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An open letter to Andrew Little

Written By: - Date published: 6:08 pm, June 26th, 2015 - 433 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, benefits, broadcasting, capitalism, climate change, democracy under attack, discrimination, election 2017, Environment, foreshore and seabed, greens, iraq, journalism, labour, leadership, Maori Issues, Media, national, national/act government, Parliament, peak oil, political alternatives, Politics, Privatisation, public transport, socialism, spin, uncategorized, us politics, war, water, welfare - Tags: , , , , , , ,

Dear Mr Little,

Like you, I’ve been thinking really hard about how the hell we can get John Key and his corporate bandits out of government before they have so fatally destroyed our democracy that it is irretrievable (I fear we’re very close.) I’d like to very humbly offer some suggestions that I really hope you will take seriously; ideas that I have spoken about to a wide range of people and which I believe would give Labour the best chance of winning the next election. They’re radical. They will take bravery. But I think you are the man to do it. I trust that you are ethical, and I truly believe that you want to see New Zealand return to a country where we support each other and offer hands-up to those less fortunate than ourselves, rather than blame them and pull away all their supports.

I know that you will have difficultly pushing through any radical reforms with the old neo-lib guard still lurking but, quite honestly Mr Little, Labour is dog-meat unless you take radical action and define yourselves as something other than naggy-National-Lite. John Key has a smooth-running PR machine – in order to succeed against it, you need to embrace the very things that they have used until now to hold you back. Yes, you may lose some traditional Labour support, but it’s not as if you have that much of it left, eh?

So here are my suggestions:

• Embrace ‘Angry Andy’! Don’t cringe from it – play it up. You have every right to be angry – whole swathes of the population are bloody furious! Any decent human being would be angry at the lies, deceit and the total disregard for people at the bottom of the pile (hey, I’m happy to join you and be ‘Angry Mandy’!) I know you’ve got your own PR people telling you to use that nice reasonable voice and not let yourself sound riled, but bloody hell, Andrew, things are scarily bad! You were one heck of a feisty union man – show that now – let NZers know that you’re not going to take any more shit from these bastards! Yes, you may lose a little support, but I promise you you’ll gain much more from other circles.

• Stop worrying about polling (see above!) Your best day to date was when you stood up in Parliament and gave the PM a good bollocking. Stop that old guard from trying to play things the same old way – they’ve screwed it up.

• If need be, kick the old guard out of the top jobs. Yes, they’re so petty they will come after you with knives – but if you have a clear vision and you tell people why you are doing it, I believe the public will support you. Doing things the same old way will see you in the opposition benches for ever.

• Start a public campaign where you do daily postings to keep a running reckoning of: 1) National’s lies and brain fades; 2) the latest social services to be destroyed or undermined by them (and the money they have pulled out of social services). Update them daily – turn it into a carnival and keep it going – people need to hear these messages over and over – and they need to see graphics to underline it. Make it big. Put yourself very publicly on the side of truth and justice by calling them out and showing how the list gets longer and longer every day.

• MAKE REAL COMMITMENT TO CLIMATE CHANGE! Right now! This is one of National’s appallingly weak areas. Stand up to the fossil fuel dinosaurs in your own party and embrace real determination to mitigation and prevention.

• Publicly and noisily make it known that YOU WILL NOT HONOUR THE TPPA if National pushes it through. I’m not kidding on this – and I know the thought probably makes you shudder – but, honestly, it is the most toxic coffin for sovereignty currently roaming the planet. Make a real stand on it – don’t be half-hearted. Again, I know the old guard will have conniptions if you say you’re going to do this – but you’re in charge, and my kids and grandkids and everyone else’s kids and grandkids are relying on you to do the right thing (and having nothing to do with the TPPA IS the right thing.) Trust me – this will be a HUGE vote winner if you have the guts. Oh, and while you’re at it, leak the bloody thing if ever you get your hands on it!

• Stop being so scared of the Green Party! They are a group of passionate people who think ethically and have exciting new ways of problem solving. Again, yes, you may lose some traditional support, but you have no idea how many people would also rush to fill the gap (and, truthfully, Andrew, what have you got to lose? Labour is a car wreck.) Okay, so you don’t like their stance on dope (so far as I can see this is the old chestnut that gets dragged up most often) – so say you don’t like that but work with them on the environment and other human rights and ethical issues. They’re good people, and they care a hell of a lot more for the ordinary NZer than some of your crusty old guard, who have been too long in the job and too indoctrinated by corporate capitalism to help get us out of this terrible hole.

• Ditto with the Māori Party. God knows what they were thinking buddying up with National but Tariana is gone now. Go to them and fix your differences. Say sorry for the Foreshore and Seabed debacle. Promise to do better. They are much more inclined to fit with Labour – give them they way back into the fold.

• Back public transport (part of climate change mitigation!)

• Promise (and deliver) independent publicly-funded news media and investigative journalism. It is the back-bone of a healthy democracy.

• Did I say get angry and say why and don’t be cowed by National spin?

• Promise to make tertiary education free again – or, at the very least, make all student loans interest free. Wiping people’s current debt would be a nice idea too! And, please, give funding back to post-graduate students (how totally short-sighted is that current policy?)

• Champion free speech and vigorous debate – and encourage our academics to speak out – they are our experts for goodness sake, and currently they are being harassed and gagged.

• Make the environment TOP PRIORITY – clean water, healthy land, and preservation of our wild spaces (and our wetlands.)

• Repeal all the toxic anti-whistleblower and anti-privacy legislation – this is a HUGE issue too and one young people will rally to if you do a good job of laying out the facts.

• Promote teaching civics and human rights in all schools – our young people have been short-changed and currently many have no ethical or moral compass – seduced by National’s culture of greed and meanness. I can really see you making a difference here – you’re a good role model for them.

• Un-privatise everything you can! Be bold! Give our grandkids some hope of a fair future.

• Did I say get angry and don’t be cowed by your own dinosaurs?

• Last one – and it’s a biggie: take a step backwards from our current stance of burying our head up the bum of America! Seriously, we have to step back and regain our independence from them (and Little America/Australia). Our independent (and fair) foreign policy used to be one of our proudest national stances. We need to get our troops the hell out of America’s wars and our spies out of their networks. We also need to seriously back the UN again – the only reason it has no teeth is because it has been allowed to happen. If countries like ours backed them properly (and held them to account), we all would gain.

I know there is a lot here (and I could easily keep going!) but if you seriously made a stand on at least some of these issues you would hand back hope (and gather the votes we need as a nation to kick these bastards out!)

With great respect and hope,
Mandy Hager

433 comments on “An open letter to Andrew Little ”

  1. Linz 1

    And stop live animal shipments by ship from New Zealand.

    • Mike 1.1

      Thats the way to win votes – close an industry because YOU don’t like it.

      There’s a heck of a lot more things that need to happen IN NZ, before we spend time worrying about sheep.

      Maybe we should force all butchers to close, too?

      This is half the damned problem with NZ – special interests only caring about their hobby-horse.

      • You’re reading an awful lot into Linz’s comment. Nothing there about “closing an industry” or “forcing all butchers to close”, not anything to suggest Linz is “only caring about their hobby-horse.”

        Maybe don’t jump to conclusions?

    • Tiro 1.2

      LInz Exactly – not only on animal welfare grounds – yet it’s another example of sending added value outside our borders.
      Its takes away jobs and money spend into the local economy ( Animals Australia has done an independent report on the same issue for their live export), not to mention the blatant disregard for the laws that the industry keeps breaking, including ‘adjusting the books’ re the sheep that manage to make it to the other side.

  2. sabine 2

    i fully stand behind getting angry, join us 🙂

  3. Dialey 3

    100% agree with you Mandy, especially about getting angry and rightfully so. You’ve nailed, now will Andrew listen?

    • David H 3.1

      And stand up in parliament at QT or when ever, and Call them out for the liars they are. If you get ejected SO WHAT, go back and do it again, and again, the press will eventually take notice And maybe even have have 6 people calling Liar, and getting ejected from QT. That’s 6 lies called out in one day, and Keep it up day after day.

      You are the leader of the Labour Party and if you want people like me to vote for Labour again, you will have to earn mine and the others votes back.
      This has to be a take no prisoners time. The Nats have had it all their own way for far too long, Start calling them on the continual bullshit and dodgy deals. I’ll bet they will have a coniption fit or 6. Also like Mandy said, it’s time for the Dinosaurs from the 80’s, and the disloyal to go.

      Oh and leak that damn Saudi doc.

  4. Wayne 4

    In short you want Labour to become the Green Party. Fair enough, but it will hardly encourage a whole of people who currently vote National to switch their vote to Labour.

    And that is actually what needs to happen if the Left want to govern, because in case you haven’t noticed the majority of voters voted for National and their support parties. And don’t forget the Conservatives got 4% and that vote is probably more right than left. And is now up for grabs.

    But of course you could go for the “missing million”!

    • Sacha 4.1

      We both know most of the Colinservative vote will go to Winston.

    • Colonial Rawshark 4.2

      In short you want Labour to become the Green Party. Fair enough, but it will hardly encourage a whole of people who currently vote National to switch their vote to Labour.

      1) Labour and the Green Party are nothing alike culturally, historically or politically. Surely you must have noticed that by now Wayne?

      2) Who gives a fuck about convincing National voters to vote Labour? It’s good enough to convince them to stay at home and not cast their vote for Key & Co.

      • TheContrarian 4.2.1

        You seriously want to try and convince people not to vote?

        Nice commitment to democracy CR. “They don’t vote how I want them to vote so the answer is make them not want to vote”
        Personally I would rather win over National voters with better ideas and a sustainable future – rather than hoping they just don’t vote at all.

    • Paul 4.3

      You’re a Tory.
      Why should you care?
      You want Labour to be Tory lite so the neoliberal hell you and your friends have set up is not dismantled.

      • Loretta Pomare 4.3.1

        “Your a Tory” WTF! That is something she definitely is NOT! Obviously ignorance goes with stupidity! Maybe you should do some research before you shoot your mouth off!
        [r0b: Loretta – the comment that you are replying to was addressed to Wayne (Mapp) not the author of the post Mandy Hager.]

    • Deane Craw 4.4

      These policies would attract the past non voter so you don’t have to worry about the hardy right wing voter to WIN!! There is nothing ithat Mandy wrote I don’t like.

    • Stuart Munro 4.5

      By no means – the Green party is almost non-violent, they are respectful and polite, they doesn’t use invective or personal smears – someone needs to go down into the cesspit and treat National as it deserves to be treated – Gnats are scum who belong in prison and Labour need to make it clear that Gnats will be going to prison – and not a Serco soft cell either.

    • Rodel 4.6

      You are soooo funny Wayne. Try channel 15 or f*cks news for an audience who might listen to you.

    • Mike 4.7

      “In short you want Labour to become the Green Party.”

      Nowhere in that letter did I see anything of the sort. If it happens that the Greens and Labour have some areas of common ground, fantastic, but what I saw in that post was getting back to Labour ideals – education, workplace, environment.

      Maybe you are too cynical to comment on things political?

      • Wayne 4.7.1

        It was a not the style issues (Angry Andy) I was commenting on, more the policy prescription. Mandy’s prescription for Labour is essentially Green policy.

        • Jenny Kirk

          Wayne @ 4.7.1 – beg to differ Wayne. Mandy’s prescription for Labour is just what this Labour activist wants to see happen – and its Labour stuff she’s suggesting, not necessarily Green.
          You have for so long seen Labour as that idealogical creature created by the traitor Roger Douglas that you don’t any more know what a real Labour Party would look like !

          • Wayne

            It was probably the anti-TPP part of Mandy’s policy prescription that motivated my original post. This is a classic Green position, but not necessarily a Labour one. Now I appreciate that the left of Labour hates TPP as much as the Greens, but where does the centre (and also the right faction) of Labour sit on this issue. And where will the leadership ultimately land on the issue?

            It is a big step for Labour to oppose TPP, given Labour’s historic commitment to reducing trade barriers. I appreciate that TPP is more than just tariffs, but it reflects the issues of modern economies.

            Having said that, maybe Labour won’t worry so much about opposing, given they are in opposition. National will get the necessary votes from ACT and UF, which will give 61. But it would be much more of an issue if Labour’s vote was necessary to actually pass the enabling legislation.

            After all, once TPP is done it is done. When Labour eventually gets back in power it is not as if they will repeal TPP, even if the Greens wanted to do so. The Greens would simply be told that backing out of TPP is not on the table. I suspect that Labour will have to state this prior to the 2017 election, assuming the TPP has been done by then, which I am sure it will be.

            I expect TPP will be concluded late this year, or early next year.

            • Jenny Kirk

              FYI Wayne, Labour has extremely serious reservations about the TPPA and has stated this as part of its policy-making process and is opposed to anything which threatens NZ”s sovereignty or matters such as PHARMAC, health, environment, economic policy, etc.

              • Jerry Lynch

                jenny, my issue with Labour is that they have not yet come up with a definitive statement of opposition to TPPA. Only some blancmange piffle on ” concern at the lack of transparency”

              • Ian

                “Labour has extremely serious reservations about the TPPA and has stated this as part of its policy-making process and is opposed to anything which threatens NZ”s sovereignty or matters such as PHARMAC, health, environment, economic policy, etc.”

                This exactly the problem with Labour. They want their cake and eat it too. There are so many ‘problems’ that have surfaced already what more do they want before saying NO? Sitting on the fence is ramming a stake up our arses.

                The TPPA is the embodiment of neoliberal global capitalism and the fact that Labour refuses to recognise or acknowledge this and oppose it outright reflects just how embedded neoliberal thinking is within the Labour Party.

            • mikesh

              Wayne, it doesn’t matter whether or not, on balance, the TPPA is good or bad for NZ, It simply wrong to allow the government to be sued in an overseas tribunal by international corporations. If it is good enough for corporations to sue the government let them do so in a NZ court. Every government has the right to regulate its own economy.

          • Heather Grimwood

            Heartily concur with your last paragraph re Wayne’s perceptions of Labour/Green differences, Jenny…and have thought for many years that only repetitive media and other propaganda PROMOTING incorrect perception ( or preventing the correct ) has ensured misunderstandings such as Wayne’s to be so widespread.

        • WayneM

          Wake up Wayne
          Climate change is a real issue and the Greens know it. The Nat supporters are scared of changes of policy as it may affect their incomes. The Greens, Labour and NZ First along with the Maori Party all need to put their heads together on policy. Find common ground and campaign on that. The current Govt is all about now with no vision for the future. We have led the World in many areas in the past, and could do so again whilst we still have a clean green image. To ignore the signs of climate change such as the recent severe weather bombs is not only foolhardy, it is dangerous. Either way the Govt pays and the cleanup bills are getting way more expensive. Better to be part of the steps taken to avoid climate change and reduce fossil fuel reliance. It does not need to happen overnight, as the doom and gloom merchants would have you believe when they oppose the Greens policies, but just a 5% commitment each year would see 100% change in 20 years. Sure it takes some effort and commitment, but the alternative is not a very nice outlook. And yes be angry and talk loud…. Norman Kirk did, as he truly believed in his cause. Don’t waste time putting National down, that energy is far better used forming combined policies that are truly for the good of all NZ’ers.

          • aerobubble

            Climate change as caused by humanity is created by burning oil mostly. And how we use oil has been dictated to us for far to long. I.e the richest get to choose that we burn it wastefully in ape like displaces of power over others.

            In the 80s the lower intelligent apes came to power with their simplified and simplistic economics, neolib revolution. The innovation of the apes was not to against progress or technology, or even science, but to master media manipulation degrading society to simple them and us, etc, building up and then shaming, etc,

            And heres the shock, its would require massive global retooling, cultural change on levels never seen before, and basic up heaval…
            …so get on with it already, or if you don’t have kids, kick back and watch the rot get worse.

      • dukeofurl 4.7.2

        Make the environment TOP priority!

        Sounds like an middle class green activist whose swallowed a bee, pissed off the GP is stuck at 10-11%, and wants labour to be more green.

    • Grant 4.8

      Hey Wayne, tell us again about how the median wage is nearly as high as the average income.


    • John Shears 4.9

      Cor!!!’ , Wayne can’t you do better than that?

    • Hey Wayne, you’re YouTube famous now!

    • Lanthanide 4.11


    • Tracey 4.12

      I know a few National voters who seriously told me they would vote green in 2014. They may not have when they help the marker in their hand but that you assume so much about those currently voting National gives me some hope for the future of our nation.

      For someone who told us he will only comment on TPP or foreign affiars/defence it’s fascinating you broke your silence for this post.

      • Salo 4.12.1

        Yes. My family have all been farmers for generations & have all, always, voted National. In 2014 only one of them still voted National. Some of them voted Green. Don’t make assumptions.

    • Jerry Lynch 4.13

      Not necessarily, if Labour can show some balls and a bit of spine, that they actaully stand for something, then perhaps some of the 1,000,000 non-voters might be inclined to vote…

      • Kiwiri 4.13.1

        Let’s just hope that Labour’s grand plan for 2017 is not to reduce and shrink its policy targets and aspirations in fear of being ‘attacked’ by the Nats. After six years and four leaders, is the Labour caucus still figuring out how to be really effective opposition MPs?

        • Colonial Rawshark

          yep. Helen Clark filled her caucus up with managerial technocrats, professional administrators and political careerists who are not culturally well connected with mainstream NZ. And that’s the culture which has stuck. What exacerbates things is that Labour has not developed a strategic approach to MMP but is stuck in an FPP mindset which assumes Labour’s natural position is as the 40% party of the opposition.

    • yvonne jellie 4.14

      My husband asks why do you think John Key, and National party is successful Wayne I think you have sumed it up

  5. Colonial Rawshark 5

    Mandy – bravo. Now, let’s not count on Andrew Little’s good intentions and fine character to move ahead on your progressive suggestions.

    We have to force the Labour hierarchy, through applying sheer political pressure and pain to them, to deliver.

    • weka 5.1

      true. Ideas on how to do that?

      • Mike 5.1.1

        Join the party and turn up to vote at party meetings.

        This is one area NZ is particularly poor – actually becoming dues-paying members of political parties.

        The Nats do it – they donate cash and that gets them in. Labour supporters all nod their heads and say how they have been Labour, man and boy, but have never actually paid a bean in membership or attended a party local meeting.

        Half the representatives are those people with little else in their lives to do other than attend meetings and be busybodies – is it any wonder we get the sort of candidates we have been getting?

        We need to re-engender a feeling of ownership about political parties – buy-in to the story and work to make it happen.

        Belonging to a union is all well and good, but it doesn’t mean you get a say in party politics.

        • weka

          I agree, although as a GP member I can’t join Labour.

          • Lanthanide

            You could join Labour if you wanted to, you’re just choosing not to.

            • Skinny

              Or you could do what I do and not pigeon-hole yourself to the one opposition party but work across party’s for the collective good. The Greens and NZF are pretty accepting of this, some within Labour dislike it, but hey they get use to it, especially when they have little choice.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                You got it. Between the parties, outside the parties, inside the parties, across the parties, without the parties. That’s the way to change politics in this country.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              according to Labour rules, weka would have to give up her GP membership

              • Lanthanide

                Yes, I’m fully aware of that.

                • weka

                  if we’re going to be pedantic about it then, I either can’t join the LP as I’m a GP member, or I can join and break the rules. Better?

                  • Lanthanide


                    You can quit your GP membership, and join the Labour party without breaking any rules. All you have to do is make the choice.

                    This country has freedom of association; no one is forcing you to be a member of the green party, so there’s no reason at all for why you can’t be a member of the Labour party, other than choosing not to.

                    • weka

                      yes, very pedantic. But if you read what I actually said, then it’s clear that I was saying AS a GP member I can’t join Labour. I didn’t say I can’t join Labour.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Ah yes, quite right.

                      I read it in the sense of “as a GP member there is no way I can join Labour”, rather than the sense you meant, “as a GP member there is no way I can also be a Labour member at the same time”.

                      Fair cop; the second interpretation makes more sense and is probably how most people would read that statement.

          • the Pink Postman

            Now thats interesting because I believe that because Labour and the Greens are Left-Wing parties they should allow joint membership .
            Its crazy that at election time we spend money and effort in opposing each other when the real enemy is the political Right,
            I would be interested what the Greens and Labour members think regarding this.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              As an organisation, Labour views every other party as a rival. Without exception, every other party.

            • weka

              PP, I like that being a GP member means I can’t join other parties. It’s a commitment. Membership gives me access to things inside the GP that I wouldn’t have otherwise, and I think it’s fine to not offer that to members of other parties (where it might create conflicts of interest).

              I don’t think the single membership thing prevents cross party collaboration. Something else is stopping that, pretty much what CR says. The Greens will work with anyone that shares values and policy, it’s a very open and inclusive approach.

      • Stuart Munro 5.1.2

        Auto da fe! Auto da fe!
        It’s what you oughtn’t to do but you do anyway!

  6. kath 6

    yes yes yes!!!!

  7. Sacha 7

    Angry is an opposition, not a government-in-waiting.
    Tricky balance to achieve.

  8. Descendant Of Sssmith 8

    Nothing in there to increase the benefit rates, nothing in there to reduce working hours and/or to share work around, nothing in there to rebuild state houses, nothing in there to give employees back the right to strike, nothing in their to increase taxation.

    Some things to agree with but lots of Labour values missing.

    • mhager 8.1

      I agree – the list was just getting too long! I was hoping that would be implicit in talking about the demolition of current social services and privatisation (I see your points fitting in here.)

      • Mark 8.1.1

        As a longtime activist from the 70s and 80s and 90s who couldn’t give a fuck about the Labour Party any more, your diatribe brought a tear to my eye and that is not something easily done.
        It is so nice nice to feel you are not alone against the bullshit that passes for the political system today.
        You only scratched the surface Mandy but keep strong and ignore the crap that will invariably come your way

      • Michael 8.1.2

        I agree, Mandy Hager – your list was a good start – necessary but not sufficient for a real Labour Party to regain the people’s trust. Anyway, how likely is it that the National-lite caucus will allow its leader to implement any of the things you recommend.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 8.1.3

        The simple fact that the list was getting too long shows how far far away the current Labour Party is from their roots and the benevolent socialism that used to exist.

        Oh how I wish it was a short list.

      • David H 8.1.4

        I do hope you sent a copy direct to Little as I don’t know if they read TS .

        • te reo putake

          ‘They’ do read TS, David. Not obsessively, I’m sure, but I had a conversation with a senior MP on Friday who clearly knew his way around TS. It was quite heartening that he also recognised that the political diversity here was a major strength.

          And Andrew Little has not only read it, but replied to Mandy Hager on twitter:

          An open letter to Andrew Little

      • Kiwiri 8.1.5

        Thanks, Mandy. Reading that made my evening.

    • Colonial Rawshark 8.2

      True DoS, but why would Mandy have to lecture Andrew Little on those particulars which are supposedly core “Labour Values”?

      • dukeofurl 8.2.1

        Where does she talk about Housing and Jobs ?

        Thats right , shes got plenty of that.

        Writer in Residence- indeed.

        Oh yes , jobs for investigative journalists, thats aspirational is it ?

        • Colonial Viper

          what a nasty, churlish comment. Quite typical of the establishment left wing.

          I would have hoped you had an understanding of how fundamental real journalism is to holding power to account and in the proper functioning of true democracy.

          • dukeofurl

            I suppose it beats your self absorbed grandiosity.

            Ill be waiting to see if any of your remits get out of Dunedin South LEC to the party conference

          • Tracey

            what a nasty, churlish comment. Quite typical of nasty churlish human beings


  9. Weepus beard 9

    I think the local elements of your list of points are useful.

    A lot of Kiwis will respond to calls for protecting our own environment but lose interest when the conversation moves more global and talks climate change in general.

    There’s room for Labour to embrace some Green policy but don’t we have to concentrate on changing what we have the power to change, and that is what is in our own backyard?

  10. Anne 10

    This post feels like a summation of what so many of us in our different ways have been pleading for… for years. We want to see some fire and brimstone from the Opposition.

    Get on your high horse and stay there Angry Andy. Many people want to believe in you and vote for you but they need a bloody good reason to do so.

    Angry Anne.

  11. Paul 11

    Unless Labour regains its socialist vision it is dead.

    • Sable 11.1

      100% right. but don’t hold your breath!

      • Kiwiri 11.1.1

        My Labour friend told me that the Labour Party’s constitution expressly refers to democratic socialist principles. At least the socialist bit exists on paper even if people can’t see or hear that in action.

    • dukeofurl 11.2

      Oh that

      You should read your history, Michael Savage had to sign the expulsion order for John A Lee and others from his death bed.

      Sorry mate , Socialist vision went with that.

      • Colonial Viper 11.2.1

        yep and so did the long term political and philosophical relevance of the Labour Party

    • Colonial Viper 11.3

      Paul – Labour has always been a pro-capitalist pro-power-elite party.

  12. Ad 12

    Regrettably, Wayne is right.
    NZ voters – as distinct frpm socity – are increasingly fiscally dry but socially liberal.

    Check the way Key out flanked the Greens yesterday on cycle ways.

    Key is expanding his base into the moist bourgeoisie.

    • Paul 12.1

      Just wait till house prices drop

      • Weepus beard 12.1.1

        If that were to happen it would be the end of Key overnight but with free money coming in from China, it won’t.

        Also, Bling is agitating behind the scenes. He’s now nurturing a civil war between Treasury and the Reserve Bank on what to do about the housing bubble. The more smoke produced, the less anything meaningful gets done.

      • Ad 12.1.2

        waiting 8 years so far … so many housing multimillionaires made just waiting…

  13. Ad 13

    Paul, Auckland is in a boom.
    1/3 of NZ votes accordingly.
    Tilting hard left as per this column is a total turnoff. Equity is king.

    [Stephanie: Deleted your duplicate comment, Ad.]

    • Anne 13.1

      Rubbish Ad. Its not tilting hard left. You’re falling for the John Key crap.

      Its standing up for ourselves for once. We’re sick of the lying. We’re sick of the crap policies. We’re sick of having our intelligence insulted and being treated like pieces of a corporate jigsaw… pushed hither and yonder at their global masters’ instructions. We want a decent society. An honest society. We want to see polices put in place to alleviate the ills in society, and we want to see action taken on the up-coming scourge of Climate Change.

      None of that is hard left. Its plain common sense.

      • Ad 13.1.1

        Greens and Mana had most of these as policies last time and got creamed. Supposedly Greens were polling at 15%.
        Supposedly Mana were going to … I forget.

        Your post is as reactionary and unchanging as the Republicans from their shellacking after Bush ii.

        You clearly have not read Gould’s restrained analysis of why the election was catastrophically lost.

        Start with:
        – Make a few million worth of donations
        – Dump 90% of your policy detail
        – Look unified enough to form a government

        All your joyous leftie shopping list gets you utterly nowhere before that.
        Plus it’s the wrong shopping list.

        • Lanthanide


        • Colonial Viper

          Start with:
          – Make a few million worth of donations
          – Dump 90% of your policy detail
          – Look unified enough to form a government

          All your joyous leftie shopping list gets you utterly nowhere before that.
          Plus it’s the wrong shopping list.

          Ah yes, Labour better go knocking on the doors of the top 20% in NZ with a policy package keenly oriented towards their particular interests.

          That’s what the Labour Party is for nowadays.

          Greens and Mana had most of these as policies last time and got creamed. Supposedly Greens were polling at 15%.
          Supposedly Mana were going to … I forget.

          Labour was instrumental in destroying the country’s left wing working class voter base. So do give credit where credit is due.

      • Stuart Munro 13.1.2


        • Stuart Munro

          And indeed someone needs to enunciate a hard left perspective so that SCUM like the Key kleptocracy know what it looks like.

          Let’s start by nationalising tax-evading trusts…

          • Grantoc

            You can enunciate a hard left perspective until the cows come home; but if Labour does this it’ll be whistling in the wind from the side lines for many years to come; especially if the hard left narrative is simply a regurgitation of a tired conservative irrelevant socialist mantra, spiced up by a hate filled invective.

            What Labour needs to do is to clarify and articulate relevant future focused policies that address the challenges of today along with the reality of what the world looks like in the near future. It needs to engage New Zealanders in a meaningful inclusive debate, and seek to excite and motivate them with its policy ideas.

            Angry won’t do it; tired socialist ideological stances from decades past won’t do it. These approaches will simply paint the party as out of touch and irrelevant and turn voters off.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              What’s irrelevant about universal education and healthcare? Or Climatology? Or academic freedom? Or freedom of assembly?

              The fact that you label these as “hard left” says you’ve got nothing to counter the argument, so you invent pejorative labels instead.

              Another empty-headed parrot.

              • Grantoc

                I think its you that has put the hard left label on these aims.

                The issue is not that these goals (i.e. universal healthcare) are irrelevant; its that the narrative coming from the left on how to achieve them is so frequently angry, tired, irrelevant, rigid and based on regurgitating the ideological mantra’s from the past.

                The world today is full of people who want choice, who are comfortable making their own decisions, who are aspirational, who are flexible in their approach to how to achieve outcomes, who are technologically sophisticated. They simply will not be dictated to by an angry, rigid, ideologically prescriptive narrative based on outdated thinking.

                They will respond to a meaningful inclusive policy debate that connects with the realities of their worlds and excites them.

                • Anne

                  Listen to it:

                  The world today is full of people who want choice, who are comfortable making their own decisions, who are aspirational, who are flexible in their approach to how to achieve outcomes, who are technologically sophisticated. They simply will not be dictated to by an angry, rigid, ideologically prescriptive narrative based on outdated thinking.

                  Straight out of the Planet Key song book.

                  The problem with the Grantocs of this world is they can’t think for themselves. They can’t grasp the unreality of these neoliberal memes and how little it relates to real life and real people. We would all like choice. We all want to be successful in life. We also would like to have a flexible lifestyle. 80 to 90% of the population haven’t a hope in hell of ever getting there because the 10% have grabbed everything for themselves. Is that fair? No, it bloody well isn’t and that’s why we’re getting angry.

                  It’s thick numbskulls like Grantoc who are responsible for the mess we’re in because they keep voting for fictional stories.

                  • Grantoc

                    “The problem with many people is that can’t think for themselves.”

                    I would say rather that the problem for the left is that most people can and do think for themselves. And when they think of what the left is offering, they decide it’s not for them.

                    Apart from that Anne, don’t you think its just a tad arrogant to assert that 90% of the people can’t think for themselves; that they require some sort of big brother figure from the left to do their thinking for them?

                    • Anne

                      Apart from that Anne, don’t you think its just a tad arrogant to assert that 90% of the people can’t think for themselves; that they require some sort of big brother figure from the left to do their thinking for them?</blockquote.

                      Wow! Thank-you for proving my point. Not only can't the "grantocs" think for themselves, they apparently can't cognate what they read either. So, you think 90% of the population are like yourself. God forbid it should ever happen. 😯

            • Stuart Munro

              Don’t you believe it sonny – plenty of kiwis are hurting and they are furious. Labour doesn’t have to embrace it – but if no-one puts it out their arrant nonsense like the Key junta’s descrition of the Greens as hard left gets a free pass.

              This is a hard right government. But more importantly it is a FAILED hard right government that has lost us $100 billion. Every one of them should be imprisoned for the rest of their unnatural lives.

              • Grantoc

                Apparently not not enough are hurting badly enough to vote them out of office (see the last election result and the polls since).

                The Nats are hardly hard right. They’re the most socialist centre right government since Muldoons. (see the increase in benefits for beneficiaries in the budget).

                Imprisoning them sounds like a good well thought through policy for the 21st century; straight from Stalin’s songbook.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Hmm, yes, hyperbole. If only you could walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

                  Do you have an excuse for being so blasé about the increase in the GINI between 1984 and 1999? Other than stupidity, that is.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Quite right – and expensive – cheaper to feed them 1080 like we do to other vermin.

                • Stuart Munro

                  I don’t think we’ll need Gulags – make a good example of one or two and the fascists will pretend to be scrupulous for a generation.

                  And if not, Bounty Island would make a splendid penal colony. At the end of the day the child molesters and asset thieves can tell it to the seals.

    • Paul 13.2

      You have really bought into the spin haven’t you.
      The policies offered at the top were mainstream Social Democratic policies in the 1970s.
      Get a grip, ad.

    • Colonial Viper 13.3

      Paul, Auckland is in a boom.
      1/3 of NZ votes accordingly.

      This comment frustrates me. Yes, the investment portfolio class in Auckland is experiencing a “boom.” Do you really think that is most people in Auckland? I think you are overlooking the ‘invisible’ majority in Auckland who are finding making ends meet and paying the rent fucking impossible.

    • Tracey 13.4

      hard left??? What in the list do you disagree with?

      I am SICK of the phony labeling.

      We are constantly told the left don’t have a monopoly of compassion for fellow travellers, so that can’t be “hard left”.

  14. ianmac 14

    And embrace the UBI as a solution.

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      Yes. But they can’t propose UBI from opposition because they won’t have the resources to iron the policy out and National would just attack it as “welfare for everyone”.

      I believe that LIttle’s plan is to get into government, then announce an investigation into a UBI as one of their first moves.

      My sole (pretty much?) basis for this is that in one of the first (if not the first) of Little’s interviews after he became leader was with Kim Hill, and *he* brought up the topic of the UBI in responding to her question about the future of work.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        I believe that LIttle’s plan is to get into government

        Dude, there’s a plan? Where?

        • Tracey

          You have to admit that LP has tried olicy and they have tried plans and Nats have stood back and just played critic of thos epolicies and plans in the past with none of thei rown. I think it’s time for passion and compassion… repeated memes, go deeper into detail only wen pushed and even then do what the Nats do and push your memes (not lies as they do)…

  15. mickysavage 15

    For the record my twitter account automatically posts all standard posts. While I may or may not agree with absolutely everything Mandy says I think this post is very well written and deserves discussion.

    Us lefties are funny like that. We like the stimulus of good discussion and new ideas.

  16. Policy Parrot 16

    Mandy – you have mentioned among your demands absolutely nothing regarding improving the livelihoods and conditions of working people.

    Yes, there are issues (TPPA) which if enacted will impact on pay and conditions, and rights, but there is no specific commitment to improve these.

    This is what voters really want from the Labour Party – to enact measures that directly benefit working families. These battles above (while important) are of increasingly little concern to those focused on grim survival in tough times. They don’t have the mental luxury of time to think about this stuff.

    The school fee policy from the 2014 manifesto is the type of policy that appeals to voters. Fight National in the hip pocket trenches – their bribes always come with cutbacks to those who can least afford it, whereas Labour’s shouldn’t need to.

    • weka 16.1

      “This is what voters really want from the Labour Party – to enact measures that directly benefit working families.”

      Isn’t Labour already working on those things?

      • Sacha 16.1.1

        Hard to tell unless they start talking about it more.

        • weka

          True, but aren’t those the things that Little has talked about in the past 6 – 8 months?

          • Colonial Viper

            If so, the message is barely cutting through to commentators on The Standard, so I’d say it has zero cut through to the ordinary public.

  17. Foreign waka 17

    Unfortunately, most people are not interested and completely indifferent. As long as there is beer and a game on, its all good. The ones that are following and anticipating are the ones who vote for the Nats.
    Other then this forum, who in your close environment be it work, friends, sport clubs are really into these burning questions?
    I don’t hear any intelligently voiced opposition, questions, doubts about the current government and their policies. Where is the next David Lange?
    Looks like that NZ is and will stay the test ground for all those nutty ideas hat no one else immolates.

  18. Ron 18

    I am not sure that this will solve the problem. Labour needs to get at least 48% or higher of the Party vote. Then it can look at minor parties to help form a coalition.
    Anything else and you can expect National to rule until we are long gone.
    There seem to be some expectation that Greens will increase their vote and maybe one day become the second largest party. That is just not going to happen.
    Unless a new centre left party materialises we are stuck with a right wing grouping composed primarily of National and minor parties or Labour and a grouping of left type parties. There is no other choice. Talking of Labour cuddling up to other parties will only reduce Labour’s vote and without them you will never get a left wing government.
    I repeat again Labour needs the biggest party vote it can get. 30-40% are unlikely to defeat National. Maybe Labour should look into getting a centre party elected that would support Labour similar to how National created United Future, ACT etc. But history tends to show that even if we help a party get into Parliament they turn on us and get into bed with National. Of course National can offer more incentives for people to do that witness the Maori Party and United Future of whatever Dunne calls his party these days.

    • mickysavage 18.1

      Ron it is MMP. If Labour and the greens get to 48% it is game over. And Aotearoa will be a much better place.

      • Colonial Viper 18.1.1

        48% is not quite good enough if you want a stable government not under threat from every by-election which occurs, plus if you want a solid shot at a second term you also want some room for party vote erosion otherwise you risk being a one term wonder.

        Given that, LAB/GR need to get 50% and they aren’t up to it. I would also put solid money that between the two of them, they won’t reach 45%: Maori Party and/or NZF are going to be needed.

      • Ron 18.1.2

        not really as it is normally the case if Labour heads into high 40+ % Greens will reduce their vote. You are presuming that both Labour and Green will get the top range of their vote. I am not sure that will happen.

        If Labour and the greens get to 48% it is game over. And Aotearoa will be a much better place.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          At the moment I think that Labour will come in at or under 30% of the party vote in 2017. Another small sequential decline in the final party vote share obtained by Labour is one of the possibilities within that IMO.

          From that perspective, I think talk of Labour+GR getting 48% or more quite over-optimistic at this stage, although that could change around if there were some major upsets over the next 2 years (John Key suddenly resigning due to scandal etc).

          • Ron

            Polls are trucking along quite nicely at the moment according to internal polling. I agree 2 years to elections all sorts of things can happen but I would like to remain optimistic

            At the moment I think that Labour will come in at or under 30% of the party vote in 2017.

    • Sacha 18.2

      Ron, with the Greens at say 10% you would only need 38% for Labour to make an MMP government. Less, if there is another party who voters have been convinced is a safe bet as part of a governing coalition.

      • weka 18.2.1

        “with the Greens at say 10% you would only need 38% for Labour to make an MMP government.”

        how so?

        • Presumably accounting for some “wasted” vote on parties that don’t meet the (too high) threshold?

        • Lanthanide

          There has usually been 2-3% un-represented (often misleadingly called ‘wasted’) vote. Higher in some years, like 2014, where Conservatives hoovered up 4.6% by themselves.

          • b waghorn

            Do those votes get split between the elected parties based on there percentage of party vote?

            • Stephanie Rodgers

              They don’t get split – the votes for parties which don’t meet the threshold are removed from consideration and proportionality is based on the total “non-wasted” vote.

              Mathematically it probably ends up the same way though.

              • b waghorn

                Ta funnily enough I was just watched one of the hollow men films and it was described.

                • Lanthanide

                  Stephanie is correct in that there is no direct splitting, and proportionality is preserved. Mathematically the outcome is the same as if the votes were split between the other parties that met the entrance criteria (electorate seat / 5% party vote threshold).

                  This actually makes a massive difference in practice. If conservatives had got 5% of the vote, National would have easily formed a confidence and supply (if not coalition) agreement between themselves, Act and Conservatives, getting ~65 seats in the process. MP and Dunne may also have strung along.

                  But since the Conservatives didn’t meet the threshold, National only ended up with (now) 60 seats between themselves, ACT and Dunne for when it comes to voting in right-wing policy; of course they get their needed confidence and supply for passing budgets from their MP poodles.

    • maui 18.3

      The Greens numbers are primed to explode given they’re one of the most trustworthy parties in Parliament, while the Nats could eventually go for one crisis too many. Some significant climate events could make that happen in a short space of time too.

      • weka 18.3.1

        I think so too, on both counts.

      • Colonial Viper 18.3.2

        No, the Greens have lost their way and we have to wait and see whether they view swinging to the centre as the strategy to try and re-find it.

        • Tracey

          I think you are buying into MSM and LP/Nat framing of the Green Party. As a member I don’t feel they have lost their way per se, and the election of James Shaw is NOT as some are touting a move to the Right. You only have to examined what he has said since becoming co-leader to know the framing by the MSM and others is not accurate.

        • maui

          They haven’t really swung to the centre have they? I’m sure they want to appeal to more centre voters but does that mean they’ve changed their policies to more centrist ones? I can’t see any signs of that.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            to both yourself and Tracey – I’m simply keeping an eye out for which way they go in the next 1 year. The GP hierarchy must be very disappointed with their election result and I want to see what their analysis leads them to do. Shaw’s influence as co-leader will be very apparent by the end of next year. He’s brand new right now.

            • tracey

              I think we can already see something of what he is going to do, which is presumably what the Green Party members voted him in for?

              • Colonial Rawshark

                the guy barely has a track record in Parliament so I think wait and see is a reasonable approach.

                • tracey

                  ah, how he will perform (and be reported on I) in Parliament I see.

                  I was looking at him from the point of view of what he campaigned on, and how he is behaving since that time, which completely accords with Green Party process and policy. Not the right winger in disguise others are painting him as, and which you have already swallowed – I refer to your first posts about this above). I’m not surprised you think your approach is a reasonable one 😉

                  By all means rate him on his “performance” in Parliament, I will continue to track him and other Green arty people in a more diverse way.

                • greywarshark

                  I thought that James Shaw might have his eye on the bad parts of the Harmful Digital Communications Bill. But no It is Gareth Huges that is in charge of ICT and he and the Greens have not made recent statements about their thoughts on this Bill. Maybe the new Co leader will have to sharpen up their grasp of this important sector.

                  I/S in No Right Turn says
                  In the committee stage of the bill, ACT and Labour voted for an amendment removing these odious provisions. They were voted down. I’m deeply disappointed that the Greens, who I normally regard as sound on freedom of expression, voted against. And I’d really like to see an explanation why they want to see journalists like Nicky Hager facing charges if they do their work online rather than in hardcopy.
                  (I should note that part 2 of the bill, which extends harassment law to the internet and makes various other changes, is absolutely unproblematic and should be passed. The problems are all in part 1).

                  So why couldn’t the Greens just go for the part that works, not weaken the present safeguards by supporting the whole thing?
                  Gareth Hughes latest information release on the internet is 24 June on Global Mode termination:
                  Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used by some New Zealand ISPs and consumers to circumvent geoblocking and give Kiwis open access to global media content.

                  Incidentally the Green Party heading on Google is not easy to find. I had to look under Global Greens to find it. There is plenty on James Shaw but keywords wikipedia Green Party NZ background doesn’t bring it up. It is listed under Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand and surely that should be NZ hyphen Aotearoa. Makes sense to have the official name of the country first.

  19. Shona 19

    A commitment to public broadcasting. Increased funding for Radio NZ. Anti propaganda legislation.

  20. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 20

    Step 1. Do not listen to anyone who has so lost touch with reality that she claims seriously that National has fatally destroyed democracy. Here’s a tip: democracy is not broken because no-one votes for you. You are.

    • weka 20.1

      Ecan, Southern DHB, reform of the local govt legislation, Ministers overriding their own Commissioners, Dirty Politics, crony caplitalism, a bare faced liar as PM… it’s Friday night so that’s just off the top of my head, but the list is much longer. Nothing to do with how many votes anyone gets in the general election. Pay attention man.

      • adam 20.1.1

        You can’t argue with the devil weka, they just spin new lies.

      • Ad 20.1.2

        read the polls Weka no one gives a shit.
        Friday night or any other night.

        • weka

          Haven’t seen any polls asking people if they give a shit.

          • Ad

            try the last election, and all RM polls since.

            • weka

              The results of the last election don’t say what you claim.

              There’s been some interesting discussion recently about the cliam that people don’t care about their privacy. The assumption is that if they did care they wouldn’t use FB etc, or they would agitate against the NSA. But the evidence suggests that people do care, but instead they feel powerless to do anything about it.

            • Tracey

              I started a new job which has me in Henderson, Waitakere in Auckland, 2 days a week. A lot of people do give a shit Ad, out there and they feel helpless to change it. They often express frustration that so many other kiwis seem to like the government.

              It’s tapping into that sense of being in the way of a huge rolling boulder that needs changing. That will happen when a leader…

              acknowledges that many are only just managing to stay ahead of the boulder, some are already under the boulder, that passion and sincereity leads to a belief that compassion still exists. That comes from words and tone from someone who has the literal or metaphorical megaphone (such as Little)

              names the world as these folk are seeing/feeling it

              suggests a way back to the light and invites them to follow them to it

              Isolate people and make them think they are in a very small minority and they rarely speak up. The government have done this very successfully

    • Tracey 20.2

      physician heal thyself

      Step 1. Do not listen to anyone who has so lost touch with reality that it claims seriously that National has not made serious and costly inroads into democratic process in NZ since late 2008 and that has inflicted no harm on our nation, its citizens or its democratic process Here’s a tip: democracy is broken when a government dissolves democratic systems and processes. EG Ecan, Southern DHB, forced amalgamation of councils, reform of the local govt legislation, Ministers overriding their own Commissioners, Dirty Politics, crony caplitalism, a bare faced liar as PM (hat-tip weka)

  21. Simon Williams 21

    You have just echoed pretty much exactly my own thoughts, Mandy! How can we be sure that Andrew will read this and take it on board though?

    • maui 21.1

      This is a Labour Party blog 😉 so he will be reading.. Na, just joking the r-wringers have some fantasy that this site is tied to Labour.

      • Tracey 21.1.1

        correction: This is NOT a Labour party Blog (people get banned for such suggestions). It is a blog to reflect the voices of the labour movement.

    • Mike 21.2

      Copy the content and tone you agree with and write him a letter yourself.

      Join the Labour party – pay the dues.

      Attend Labour party meetings and ensure you vote on party issues.

      In short – get involved.

      • Ad 21.2.1

        … or hold off until 2017 and decide then if any of your effort will make any difference at all.

      • Colonial Viper 21.2.2

        Copy the content and tone you agree with and write him a letter yourself.

        Join the Labour party – pay the dues.

        Attend Labour party meetings and ensure you vote on party issues.

        In short – get involved.

        Nope. Forget that. You’ll just end up swamped in a system designed to waste party members time for very little forward motion. Instead you have to place serious pressure on the Labour Party hierarchy and MPs. Which means that you have to politicise people and push for policies which make it clear that Labour has to get with the game or be left behind.

      • Ron 21.2.3

        It is hard to get even members to come to LEC meetings. Guess they have such busy lives that politics is way down the list

        • Colonial Rawshark

          LEC meetings have little to do with real politics (and what there is, is focussed on party policy) and much to do with running Labour Party administrative machinery.

          • Ron

            Someone has to keep the machinery running so that there is a mechanism for you to have any say. As an side it looks like you will get to keep you branch votes in some form which should ease your mind a bit.

  22. Tautoko Mangō Mata 22

    I totally agree, Mandy.
    Spot on with your ideas on the TPPA and with showing the public that a left wing coalition is credible by formulating and announcing a few common policies with potential coalition partners, while still retaining individual points of difference.

  23. Will 23

    Please, please Mr Little Sir, take all this advice. Thank you.

    National/Act voter.

  24. Pat Wall 24

    Hell YES Mandy! I fully agree with every word she wrote and I suffer daily from the lack of balls that Labour has demonstrated. I am sick of Nats mocking the people and democratic traditions of NZ and I think that many of them should be brought to trial for their deeds. These people are criminals and we need to take NZ back from them. Andy, if you do not step up to the plate and get angry as hell and get people talking and thinking, then it is all over rover. Labour is nothing but a lighter shade of blue and needs to move back to being a party of the people OR just roll over and die because you are lame ducks in the current state. Take a stand!

  25. ann chapman 25

    happy to be Angry Annie!

  26. The lost sheep 26

    If your goal is to increase the credibility of The Labour Party among current Mid to Far Left voters Mandy, while at the same time driving NZ’s Middle ground voters still further away from the Left Wing Bloc and closer to National….
    Then this is a master plan.

    No wonder Gosman and Puckish Rogue and other RW Trolls are keeping so quiet. They are obviously hoping that Andrew is listening, and will be so encouraged by the rush of red blooded support for this plan he will actually adopt it!

    • Weepus beard 26.1

      Don’t be shy, Lost Sheep. You have much, much more in common with Gosman, and Puckish Rogue than any other on this forum.

      • The lost sheep 26.1.1

        What ever Weepus.
        What ever I am, or am not, it doesn’t alter the point I made.

        The core issue you and Mandy and the rest of the Mid to Far left can’t get your heads around is that… there is a crucial center grouping of voters who do not buy into your worldview.

        Because your dogma prevents you from accepting that as a reality, you are unable to come up with a response to it that will achieve your goals in the real world.

        The answer is: The voters elect a Left Wing Government.

        But Rigid Ideological Dogma is preventing you asking the questions that will lead you to that answer.

        And so tomorrow you will all scratch your heads again and ask how this can be…..

    • Ad 26.2

      In 2017, people will vote for the party that protects their remaining financial/equity interests the most.

      2016 local government elections are the rehearsal.

      • Colonial Viper 26.2.1

        In 2017, people will vote for the party that protects their remaining financial/equity interests the most.

        Even if that means that their kids and grandkids have to leave the country permanently to try and have a decent place and a decent income for themselves?

        • infused

          That’s been happening for years and always will. I take it you haven’t traveled much? Clue, there ain’t much going on here for young people. It’s not just about the money.

    • Lanthanide 26.3


    • Tracey 26.4

      The ones who say you can’t and you won’t are probably the ones scared that you will

  27. Im Right 27

    Ohh c’mon…really? NZ needs a strong opposition, whether it be National opposing Labour or vice versa. Labour have been swirling down the drain pipe for last 5-7yrs, i’m not a troll nor a national sychophant. I do vote and agree with National and I also feel their policies are to my liking.
    What are labours?
    What are the left in general (as Labour cannot win without The Greens)…

    The left block is f*cked, how can it be fixed? Little is NOT the answer as the NZ public know he was put there by the unions! NZ voting public do not like the unions…back to the 70’s!

    • leftie 27.1

      @Im Right
      You sound exactly like a National sycophant and troll.

      What are National’s polices?

      Andrew Little was not put there by the unions, he could not have been elected Labour leader on the union vote alone.

    • Lanthanide 27.2

      “Little is NOT the answer as the NZ public know he was put there by the unions! NZ voting public do not like the unions…back to the 70’s!”

      That’s a lame spin line. In mean honestly, “put there by the unions, therefore anything he says, even if it’s identical to another candidate, is instantly rubbish” is a completely facile argument.

      You can pretty equally say that John Key was put there by the big money-men (he parachuted into National with a safe seat in 2002 at the behest of Boag). The NZ voting public do not like the big money-men either, yet they’re quite happy with Key.

      The Labour party review of the 2014 election highlighted their biggest failure was a lack of unity and appearing as a credible government. They aren’t going to make that mistake again.

    • infused 27.3

      Pretty much. Core left support pushes for unions and compulsory unions. NZ doesn’t want a return to the 70s, as indicated at the last few elections.

      • leftie 27.3.1


        New Zealand didn’t want to return to the days of Sidney Holland’s National government of the cold war era, but got it anyway with John key and his Nazi government.

        Dirty politics from the PM’s office, kept the key regime in power in the last few elections.

  28. Anne 28

    Does anyone else have the impression the rwnjs are a bit worried- starting with Wayne? If they really believed what they’re saying they wouldn’t open their little digital mouths.

    • Lanthanide 28.1


      Your’re falling into a confirmation-bias trap, where any evidence that is presented is viewed in a way that supports your own argument. In this case, Wayne is simply saying that what Mandy is saying is crazy, and you’re interpreting that as him being worried. Actually the most sound reading is that Wayne is simply saying she’s talking crazy.

      • Anne 28.1.1

        I was referring more to the other rwnjs. I should have left Wayne out of it because I don’t regard him as a mindless ‘troll’ in the normal usage of the word.

        • Lanthanide

          Their absence can most likely be charted up to simply being busy and not reading The Standard at the moment. Gosman hasn’t been around all that much lately, for example, and infused posts much less than he used to.

          When you hear hoofbeats in the night, think first of horses, not zebras.

  29. Reddelusion 29

    Please Mr Little adopt this plan

    • dukeofurl 29.1

      Plan ! Plan ?

      A self absorbed musings developed among a wellington writers collective, of middle class upbringing and lifestyle?

  30. NZSage 30

    Brilliant Mandy…. are listening Andrew?

    Hello?…. Hello?

  31. Saarbo 31


  32. venezia 32

    Mandy……Yes, yes, yes and yes! Totally agree with all you have written here.

  33. rational thinker 33

    Well done.. Nice article. I agree labour dont stand a chance if they dont take a stand. I cringe at the thought of another national term but I cringe more at the current way that labour conducts itself.. BINDING REFERENDUMS, float it out there. I believe it could sway a lot of middle voters. The ones that are unsure could still feel empowered. If you read this andy and say to yourself what would he know. I am a registered voter that is what i know.. HEAR MY VOICE

  34. weka 34

    Andrew Little ‏@AndrewLittleMP 41 mins41 minutes ago

    @MandyHager @lprent Thanks Mandy. Agree with many of your suggestions. Some I think you’re wrong about us but most are on the mark

    • maui 34.1

      Nice work weka! We have an answer.

      • weka 34.1.1

        which leaves us with can he do something and will he do something?

        • maui

          Yes and to answer the second part I get the feeling he is being deliberately vague, damn that twitter character limit lol.

          • Macro

            My feeling as well – a political answer – almost a Key answer I’m afraid.

        • Tracey

          my sense is the internal purge is still a battle.

          • weka

            which might explain why he doesn’t say more. I still tend to agree with just saying, that until he fronts up and starts being really honest it’s not going to work. Just tell the fukcing truth.

    • Charles 34.2

      That’s great news!

    • just saying 34.3

      Bet he won’t tell us which – or elaborate in any way.
      Which is a huge part of the problem.

      • weka 34.3.1

        +1, and thus he will lose activist support by attrition over time simply because he didn’t communicate. I get that he probably wants to get his house in order, but I’ll be damned if I’m waiting until 2017 for Labour to get its shit together. They need to do something now or bloody soon, which is implicit rather than explicit in Mandy’s post.

        • Colonial Viper

          Little is not building a strong base within the party with which to win the next leadership contest.

        • Tracey

          My partner wanted me to tape Paul Henry yesterday for work related reasons… as a result as I was fast forwarding I saw

          Collins and King… in a kind of gabby session

          There is all that’s wrong with NZ politics right there…

          Collins has been re-groomed, she looks happy and relaxed and was almost mocking of some Nat colleagues. THIS is not a woman who feels threatened within her party. I got quite the opposite sense in fact.

          • weka

            that’s also very interesting.

            Agreed about the Collins/King observation. It’s the Josie Pagani meme. I can be left wing and friends with the worst of the right at the same time 🙄

      • Skinny 34.3.2

        The real problem is Key cause he is so popular. Eventually he will become bored and move on. There is no one in the Labour ranks that can convince the public they are it as far as being PM. Probably Winston Peters would have the best show or possibly James Shaw who is young opposed to old.

        • weka

          There’s nothing wrong with Little, and no reason why he can’t be PM. The problem Labour have is how they are as a party overall and how that comes across to the voters. Until Labour present as capable (and that includes being able to form good solid relationships with intended coalition partners) it won’t matter who is the leader of any party.

    • Anne 34.4

      Good on you weka @ 34. I intend to email something to Andrew Little because Mandy Hagar’s post has empowered me to believe that for the first time in a long time… it will be worth it. Andrew listens – REALLY LISTENS.

      • weka 34.4.1

        Great! Look forward to hearing his response.

      • Colonial Viper 34.4.2

        Anne – its more evidence of the power of The Standard in applying pressure to the Thorndon Bubble, rather than anything to do with Little himself.

        • Anne

          Yes, there’s truth in that CV but Little is a much better listener than we’ve had in a long time. His former union experience has guided him well in this regard. Having met a few union leaders since my involvement with Labour I liked them – and loved their sense of humour – but I sure wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of them. 🙂

        • Facetious

          Would you please tell me who make your so-called Thorndon bubble? Names and facts, not vague suspicions, are needed. Thank you.

          • Colonial Rawshark


            • Facetious

              You are in urgent need of a thick tin foil hat and some homeopathic concoction.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                If you don’t find the model of Thorndon Bubble disconnection helpful for your understanding of the way politics plays out in NZ, then don’t use it. I didn’t ask you to use it.

  35. Christine Waghorn 35

    Absolutely Mandy Hager, you have hit the nail on the head. The ideas you have put forward in your open letter to Andrew Little are ideas my boarder and I have been discussing for months now and we fully agree. It is time the Labour party showed some teeth and listened to the people around them and who support them as these are the people who care about what happens within our country. Labour has forgotten what they stand for and it is time to remember, they started up to help the people who had no-one to stand for them and many have died for this cause besides the New Zealand soldiers during the war.
    The Haymarket men were hanged simply for believing in freedom of thought for people and the miners who died, which was the reason for forming the Labour Party in the first place.
    And thank you Mandy for bringing out the fact that our children and grandchildren need to be taught civics and human rights, educated to understand what ethics, morals and values mean, not just spouting them. It is bad enough we have become a country of dobbers but even worse if we allow our descendants to follow the pretender leading the country and head down the path of corruption and lies. Give the future generations something real to believe in, and that isn’t who has the most money or how to rip everyone else around you off without any responsibility towards your fellow man at all.
    Andrew please read Mandy’s letter carefully and think philosophically before you follow any path. Do not listen to half baked ideas with no reasoning behind them as I have noted in some of the put down comments towards a left party. They are in love with the housing market the way it is under little johnny’s watch and happy to make money off others for nothing. Also look around the rest of the world and note that is the Communist run countries that are leaving the rest of the world behind at a fast rate, including ruthless war mongering America who are grasping at straws with there TPPA and TPIP agreements which will cause the people to rise up and revolt against slavery and emptiness within our existence.
    We are not slaves and will never bow down to slavery by anyone. Better to die for something than live for nothing starved of water, food, air and warmth by massively greedy governments and corporations which are only a collective hullucination in the first place.
    Good luck Andrew as I among many are looking for a strong, honest person who actually cares about this country and the people to lead us. As Mandy states, we will be behind that banner and evolving, not disappearing back into the dark ages of the dinosaur years. Please be the one to evolve with us.

  36. Vaughan Little 36

    interesting that post and comments don’t raise the banking system. that’s kind of a big deal around here.

    the US is a major force for good in the world. as well as being a major force for ill. so some nuance on that front would be nice.

    re: the old guard, I’m convinced that there’s some ageism in that. I’ve never seen it spelled out just why these old buggers need to get on their bikes. I think we need all age ranges to be contributing and represented. many cultures get this intuitively, it’s a bummer that ours doesn’t. moreover, goff and mallard’s seats don’t look like to stay labour if they step down.

    • Ad 36.1

      Vaughn it’s not ageism. Little is a good talent but there are too many in the caucus who display a singleminded focus on issues that are of little consequence outside the morning coffee of Wellington-based Ministerial bureaucrats.

      There are also too many there with low communicative capacity – simply don’t get cut-through on tv.

      It’s also far too hard to get fresh talent in there, because when they obtain a strong electorate seat, they keep it for 6-8 elections.

      Mandy Hager wouldn’t have to write like this if caucus really displayed passion and communicative power.

      • dukeofurl 36.1.1

        Sounding like she swallowed a bee isn’t communicative power.

        A well off middle class writer, who identifies with extreme green policies, just means shes lead a sheltered life.

        • Colonial Viper

          Unfucking believable. The conceit of the pol-sci establishment in the Thorndon Bubble.

        • Tracey

          I am willing to ager the Haer family has done their share of heads over the parapet and standing up for others without self interest.

    • weka 36.2

      I also don’t think it’s an age thing. It’s about the neoliberals and the hangover from Rogernomics. I think there are younger ones in the group of people that need to move on (is there an actual list somewhere?).

      “moreover, goff and mallard’s seats don’t look like to stay labour if they step down.”

      That’s not a good enough reason to keep them as MPs if they’re not willing to change.

      • And under MMP it doesn’t particularly matter how the electorates fall. The important thing is to have a team of candidates campaigning as hard as possible for party votes.

        • weka

          Yep. Although I think parts of Labour still have a culture of electorate seats being very important (hence standing in every seat).

          • Skinny

            Let’s hope opposition party’s have learnt a valuable lesson from the Northland By-Election, what can be achieved when they work together against National. They all have been very slow on the up take in the past, vote splitting in electorate seats is plain dumb.

            • weka

              It would be good to see some change on that, although I think the priority is for Labour to decide whether it’s going to publicly work with the GP before the next election. We can’t really do much else until that happens.

              • dukeofurl

                Harmonising labour and green policies on child poverty would be great.

                Mandy writes about young people in her novels and she has certainly drawn on her life experiences in her book Dear Vincent

                “17 year old Tara McClusky’s life is hard. She shares the care of her paralysed father with her domineering, difficult mother, forced to cut down on her hours at school to help support the family with a part-time rest home job. She’s very much alone, still grieving the loss of her older sister Van, who died five years before.

                Her only source of consolation is her obsession with art — and painting in particular. Most especially she is enamoured with Vincent Van Gogh: she has read all his letters and finds many parallels between the tragic story of his life and her own.

                Luckily she meets the intelligent, kindly Professor Max Stockhamer (a Jewish refugee and philosopher) and his grandson Johannes, and their support is crucial to her ability to survive this turbulent time.”

                Maybe not so much her life experience being ‘hard’

                • Tracey

                  wow, you really have a nasty little anti Mandy Hager bee in your bonnet DOU. You are well and truly trolling now, imo.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    he should have been banned for months for attacking and belittling an author; interesting that he hasn’t been but good to see Stephanie has given him a warning.

            • Clemgeopin

              Instead of that, Labour and its leaders constantly and often unfairly get slagged off, kicked in the shins and criticised away for all kinds of historical innuendos and for real, imagined or exaggerated reasons from all sides, the Left, right and the centre, who all seem to have so much of ‘advice’ for Labour, rather than giving real loyalty/support where it matters most, like joining the party, influencing policies from within, increasing the membership, donating some money and above all through votes!

              As I said elsewhere, sometimes, it is the well meaning so called ‘friends’ that do the most damage to a party.

          • dukeofurl

            Why do Greens bother with standing in electorates at all.

            Is it a vanity thing thing for all but one or two ?

            • weka

              No, it’s a well thought through strategy based on experience that shows that standing in electorates increasses the party vote (probably increases support in general even if people don’t end up voting Green).

            • Tracey

              You need to expand your understanding of funding of campaigns and the psychology of and coverage of running in an electorate.

          • Colonial Viper

            Yep. Although I think parts of Labour still have a culture of electorate seats being very important (hence standing in every seat).

            More like a bunch of careerist electorate MPs desperate to keep hold of their ticket to Wellington.

          • te reo putake

            Weka, electorate seats are desperately important. They are a primary point of contact with kiwis, so from an organisational sense, they are vital to parties like Labour. The more electorates we hold, the closer we are to the real New Zealand. But to the people who live in the electorates, there’s also a real difference. Good luck trying to get help or even sympathy from your Tory MP if you’re powerless and you need advice or support.

            • weka

              I’ve had support from a local Labour MP in the past (long time ago) and it’s not something I will forget. In a situation where most other people were behaving badly or incompetently, the support I got from the MP’s office stood out.

              However the comment above wasn’t about making electorates unimportant, it was suggesting that Labour are stuck in a culture that doesn’t work as well in the MMP system.

        • vaughan little

          having a majority in parliament is key.

          there is also the issue of having a party presence across the country.

          then there’s the issue of having MPs around who care about and work for members of electorates who can’t afford lawyers.

          winning electorates is important.

          (in a hurry so can’t write more cogently)

          …much like…..

          that other guy….

          ….who used to blog here…..

        • Tracey

          I hear Cosgrove will be holding internal seminars on this once the electorate candidates are finalised

      • vaughan little 36.2.2

        the word neoliberal gets used a lot re: labour’s fogeys. this is my problem – it’s too vague. so they were hooligans in their youth and got up to no good, but that doesn’t speak to their activity since for instance 2008.

        • Ergo Robertina

          Really? Do you include that reformed neoliberal hooligan Phil Goff, who told Radio New Zealand’s political editor, Brent Edwards, in July 2009: “A well- functioning market system is the most effective and efficient way of organising an economy.”?
          The party didn’t develop a new intellectual framework post-2008.
          Cunliffe’s faux leftward move was one hindrance, but the 1980s hangers-on crowd is the biggest factor.

          Quote reproduced in this article: http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/8079202/Cost-of-following-neoliberalism-far-too-grim

          • vaughan little

            how would you square that with his fronting of the admirable policy platform that labour was standing on in 2011?

            i see no contradiction because – put it like this, if you were right wing, the words “well functioning” in the above quote would make you pretty damn uneasy.

          • vaughan little

            not that i’m wanting to give that generation a free pass (by ‘generation’ here i don’t mean all the boomers, but those who ended up defining what labour has come to mean). labour does need to stand before the nation and apologize for what it did in the 80s, and that apology would mean so much more if it was done now, while some of that generation are still around.

            all of us labourites in a way share that collective guilt. even those too young to be directly culpable. but i want more from that generation before it fades out. words of acknowledgement are needed. words from those who pushed for the evils unleashed, and words from those who somehow or other went along with it.

            there’s this idea that if we do a generational cull we could end up being more left. i can’t understand that. the live issue is not the class of 84, but the kind of technocratic culture that has crept in. you can’t be a passionate movement if you’re purely working off the exigencies of policy research and pr…

        • weka

          vaughan, it’s about what people are still doing now that’s the issue. Neoliberal is the appropriate word for their current politics.

        • Tracey

          “We need growth for jobs and higher incomes. We need growth to increase government revenue to pay for higher quality services in areas like health and education.

          The Petri study from Brandeis University shows that a TPP would likely lead to export growth to New Zealand of over $5 billion a year. The Parliamentary Library, based on the Brandeis study, states that could lead to job growth of up to 22,000 jobs.

          Half of our trade goes to the TPP countries. If we did not participate in a successful agreement our exporters would be disadvantaged by facing barriers in the key TPP markets that our competitors do not.”

          Phil Goff on the TPP in an email tome dated 17December 2013

          • vaughan little

            i think he’s misjudging here, not because he’s showing support for corporate hijacking of key dimensions of national sovereignty (which he isn’t – he’s clearly sending a coded warning to the bullies), but because he’s not showing leadership by indicating that a number of nations could walk away from the table in unison. either the tpp goes through or it collapses because a bunch of parties find it unconscionable. there could be no such scenario in which nz alone withdraws.

          • vaughan little

            i.e., your quote doesn’t quite reach “gotcha” grade on the neolib front.

            • Tracey

              I have posted the full response from goff before (although I had written
              asking Cunliffe).

      • Tracey 36.2.3


        • weka

          we really need each MP in parliament to do one of those political spectrum quizzes. Maybe we should do one for the Labour MPs ourselves 😈

  37. Facetious 37

    Going further left is the last thing the Labour Party needs. Wrong, wrong, wrong advice from M. Hager. It will cost A. Little the leadership after or before the next election.

    • Paul 37.1

      I think Andrew Little would want the advice of people who might actually vote Labour, rather than ACT fanboys like facetious and other right wing trolls expressing their neoliberal views on this subject.

    • dukeofurl 37.2

      Little would chuck the letter in the bin where it belongs.

      No mention of jobs policy, except for state funded journalists

      A wellington writers collective has ideas to win an election. yeah nah

      • weka 37.2.1

        Comprehension fail. Hager is writing about the things she thinks Little and Labour need to so in addition to what they are already doing. Are they already working on jobs?

        • dukeofurl

          Make the environment TOP priority !

          Nice to see the greeny middle class who are angry about the comfortable world they live in have their priorities right ?

          So make tha,t Little tears it in half and throws it in the rubbish bin

          • weka

            lolz, what does that have to do with what I just said, or this subthread, or anything?

            Just believing stuff doesnt make it true.

            • dukeofurl

              IT means what it says. MG wants Little to push things like Housing and Jobs aside for Environment.

              Do you understand what TOP means.

              Even your friends the Green Party seem to put reducing child poverty ( sensibly) ahead of Climate change.

              Are you saying its not MGs very words. But not surprising as we all have trouble with your incoherency before.

              • weka

                mate, you’re making a fool of yourself. You obviously have no idea about how GP policy works (hint, all policy is interrelated. Child poverty and the environment are seen as part of the same thing).

                “MG wants Little to push things like Housing and Jobs aside for Environment.”

                You’ve already been warned elsewhere about attacking authors. It’s also against the standard’s policy to misrepresent authors’ views. Unless you can link to where Hager says she wants Little to push things like housing and jobs aside for the environment, you just made that up and attributed it to her.

                I know for some people of low ecological intelligence this can be hard to get intuitively, so I’m going to spell. it. out.

                Jobs and housing are dependent on the environment. Is there any timber in the building you are in right now? Did that timber come from the environment? It’s not that hard to make these connections.

                If you dropped the middle class greenie wanker slurs for a moment, you could pop over to the GP website and take a decent look at their policy and see that they take jobs and housing just as seriously as everything else, and that they make connections between all the urgent issues that NZ is facing.

          • Tracey

            or writes a tweet to acknowledge it and thank the writer

    • Tracey 37.3

      The ones who say you can’t and you won’t are probably the ones scared that you will

  38. Charles 38

    I like these suggestions and agree they would certainly re-define what Labour stood for; or perhaps just emphasise more overtly, and detail, what certain Labour MPs have been implying in their various public speeches. To a degree, any leftwing party could use the intent therein. Good post, Mandy.

    I don’t buy-in to the “Labour is car wreck” label, though, (they just need a tune-up, and Mandy’s points offer one), and John Key’s PR machine isn’t running anywhere near as well as it was in the beginning, in fact it’s well screwed at present, so following the above suggestions would roll his car off the track pretty easily.

    In my view, other than take up Mandy’s summarised ideas, Labour just need to turn up the volume on what they already say and do, and shorten the gaps in the MSM between the times they do say something. I guess, it means starting the campaign period methods early, which could get exhausting for those doing the work, but I might even buy them coffee and muffins if I see them out and about, at least.

    I would really like to see the suggestion for a website showing the National Party’s various crimes against the citizens come to life – and perhaps tag a short summary of what Labour would do differently along side it. That might be something that an already running website could help with, and would require someone like The Standard sysop to guide. (I’m not suggesting or asking his support, just making a comparison. We all know he has offered before etc, and is a busy man anyway, etc etc) The obvious pitfalls would need to be avoided and experience would be the only way to start and not fail. It’s a good idea, anyway. Just imagine the horror in the MSM if that happened. Carnage!

    Good ideas, Mandy, good post.

  39. I can see all the extinction creating CO2 lining up to jump out of the atmosphere.
    What a joke.
    There is NO politician willing to tell the truth, that is why they are politicians.

    George Carlin says it as clearly as it can be stated-


    Published on Oct 1, 2013
    That is one thing you might’ve noticed I don’t complain about…. Politicians.

    Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck.

    But where do the people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t pass through a membrane from another reality.

    They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities. and they’re elected by American citizens.

    This is the best we can do, folks. This is what we have to offer. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out!

    If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, if you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you are gonna get selfish, ignorant leaders. The term limits ain’t gonna do any good; you’re just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans.

    So maybe, maybe, maybe it’s not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here. Like… the public. Yeah. The public sucks! There’s a nice campaign slogan for somebody. “The public sucks, fuck hope!”. Fuck hope.

    Because if it’s really just the fault of these politicians then where are all the other bright people of conscience? Where are all the bright, honest, intelligent Americans ready to step in and save the Nation and lead the way?

    We don’t have people like that in this country; everybody’s at the mall, scratching his arse, picking his nose, taking his credit card out of his fanny pack and buying a pair of sneakers with lights in them!

    So I have solved this little political dilemma for myself in a very simple way: On election day… I stay home. I don’t vote. Fuck ’em, fuck ’em! I don’t vote.

    Two reasons, two reasons I don’t vote: First of all, it’s meaningless. This country was bought and sold and paid for a long time ago. The shit they shuffle around every 4 years, *pfff* doesn’t mean a fucking thing.

    And secondly I don’t vote because I believe if you vote, you have no right to complain. People like to twist that around, I know. They say: “Well, if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain”; but where’s the logic in that?

    If you vote and you elect dishonest, incompetent people and they get into office and screw everything up… well, you are responsible for what they have done. You caused the problem; you voted them in; you have no right to complain.

    I, on the other hand, who did not vote, who did not vote, who in fact did not even leave the house on election day, am in no way responsible for what these people have done and have every right to complain as long as I want about the mess you created that I had nothing to do with.

    So I know that a little later on this year you’re going to have another of those really swell presidential elections that you like so much, you enjoy yourselves it’ll be a lot of fun. I’m sure that as soon as the election is over your country will improve immediately.

    As for me, I’ll be home that day doing essentially the same thing as you. The only difference is, when I get finished masturbating I’m gonna have a little something to show for it folks

    Thank you very much

  40. Dwayne 40

    sounds to me, alot like the green party last election.

    • Kevin 40.1

      Yeah and it worked well for Greens, not.

      • weka 40.1.1

        The GP are doing better than they ever have, what are you on about?

        • dukeofurl

          NO . Just believing stuff doesnt make it true.

          • weka

            7, 9, 6, 9, 14, 14

            Do you know what those numbers are?


            • dukeofurl

              You have hit your peak.
              have you ever wondered why Labour has previously ignored Greens when in government.
              14 gives you even less influence than when it was 6

              • maui

                “You have hit your peak”

                Really? That’s about as accurate as telling any other major party they can’t go higher than what they are now.

                Labour on 24 needs all the help it can get from other parties if it wants to form a government. Dreams of them achieving 40 and only having to work with NZF are still dreams at this stage.

              • weka

                “You have hit your peak.”

                Didn’t you just say that believing something doesn’t mean it’s true?

                The GP have had huge influence in NZ without even being ‘in power’. You either can’t recognise that because you’re blind, or you don’t want to acknowledge it because it contradicts all the shit you’ve been saying about them recently.

        • Facetious

          The Greens are condemned to be permanent opposition. How many years so far?

  41. b waghorn 41

    In this age of politics by polling trying to sway the polititians way of thinking is only going to have limited effect as one of the flaws of democracy is that the hard stuff can only be done if the voters can be convinced its the right thing (unless you’re national then you just lie and do it any way)
    So I believe people who strongly want change need to come up with ways of shifting the thinking of the voting public .
    Build it and the “leaders “will follow

  42. Kevin 42

    Here’s the thing. Most people are happy and by keeping most people happy National stays in power. It’s that simple. If Labour wants to get in power they have to:

    1. Get their act together and be seen as a cohesive viable alternative.

    2. Convince the majority that even though they are happy under National they will be even happier under Labour. And yes, that may mean becoming a National-lite.


    3. If 2 is too unpalatable convince the majority that they aren’t really happy (good luck with that one!).

    Otherwise it’s just a matter of waiting for things to nose-dive so badly that people have no choice but to vote Labour. Which means you could be waiting a really really long time.

  43. In light of Many Hager’s excellent open letter I would like to post her once again the excellent history of banking and our current privately owned banking system.

    Once Again: The Money Masters

  44. TheBlackKitten 44

    Here is my list that concentrates on actual economic concerns instead.
    A. What are we going to do about China and all the other other third world countries that have stolen countless jobs from NZ and other Western countries due to their slave labour laws.
    B. What are we going to do about low wages? How are we going to get corporates to part with their massive profits and pass it down to their employees via higher wages.
    C. What are we going to do about those private enterprises that provide the basics and are charging kiwis a fortune to purchase? Ie. food, power and rates, by the way rates will now increase by 10 percent in Auckland as of July.
    D. What are we going to do about the Auckland housing market? How will we make it affordable for average Aucklanders to afford their own home.
    And lastly E. what are we going to do about youth training? How are we going to ensure that a. It is affordable and b. That practical skills are taught and marks are based on practical ability rather than theory only ability. How many young are extremely talented in floristy, hairdressing, cake decorating or child care etc but miss out opportunities due to their non academic ability and failure to pass the required theory only test standards.
    Here’s my message to Labour. Start talking economic concerns and ditch the PCI bullshit that does jack shit to help familiesut food on the table!!!

  45. millsy 45

    Crowd source policy?

    • Lanthanide 45.1

      That worked so well for Internet-Mana.

      And it’s not already as if the media jump on policy remits at the Labour party conventions and report them as if they’re already policy. Oh wait, they do.

      • Colonial Viper 45.1.1

        Geeezus Lanth, are you not able to look at the things that an organisation did well, and did poorly, instead of mixing it all up in the middle?

  46. Tom Gould 46

    While I honestly believe that all ideas have some inherent merit at some level, and it takes a certain amount of courage to stand up and express them, I can’t help but wonder if John Key will read this post, however unlikely?

    Because if he does, he will know for dead certain, that he has absolutely nothing to worry about in getting a fourth term, taking him through to 2020. But he will also know for dead certain, that neither Andrew Little, nor the “old guard neo-cons” around him, will take the advice.

    Anger at, belligerence toward, and denial of the real world in which politics is undertaken and juvenile sophistry over how lovely the alternative fantasy world might be like, is not and never has been a genuine strategy for winning an election in New Zealand.

    The politically marginal will remain in the margins, which as both Little and Key understand, is as it should be.

    • Colonial Viper 46.1

      Tom Gould – we’re not going to let the politics agenda in NZ to be set by a bunch of narrow minded has-beens operating out of the Thorndon Bubble. Fuck “winning elections” the true mission is to force politicians to address our concerns and our priorities, no matter who is on the Treasury benches.

      • Facetious 46.1.1

        Good luck with that, but remember hell will freeze over first. Socialism has failed. It is dog tucker.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          who the fuck are you to say “socialism has failed”?

          The world evolves and in case you haven’t noticed, capitalism has failed the bottom 90%, and the guillotines are being sharpened.

          • Facetious

            Who the fuck are you to say “the guillotines are being sharpened”? You need some homeopathic remedy to calm down.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Just judging from history mate; the elites always end up their own undoing.

        • millsy

          The network that you GPS device uses to help you get to where you want to go is owned and operated by the US government. So are the roads you drive on.

          That’s pretty socialist to me..

        • Paul


    • dukeofurl 46.2

      So ‘we’ are not going to let the agenda… ???

      Hone got a bit over 1%, so thats how many ‘we’ is talking about. CV cant even set an agenda in his labour electorate. The socialist vision went when John A lee was expelled by MJ Savage before the war. So dont worry too much about it.

      A middle aged , middle class academic writer, who swallowed a bee, will be forgotten quicker than you can say Colin Craig.

      [Stephanie: You have repeatedly personally attacked the author of this post for her background, her career, her voice and her age. None of this is pertinent to the post, and it’s all pretty pathetic. This is your only warning.]

      • Colonial Rawshark 46.2.1

        mate you and your Thorndon Bubble crowd are really in for disappointment come 2017.

        • infused

          That’s what you and oab said in 2008, 2011, 2014. I took screen caps of oab as it was quite funny. You might want to reign that in.

      • Heather Grimwood 46.2.2

        To Dukeofurl…pedantic maybe, but exactitude is necessary in such columns: John A. Lee was expelled about (at I think) Easter 1940, the war having started 1939. I well remember both….no trivia to divert/fragment children’s development in those days!

    • God, this is such an overused line. Every time something clear and assertive and left-wing gets posted here, the righties all jump to say “Oh yes Labour should totally do this, John Key’s going to sleep well tonight knowing you’re all a bunch of commies!!!!” combined with “you’re a bunch of freaks who don’t understand reality LOL!!!!”

      On the one hand, you want to say that Standard authors are extremist fringe nutjobs who no one cares about. On the other, apparently our every thought and word is 100% representative of core Labour policy.

      On the one hand, you want to say that blogs are irrelevant and no one listens to us. On the other, we’re supposed to stay quiet and worry that our posts are so influential they’ll cost Labour ALL THE ELECTIONS until the heat death of the universe.

      On the one hand, no one reads The Standard. On the other, John Key is laughing at the things we write.

      This self-contradicting reverse psychology shtick is so boring.

      • Tracey 46.3.1

        Can you have a read of some of duke or url’s posts which seem to me to e author attacking.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          A middle aged , middle class academic writer, who swallowed a bee, will be forgotten quicker than you can say Colin Craig.

          Yep. This is pretty gross, and Mandy Hager deserves better.

          • tracey

            it’s behaviour like that which can make me hold my “tongue” from asking and WHO are you duke of url, cos you have Mandy at a disadvantage given she used her real name. Shameless.

      • adam 46.3.2

        Stephanie – there is a post in those comments. The basis of a real good post too.

        • Ha, I shall give it some more thought and see if I can expand the theme to a decent length. 😀

          • adam

            My only concern – is the usual male claptrap we will get if you write something in this vein. I have to say it’s got a little better lately (only a little). However, it is still very drawl, and reflects how few men realise the system that keeps women oppressed – keeps them from realising true freedom as well.

            I’m not sure, or is it that men feel uncomfortable with the fact that men, have to let go, and let women offer the solutions for patriarch? That I don’t know. That said, the sooner the beast patriarch leaves all our lives forever, the happier we will be.

            “If I’m not dancing – it’s not my revolution” Emma Goldman

    • Anne 46.4

      The politically marginal will remain in the margins, which as both Little and Key understand, is as it should be.

      And what is that supposed to mean Tom Gould? Who are you referring to when you talk of the “politically marginal”? I hope you are not referring to the economically marginal. In other words, those who have to live on low incomes.

  47. Brigid 47

    And in addition, a Guaranteed Annual Income, and defend it by referring to this research
    As well, reclaim the power to create money as Iceland is planning

  48. Beryl Sheldrick 48

    Am standing, & applauding.

  49. Tracey 49

    Bravo Mandy. It’s like you are inside my head.


  50. The Political Junkie 50

    Good letter. I was thinking about this the other day. Labour needs to be more forcefull and Little needs to be more agressive. New Zealanders like that. Definately get a rid of the old guard. They should have lowered their heads in shame at the last elections. If Labour does poorly in 2017, and at the rate it is going it will, Labour will be destroyed. To stop it Labour needs to attack the tories on every policy. It needs to show an alternative and it needs to show that it is a party ready to goven.

  51. Jackie 51

    I’ve read this article and the comments and one thing stands out clearly – we should not care what Key thinks of Labour or how much he tries to ridicule it. Stand up and be counted. Socialism is not dead, it has merely taken on other roles. Can’t say the same about capitalism. Europe and USA lurch from one financial crisis to another. All that the free market economy has produced is a huge China which is now supplying the rest of the world.

    Say something often enough and people will begin to realise the fundamental truths being espoused. The point of difference should be ethics, morality and good economic
    planning. If Labour can get rid of some of the dead wood and show the electorate it is back in business only then will it increase its following.

  52. Philippa Burns 52

    Actually, Andrew – could you find a place for this correspondent on your team? Mandy has voiced what many New Zealanders are thinking – I will do my bit by distributing this open letter as far and wide as I can.
    In Solidarity

  53. mary_a 53

    I’ll also join Andrew and Mandy in being angry. Because I am. For what Kiwis have allowed to be done to themselves and their country, by this sordid government led by a morally bankrupt, greedy, uncaring and extremely corrupt PM.

    As Labour stands at present and I’m referring here to the Old Guard festering and contaminating the party, I look at it like this. If NatzKEY was a sheep, Labour at the moment would be the dags hanging from the rear end.

    Well put Mandy. You should be Labour’s PR person.

    • Colonial Rawshark 53.1

      She doesn’t fit in with the current required Thorndon Bubble mindset.

  54. Brilliant open-letter.

    I’d like to add:
    • Only kiwis can buy homes in New Zealand. No offence to anyone outside our borders, but we’re in a housing crisis. Sorry.
    • Only allow ownership of one extra home. This would make available thousands of homes that people (often foreign investors) have tied up as multiple investment properties.

    Putting the above rules in place stops the rich from getting richer and encourages young people to invest in their own country and their future- not to mention it would immediately reverse the present housing crisis.

    Some people would hate you for it, but there’s many more people out there that would love you for it.

    Thank you, Mandy Hager, for your wisdom. Let’s hope it gets fully adopted.

    • Colonial Rawshark 54.1


    • Kerrieem 54.2

      Hear, hear! I’d suggest we need a paradigm shift in our thinking around wealth creation. Transferring wealth from the house buyer to the house seller does nothing for our economy and in fact burdens our country with extra debt that the buyer has had to take on to buy the house. A lazy approach to wealth creation.

      If we could be more energetic and far-sighted and invest in technology and industries that support people and our planet, the rewards would have integrity for everyone.

      Just sayin…

      • Colonial Rawshark 54.2.1

        A lazy approach to wealth creation.

        Well, it’s more like a ponzi scheme as it requires ever increasing debt levels to sustain, or it implodes.

  55. Clemgeopin 55

    Stop attacking the ‘old guard’. They are some of the most experienced, hard working and wise members of the party. There aren’t too many of them any way. List them and see. Explain how the “Old Guard is festering and contaminating the party.” It has simply become a foolish fashion and a hobby horse to attack them.

    I wonder if this kind of attack idea has actually been quietly seeded by the dirty politics players from the other political parties and the RW into political debate and has been foolishly picked up by some naive Labour supporters.

    • weka 55.1

      Phil Goff supports the TPPA. There are plenty of other examples, but how about you start with that one, given it’s a non-negotiable for most of the left.

      • Clemgeopin 55.1.1

        Don’t know he does and why? Do you have a link for your assertion? Besides, we do not know for SURE what the various points of the negotiations and the points of the final agreements are as it has not been concluded yet.

        Before passing into law, it will be debated and voted or rejected by parliament as all legislation are anyway.

        Personally, I definitely prefer bilateral agreements between countries as that gives more freedom and safety in the long run and easier to get out of or to alter terms if need be than multi-country partnership agreements.

        In any case, what is wrong in members of the party holding different views for different reasons. It is the majority of members that end up deciding the final policy rather than an individual. If everyone should hold the exact same views about every issue, then why have a democratic party at all? As well appoint a dictator.

        • weka

          You can google Phil Goff and TPPA and then pick which ones you want to read.

          “Besides, we do not know for SURE what the various points of the negotiations and the points of the final agreements are as it has not been concluded yet.”

          I think you may have missed one of the core objections to the agreement. We will never know what the agreement is because its being done in secret. We only know what we know because bits of it are being leaked. So the National govt will sign us into a deal that will bind all future govts and those future govts will not know what they’re bound into until they take office. This means Labour can campaign on something and then find out later that they’re not allowed to do it once they become govt.

          “Before passing into law, it will be debated and voted or rejected by parliament as all legislation are anyway.”

          Pretty hard to have a democtratic process when we won’t be allowed to see what the agreement is.

          “In any case, what is wrong in members of the party holding different views for different reasons. It is the majority of members that end up deciding the final policy rather than an individual. If everyone should hold the exact same views about every issue, then why have a democratic party at all? As well appoint a dictator.”

          Nope. The GP don’t have their MPs running off with their own ideas in public and they’re not run by a dictator. In fact they’re run in the way you are espousing, where you have people with varying views develop policy democratically. But once policy is developed, the party works with it. Labour presents a very conflicted message when it’s MPs do whatever they want. This is the crux of the neoliberal criticism. You have people with opposing political views in the same party and it shows (it also doesn’t work).

          • Clemgeopin

            You have so many holes in your comment.
            And jeez, thanks for telling me about your ‘oh, so perfect’ green party once again!

    • Anne 55.2

      Thanks Clemgeopin. I think the so-called ‘old guard’ are being unfairly blamed. There are a couple of them I’m not sure about, but I observed the caucus closely at QT time in the House this week. Annette king was very vocal and… she is angry! So is chief whip Chris Hipkins and it goes without saying David Parker is red hot with anger. In fact the whole caucus was taut-lipped with what looked to me to be a fairly acute case of collective anger symptoms.

      The caucus has unified under Andrew Little. They wholly support him and its genuine. There will be a few factional ‘underlings’ hanging on like grim death… dukeofurl looks to be one of them. They are so much a minority now they don’t matter any more.

      That’s my reading of the situation as an active member anyway.

      • Anne 55.2.1

        I see dukeofurl as apologised for his behaviour so I withdraw his name from my 55.2 comment.

    • Colonial Rawshark 55.3

      Stop attacking the ‘old guard’. They are some of the most experienced, hard working and wise members of the party. There aren’t too many of them any way. List them and see. Explain how the “Old Guard is festering and contaminating the party.” It has simply become a foolish fashion and a hobby horse to attack them.

      Four straight elections of declining votes and polling results in the high 20% range. You go figure out where the problem is, but there definitely is one.

  56. Clemgeopin 56

    If the author sincerely wants to give Andrew Little some personal advice, isn’t it more sensible and less rude to actually write to him personally rather than as a public letter on a blog?

    While reading the article, to me parts of the article seemed like a Green party’s propaganda piece pushing some of its policies on to Labour. I am curious to know if Mandy Hager is a member of the Green Party or not.

    Other points:

    * Isn’t it irresponsible, though fashionable, for a ‘leader’ to reject TPPA without even knowing the terms of the agreement first?
    * It is OK to feel ‘angry’ at the right time for the right cause. ‘Embracing anger’ and being constantly angry will backfire and can be damaging. Bad advice.
    *Not sure who she is referring to and what exactly she means by “Stop that old guard from trying to play things the same old way – they’ve screwed it up.”
    * Start a public campaign where you do daily postings to keep a running reckoning of (various stuff) : I think this too is bad advice. Most people will ignore such postings, treating them as propaganda and spam. I would. Will have the opposite effect. But will be good if done carefully and occasionally to have merit.
    * “MAKE REAL COMMITMENT TO CLIMATE CHANGE!’—-What does ‘REAL’ mean? and Why? NZ is not the world or the planet ‘Earth’ disastrously polluting the universe and causing all this climate change, is it?

    Lots of other points to think about, but this should do for now.

    • Anne 56.1

      Stop that old guard from trying to play things the same old way – they’ve screwed it up.”

      Weka posted some twitter comments in reply to her own twitter sent to Andrew. Mandy Hagar responded with an explanation what she meant. She said she wasn’t trying to be derogatory of them but rather… they are stuck in their old ways. I think that’s less true now than it was say… a year ago, but she would not necessarily know that as I doubt she is a member of any political party.

    • Lanthanide 56.2


    • Colonial Rawshark 56.3

      If the author sincerely wants to give Andrew Little some personal advice, isn’t it more sensible and less rude to actually write to him personally rather than as a public letter on a blog?

      If Andrew Little doesn’t want to engage with the Left in public, all he needs to do is let us know.

      Until then, I see the role of commentators here as putting pressure on Labour both in private and in public.

      • Clemgeopin 56.3.1

        What pressure have you been putting on the Greens for example?

        • Colonial Rawshark

          I don’t have any special care for or investment in, the direction of the Greens.

          • Clemgeopin

            What you said was

            “Until then, I see the role of commentators here as putting pressure on Labour both in private and in public.”

            So why not on the Greens?

            Sometimes, friends are more damaging than the enemies.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Yeah, and I’m intensely disliked by some in the party but c’est la vie.

              • Kiwiri

                You have truly good proposals for Labour to adopt or to generate discussion nationwide, as well as strong social conscience for people disadvantaged or excluded by class interests. There should be more of you in the party to return Labour to its true roots so that the country can heal and get well again.

              • Clemgeopin

                But you do have a caring heart and a bright mind. I love the Labour party, the best party in town in so many ways for all the people and the country, both for the short term and the long term. I am sure you do too.

                The Labour party and Andrew Little need to get a lot of support and loyalty from everyone. He will make a great leader. I have no doubt about that. I only hope that our dubious media, the RW rogues, the dirty politics gang and above all our so called ‘friends with good intentions’ don’t try to pull him or the party down like they did to Clark, Goff, Shearer and Cunliffe based on flimsy grounds.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  thank you Clemgeopin. The reason I push Labour hard is that like you, I realise how much NZ needs what only a fit strong Labour Party can deliver.

    • Tracey 56.4


      Would it have generated as much discussion in public if she had written to him privately?

      “Open Letters” have a strong and lengthy tradition in politics.

      • Clemgeopin 56.4.1

        But was generating a discussion in public her aim or was it her intention to give Mr Little some ‘advice’?

        Labour and its leaders also seem to be an easy punching bag for all kinds of people and entities, both friends and enemies.

        Where do you see such open letters and public political advice for leaders of other political parties?

        • Tracey

          I would guess she was “generating a discussion in public”

          People write “open Letters” to the media all the time Clem, from many political backgrounds.

          I think you are being overly sensitive about the attacking of Labour ( and I hope i haven’t offended you by saying that cos it was/is not my intention). I think it is great that you feel passionately about LP and the need to get them strong again. I would like them to be strong again BUT I don’t want them to be a slightly kinder version of national because that just slows down the damage it doesn’t halt it.

          • Clemgeopin

            “I don’t want them to be a slightly kinder version of national because that just slows down the damage it doesn’t halt it”

            That framing meme is another crap that annoys me because that is so false and a stupid propaganda from some quarters. [not you]

            Just take a careful look at the announced policies that Labour went to the last election with and tell me how Labour is just National lite as being painted by some cheap, crooked and evil mischief making dirty politickers, some of whom are cunning innocent looking foxes dressed in lamb clothes?


  57. Lanthanide 57

    “We still do, by the skin of our teeth, live in a democracy with free speech, and I have as much right to voice my opinions as anyone else. If you don’t like them don’t read them.”

    I’m pretty sure no one was telling you to stop talking. People were just expressing their opinion on your opinion, which as you note, living in a free country we still have free speech.

    Perhaps you should take your own advice: if you don’t like the comments, don’t read them. Although your advice really is quite nonsensical – you can’t know whether you like or dislike something until after you’ve read it. Bit of a catch-22.

    • maui 57.1

      There are definitely some comments attacking the person not the message, and I think that over steps the line. Then again this is a political blog and it would be naive not to think people have agendas, are protecting their own patch and attacking other people’s.

  58. Raf 58

    And get that ghastly website redesigned so we know at a glance when and where meetings are, what the current issues are (Mandy’s ‘daily postings’) , wot’s going on we need to keep up with, what petitions to sign – a tab labelled “what you can do” so anyone interested feels welcome instead of baffled.

  59. WellingtonBlueGreen 59

    Labour has cemented itself as National-Lite. There is no hope they will repeal the new spy laws you mention, when in April 2009 100% of sitting Labour MPs ‘supposedly’ unknowingly voted for the requisite MLAT legislation to gain access to XKeyScore. Key will never resign over it when he knows he can paint Labour with the very same colours, and hence their silence over the matter.


    It is hard to separate National and Labour on student loans, social welfare, or the TPPA. The Greens are the only party offering an alternative vision for New Zealand.

    • Weepus beard 59.1


      …is that a thing now?

      It sounds a lot like troubled teenagers hating and harming themselves.

      • Kiwiri 59.1.1

        BlueGreen sounds more like Nats wanting to cement themselves with the Greens.

        But important points are raised there, particularly that Labour has shown tendencies to express a lot of reservation and reluctance but then do their increasingly regular origamic performance, fold and vote along with National, so there is little hope that Labour will not cave in to the new lot of spy laws coming up.

        • WellingtonBlueGreen

          Kiwiri gets it. This post was not intended to be an advertisement for the GP. Only to highlight that Labour and National are indistinguishable on some issues, such as on this privacy topic which was one of the most divisive issues in the last election.

          This seemingly innocuous bill which flew under the radar is what granted the PM unfettered access to the full collection capabilities of the U.S. Patriot Act, on a reciprocal basis for sharing. The government knew what was being passed into law, and Labour went along with it, possibly unintentionally, but the final voting record stands Labour and National for, GP against.

    • Clemgeopin 59.2

      “The Greens are the only party offering an alternative vision for New Zealand’

      Crap, rubbish and wrong, although about 1 in 10 agree with you!
      What meaningful workable prudent ‘alternate’ vision would that be?

      Like close all mining, drilling, factories, jobs, incomes, roads, petrol, diesel, cars, planes, foreign trade, foreign made goods, high taxes, cows and sheep, fart taxes, carbon taxes……when NZ is not responsible for even 1% of any global climate issues?

      Can you be a little more specific with workable policies that the people can accept
      and cope with socially and economically AND vote for such policies?

      • maui 59.2.1

        Just a wee bit of hyperbole there… I don’t think it’s Green policy to close all mining, but to instead stop new ones from opening. You might have seen that the West Coast mining industry is haemorrhaging jobs anyway. I thought most of our manufacturing jobs had gone overseas too. I don’t have a citiation, but I wouldn’t mind betting that a switch to a Green economy would increase our GDP and reduce unemployment. Green investment is a big part of other developed countries economies, and we’ll keep slipping behind if we keep listening to the fearmongering and don’t take our opportunities.

        • Clemgeopin

          Can you be a little more specific with workable, practical, prufent policies that the people can accept, cope with socially and economically AND above all, vote for such policies, as the proof of the political pudding is in the valuable votes?

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Labour MPs get paid $5M pa. Let them do the work and show it to us to approve.

            • Clemgeopin

              What are you are on about, CR? My question was to maui who was talking about the Green Party policies when she said, “I wouldn’t mind betting that a switch to a Green economy would increase our GDP and reduce unemployment.”

              To which I said, “Can you be a little more specific with workable, practical, prudent policies that the people can accept, cope with socially and economically AND above all, vote for such policies, as the proof of the political pudding is in the valuable votes?”

              Your reply makes no sense at all in this context.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                You’re saying the Greens aren’t the only ones with an alternative policy vision for NZ, and I am saying, let’s see it from Labour.

        • weka

          “I don’t think it’s Green policy to close all mining”

          It’s not. Along with all the other things in the list, that’s Clem telling lies about the GP again because he has no real arguments about what they are doing.

          Sorry, but I’m sick of this bullshit. There’s plenty of real stuff to critique the GP for without making stuff up.

          • Clemgeopin

            “There’s plenty of real stuff to critique the GP for”

            Like what?

            • weka

              That’s not a conversation I’m going to have with someone who repeatedly tells lies about the Greens. But some of us do at times discuss the GP critically from an informed position, so you’ll see it if you follow those conversations.

              • Clemgeopin

                “But some of us do at times discuss the GP critically from an informed position”

                On this blog? I am yet to see.
                Certainly not as much criticism and shit as meted out to the Labour party and its leaders by the left, right, centre and the great Greens.

                I wasn’t telling lies about the Greens, but asking important questions to make a point. I was seeking clarifications of policies and meaningful responses. None have come forward yet! I suspect that is because the policies are aspirational and high ideals without easy, workable and practical aspects in real life. They are however great to beat Labour and its leaders with, though.

                • weka

                  I don’t believe you. You said “Like close all mining, drilling, factories, jobs, incomes, roads, petrol, diesel, cars, planes, foreign trade, foreign made goods, high taxes, cows and sheep, fart taxes, carbon taxes……”, which is an intentional misrepresentation of GP policy ie lies.

                  GP policy and how it works/would work has all been explained to you more than once. I’m not going into it again. I’m just going to call you out when I see you telling lies.

                  • Clemgeopin

                    Um, and you missed the question mark at the end and I suppose intentionally left out the part of that which said ‘…when NZ is not responsible for even 1% of any global climate issues?’

                    By the way, no, you have never explained how the Green policies work in a practical, prudent acceptable way in real life in the modern world.

                    And even the home insulation project, if I am not mistaken badly, was a Labour party initiative of the last Labour Government of Helen Clark. Am I right?

                    Her government also bought back the Railways for both economic and environmental reasons.

                    And the Cycle way was the present Government’s initiative which came about from the job summit of 2009.

                    Shows that the Greens do not have the monopoly or moral high ground on environmental issues.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Labour needs to develop a long term plan to get NZ off fossil fuel use and extraction, and to commit to that as a primary goal

                      By the way, no, you have never explained how the Green policies work in a practical, prudent acceptable way in real life in the modern world.

                      And that’s a major challenge the Greens have. One of the things they will have to crack before they can crack 15% party vote.

                    • weka

                      Bullshit. Putting a question mark at the end of a string of lies just makes it a rhetorical question. No genuine intent, otherwise you wouldn’t have made a list of lies in the first place.

                      I’m tempted to offer to demonstrate the practicalities of GP policy, but I don’t get any sense that you are here to do anything than slur them.

                    • weka

                      “And that’s a major challenge the Greens have. One of the things they will have to crack before they can crack 15% party vote.”

                      More so than other parties? How come?

                    • Clemgeopin


                      * I had used the word, ‘vision’. Isn’t that the Green’s real vision though for the good of our planet’s final solution?

                      * You say you are tempted. Go ahead, I am flattered. Demonstrate the practicalities of GP policy. I can assure you that I am not here to do ‘anything other than to slur them’ as you put it.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      More so than other parties? How come?

                      Other parties have their own specific challenges; also the Greens were the ones who wanted to crack the 15% mark and that hasn’t changed.

                    • weka

                      Clem, I don’t believe you (based on past experience). I’ll keep an eye out in the future though, am always happy to change my mind where people change their own tack.

                      CV, I was wondering more if the GP have a higher hurdle re demonstrating the practicalities of their policies, and if so, why. Is it that the policies are less tried out, or is it that the GP has an image of being impractical. There’s also the issue of not having been in govt.

                      Did other smaller parties have this expectation?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      agree with your inference; in some ways it is an added expectation lumbered on to the Greens via the MSM/National because the Greens are seen as a real threat to the government’s agenda and ideology.

              • greywarshark

                I suggest instead of slagging off people who have doubts about the GP that you have a series of paragraphs that authoritatively answer those questions and put them up. The actual information would go a long way to shut up others who are making incorrect statements.

                • weka

                  I’m really happy to talk to anyone genuinely interested in the GP. Clem has demonstrated over a long period of time that he is not interested in anything other than slagging off the GP. I’ve done exactly what you’ve suggested in the past and it doesn’t ‘shut him up’ as you put it or stop him from telling lies the next time. Now I’m more discerning about where I put my energy, and believe it’s better to just name lies for what they are. Where people are honestly mistaken, I’d be more accommodating.

                  btw, calling someone out on their lies isn’t slagging them off.

                  • maui

                    +1, their policies are on their website and are probably better read by people with open minds.

                    • Macro

                      Exactly. It’s just the small minds that continue to witter on as Clem does.They have no interest in actually looking at anything new or considering anything different than the failed policies that ended the world where it is today. Piled high full of crap, with the 0.01%ers controlling everything.

                  • greywarshark

                    Yeah true. But it’s a big thing to call someone, who is dedicated to achieving a better people-oriented government, a liar. And only the informed know if it’s true.

                    As I said why not have a few paras that you copy and paste when wanted. Or give a link to TS where you put the appropriate response and details with Read This. That would be more efficient for you than individual defences.

                    Some of us are very uneasy and are questioning the pollies determination to do what they have promised. Or even to think about doing what they should promise. We have been far too trusting and willing to leave matters to the pollies and look where we have got. Some of us could kick ourselves for fools if we could reach that high. So a bit of tolerance to other good though annoying lefties as they check and question may be extended?

                  • Clemgeopin

                    @ weka

                    You wrote, “I’m tempted to offer to demonstrate the practicalities of GP policy”. Yes, that is exactly what I was asking for when I wrote,
                    ” how do the Green policies work in a practical, prudent acceptable way in real life in the modern world.

                    Can you be a little more specific with workable, practical, prudent policies that the people can accept, cope with socially and economically AND above all, vote for such policies, as the proof of the political pudding is in the valuable votes?”

                    Give me just about five practical examples of how the Green ideals/policies can be put into practice.

                    I am not slagging you or the greens. I am genuine in wanting to know how the policies can be put into practice & be supported by the wider 90% of the population. That is a crucial issue, is it not?

                    • Clemgeopin



                    • Tracey

                      “The Green Party stands strong against fracking, deep sea oil drilling, and mining on our conservation estate.” – See more at: https://home.greens.org.nz/conservation/mining#sthash.iGlHp05s.dpuf

                      you wrote

                      “Like close all mining, drilling,……””

                      “Mining in national parks

                      In 2009, the National Goverment announced plans to take a ‘stocktake’ of the mineral wealth lying under Schedule 4 lands and waters, with a view to removing some sites from Schedule 4 and opening them up to mining. The Green Party campaigned against this proposal, and won. Read more about our victory”
                      – See more at: https://home.greens.org.nz/conservation/mining#sthash.iGlHp05s.dpuf

                      “Trade Agreements

                      All international treaties must be voted on in Parliament before being signed, must give full effect to our Treaty of Waitangi obligations, and must put the rights of peoples and governments before those of multinational company investors.
                      Uphold international labour and environmental agreements through an International Trading Organisation and regional trading agreements to replace the WTO).”

                      – See more at: https://home.greens.org.nz/policy/summary/trade#sthash.yZoAOY8Z.dpuf

                    • Tracey

                      “can be put into practice & be supported by the wider 90% of the population. That is a crucial issue, is it not?”

                      which policies of say, the last 10 governments of NZ were supported by 90% of the population? Why should Green party policies be held to a far higher yardstick than a single other party Clem?

                    • Clemgeopin

                      About 40% at least who need to be sympathetic and on board.
                      That is one reason why Labour has a big albatross around its neck.
                      This isn’t about you and me. It is about the party supporters and their doubts and fears.

      • Macro 59.2.2

        Like close all mining, drilling, factories, jobs, incomes, roads, petrol, diesel, cars, planes, foreign trade, foreign made goods, high taxes, cows and sheep, fart taxes, carbon taxes……when NZ is not responsible for even 1% of any global climate issues?

        What a load of crap! – The above sentence is so wrong in fact, in truth, and in logic It is impossible to give a reasoned reply.

    • Clean_power 59.3

      Which alternative vision for New Zealand? The one that opposes all investment development in roads? That opposes every mining initative? That slams every trade negotiation? That treats business as pariahs and profit as sin? New Zealand will be ruined under a Green government.

      • Tracey 59.3.1

        “Trade Agreements

        All international treaties must be voted on in Parliament before being signed, must give full effect to our Treaty of Waitangi obligations, and must put the rights of peoples and governments before those of multinational company investors.
        Uphold international labour and environmental agreements through an International Trading Organisation and regional trading agreements to replace the WTO)…

        Investment safeguards

        Land ownership for New Zealand citizens and permanent residents only.
        More stringent conditions on overseas investment.
        A Code of Corporate Responsibility for all corporations in New Zealand.

        – See more at: https://home.greens.org.nz/policy/summary/trade#sthash.yZoAOY8Z.dpuf…”

        – See more at: https://home.greens.org.nz/policy/summary/trade#sthash.yZoAOY8Z.dpuf

        “The tax shift

        We will reform the tax system so everyone pays less income tax, clean businesses are rewarded and wasters and polluters pay more. All sources of income will be taxed in the same way, so that speculation is not rewarded compared with genuine wealth creation.
        Income tax

        Introduce a tax-free threshold at the bottom of the income tax scale first and then reduce and simplify rates in the middle bands of the tax scale.
        Ensure beneficiaries receive the benefits of the proposed changes by passing tax cuts on to those on benefits and adjusting benefit abatement rates.

        Capital Gains Tax

        In order to treat all income the same, introduce a comprehensive capital gains tax on inflation adjusted capital gains at the time the capital gains are realised.
        Exempt the family home from capital gains tax.
        Over time, tighten the rules around Loss Attributing Qualifying Companies (LAQCs) and equivalent tax deductions.


        Empower central and regional government to introduce a water levy on commercial use of all water used on a volume basis. This would not apply to households or stock drinking water.
        Begin a phased process of ecological tax reform by setting up an Ecological Tax Reform Commission to examine all existing taxes and possible new eco-taxes. They would consider levies on resources such as minerals mined, commercial fish caught, and various forms of pollution and waste.

        Tobin tax

        We would join the group of countries working to agree on a tax on international currency movements, to set up a fund to provide capital for poor countries to improve their social and environmental wellbeing. This would discourage currency speculation without being high enough to impede genuine trade.”
        – See more at: https://home.greens.org.nz/policysummary/economic-policy-summary#sthash.kpEjqmfS.dpuf

      • Tracey 59.3.2

        you wrote
        “opposes every mining…”

        ““The Green Party stands strong against fracking, deep sea oil drilling, and mining on our conservation estate.” – See more at: https://home.greens.org.nz/conservation/mining#sthash.iGlHp05s.dpuf

        “Mining in national parks

        In 2009, the National Goverment announced plans to take a ‘stocktake’ of the mineral wealth lying under Schedule 4 lands and waters, with a view to removing some sites from Schedule 4 and opening them up to mining. The Green Party campaigned against this proposal, and won. Read more about our victory”
        – See more at: https://home.greens.org.nz/conservation/mining#sthash.iGlHp05s.dpu

  60. Clemgeopin 60

    Thanks for taking your valuable time and bothering to reply.

    Talking about ‘ludicrous insults and ignorant insinuations’ if your suspicions are correct and I am indeed being paid, how much do you think I can reasonably charge? May be you can give me some advice too, like you have so freely given to Andrew Little. Cheers!

    • Anne 60.1

      Don’t think mhagar was replying to you clemgeopin. If you look on the comment list you will see she wasn’t ‘replying’ to anyone. There has been some quite nasty stuff further up the page, and I think she was responding generally to all of them.

      • Clemgeopin 60.1.1

        Ok may be only she knows who she had in mind then.

        I was ‘angry’ and embracing ‘anger’ and not ‘cringing’ from it, I suppose, as per her ‘money can’t buy’ type of ‘O for awesome’ advice for Andy.

        Now no matter what he does, the enemy will frame it as responding to Mandy’s public advice. Can you see that?

  61. Anne 61

    Thanks mhagar for your post. It couldn’t have been more timely given the boorish and dishonest behaviour of the prime minister in recent times. There is a lot in it to be discussed, and I hope it will end up widely disseminated in the Labour Party itself.

    My only issue (a minor one) is that I think you will find the Labour caucus is much more unified and harmonious under Andrew Little. The Nats and their media mates will go to any length to convince people otherwise, so I think we should all be careful not to give them anything they can misconstrue as evidence of continued factionalism.

  62. G C Cameron 62

    I thought the job of government was to legislate, so naturally formulating excellent policies would be the first port of call for Labour. Currently I’m not hearing a lot of new ideas. I’ll give them… …ONE!

    – If foreign property speculators purchase New Zealand houses and leave them untenanted for more than a year, the New Zealand government can rent them out. This would house people, generate income for both the NZ Government and foreign investors.

    FACE IT~!!! Right in your FACE~!!! Houses are built to last 50 years, New Zealand has a huge aging housing stock.- some houses are simply past their use by date. Given that and the increase in renters – A ‘Warrant of Fitness’ for rentals is overdue – this must go hand in hand with increased tenant rights. If you move into a property and it’s not up to spec – no insulation, shower is substandard, poor quality heating, damp, etc – the tenant should be able to dissolve the tenancy at their leisure – receiving both a timely refund and compensation for letting fees, moving costs, stress, etc. None of this namby pamby waiting around for court dates, then being charged to clean the carpets. Some form of Tenancy Officer?

    • Tracey 62.1

      “If foreign property speculators purchase New Zealand houses and leave them untenanted for more than a year, the New Zealand government can rent them out. This would house people, generate income for both the NZ Government and foreign investors.”

      What will the cost be of proving or disproving they are tenanted?

      • Colonial Rawshark 62.1.1

        I think there are other more pressing issues rather than cost, with this approach. For instance, what is a “foreign property speculator” doing being allowed to purchase NZ houses anyway, and how are you going to demonstrate that it is a “foreign property speculator” in the first place.

        • Tracey

          it was the first question that came to mind to highlight my view that G C Cameron was being incredibly over simplistic I was also addressing his/her proposal on the basis it was put.

  63. Drowsy M. Kram 63

    “Isn’t it irresponsible, though fashionable, for a ‘leader’ to reject TPPA without even knowing the terms of the agreement first?”

    Anyone, including a ‘leader’, can (i) accept, (ii) reject, or (iii) ‘keep an open mind’, ‘sit on the fence’, ‘suspend judgement’, etc.

    It’s common sense not to accept such a far-reaching agreement from a position of ignorance, and remaining undecided risks playing into the hands of the powerful anti-transparency corporates. Being able to weigh the pros and cons of the TTPA would be ideal, but how to get relevant, accurate, unbiased information?

    Don’t have the time or expertise to interpret the WikiLeaks’ TPPA documentation, so I’ve resorted to accepting the analyses of a respected academic with a long and consistent commitment to social justice. Those analyses have fuelled my ‘fashionably irresponsible’ rejection of the corrupt TPPA agenda.




  64. upnorth 64

    This is a stupid post Mandy – there is no way I would vote Labour based on your assumption. Let me tell why I think your post is stupid – Andy has to get angry – why not get your leader James Shaw to get angry – yeah nah.

    Good for Labour, no good for your greenie friends – what a stupid request – let Andy keep his reforms and ask the greens to do what you have asked.

    • Colonial Rawshark 64.1

      Who cares about your vote. Fuck off and cuddle up to the right wing.

    • weka 64.2

      I’m pretty sure that Shaw is already angry. But you’ve missed the point. Key and co are using the Angry Andy meme against Little. The suggestion is that he owns it so it takes the power away from NACT. There’s nothing wrong with being legitimately angry and I also think people will respond better to Little being honest about how he feels in some situations.

    • Kiwiri 64.3

      Hey, upnorth, I am still waiting for my tax cuts north of $50 from the Dipton dipstick.

  65. Helens 65

    Might I suggest Little and those interested see this short documentary from Jamaica, then share it…….this is where NZ is heading if we sign TPPA……It is an excellent review of the situation….Globalisation was rolled out in 3rd world countries, now they are ready to roll it out in rest of world….unless we stop it….

    Labour needs to come out against it now…I know a lot of people who will follow if they show leadership….

    IMF Sabotages Jamaica’s Economy

    • Kiwiri 65.1

      Hi Helens, is this relevant? It has clips from ‘Life and Debt’.


      From 2:30, there is IMF Deputy Director Stanley Fischer saying:

      “When the private banks don’t lend you, then you gotta do something if you lead a country. Typically, you have to cut back on spending and try to get more money so that the impact of those cutbacks are not as severe as they otherwise would be. And it is at that point that you generally come to the IMF.”

      Followed by Michael Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica in the 1990s:

      “… and they [IMF] say ‘no’. Long term development is your problem. We are here only to see who do you owe the money to, why you are in a bind and we lend you some money at a very short time frame, at full interest rate, to get you out of the bind. And they then impose upon you tremendous restrictions on what you can spend.”

      This is quite interesting given that the IMF is the dominant part of the loanshark troika that is presently coming down hard on Greece.

  66. Roger 66

    Heartily agree with Mandy.
    Would add:
    There is no reason for any education to cost students. It should all be free. A collective investment in the future. The only reason neo-libs changed it to fees is to give the money to the rich corporates. The student loans are simply a tax on the younger people new to the workforce so that the rich don’t have to pay their share of taxes.
    Young doctors and teachers are paying 50% of their wages in tax and John Key is paying about 4% of his millions in tax. How is this fair or sustainable?
    The professional workers are being gagged and ignored. None of their knowledge or ideas are being listened to. This does not help innovation are creativity.
    We could easily get fossil fuels way down the lists by introducing subsidies for electric and and electric charge up points. We could make all houses have solar panels built in as a requirement. Not only would this clear the air somewhat it would provide a market for the power companies.
    But then all of Mandy’s ideas would take courage and determination. There’s little of that in parliament.

  67. Ross 67

    The biggest thing Labour can do is stand for something.

    When, for example, was the last time any Labour MP talked about Peter Ellis? Former National leader Don Brash has repeatedly raised Ellis’s case and demanded a Commission of Inquiry. Labour’s silence on this issue is telling.

    There is a hell of a lot to dislike about the Ellis case, and much criticism can be levelled at former Justice Minister Phil Goff’s handling of it. I recall reading many letters from individuals who wrote to Goff at the time he was Minister and said they would never vote Labour again.


  68. Save NZ 68

    +1 MHager.

  69. whateva next? 69

    “…You have every right to be angry – whole swathes of the population are bloody furious! ” thankyou for an excellent post Mandy .
    Trouble is, there seems to be ambivalence towards Labour when they respond with feeling. Anette, (quite rightly) spontaneously called Key a “liar” in NZQT, when he openly accused herself and Goff of setting up Little. Fair enough Annette I thought, only to see her being condemned for turning people off politics by certain tweeters.
    Seems hard for Labour to get it right, and people so easily divided. (fickle I call it)

    • Colonial Rawshark 69.1

      the issue is that Labour does not know what audience they are addressing, and they disconnected form the people who want to hear from them. Instead Labour is easily scared off when Paddy-syle jonolists and Pagani-style tweeters make style criticisms. Cluetip: the more those people are upset, the more you are doing something right.

  70. mick 70

    Well written … your normally don’t get advice like that for free !

  71. Mark 71

    1.challenge National in Parliament every possible time
    2.don’t waste time arguing, opposing legislation you agree with
    3. Be on media every day
    4. Supporters join the party
    5.get out on the streets and into people’s homes often
    6. Don’t worry about other parties policies (Greens) get your own out there
    7. Have a policy to buy back cancel or change TTPA,Horizon buying state houses,etc.
    8. Get back to old socialist values

  72. Salo 72

    Yes! I wholeheartedly agree. I’m furious with National. I’m worried about the extreme crony capitalism going on. I’m personally seeing corruption in business and the police force which horrifies me, I don’t think there has been this rampant corruption in the past. I’m angry that our democracy is on the brink. I’m angry at Labour for not having the balls to tackle these issues head on. I’ve resigned my Labour membership because i’m so frustrated at Labour’s weak approach to pretty much every issue. Should Labour actually take this good advice and do most of the things suggested, I would give them my support again

  73. “It’s the economy stupid.”

  74. Jim A K Bailey 74

    NO to Labour – I have read every comment under the Standard Article – NO to Labour – Let it Die with National – Winston Peters is my man – Even better – BEST Invoke 2Chronicles 7:14 and be Onward together with Elohim and His WHOLE Original Scriptures – Jim

  75. Michael Chatfield 75

    This is great work, and really exemplifies what so many people long for in NZ politics: integrity and backbone.

    It’s probably already been said, but would be great to make this a petition that the public could sign.

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let the people let David know how much this means to our country

  76. I didn’t see anything radical in this article. Labour needs policies that a majority can actually relate to like:

    Lower income taxes for those below the medium income and higher taxes for the top 10% of income earners.
    GST of 10% on food and 20% on all other consumer goods. Apply the 20% GST on those off shore retail sales at the border.

    I can go on. Voters can’t distinguish between the two market oriented major parties and those who don’t like market economics and its quaint assumptions (eg trickle down) stay home on election day.

  77. Smilin 77

    We’re sick of “Dog run millionaire” Key and his self styled autocratic Presidency elected by him for him and all the other bastards who live off his leeching of the sovereignty of this nation and because sovereignty sounds too much like independence from Britain the US, Australia ,France China and any other nation that has taken control of this country .
    Key is a plant from the world finance order, a Zionist and only here to give power to Global Austerity created by the multinational rippoff merchants who created the so called finance collapse of 2008 in order to square the books of a bunch of thieves who should have been held accountable for swindling the masses out of the sovereign right to control their economies and as for the money well its the biggest fraud of the lot
    True value of an economy is the type that was produced after WW2 up till gold standard in 1972 was abolished , when the arseholes of finance started creating people like Key who produce nothing but a swindle of what honest people worked for and have been conning the ordinary person out of the little they own by taking the security of what they own in the deals they have done with the sovereignty of this nation so that our debt we owe as individuals keeps growing because thats how this present debt based economy works -keep the debt from ever being paid and you have a nation enslaved “too big to fail. ”
    And that is how you ruin a nation ala John Key style cause lets face it is he who has been one of the main actors in this global process since 1987 with his training prior being a young nat with the ego of a thief and the disposition of a despot towards the country that he has wrecked along with Roger Douglas Rod Deane Bob Jones and any others you might want to add, Im having trouble remembering them all as time goes by
    The good thing about Muldoon was you only had to watch him
    Theres a few starter points in bringing down this thief membered govt I hope

  78. greywarshark 78

    One of my observations of Labour past is that they have been inward looking and haven’t been quick on their feet to strike the right note with the electorate.

    On the one hand while they should be encouraged and enabled to build up numbers and not be criticised all the time, they did lose the last election and we are are anxious not to have this repeated So Mandy speaks for many of us who want Labour to make time to consider new ideas.

    I was thinking about narcissism and looked it up, yeah Labour has collective narcissism.
    1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance.
    2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
    3. Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
    4. Requires excessive admiration [regularly fishes for compliments, and is highly susceptible to flattery].
    5. Has a sense of entitlement.
    6. Is interpersonally exploitative.
    7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling [or, I would add, unable] to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.

    • Anne 78.1

      Sounds more like National and John Key in particular.

      Likes to mix with the high and mighty cos he think’s he’s one of them.
      Was/is preoccupied with making money for himself and his monied mates.
      Thinks he’s the bees knees. Yuk!
      Loves fishing for attention anywhere and everywhere.
      Has a sense of entitlement. eg. pony tail pulling.
      Exploits and manipulates.
      And finally he couldn’t give a damm about low paid workers and beneficiaries. That’s why he gave Paula Bennett the S.W. portfolio.

      • greywarshark 78.1.1

        Hah. Then again perhaps narcissism is a feature of all politicians. But an extreme case in yek’s case, and those in Labour who want to follow the individuality rather than the collective left line.

      • Clemgeopin 78.1.2

        pony tail pulling

        What pony tail pulling! Did he really? where? No one is bothered about it, it seems, not even the police or anyone else any more!

  79. BR 79

    Well said !

    I come from a family of staunch Labour voters – that is until Roger Douglas hit town and after that we haven’t voted for them ONCE – that’s 7 people and their children and i’m pretty sure we’re not the only ones.

    Labour either digs up it’s Left Wing spine or it dissolves into custard ( seems to be the most preferred option lately ) .

    Until then ( and after what they did to Hone in the last election …public apology maybe ??) we’re all staying well away from Labo….National Lite .

  80. Shaza 80

    Mr little if you do get to read this, our Country is in trouble and I agree with a lot of what Mhager had written and specially the last part “take a step backwards from our current stance of burying our head up the bum of America!” Lol that’s so true. We def need to be our own Country to stand up and be unique ……… We need a leader that is ethical transparent, and stands true to himself. To be realistic as well, when he makes a mistake not to shove it under the carpet and play dumb but to own up on his mistakes and admit his mistake, that he is only human and apologise and then move on.
    It must be hard being a public figure, but you are where you are meant to be right now for a reason. You weren’t there by mistake, so what are you going to put into place?
    Our Country needs someone that has our interests at heart, that’s thinking about our assets. I believe our assets are our children and our Country…….. Are you the man that can make a better NZ future for our people? I think a lot of people are looking at you and wondering what will your next move be? Hoping for something good to happen because where we are heading now especially with the ttpa situation its looking pretty grim it really scares me. I’m worried Mr little, I’m concerned for our kids future. Are you the man that can make a better change for us. Stop the growing gap between the super rich and the poor or are you another puppet? We need someone to represent us and stand up for us and look after us, our children and our Country….Are you the man? Can we put our hopes and dreams into your hands or is that a bit to much to ask? Are you for real? I get the impression that you for real Mr Little and you do genuinely care …..So what are you going to do to make that difference? I think it’s important that you stay grounded Mr little and when you have no where to turn to and you have come up against a brick wall, that you take a breath sit down and karakia (pray) and ask for help and say “What do you want me to do?” The best to you Mr Little I hope you are the man that can give us some hope.

  81. Alex 81

    If Labour is looking to grab back some of the middle ground an obvious and long neglected area is defence.

    There is a huge opportunity to revamp and strengthen our defence force in a way that is consistent with the good of all New Zealanders and could provide huge benefit to us, our Pacific neighbours and globally.

    There are real threats to peace and security out there and our current ‘sitting duck’ strategy exposes us to greater risk and places our sovereignty deeper in the pockets of the US and Australia.

    See Chris Trotter’s piece on Stuff this weekend: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/69649580/new-zealands-defences-rely-on-the-kindness-of-our-friends

  82. fuzzylogichome 82

    Mr Little please – being in opposition is not just automatically gainsaying everything the other side says. Some thoughtful responses would be greatly appreciated. Facts vs opinion should win every time.

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