Andrew Little; leadership, loyalty and lasting the distance.

Written By: - Date published: 1:19 pm, February 26th, 2015 - 64 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, david shearer, john key, labour, Politics, polls, Unions - Tags: , ,

Its 100 days since the NZ Labour Party elected Andrew Little as its leader. What an inspired decision that has turned out to be! Little has galvanised the party, united the caucus and given John Key some serious opposition for the first time since Helen Clark stood down. It hasn’t all been plain sailing, and the last week has had some very awkward moments, but Little looks odds on to end this corrupt, venal Government’s charmed run. It’s interesting how he has done it.

Not by shouting. There’s been no Angry Andy, no table thumping, no stereotypical union leader rousing the rabble.

Not by trying to out lie Key; there’s no point, even if Little was inclined that way, because Dunnokeyo is the master at dissembling, diverting and disregarding the truth.

Not by pretending there aren’t problems in Labour either. Little saw that an election result in the 20’s was a sign of dysfunction. When campaigning for the leadership, he promised to fix the machine and he has steadily achieved a turnaround in poll results with a simple formula: unity in caucus, a shared vision in the party and rebuilding the party finances and organisation.

Andrew Little leads the caucus by asserting moral authority. He isn’t a bully or a briber, he listens to those around him and offers the opportunity for each MP and staff member to use their talents for the collective good. Have you wondered why there haven’t been the usual leaks and distractions from disenchanted Labour MP’s? It’s because they are trusted by their leader, it’s because they have been given the chance to shine and because they can see that in 3 years (or less, hopefully) they can be Ministers in a reforming, progressive Government. He’s promoted on merit and given those with leadership roles a year or so to prove themselves. There’s likely to be a reshuffle late in the year, but on present form, there’s not many changes that need making.

Little has engaged with former leaders, showing faith in former David Shearer by giving him an important spot in the spy oversight committee and unintentionally endearing himself to middle New Zealand when Green party leader Metiria Turei over-reacted to that appointment. Not that Labour won’t need support from the Greens in some form when we take the reins of Government at the next election, but Little’s primary responsibility is to lift Labour’s vote. And he has certainly done that.

So what is it about Andrew Little that makes this sea change possible? Part of it is personality. Despite the jibes, he’s a warm and witty man. He’s good company and, yes, he’s a good bloke to have a beer with. He listens to those around him, values what they have to say and is more than capable of changing his mind if reasonable alternatives are put to him.

However, he’s also firm in his beliefs. He’s strong and direct and speaks his mind. John Key is not going to forget “Cut the crap” in a hurry. In fact, Key was so rattled by that phrase that he tried to top it with the lame “Get some guts” and failed miserably. We’ve seen no Angry Andy, but plenty of Crankey John. The comparison between the mumbled bullshit of an increasingly tired looking PM and the direct, clear vision of the opposition leader couldn’t be more stark. Without Key performing, National are destined for a long, long time in opposition. They are attached to Key’s success like a bald man is to a bad wig; having been seen with it, it’s  embarrassing when seen without it.

And Key is an accident waiting to happen. His habit of telling porkies, even when he doesn’t really have to, is going to catch up with him sooner rather than later. The Sabin affair and his role in covering up for a man he should have known was not MP material may yet prove his undoing. Hubris hurts us all eventually.

Another thing in Little’s favour is that he is an ethical person. Despite digging, the dirty right can’t find anything to pin on him. The media bill beatup was weak and his swift and correct response to Carmel Sepuloni’s situation is a marked contrast from the ‘nothing to see here’ snow jobs we’ve come to expect from Key.

Unsurprisingly for a lawyer and union negotiator, Andrew Little is a polished persuader. When leading the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union, he convinced the regionalised and factionalised branches he inherited to unite around a common vision. He modernised the union and turned the conservative Engineers Union into the EPMU, New Zealand’s most forward thinking advocate for working people. Labour’s focus on jobs flows naturally from Little’s former working life. He knows the issues that resonate with Kiwis and he recognises that hip pocket values win votes.

Clearly, he has taken that reforming zeal into caucus. He has inspired unity and discipline where none has been seen for years. Little will lead Labour to their best election result since the Clark years. And he will win that election for the party and for the good of New Zealand.

The first 100 days have passed and we can look forward to many, many more good days on the left. Well done Labour, well done Andrew!

64 comments on “Andrew Little; leadership, loyalty and lasting the distance.”

  1. fisiani 1

    Looks set to be the next PM…. I had to laugh. That’s what was said here about The Cunliffe, Shearer and Goff. I truly admire the optimism. Perhaps it cheers the troops.
    PS Honest John Key does not tell porkies and no matter how often that lie is repeated it fails to stick.

    • Sable 1.1

      In ten or twenty years when you are paying for healthcare, paying for your retirement, eating tainted food and water and living in a spoiled environment I hope you remember your words.

      • Eralc 1.1.1

        We’ve always provided for our own healthcare and retirement, no matter which government has been in. Never rely on the government and/or others, as my parents used to say, as far back as the ’60s when I was a kid growing up in a provincial town. As for your comment about tainted food and water – those comments have been made over the centuries.

    • ” Honest John Key does not tell porkies and no matter how often that lie is repeated it fails to stick.”

      I think you meant “Honest John Key does not tell porkies. No matter how often that lie is repeated it fails to stick.” for it to make sense.

    • scotty 1.3

      ‘PS Honest John Key does not tell porkies and no matter how often that lie is repeated it fails to stick.’

      We’re just not that gullible – Fisi.

    • Skinny 1.4

      Lol I will give you that one Fisi.

      I have had dinner and lunch with Little and know him well enough to say he is better than the other 3 put together, however I won’t be getting too carried away until the dead beats get kicked to touch. My partner who joined the party because she liked DC
      is now saying she is sick of them, she is even talking voting Green, after thinking they were crazy.

    • thatguynz 1.5

      “Honest John”… – you are truly deluded… The only emotion I can conjure for you is one of pity.

    • Hayden 1.6

      Here’s one lie:

      [re: Convention Centre for Pokies] “Helen Clark did the same thing actually, Labour forget that. That’s how we got the first convention centre,” he said.

      NZ Herald (16 Feb 2015)

      That directly contradicts:

      SkyCity was granted an extra 230 poker machines and 12 more gaming tables in 2001 to pay for a $37 million convention centre in Federal St.

      At the time, the Casino Control Authority was chaired by lawyer Judith Collins, who became a National MP in 2002 and is now the Minister of Justice.

      At the time of the 2001 deal Labour was in Government but played no role in the pokies for convention centre deal. Labour introduced the Gambling Act in 2003, preventing further expansion of gambling facilities.

      NZ Herald (26 Apr 2012)

      You could argue ignorance, but I’m not sure that’s a desirable trait either.

    • framu 1.7

      what did key say about standard and poors re: credit downgrades?

      that one was an outright lie – and cant even be explained via “interpretation”

    • Wynston 1.8

      No he just lies!

  2. Sable 2

    The burning question for anyone on the left is will another Labour government be any better than the current one?

    • McFlock 2.1

      well, yes.
      But how much better depends on whether the greens can boost their numbers as well.

      • Sable 2.1.1

        Very true McFlock and whether Labour can learn “to share” office and stop being the US’s lapdog like the Tories.

      • fisiani 2.1.2

        The better Little performs the more disaffected Labour voters who turned in despair to the Greens will return. The Left bloc stays the same. National will still be 46-49% which should be enough for the Centre Right to win. There is no evidence of National voters switching to Labour.

        • McFlock 2.1.2.1

          A thousand-year government, eh?

          • Skinny 2.1.2.1.1

            Lol very funny.

          • fisiani 2.1.2.1.2

            Nah just six terms,

            • McFlock 2.1.2.1.2.1

              Six terms? What do you think happens then – key ascends to the great golf course in the sky to sit in the chair god was just keeping warm for him, honest?

              Or is it just that in the Seventh Term the GodKey was arrested? And NZ was still without a fucking surplus…

        • TheBlackKitten 2.1.2.2

          Sorry but I disagree. Many people who were the traditional Labour voter have been turned off Labour due to the Clark PC ideology years that seen what was once a great party for the worker slowly turn into a party that became more concerned with anti smacking bills, creating a ministry for women and considering telling people what size their shower heads should be. Whilst they pursued PC ideology with vigour while in government they forgot and abandoned what their existence was based in which was to look out for people’s key economic concerns.
          During nine years of Labour plenty of key economic concerns for middle nz went unaddressed such as low wages due to the introduction of the ECA Act by National in 91, a housing boom, high power and food prices. Small businesses and contractors along with middle wage earners were gouged with red tape and a punitive tax rate of 39% that stifled rather than help them grow and survive. Many middle nz people were hurt by this & switched their voting from Labour to Key who had by 08 moderated National from the hard right wing Tory party of the Bolger/Shipley years into a party that held more appeal to middle nz.
          If Little & Labour can address and produce sensible realistic policies to address middle nz key economic concerns, steer clear of PC ideology then many of those that deserted Labour in droves due to the Clark years will return.

          • Hateatea 2.1.2.2.1

            The Ministry for Women, formerly known as the Ministry for Women’s Affairs, has been in existence since 1984. The date would indicate that it commenced during the Lange years, not the Clark years.

            When calling things PC, it would be appropriate to be telling the truth surely 😉

            Edited to insert link
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_for_Women

          • Tracey 2.1.2.2.2

            well if they were turned off by the mythical PCness then TRP has their saviour

            “a good bloke to have a beer with.”

            Pander to those too ignorant to give a shit about other people different from them aye TBK? Or as you describe them “middle nz key economic concerns”, and get more of the same.

            🙄

            The red tape for small businesses that you claim has gouged them has not changed a jot in 6 years. funny that. Probably cos we ranked highly for doing business then as well.

            • TheBlackKitten 2.1.2.2.2.1

              See Tracey you have not taken in a thing I have been writing about on this site due to your blinkered belief that I am some sort of National Party hack.
              If you read my comments more carefully you will note that the advice I give for Labour are to address those key economic concerns. Why – Because National has not, never will and it is not in their Tory nature to do so. Now I would not be saying that if I was a National hack would I?
              If Little & Labour and co do what I suggest, then I suspect that a lot of old traditional Labour voters will come back to Labour which will give Labour more majority and not being in the position of being so reliant on coalition partners as they are at present. Perhaps that’s your real issue with what I suggest, that the Greens will spend yet another term locked outside of government? If so, you should be honest about that.
              And how is letting people decide if they want to smoke, do drugs or what they eat pandering to “Pander to those too ignorant to give a shit about other people different from them aye TBK?”

        • swordfish 2.1.2.3

          Fiso: “There is no evidence of National voters switching to Labour”. and “The Left Bloc stays the same”

          Well, certainly no definitive proof and it would be true to say that Labour’s recent consolidation has come largely through cannibalising Opposition Bloc support (just as the Nats are cannibalising support on the Right).

          BUT, the latest round of polls do suggest a small Right-to-Left swing has occurred over recent weeks – Left Bloc up 4 or 5 points (so, no, the Left Bloc hasn’t stayed the same), Opposition Bloc up 1.5 – 2 points, Right Bloc down 1-2 points. (Accepting the usual caveats about sampling error). Could be a Con-to-Lab swing, could be a Nat-to-Lab swing (disguised by a concomitant Con-to-Nat swing) or a more complex pattern of swings below the surface. Regardless, we have what looks to be a net swing from Right to Left.

          “National will still be 46-49%”

          Interesting that you concede the Nats may be down to 46% come 2017. I’d suggest if that’s the case then it’ll be very tight for them indeed. Unless, of course, they can engineer a seat for Colin Craig as they currently do with Arnold Rimmer in darkest Epsom and the Hairdo down in the Ohariu Badlands.

          • Tracey 2.1.2.3.1

            I don’t think the kitten is going to let facts get in the way of the

            “Stop being PC and look after middle new zealand which is being strangled by regulations in their business” mantra.

        • Eralc 2.1.2.4

          Good point about the National voters, especially after Andrew Little tweeted “National supporters don’t have ears. May be missing other vital organs” on 24 Feb. That’s a bit vote limiting.

    • TheBlackKitten 2.2

      Very good question. Although I agree with this article that Little is the best leader that the Labour Party have had for a while I think he still has plenty of work to do to get that middle nz vote that will enable Labour to govern. Little is heading in the right direction with his talk about small business & distancing Labour from the Greens but then he derails that good work with issues like the contractor rather than worker scenario and looking at possibilities of separate laws for Maori. These issues scare middle nz & they will not vote for it despite how wrong or right you may feel it is.
      To win power, Little needs to keep on the track of telling middle nz exactly what Labour will do to address their economic concerns such as high food, house and power prices and what policies he will introduce that will help those struggling small businesses and contractors & low wage earners. Keep in mind that this is not simply an income issue, it is also a cost issue. Why do we pay such inflated prices for rates, houses, food, petrol, transport and power? What can be done to change that so that these costs are more relevant with the average joes income and enable mr & mrs middleclass to have more disposable income. Little needs to keep away from PC dogma such as the Cunliffe gaffe of ‘sorry for being a man’.
      If he chooses this path, then many dissatisfied people voting for NZ First and National will come back to Labour that will enable Labour to need minimal support from coalition partners that is the current situation that National enjoys. That’s where Labour needs to head.

      • Hateatea 2.2.1

        Black kitten, may I ask why you are obsessed with perceived ‘PC’ dogma?

        The ‘left’ has long been concerned with raising the awareness and status of those that the plutocrats, ruling classes or other similar labels of the ‘right’ trample on, ignore, exploit and, it seems to me, despise as unworthy of living wages, adequate housing, excellence in education etc.

        That New Zealand has made so many great advances over its relatively short existence as a nation is, in no small part, a consequence of the advocacy and perserverance of those in the union movement and Parliamentary ‘left’.

        Methinks you feel threatened by those who are ‘different’ and no longer as downtrodden as they once were. Do you feel left right out, dear kitten?

        • TheBlackKitten 2.2.1.1

          “Black kitten, may I ask why you are obsessed with perceived ‘PC’ dogma?”
          Why – because it takes away peoples ability to think and decide for themselves. Rather ironic when considering you then blab on about ruling classes etc. Sounds like some book that perhaps you read that relates to the world of pre world war I. Perhaps you would like to clarify exactly who are the ruling classes and why they have us all so downtrodden. Now don’t get me wrong, I agree that there is a certain group in society that is certainly taking more of the pie but I am curious to see if you think they are the same group as me or if you engrossed yourself with the belief that every single business (small, medium or big) falls under that category.
          And how do you come to the conclusion that I feel threatened about the so called downtrodden when I talk about key economic issues being addressed?

          • Colonial Rawshark 2.2.1.1.1

            The “ruling classes” are comprised of the global top 0.001%, their professional enablers, and regional elite. They probably number no more than 1M in number. Small and medium business owners in the sub US$10M wealth class, or even the “1%” who may normally be perceived as “rich” by most ordinary people, rate zero on this scale and are just as readily sacrificed as the serfs, come any future global financial or economic upheaval.

            More to the point. The ruling class of individuals owns and directs a vast amount of financial wealth and capital. In a capitalist political economy, these individuals naturally garner a highly overweight share of not just wealth, but of power.

            They also go out of their way to ensure that systems are established which guarantee that both wealth and power concentrates in their hands, not in broader hands.

            • TheBlackKitten 2.2.1.1.1.1

              I actually agree with you. Over the past 30 or so years corporates have spread more & more and now do what used to be provided the old owner and operator. Not sure if you are allowed to name company names on here so I will avoid doing so but many big companies are responsible for a lot of little one man bands, shops and family businesses ceasing to exist. Not to mention cheap labour overseas also contributing towards this.
              A corporate will typically spread out throughout the whole country, have plenty of dollars and will sell or provide services/products to undercut their competition. Due to their financial wealth they can afford the loss where as smaller businesses cannot. Small businesses will be the first to fold and before you know it, corporates are the dominant force. It also makes starting up a small business not financially viable for many. Look at all the franchises, and big business that now provide what was once run by small businesses.
              How to combat this is a real issue when considering a corporate also gets cheaper prices etc from the supplier due to their huge purchasing power. See these are the issues that the left winged parties should be looking at around the world rather than mopping around & worrying about people smoking and what they are eating.

          • Tracey 2.2.1.1.2

            actually it is the opposite of taking away people’s ability to think. Being rude and dis respectful (UN- PC) takes no thought at all.

          • framu 2.2.1.1.3

            “Why – because it takes away peoples ability to think and decide for themselves”

            your confusing what PC actually means with all the bullshit that people throw up and label PC because they either cant argue their case very well, cant adjust their argument to take into account a salient point or resent change

            Most cases that get PC attached to them are more about fear than anything else

            • TheBlackKitten 2.2.1.1.3.1

              Well perhaps you may like to enlighten us as to what is really does mean?

              • framu

                “The expression “politically correct” came about in the 1970’s and was intended to mean “inclusive.” It referred to the use of language that would not cause an individual of any demographic (social or cultural) group to feel excluded, offended, or diminished..”

                basically trying to not be a rude arsehole

                or as tracey put it – “Being rude and dis respectful (UN- PC)”

                the answer was kinda there already BK

  3. saarbo 3

    Agree 100% TRP

  4. music4menz 4

    Having seen Andrew dump Carmel Sepuloni for the alleged midemeanours of her mother suggests that maybe his desire for power and control is overriding his sense of justice. It seems a pretty hard outcome for Carmel who has done absolutely nothing wrong. There will be many who are questioning Andrew’s actions here.

    [lprent: Bullshit, and the last bit is an outright troll lie according to me. Banned for 2 months unless you can point to more than 10 (ie many) known to me as Labour supporters (what the post is pointing to) who did question the Carmel decision prior to this time. I will keep an eye on the spam.

    Trolls: Never claim anything about this site unless you can support it to my satisfaction. ]

    • “There will be many who are questioning Andrew’s actions here.”

      For the real context – There will be many, who want to discredit Andrew Little, questioning Andrew’s actions.

    • mac1 4.2

      There are many here who doubt your interpretation of the facts which do not coincide with my understanding. Two words or phrases early on in your comment raised my attention flag- “dump” and “having seen Andrew”.

      They do not concur with what I have read. The who, the what and the why of your opening sentence are wrong. Apart from that you didn’t mention when or where, so it’s really a literal no-brainer as to the quality of your reporting.

      If I were you, I’d take in to serious consideration the doubt which your “suggests” and your “maybe” and your “seems” express.

    • Colonial Rawshark 4.3

      Although I do not like the framing of a “conflict of interest” as the rationale, I think Carmel stepping down was a very useful move in terms of preventing a media circus and pre-empting right wing political distractions. And as I said previously – I gave Labour a pass mark for the move (just).

  5. saveNZ 5

    All sounds like a lovely fairytale but the statement

    Little has engaged with former leaders, showing faith in former David Shearer by giving him an important spot in the spy oversight committee and unintentionally endearing himself to middle New Zealand when Green party leader Metiria Turei over-reacted to that appointment.

    Means Labour has not learnt anything.

    Crapping on the Greens is National’s style and getting some cheap ones in to get a few votes. Sorry I don’t think that is middle NZ at all.

    Not that Labour won’t need support from the Greens in some form when we take the reins of Government at the next election, but Little’s primary responsibility is to lift Labour’s vote.

    Pretty Arrogant. Up there with the National government.

    If Labour keep up those attitudes, I think middle NZ are just going to go National, NZ First or Greens next election and unfortuntely a disunited NZ First and Greens and Labour is going to lead to National for a 4th year.

    Hmmm, there has been 3 loses to Labour in a row. I wonder why?

    • Puckish Rogue 5.1

      Crosby Textor, the people of NZ just don’t understand, the missing million, John Keys lies…take your pick 🙂

  6. Puckish Rogue 6

    🙂

    Wow, just wow.

    • swordfish 6.1

      Any chance, Pucks, of giving us a broad hint of precisely who you’re responding to here. Or are you just experiencing a general feeling of elation ?

  7. saveNZ 7

    In fact I believe the Crosby Textor advisors have already worked out it all hinges on the Greens next election. They are going hard out NOW to discredit the Greens, so that Labour starts to distance themselves and attack the Greens too. Doing that keeps both parties apart and also means the Greens and Labour just haemorrhage votes from each other, which like last election means the Nats get in by default and both Labour and Greens decrease their votes.

    I have said before to win Labour needs to win votes off National not the Greens, attacking the Greens and their policies is angering Labour supporters who will not be giving Labour their vote. Likewise those in Labour that are even more concerned about the Greens alliance if Labour themselves are discrediting them. Why would you vote Labour if they are calling the Greens names and they are their likely partner?

    Lose Lose strategy Labour. When will Labour work it out, or possibly there are so many Nat plants in Labour they can’t get anything straight anymore?

    • Puckish Rogue 7.1

      Why would the Greens matter now? They haven’t matter over the past 25 years, if anything its WinstonFirst that matters the most

      • framu 7.1.1

        so the big parties keep knicking their policies because they dont matter?

      • saveNZ 7.1.2

        Because Greens have the policy and the integrity. Labour and National have been eroding theirs. I knew people who voted National even though they didn’t want to, for stability. I don’t think they will next time. Don’t forget Greens used to be on 6%, now they are 11%. Conservatives might start splitting National’s vote.

        Yes, there are greedy people voting National that don’t care how many people die in Iraq or how much of the country is sold. But inequality is growing. People are getting poorer in this country. Climate change is now a main stream issue. Terrorism and War are big issues for people (like Nuclear Free NZ) and sovereignty will become an issue. If TPP goes ahead, jobs will start to be lost. Multinationals will start to take over jobs which affect the middle class. More farms will be owned by the Chinese and Russians. Often it takes a while to click for ordinary people. Then one day, voters realise that party they voted for last time is not working for them.

        Winston is a real contender and should defiantly be wooed, but how much longer is Winston going to be in politics and then what will happen to his party? Labour and Greens have lost ground they actually will need each other. NZ First probably distrusts National slightly more than Labour.

        Labour are NationalLite on many issues. They like to think voters only care about the mythical leader, but most ex Labour voters are more concerned about their schizophrenic polices.

        I actually want to support Labour as I feel they are the best hope next election (with a Greens, NZ First alliance) but I don’t trust them to make the right decisions for the best future of the country. More to make decisions to hang on as NO 2 in parliament.

        I want to be wrong on this one. But with a few percentage points in the polls they revert back to arrogant character that is losing them their supporters.

        Labour are naive about dirty politics and how it is giving false positives for important issues. They have not learn’t from the election. I was stunned to discover the Greens apparently spent more on the election than Labour.

        Even looking at no right turn article, he was thinking the Nats were right, Labour would support the war in Iraq. Many ex supporters are now are deeply cynical of Labour. They think the worst of them.

        Yep Andrew Little is doing a much better job, but Labour is a big party and have a lot of trust to re build to the public of NZ. They can start by differentiating themselves from National by not supporting TPP and Security and Surveillance bill. But are they going NationalLite cos they want to hedge their bets? Not a good bet in the long run!

        I’ll be interested in seeing if any Labour MP’s come to the anti TPP march:) They have been Mum on this issue.

        • Colonial Rawshark 7.1.2.1

          Sharp analysis and summary.

          Someone else on The Standard said it first but I will repeat it: Labour is a crawling mass of class contradictions.

          I will say – what use is a “broad church” when it can’t even agree on whether hymns should even be sung let alone getting on to the same hymn sheet.

          • lprent 7.1.2.1.1

            You haven’t been around the the catholic church, the anglican church, the methodists, the various types of baptists, or… Well every group in virtually every religion or every political party. The natural state for a political party is about the size of Mana. Just small enough that the spalling factions are counted in units of one (ie the Pete George effect). The unnatural state is something at or above the side of the Greens or NZ First, where most of the work is involved in shoving cautiously against other people with their own agendas for long periods of time.

            Any person or group that actually wants to change things works with a wide range of people who disagree with them on most things apart from a few bits. It is the dichotomy of political life. You can convince a few people of your ideas in a relatively short amount of time and form a cult and be relatively politically ineffectual (ie Mana or even Act), or you persuade a lot of people in a larger party not to get in the way over decades and do something that is compromised but effective.

            I have found that it seems to depend on the person. If you want flash and ego boost, then cult it. If you want change, then do a lot of slow legwork amongst people that don’t appreciate you.

            I have largely done my decades of wide pushing, so I have been steadily focusing down to provide room for others to do it – ie TS.

            • Clemgeopin 7.1.2.1.1.1

              That is so well explained! I agree.

            • ropata:rorschach 7.1.2.1.1.2

              Half of the ministers in churches probably hold opinions that differ from official doctrine! Jon Stewart once said “if you get 3 Jews together, you will have 4 opinions on any topic” 🙂

              So true of religion – those that aren’t mind-controlling cults, at least. Diversity is a challenging and wonderful aspect of the human condition.

              A “broad church” party finds a middle ground that most people can accept, probably with some grumbling.

  8. cyclonemike 8

    To be fair, Rex Jones was at the helm when the EPMU was formed.
    Andrew was a strong replacement for Jones who had worn the proverbial big shoes in the union movement for many years.
    Andrew took the union into the modern era, continuing the fight against the consequences of the Employment Contracts Act.
    When he becomes prime minister I hope a piece of seriously reformed industrial legislation will be high on his list of priorities.

    • Yes, quite right. Rex Jones was was the first National Secretary of the EPMU, leading it from ’96 to 2000. Andrew oversaw the legal aspects of the mergers that created the newly formed union and became Rex’s deputy after 2 years.

      However, it was very much Andrew who modernised the union, replacing the branch structure and regional secretary power bases with local organiser teams and regional hubs and shifting the internal democratic systems to industry representation rather than geographical.

      I understand a move to the Aussie two tier model of awards and site bargaining is on the cards, but no doubt we’ll hear more in the future.

      • Atiawa 8.1.1

        Every supporter of this post and Andrew should be equally supportive of the union movement. The movement is under constant attack from big business and government and in a few days recently enacted changes to the Employment Relations Act will take affect.
        The Act promotes collective bargaining but next week, employers will be able to opt out of multi employer collective agreements (MECA’s).
        MECA’s such as the EPMU’s Metals agreement, provide an opportunity for workplaces big & small to retain/improve and negotiate minimum standard industry agreements with a number of employers, i.e. the Metals supports workers who are invariably engaged in manufacturing, however the basic terms & conditions of employment that it contain’s can be utilised in almost any work place.
        Collective bargaining next week will be severely challenged.
        The union movement and the communities it supports requires your support and membership.

  9. shorts 9

    regardless of how good these first 100 days have gone and how well suited Little might be as leader of the major opposition party and possible future prime minister how will he (and perhaps more importantly his team) fare once the dirty politics machine starts grinding….

    I hope Little and Labour deal with the dirty plays they will be dealt better than they have to date -unfortunately how they play this game might be the determiner to if they get power as sucky as that is

  10. Clemgeopin 10

    A well written post there TRP.

    The perceived errors of Helen Clark that were blown out of proportion by the RW propaganda outfit and the MSM were quite minor and insignificant compared to the seriously disgraceful corrupt ways of the present government, the PM, the cabinet ministers and the Nat MPs, who are all PRIMARILY working for the wealthy, the corporates and the corrupt, while cunningly continuing with some the good social policies of Labour for political expediency to fool the masses!

    Unfortunately, it is a fact that, going by the media polls, a good chunk of the people of this country have not yet realised the bull shit and the nasty ways of this government.

    But as sure as the day follows night, I think they will soon wake up and see the light.

  11. linda 11

    if Andrew little is wining vote keep doing what he is doing as for the greens the whole left need to lift there vote and I agree key god tells so many porkies it will catch up we him and one day there will be breaking news shone key has left the building
    in coming labour government need an investigation into the key era government.

  12. Ad 12

    Yes agreed TRP a solid 100 days – night and day compared to the previous guy’s 100 days.

    Your point about inspiring unity very well taken, after an exhausting 2 terms of internal hatred.

    My quibble is his muddled Waitangi Day messaging – needed more concision, more repeatability.

    In the next 100 days I want to see him acting in concerted attack with Winton on some issues, and the Greens on others. Gain the confidence of the leaders he’s going to have to form a coalition with.

    I also want to hear a really knockout ANZAC message from him – Key is now vulnerable to all things military.

  13. After 3 terms in office, National has played out their hand, and it’s obvious to everyone what their election strategy will be: Jingoism, sucking up to the USA, loads of photo ops, and an endless stream of “good news” that consists of highly selective and skewed statistics.

    The supposed economic good times are of course a massive bubble which the Nats are desperately trying to keep inflated, by a huge influx of foreign investment and shortages of housing. The flip side is downplayed and lied about, the improved employment statistics count everything from paper runs to zero hour contracts. The record number of homeless, the ever worsening house affordability, and record-breaking inequality are the shameful price of National’s greed. None of this bad news is of interest to National’s constituents, they have divided New Zealand into a two tier country, and they are doing OK.

    David Parker showed how to counter the Nat Crosby Textor machine in a positive way, with humour. The housing bubble can be countered by appealing to families who want a future for their kids. The employment and economic spin can be countered by talking about the many people who have been left out in the cold. John Key’s charisma can be neutralised by honest kiwi battlers like Robyn Malcolm or more erudite voices like Eleanor Catton.

    Fame is a fickle thing and politicians that rely on it too much can come crashing to earth pretty damn fast. We used to think that NZ First was a personality cult, they have nothing on #TeamKey. It’s not something that Labour can emulate or do much about, until the tide finally turns and we all become sick of a PM who acts like a smart alecky teenager, reels off spin, mugs for the camera, and does not respect the dignity of the office of Prime Minister.

    Andrew Little is on the right track by being a normal person, keeping his integrity, and being straight up with NZ.

  14. Murray Rawshark 14

    I can’t help seeing Little as trying to promote himself as a safe pair of hands for NZ Inc, subsidiary of the US and A. His agreement on surveillance and his putting Shearer on the spy committee ahead of anyone from the other parties, as well as his acceptance of the US framing of the Iraq debacle, all say to me that we shouldn’t expect much besides steady as she goes. He’ll be another tribal leader, loved by the faithful while the neoliberal attacks continue, but at a slowed pace. We’ve lowered our sights too much.

  15. MrSmith 15

    Oh please, all I see is a whole lot of deluded back patting. Labour should be very worried and so should Little, considering the Government has had a horror start to their ‘Third term’, and you would expect a third term, just re-elected Government to slump post election as well, Labour polling around 30% hardly reason for the red team to be celebrating .

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