Even Red Claire Trevett can no longer prop up the incompetence of Angry Andy

Claire Trevett is brutal in her assessment of Andrew Little’s prebudget speech:

Here’s a tip for Labour.

If your leader is about to deliver a speech on the plight of the homeless compared to the “wealthy few”, don’t kick it off with a tale about Bluff oysters.

Labour’s whip Chris Hipkins introduced Andrew Little for his pre-Budget speech by talking about the Bluff Oyster Festival Hipkins attended at the weekend.

Hipkins revealed he had bought three dozen oysters but left them in his hotel fridge.

A minute later Little took to the stage to deliver a triumphant piece of mixed messages.

On the face of it the speech was aimed at “middle New Zealand”.

The centrepiece was a very convoluted piece of research about the proportion of economic growth returned to workers. Labour had concluded New Zealanders were getting $50 less a week than they would have been.

It was effectively meaningless beyond showing what clever clogs they were to have worked out such a thing. It also opened Little to questioning on how Labour would get that back into the pockets of those workers.

How tone deaf, and how utterly stupid.

Prime Minister John Key delivered Labour a present by publicly talking about the prospect of $3 billion in tax cuts after 2017. Little rightly took that opportunity to talk about how that could be better spent. But when he was asked if those very tax cuts were one way to return some of the $50 Labour itself had identified people of being deprived of, he faltered and started talking about public services instead.

It seems Little has finally learned the group of people he needs to be talking to are middle New Zealand, but there are precious few signs he has discovered how to talk to them.

Yep, John Key knows that we want more money in our pockets. Labour thinks they can spend money better than you and me. If Andrew Little wants to fight an election opposing tax cuts then all power to him.

It was the same speech he has delivered before and that each of his three predecessors have also delivered, with its riff on the “Kiwi dream” and the politics of wealth.

It played well among the left. The loudest applause was his proclamation a government he led would not tolerate poverty.

Much of it focused on the “few at the top” or the homeless living in cars.

“Middle New Zealand” might pity the homeless and either begrudge or aspire to be one of the few at the top. But the issues of those groups are not those of middle New Zealand.

The series of promises Little did set out were so grandiose as to be unbelievable. It amounted to promising to solve poverty, build “affordable” houses for everyone, feed every hungry child, banishing cold damp homes forever, building masses of infrastructure and pumping funding into the health and education systems.

The only one he missed was turning water into wine. That would at least have given the “middle New Zealand” hotel worker who finds Hipkins’ oysters something to wash them down with.

Not quite “Vote Labour get a free microwave”, but not far off.

Labour and Andrew Little show they have no understanding of middle New Zealand and they will continue to remain in opposition.


– NZ Herald


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  • Wayne Hodge

    Seems the rot has well and truly set in.

    • Cadwallader

      Little Angry’s future is a bit like a countdown at Cape Canaveral except at zero it won’t be heading skywards.

  • Korau

    “The series of promises Little did set out were so grandiose as to be
    unbelievable. It amounted to promising to solve poverty, build
    “affordable” houses for everyone, feed every hungry child, banishing cold damp homes forever, building masses of infrastructure and pumping funding into the health and education systems.”

    He forgot cure cancer and walk on water!

    • Wayne Hodge

      He forgot to announce that he could jump tall buildings and solve world hunger; all whilst being ‘fiscally responsible’.

      This reminds me of the fairy tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes’ ; Clare Trevett is the little child who exposes the scam, but just who are the tailors? Robertson? Ardern? McCarten? Who?

    • Cadwallader

      Little was tossing out gifts like a drunken Santa Claus. The problem is that there are still about one in five of us who believe his expensive dribblings. it is unbelievable how a sense of entitlement to others’ earnings blinds logic and any notion of fairplay. Where’s the money to come from? Trade? Oh hell no! According to Little he’ll smash the TPPA. What a vile set of ramblings by a non-thinker for non-thinkers!

  • Quinton Hogg

    Mr Little would not recognise middle New Zealand if “it”, middle New Zealand, collectively marched up to him and kicked him in the jacksie.
    The pointy headed research ignores the fact that most of middle New Zealand have aspirations to get the bach, bmw and a bigger house. they get that by working hard and clambering up the ladder.
    There was nothing aspirational in what Mr Little is reported to have said. Hardly attractive fare for middle New Zealand.

    • Sailor Sam

      So National ‘neglected” middle NZ.
      Well Andrew, you just blew your chance to connect with us.
      But what did you do?
      You attacked the perceived rich and told us you would give the no-hopers, ferals and dropkicks everything they want.
      Where was your vision for us, the people who work, don’t bash their children, know how to clean their houses and don’t trash them or contaminate them with P and who pay the taxes you wanna give to the no-hopers, ferals and dropkicks.
      Nowhere to be seen.
      That is why you and your little party are a failure and why John Key and to a lesser degree Winston Peters are sucessful in connecting with middle NZ.

      • Huia

        He is a Union man, therefore, is so out of touch he simply cannot connect with working NZ.
        He has ‘taken’ from middle NZer’s for all his working life, they are the ones who paid their Union Fees when the money could have gone to their families, (the fees paid his salary).
        Labour are so far off the mark now its ridiculous.
        They will never connect to middle NZ as they want to syphon off even more money and give it to the unproductive sector, it simply cannot go on like this.
        The balance of scales have to tip at some point because the givers cannot keep giving, and all because the takers will never stop taking.

  • Pluto

    How utterly stupid they are.
    They pluck a figure out of the air that “middle NZ” is being short-changed 50 bucks a week. Is it not patently obvious the simplest way to fix that is by giving them a tax cut ? But tax cuts are evil, they’d rather tax even more, then by sleight of hand pass it through various government agencies until it somehow reaches its intended target.

    • Ruahine

      Mr Little is wrong, it is not $50.00.
      My calculations show that the true figure is $48.17.
      So there will be tax cuts for everyone.
      Just not for those ‘rich pricks’.

    • axeman

      Labour shill Rob Salmond claims this SNAFU is not his work. So it must have come from the other ‘strategic genius’ in their ‘brains trust #HeyClint

    • Miss McGerkinshaw

      Yes but if they give us, who are not as smart as them, a tax cut we might not spend it where they think we should.

  • raumatirover

    Under National, car registration costs have been slashed. That’s the sort of stuff the average person wants/acknowledges.

    • wilson

      In that case, if you believe the left. The price of housing just got cheaper.

    • taurangaruru

      There are those on the Left that would have the registration costs many times higher, anything to force the great unwashed onto public transport

  • Sagacious Blonde

    Living in poverty is actually unsolvable when it is defined as earning below 60% of the median income.

    • phronesis

      Not quite correct. As they have successfully achieved in Venezuela. If you can lower the median income to basically nothing then no more poverty!

      It does show what Labours plan for the economy really is.

    • SlightlyStrange

      The thing these champagne socialists forget too, is that there has ALWAYS been poverty. Always. Or at least as far back as there was a cash economy and written history to record such things.

  • johnnyB

    Andy has spent a year reinforcing to his base constituents how much of a horrible place New Zealand is and can’t believe the polls haven’t turned – so his answer is to move on to ‘middle NZ’ and see if they will believe him how bad this country is. His ‘Think Tank’ thought he had better chuck in the Bluff Oyster story so we all could identify with him – we are not as shallow as that I’m affraid Andy.

  • Toby

    I enjoyed every second of andys speech

  • Eiselmann

    Bluff Oysters, really…no wonder I don’t vote Labour, I didn’t grew up with that kind of privledge…. Hipkins is like the other Labour Party MP’s …a 1 percenter telling the rest of us what its like to struggle.

    • taurangaruru

      Labour’s MPs are predominately champagne socialists, hardship for them is having to purchase the champagne, usually it is provided by others (the taxpayer) & taken as confirmation of their “deservedness” & reward for being so giving to us lesser beings.

      • MarcWills

        I wonder who paid his airfare and accommodation costs? As far as I am aware, Chris is not a South Island MP, nor was there a Labour Party ‘business’ meeting in Bluff over the last week. So was it us middle NZers that paid for this through our overtaxes?

        • Miss McGerkinshaw

          AND who paid for the oysters!

    • Crowgirl

      It must be a real struggle to realise you’ve left your pricey, decadent Bluff oysters in the hotel fridge.

      Life is tough for champagne Socialists sometimes.

      • STAG

        $28 a dozen at the festival. Expensive mistake, but then so would be voting for Labour.

    • Miss McGerkinshaw

      What I find amazing is the lack of awareness that even admitting to buying 3 dozen, yet alone being able to forget them and brush it off as a joke, shows how out of touch they are with those that they consider their ‘missing million’ – i.e. the poor old downtrodden worker.

      • ex-JAFA

        “Not only am I so rich as to be able to afford to forget to take all those horrendously expensive oysters, but it really didn’t bother me because it was your money – not mine – that I frittered away on them.”

  • NZ_Stormer

    As an immigrant I was led to believe that the “Kiwi Dream” was the the 3 B’s – Boat, Bach and the BMW. Always seemed an aspirational type of dream as opposed to the lowest denominator type of dream Andrew Little seems to want for NZ.

    • Wayne Hodge

      Andy’s aspirations would lead us into the chaos of the socialist paradise that is Venezuela

    • SlightlyStrange

      Oh, I like that version of the dream :)
      I think Angry and co have conflated the traditional dream (house on a nice section) with the idea of it being a “birthright”. Sigh.

  • Doc45

    All it proves is Labour is not relevant any more. They don’t know who their target voters are and they have nothing but over-used, meaningless platitudes to offer. Little is more hopeless than Goff, Shearer, and even Cunliffe and doesn’t even look like a leader. He is awkward, clumsy and ill at ease even at a bar in a Blackball pub. Any ground they may have been able stand on has been gathered in by Key (sadly in my book).

  • R&BAvenger

    After the post on Rotorua Labour, it appears that the MSM are tying to outdo each other on epic sledges of Labour. Very damning stuff. Clasic case of tax and spend or no tax cuts and spend. JK will have to roll out the ‘show me the money’ line again it would appear.

  • Tiger

    I notice in Australia, the election promises are ramping up with Bill Shorten promising the earth wherever he goes, yet is short on details of how to pay for it. With Angry Andy making promises he has no means to keep, it would appear that the left have no ideas to convey to the electorate. Pork barrel politics is only good if you have figured out how to pay for it. The left will do anything to get into power; not a sustainable outcome anyway you look at it.

  • Genevieve

    If this is the pre-budget speech from Little, his budget speech is looking like a piece of must see pure comedic gold.

  • CheesyEarWax

    Bluff oysters is unaffordable for many Kiwis, unless you are a Labour MP. Does Labour have a policy for this, call it Kiwi Bluff? I like Bluff oysters, I am sure many NZers and foreigners like it too, will Labour ban foreign buyers with chink sounding names?

    • Abjv

      And he left the oysters behind in the hotel fridge. Be nice to have enough money to splash out on 3 punnets of bluff oysters then not eat them.

      • Big_Al

        If he was’nt going to eat them himself, he could of at least donated them to the poor people who can’t afford food on their benefit because the cost of alcohol and cigarettes has gone up.

  • Big_Al

    I saw the start of that meeting in some hall down south. I changed channels when he started criticising National. The hall was packed but it must have been a very small one. A quick head count would have been around fifty to sixty people by my reckoning.
    Wow!! such a turnout, that should win him the next election….(not)

  • Intrigued

    National will quietly be rubbing their hands with glee over Little’s moan about middle NZ being shortchanged “$50 bucks a week” – he has just beautifully paved the way clear for National to introduce tax cuts for middle NZers if that is indeed their plan in this or the next budget.
    Middle NZers won’t buy in to Litlle’s rhetoric when he rambles on incoherently and vaguely about spending on education, housing, transport and services etc – we all want it in our pockets to make our lives a bit easier. I don’t think he has any clear policies to articulate and so it’s all about moaning on and on about what’s wrong with this gummin’t.
    It’s tragically funny when you wake up and turn on the TV and hear yet another epic fail spouting forth from Little and even funnier that it’s clearly so bad that even Paul Henry appears to feel sorry for him and starts giving him advice, pointing out what he needs to do to get his message across. I then read Claire Trevett’s piece online and concluded that if he can’t even inspire a friendly from the Media Party he’s well and truly stuffed. Embarrassing and “out of touch” Mr Little! Next?