still declining vote we have to make change.  We have to get our house into order.  We have to fix the machine.  Because it is not working.

There are two areas we need to address soon.  The first is about caucus’ cohesion.  We need to be communicating effectively and acting cohesively.

The other is about the party.  We need the party organisation to be the best it possibly can.  We need a party organisation where all parts of it, the voluntary part and the paid part are talking to each other and effectively.  Because we need to run a good party vote campaign in a way that we have not done in the past few elections.

And we need to harness the great resource and capability that are our affiliates.  Thirty or forty thousand working people are our affiliates.  But we don’t use them in a way that we could if we were an effective machine and an effective operation.

I am standing for the Labour Party Leadership for two principal reasons.  Firstly I have led significant change in a large organisation.  When I took over at the EPMU, our largest private sector union, we were an organisation in three parts.  Some people were not talking to each other.  The organisation was not coordinated. People just went off and did what they liked.

I made the organisation one organisation.  I gave it a single purpose that it organised to and worked under.  And I turned it into a high impact organisation.

I nurtured the talent that we had and I brought in new talent.  And I made it an organisation that was the envy of the Labour Movement and indeed of many others.

So I have done change.

The second reason I am seeking the Labour Party leadership is because of what drives me.  What has driven me in every job that I have had as a lawyer as a Union Leader and as an MP.

It is about justice.  In fact it is about injustice.  I cannot stand injustice.  And when I talk about injustice I am talking about when the powerful take advantage of the weak.  And we have a society and a country where increasingly we are allowing the powerful to take advantage of the weak, the economically powerful, the privileged taking advantage of those who don’t have that privilege and that power.

And it sticks in my craw and it is wrong and it is against every Labour principle that we all know.

And so I want to take that drive and my energy and turn Labour around and give it the same unifying single purpose the way that I did with the EPMU and give it to the Labour Party.

To nurture the talent and lets face it we have great talent in our caucus.  You only had to see those maiden speeches yesterday and seem y caucus colleagues to know that we have a huge depth of talent and use that to take us forward.

We have to regain New Zealand’s trust.  And we will do that when we are talking about New Zealanders’ issues, when we are standing alongside them helping them fulfil their ambitions.  When we are talking about not just what is wrong but also what is right.  If we want to fix child poverty, if we want to address the future world of work and the major challenges that brings to us we need to be in Government.

We need a leader to bring us there.  I am that leader.

Comments and analysis will come after I have provided all the source material.

But for now get to know Andrew Little.


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  • shykiwibloke


  • Sally

    He is all about the collective not the individual.

    • Nige.

      Yeah. Union members where I work collected a whopping 0.2% pay increase last year….while I individually negotiated a $5 per hour one for my self. Union members… Its not that great of an investment.

  • simblor

    Let’s see… Imaginary poverty, check. Bizarre sense of entitlement around property ownership, check. Lip service to caucus, check. Equal outcomes instead of equal oppurtunity subtext, check. “I’m as left as could be!”, check. Twisted sense of justice, check.

    It’s Cunliffe 2.0! Standing by for stuff-ups and apologies.

  • Whafe

    Loving this series already, but the man that is Andrew Angry Little does not spark any response in me, he is like watching paint dry or the grass grow…

    • Cadwallader

      Don’t listen to him. It is too early to go back to sleep.

  • Monty

    I am waiting for angry Andy to talk about the need for self responsibility. That will be a forlorn hope. I cannot remember a single Labour Party leader ( or any member of the labour party) ever mentioning the concept of self responsibility.

    • parorchestia

      They did in the early days. They wanted equality of opportunity, decent education for all, and a social welfare system that gave the needy a hand up, not a hand out. Andy is talking communism, not old fashioned labour, and we all know that communism doesn’t work.
      What went wrong with Labour? The all-consuming desire to obtain power, so they promised the earth to their potential voters. He is following this track, and not ht “decent society” track of early Labour.
      Unfortunately for him, National have seized the mantle of the providers of a decent society.

    • ex-JAFA

      In fact, in his speech he says that union people doing what they liked was A Bad Thing – to which he’s proud to have put a stop. Self responsibility is not permitted!

    • The wildman

      That is true,it is self responsibility that drives you to go to work and hold down a job.feed your children and not send them to school hungry which in my opinion is bordering on child abuse,and also not having kids when you cant afford them.

    • Hard1

      Our Andy is vehement ! “New Zealand’s values are Labour values. They are the values of looking after each other, doing things together, solidarity you might say.”
      YOUR responsibility is to look after others, washing your neighbour’s car, weeding his garden, feeding him and her, giving their kids pocket money, and then get on the bus and do something TOGETHER.
      This from a party leader is so incredibly galling. It’s like a mandatory sentence of community service if Labour gets into power.
      Stay away, folks. This one’s live.

  • FredFrog

    So looking at what he’s saying – he wants to turn the labour party into a facsimile of a union he ran.

    Good luck with that, union membership is at 15%, expect your share of the party vote to be the same come 2017

    • Whafe

      Fred, that is not in the vocab of a lefty

  • Justsayn

    I can translate: you are useless, so am I, lets stick together.

    To be fair though, in a meeting like this Little would have had two goals: solidify his support within the unions, placate the volunteers that show up in order to win their votes. You can see that in the speech. He touts his union leadership as a plus – without any explanation as to why he did a good job at (is the EPMU better now than it was when he took over? – you must measure that by the circumstances of its members and they, we are told, are dire) it or why that might appeal to voters at a general election. He thanks the volunteers for helping him and his mates achieve the worst result in Labour history.

  • Amanda Atkinson

    Giving losers someone to blame, that’s sound like a good idea. Always someone else’s fault, not mine. I don’t like my boss, he exploits me. (Leave then). But I cannot get another job, because of the bad National government who doesn’t care about me, there are no other jobs. (Go to another country then). But there are even less jobs in other countries. (Well perhaps you wanna have a wee look in a mirror and ask who’s fault it really is then.)

    • R&BAvenger

      There are certainly jobs if you ‘want’ to work. people are far too choosy and have expectations that are way above their real worth in the open market.
      Yet we still import labour from the pacific islands to do much of the seasonal work now. people should be directed towards this work if they are drawing a benefit. Refuse and have your benefit cut.

      • Wheninrome

        Yes, we see many happy smiling faces up here in the North doing the seasonal work, depending of what work required gives you a different country’s people, grape pickers, pruners, citrus, kiwifruit etc.,

  • Cadwallader

    He’s wrong very wrong….the New Zealand we have today is the New Zealand I have always hoped for. It is a country which can now be the subject of international envy and awe. It is not a country universally populated by the envy-ridden and idle, it is a country populated by the aspirant, the energetic and the bold. Little Angry is as superfluous at this time and in this country, as a gas-filled zeppelin. (Well, he has the gas.)

  • Hard1

    “… the privileged taking advantage of those who don’t have that privilege and that power.And it sticks in my craw and it is wrong..”

    There must be a back story to those sentiments. Andy may feel that voters were wrong to use their privilege and power to ignore him. That’s a wounded ego talking, or just a politician who has found a following of sorts.

    • Whitey

      My assessment of Angry Andy is that he has a chip on his shoulder.

      • dgrogan

        He has. It’s called ‘filthy capitalism’ in his parlance.

      • FredFrog

        No, he’s quite balanced – He has a chips on BOTH shoulders.

    • PJ

      Why don”t the so called privileged and powerful just exit the country and leave little andy with the rest who will then all be equal

  • dgrogan

    I think Angry Andy Little is doing a superb job – at accelerating Labour’s demise.

    He says, “… the reality is that after three successive defeats and a still declining vote, we have to make change”. Fair enough. At least he’s not totally blind. But what is his suggestion? “We need to harness the great resource and capability that are our affiliates”, he says.

    I suggest that lurching further to the left and embracing Union muscle will not win the vote of middle NZ. It will alienate it further.

    So, Angry Andy, keep it up. In the immortal word of the Beatles, “ it’s getting better all the time”.

  • R&BAvenger

    More of the same rhetoric from the last 3 Labour ‘leaders

    • Cadwallader

      When we finally load up the Hercules to transport “you know who” to the USA I see nothing to prevent the same plane transporting Norman back to Queensland. Little Angry could accompany Norman to OZ as his message of unionism is still a delight to many Aussies who are now blaming Abbot for taking the sword to their entitlement mentalities. John Key asserted we’d catch-up to OZ. I can barely see OZ in my rear-view mirror now!

      • The wildman

        Do we have a big enough plane for “you know who”?

    • Whitey

      Well said. Fact is, many of these people who have been supposedly “left behind” have actually dropped out.

    • Lance Ralph

      Quite right, I am struck also by the sameness of the rhetoric – a bit like a stuck record – a record that is itself more or less a fantasy. I remember David Cunliffe’s speech “I am sick and tired of seeing hope die in the eyes of our young people”
      Well one would be sick and tired of this wouldn’t one. One might also be sick and tired of the shocking lack of parenting responsibility in so many of our parents.

    • ex-JAFA

      “[1] We have a quarter of a million children living in poverty, [2] living below the poverty line. [3] Turning up to school with empty bellies, and [4] not being able to learn. [5] They are being left behind. And [6] we have situations in our workplaces now where growing numbers of working people are dependant on multiple jobs, part time jobs, low paid jobs, insecure jobs, just to make ends meet. [7] They are being left behind.”

      When I was reading this, my thoughts were:
      [1] That’s not true.
      [2] That’s a flawed statistic, which can only increase as incomes increase.
      [3] Bad parenting is the parents’ fault.
      [4] Their parents aren’t encouraging them to learn.
      [5] They’re dropping out. They don’t bother to try.
      [6] Good on them for cracking on with it and doing something for themselves!
      [7] That’s still not true.

  • Adam Michaels

    Little is a man without a mandate from the electorate. He became Leader of the Opposition by stealth.Now he wants to be Prime Minister and he has never ever won an electorate seat!
    There are countries who get their leaders that way…NZ should not be one of them!

    • Wheninrome

      No, we certainly don’ want to go down that path. STV or the FPP would not deliver this individual.
      The trouble is when people lose their “entitlements” they “fight” for them with anger. It is the mentality of “my rights” as opposed to “what can I do for the greater good”, or “what did I do to deserve, how did I help or assist.”

      • Adam Michaels

        Little would have a range of entitlements he wouldn’t want to lose, now he has got them!

      • Rocket

        I always preferred STV and voted accordingly in those systems referenda just so we would never get people like A.L. anywhere near government. Nor J.A.

  • parorchestia

    He is wrong on so many counts that he will weaken what is left of the Labour Party. Housing availability and high house prices were caused by poor local government, not by an imagined coterie of the economically powerful. Affordability in real (tax free) terms has not changed much since I bought my first house in 1965 (5.3 years of gross salary), but now you get a 3 or 4 bedroomed house, not a two, and two bathrooms (or more) not one for 5.7 years of gross salary (except in Auckland and Christchurch). These latter two centres will come into line without (I hope) any catastrophic collapse in value now local governments are being whipped into line.
    As for the poor – name a more generous country towards poverty, though this is changing as far better systems are replacing the overly generous handout systems we had. For example, the halving of the number of solo parents on benefits is a great effort by National – better for the sole parents and much better for us in so many ways.

    We should thank Mr Angry for his leadership as he will ensure the good work National is doing will extend for at least another term. We are the best country in the world. Let’s keep it that way.

  • mommadog

    I will be following this series with interest. His speeches remind me why I could never vote for him or a party he leads but to a degree it is preaching to the converted as I already had a bad taste in my mouth about Angry Andy being a unionist. I am really looking forward to the comments and analysis to come.

  • Meep Meep MEEEEP!!!

    The left think they can win the public back by telling us how bad NZ is and how much worse it keeps getting. Bad strategy. Thing is the great majority know NZ is pretty great and getting better in many respects.

    ” (blah blah negitive negitive) This is not the New Zealand … we should accept and tolerate.” yeah… we’re not buying it

    • Meep Meep MEEEEP!!!

      250,000 children turning up to school with empty bellies…? Where does this statistic come from? Before they were just saying they were all living below the povety line…

      • Meep Meep MEEEEP!!!

        Oh my goodness, what does he identify as a quote “major challenge”

        wait for it… technology taking peoples jobs! Thats hilarious, do people still harp on about that? The only jobs technology takes are menial. I read a report recently that basically said thank goodness for technology as it not only frees people up to train for more satisfying careers but it will be essential to keeping the economy going when the baby boomers all retire.

        He even talks about it in relation to peoples dream and ambitions… yeah whos life ambition is to peal the skin off a sizzler

        • Ross

          Typical Luddite mentality… Don’t fear technology, embrace it!

        • Cowgirl

          Plus with all that technology, will be whole careers based around the sale and maintenance of that technology. I’ve never seen computers do anything other than create work.

          • Adam Michaels

            Since the dawn of our species we have drawn ahead because we use/invent new technologies. How we use them may vary but without our creativity and inventiveness we would still be cowering in caves!

      • Sunshine

        Like it has been pointed out here before, if there were so many starving kids in NZ, that were only kept alive by the free breakfasts in schools and that’s why we also need free lunches in schools, there should have been a dramatic increase in child deaths from starvation over the holiday period when schools were closed.
        I guess we will discover these starving thousands again when the school year begins.

        • Dave

          I have an idea, lets give those starving kids Breakast, then lunch, oh, and IF they stay on for additional homework and lessons in the afternoon, then dinner can be provided. Then we will house them in the school dormitries, and relieve their parents of the burden of their own children. Lets not forget, as these poor hungry kids will have full bellies, and an extra few hours of lessons a day, they will be very educated and stand a much better chance of finding a geat job. This means they will do well in the future, breaking the bounds of labours poverty. Oh, and whilst we think about it, the parents won’t need that housing supplement, or that extra food and living allowance in their benefit, and as there are NO kids, they can BOTH work. Finally, they wont need that 4 bedroom state house wit hwater views, we can move them to that one bedroom flat. so the savings to the country might be huge!

  • Wheninrome

    I was taught that an upward turn of the mouth is more appealing than a downward turn.
    People are drawn more to the “happy” person than the miserable, although there are always those who love to wallow in misery and try and get “party joiners or paddlers” by spreading their miserable view of the world.

  • GMAK

    Ahhhh, it seems little Andy doesn’t understand the concept of a truly democratic process that is the Labour primary where some members get 3 votes like Grant “Pick me, pick me, pick me” Robertson while others only get one…….but maybe I am forgeting that some Labour members are more equal then others.

  • Aucky

    If you repeat a lie often enough……..

    • Adam Michaels

      And we know which dictatorship first perfected that one! Mind you, the Leader actually got voted in, by some means. Sounding familiar, in a vague way?

  • The Accountant

    He fails to state in any meaningful way as to how all these aspirations would be achieved without Scandinavian tax rates?

    • Adam Michaels

      Spoilsport! How can you let facts get in the way of a great idea from the union left?

      • Whitey

        The scary thing is that he probably thinks Scandinavian tax rates are a great idea.

  • rua kenana

    Little claimed that “New Zealand’s values are Labour values.”
    Too bad for him that only 25 percent of the electorate agreed .
    In England the Liberal Democrat “leader” Nick Clegg excused his party’s disastrous electoral performance by claiming that they didn’t get their message across to the public well enough. Like most left-wingers he grossly underestimated the public’s intellligence. The public understood the LibDem message only too well and didn’t want a bar of it. Seemingly likewise with Labour here.
    Until Labour in NZ gets that message they’ll be doing NZ a favour by staying out of power for a long, long time.

  • TSD

    The majority of those “in poverty” by New Zealand standards are actually part of the 1% by international standards.
    Kiwi’s know this, but here is the real problem that Little has. He does not understand that we are not stupid. This is an enduring trait of left wing leaders.

    • dgrogan

      Yes it is. Marxist psuedo-intellectuals doing the thinking for we rabble.

      Shame these towering intellectual ‘progressives’ can’t keep up with what the electorate wants in the 21st century though. Too bad, eh?

  • kiwihornplayer

    I loved the acknowledgement of the benefits of Muldoon’s think big projects in his maiden speech. Never thought I would have heard a Labour leader say that. I often wonder where we would be today without the local petroleum industry, and the Clutha dams.
    Now we just need a leader with the balls to harness all that lovely wasted water flowing into the sea via the Buller river.

    • dgrogan

      Well you won’t find her/him in the Labour/Green’s camp, so that narrows the search area down a bit.

    • axeman

      And Tuki Tuki

      • IKIDUNOT

        …and Waipawa river…:))

  • Graeme

    Key got where he is on his own merit little got there because of the unions

  • Dave

    Andrew is the quintessential Cartoon characture, yes, as per the picture. Being grounded in the british union movement, and then the kiwi movement, he definately believes in the fairy tale, take from the rich, and give to the poor.

    What poor little Angry short little man forgets, is there are not that many people in poverty (poor) in NZ, and the rich and others who are doing okay, are well aware to beware of Robin Hood, AKA Angry Andy.

  • Edward Bufe

    Say it enough time and the air heads would believe pigs can fly and there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The only problem the rainbow has no end just like a mirage, the closer you get to it the further away it is.

  • Isherman

    “I cannot stand injustice. And when I talk about injustice I’m talking about the powerful taking advantage of the weak”. Nice one Andy, glad you cleared that up because you sure as hell weren’t talking about the injustice that the method of your ‘election’ was against the actual principle of democracy, where the guy that the majority of people (or Caucus) want as leader wins eh.

  • Josh Metcalfe

    It would seem that Little Andy doesn’t appreciate the role of the Opposition. He just sees it as the waiting room to become Government and doesn’t give a toss about the important constitutional role the Opposition plays