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Andrew Little – Our values and interests on the world stage

Written By: - Date published: 2:50 pm, September 10th, 2015 - 54 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, labour, Politics - Tags:

Tēnā Koutou Katoa,

Thank you for the invitation to speak this afternoon.

I want to acknowledge your local president Graham Adams and Whanganui Deputy Mayor Hamish McDouall.

Today, I want to talk about New Zealand’s tradition of standing up for our values and interests on the world stage.

The issue of how we should do that, rearing its head in a few different ways, has been behind some of the biggest questions in politics this year.

  • What should we do about offshore speculators flooding our housing market?
  • What’s the right level of foreign investment in our productive land?
  • Should New Zealand sign up to the TPPA?
  • What’s the best way to react to climate change?
  • Should we start taking more refugees?

Today, I want to tell you how the next Labour Government will approach these matters, and the principles that will guide our thinking.

A tradition we can be proud of

New Zealand has always been a force for good on the world stage.

As Kiwis, that’s something we are proud of.

We’re a small country with an outsized influence on world affairs. That’s because we’re true to our values of democracy, equality, openness, and tolerance.

We’re a country that has engaged with the world without fear and on our own terms.

That’s who we are, and it’s the history we’ve inherited from those who came before us.

People like Prime Minister Peter Fraser who saw the carnage left in the wake of World War Two, and so helped to establish the United Nations. He knew that a different kind of international order was needed to break the cycle of global conflict.

Peter Fraser saw that the job of securing a better world couldn’t just be left to the great powers. He believed that small states, like New Zealand, also needed to play an active role in promoting peace and tolerance around the globe.

So did Norman Kirk, who saw that in New Zealand’s own backyard, powerful countries were using the Pacific as a nuclear testing ground.

He was clear that this injustice could not be tolerated.

Kirk took the action, considered radical at the time, of sending a New Zealand frigate to bear witness to illegal French nuclear tests at Mururoa. His goal was “to bring alive the conscience of the world,” and to protect the citizens of small Pacific states. He succeeded.

His legacy is one we can all be proud of. We’re proud of David Lange’s legacy as well.

In the face of the scorn and derision from the most powerful nation in the world, Lange stood up against the madness of mutually assured destruction.

He showed that a small country could forge its own path, even in the face of much more powerful interests who wanted to hold it back.

He showed us that New Zealand could be an example to other nations, that we aren’t bound by the inescapable flow of history.

That we don’t just have to accept the world that is.

That we have the power to shape our own destiny.

That we could, in his words, “restore to humanity the power of decision.” The power of decision.
That’s what I want to talk about today.

My belief in the importance of that power of decision and the power to make our own future is why Labour has taken the positions we have on foreign ownership and investment this year.

The truth is the great leaders I’ve mentioned today – the people whose legacy we are so proud of – didn’t just do it out of the goodness of their hearts.

They did it because they had made a decision that the best thing for New Zealand was to engage with the world on our own terms.

New Zealand’s history of positive engagement on the world stage isn’t an accident.

It’s because for a small country at the bottom of the world, one that doesn’t possess all the natural resources or the large markets to support a first world standard of living on its own, engaging with the world’s economy has been a vital part of securing our own prosperity.

We engage globally through trade and good international relations because for a country of just four million people whose army would be no match for a great power, the best way to secure our own borders is an international community committed to peace and the rule of law.

We are blessed by the fact we are a nation not divided by ethnic, religious or sectarian conflict.

New Zealanders are proud that our country has a history of doing the right thing, for our people and the world, no matter what pressure we are under.

But today, I believe that tradition is under threat.

National: A vacuum of moral leadership

Under National, New Zealand is retreating from our role as an international leader and when powerful overseas interests come calling, we are less likely to stand up for ourselves.

Take climate change, the greatest threat to the world since the spectre of nuclear fallout.

It’s an issue demanding clear moral and political leadership. And where is New Zealand under John Key’s Government?

Huddled away in the middle of the pack.

We’re doing so little that we’ve been branded a laggard on climate change by a respected global watchdog.

They said we were shirking our obligations to the people of the world. That’s not who we are. That’s shameful.

But this is not the only example of the Government abandoning our tradition of moral leadership.

Right now, the world is in the middle of the largest refugee crisis since the end of the Second World War.

Last year, 13.9 million people fled from their homes due to conflict around the world.

Half of those refugees are children.

Millions of children live in some of the most gut wrenching, heart breaking conditions you can imagine, with no end in sight.

Just two weeks ago, 70 refugees were found suffocated to death in the back of a truck in Austria. Four children were among them.

We all saw the awful images of Syrian toddler Aylin Kurdi’s body washing up on the shore in Turkey. Those images jolted consciences all around the world.

At this moment in history, the most vulnerable of people are looking to countries like New Zealand, countries with reputations as good global citizens, and hoping to see us show some courage.

With our seat on the UN security council, we are meant to be an example to the world.

And when it comes to refugee resettlement, we can set an example – it is something we do exceptionally well, we just need to do more of it.

The New Zealand I’m proud of doesn’t shirk from our responsibilities.

We’re better than this.

We’re meant to be the country that stands up for what’s right.

Labour stands for a New Zealand that reclaims its place as a global leader, and as a country with a conscience.

A country where we chart an independent path again, because it’s the right thing to do.

That’s why we are proposing that New Zealand’s climate change targets should be at least comparable to what the EU has undertaken to do within its overall target of a 40 per cent carbon dioxide emissions reduction below 1990 levels by 2030.

That would bring us in line with the countries currently leading the fight against climate change.

It’s also why Labour pushed so hard for an emergency increase in our refugee intake for the year and why we will continue to fight to raise our refugee quota so New Zealand is doing its bit.

Who we are as a country is about what we do, not what flag we wave. With Labour, New Zealand will lead again.

National: Selling out New Zealand’s interests offshore

But we’ve lost more than just our moral standing in the world under this Government.

Increasingly, we’re losing our ability to decide our own future here at home as well.

That’s what happens when the Government flogs off major strategic assets to foreign buyers, or puts large quantities of farmland on the block to foreign owners, or lets offshore speculators drive up interest rates and lock New Zealanders out of the housing market.

That’s also what happens when the government risks trading away the strength of Pharmac in a secret trade deal which could cost us billions of dollars and drive up the cost of medicines.

No government has ever traded away New Zealanders’ access to healthcare in the name of a trade deal before, but that’s what John Key has refused to rule out in order to get New Zealand into the TPPA.

Time and time again, National is ignoring the interests of New Zealanders in order to pander to powerful forces offshore.

That’s never been the New Zealand way. We can do so much better.

That’s why Labour will stop foreign speculators from driving up house prices and shutting out New Zealand families.

It’s a common sense policy, one adopted by Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and others.

I want to be very clear today.

The only thing that is radical is National’s determination to set aside New Zealanders’ interests when making important decisions about our economic future.

The only break from the Kiwi tradition is National’s insistence we are powerless before global economic forces.

The only unusual thinking is National’s belief that the best way to get ahead in the world is to send more money offshore.

National also believes it’s wrong for a Government to ensure foreign buyers of our farm land are actually creating the new jobs they promised when they bought the land.

For years we’ve been rubber stamping consents, never following up on whether the investment worked as promised.

The only way that makes sense is if you don’t like accountability.

Because National doesn’t think it’s important to hold foreign investors in our farm land to account for the promises they make, it is estimated that over 10% of New Zealand’s productive land has been sold without any apparent long term economic or social advantage to New Zealand.

Labour will ensure foreign investors are keeping their promises. That’s common-sense to most New Zealanders, but National says if you’re for any constraints on foreign investment, you must be against all foreign investment.

That’s crazy, but that’s also why from 2012 to 2014 New Zealand approved all 296 applications for foreign interests to buy sensitive New Zealand land. They turned down exactly zero. Not a single one.

National thinks that if we want to be respected in the international community, we have to give up our independence.

They say if we want to be part of global trading pacts, the first thing we need to trade away is the national interest.

That’s nonsense.

New Zealand should stand up for itself on the world stage.

Labour believes, and has always believed, that New Zealand’s interests are served when we engage with the rest of the world.

But we can and should do that in pursuit of what is best for New Zealanders, even if it doesn’t suit the needs of big money offshore.

Opposing unlimited foreign money pouring into Auckland housing doesn’t prevent us attracting capital to support growing Kiwi businesses.

Opposing trading away Pharmac for the TPPA doesn’t mean we can’t negotiate free trade deals that help our citizens, as Labour did with the China FTA.


Engaging with the rest of the world does not mean abandoning what’s best for New Zealanders.

Telling our people that these are the rules of the game, and there’s nothing you can do about it, isn’t the Kiwi way.

We’re better than that.

The project of the next Labour government will be to expand economic opportunity to every New Zealander.

To grow our economy, create jobs and give everyone the chance to live the Kiwi dream.

Yes, that will involve negotiating trade agreements. But not selling our right to make decisions in our own interests.

Yes, it will involve foreign investment, but investments that generate jobs and wealth in NZ, not wealth that gets sucked offshore.

New Zealand is not a tiny boat bobbing aimlessly on the ocean, tossed this way and that by the whims of global powers.

We have the power to make our own way in the world and chart a course that’s best for New Zealand.

We have the power to shape our own future.

The future that the next Labour Government will build for New Zealand is one where we never hesitate to do what is right and never hesitate to provide leadership.

Where our Government puts the interests of our people ahead of the demands of powerful forces overseas.

Where we are a prosperous nation, fuelled by investment and innovation.

Where we create wealth and harness the energy and talents of a new generation of New Zealanders to build a sustainable, diversified economy.

Where home ownership is affordable again and young families can start their life together by owning the roof over their heads.

Where we stand up for ourselves on the world stage, stand up for what’s right and stand up for what is best for New Zealanders.

Where we are not afraid to step up to the challenges facing us and the world, no matter how big or how hard.

We have the ability to choose that future for ourselves.

We have, we have always had, the power of decision that David Lange spoke of.

I believe we should use that power to choose a better future for our people, together.

Thank you.

54 comments on “Andrew Little – Our values and interests on the world stage ”

  1. Tracey 1

    Of interest to note is how many Labour Party PM’s have led on the world stage and how many Nat Party Leaders have chosen to be followers of our bigger allies.

  2. Tracey, I have tried to explain that very thing to my 3 University graduate adult children whom vote for the Nats.
    They have never been through hard times as my generation did, born during the second world war, parents who had it even tougher with 2 WW and a depression to deal with.
    All my children think about is how life is treating them and they are doing very OK so I guess they cannot be blamed for thinking that Key and his cohorts are doing a good job.
    I think that this is where Key gets his support, the younger people who know only good times, and if Labour do not get its act together, they will never be returned to power.

    • Tracey 2.1

      I know a few people in their 20’s not happy with key, so not sure how well we can generalise.

      I know that in my conscious time as a voter we have had Lange and Clark, both leaders who talked about and with their teams led from the front (rightly or wrongly) on many issues from nuclear free, to speaking against wars (or seeking factual justifications for them) and so on. To my knowledge most of the form national PMs from that time have served on business boards or similar rather than higher public service type positions.

      Those of us who have raised children who have never wanted for anything, and wanted everything (and mostly got it) , we need to look at ourselves to what we have created.

      Interestingly, Little didn’t mention Clark in his speech. BUT he did speak to stuff I think is important, namely how we, who have power and privilege and comfort can work for those who do not.

      • b waghorn 2.1.1

        “”Little didn’t mention Clark in his speech. “”
        I don’t recall Clarke doing anything ground breaking ,

      • Katie 2.1.2

        I do think there is some truth in saying many young people only know only good times but that doesn’t completely coincide with supporting John Key. (Speaking as a young person in their 20s) we are products of growth and development, we were born into the world, post war, post anti nuclear stance, post any major political issue that has shaped New Zealand’s identity but in saying that it doesn’t mean we’re completely detached from it. Maybe our upbringings do pose an influence, but we should all be free to interpret this world as we wish. I always believed in the idea that the only way we are able to determine the future we must understand the past. And if New Zealand has a history of taking a stand and not being, as Andrew has said “a tiny boat bobbing aimlessly on the ocean, tossed this way and that by the whims of global powers” then I do question our current state of affairs.

        I do agree with the majority of what Andrew has said above, but the issue I have is that argument will not be any more than just words. We have seen a New Zealand that we can be proud of, but I feel if we continue in that state we are going we will pass a point where everything we know which makes this country what it is will be gone. That’s what worries me for the future.

        • Brown21

          I agree with you Katie. I do think that we can be highly influenced from our upbringings which can constitute us in believing certain ideologies later on in the future. My question for you is with your worries you mentioned for New Zealand’s future, what would you change? Do you think Andrew Little could be the one to make that change for New Zealand?

          • Katie

            There is already many arguments about New Zealand’s current policies and agreements (TPPA, selling off assets, foreign buyers) that I do believe need to be changed or at least revisited. But the biggest change I would hope to see would be those of NZ’s international voice and identity and that of moral leadership. Under Key’s government, we have been follower of bigger nations, we quietly sat in the corner whilst our decisions are made in the interests of other countries and not our own. As Andrew states we had been force feed this ideology that we are powerless before global economic forces. Which is obviously not the truth at all. I think back to the ANZUS treaty and how New Zealand was ‘kicked out’ per say by the Americans as we wouldn’t allow nuclear armed or powered ships within our waters. New Zealand put its on morals before those of international powers, disregarding any possible ramifications because we knew it was the right thing to do. New Zealand being put first is what I would hope to see in the future.

            Do you think Andrew Little could be the one to make that change for New Zealand? I wish I could confidently say yes, but who is to know. One thing I do know is that the changes would not be made under the current party and their dogma.

  3. Bearded Git 3

    Bit off-topic but Andrew Little came over extremely well on Back Benches last night, especially his very human story on battling prostate cancer.

    • I think Andrew Little would make a very good PM.
      But he needs to be given a fair go.

      Being the leader of the Opposition is a tough job.
      The Opposition do not have the numbers to back him up.
      And they don’t have money to bribe the electorate such as National do.

      • James 3.1.1

        Simon is indeed Simple.

        Its easier to bribe when in opposition – because you dont actually have to come up with the money.

        And when you say the numbers to back him up – I assume that you mean voters?

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    1. What should we do about offshore speculators flooding our housing market?
    2. What’s the right level of foreign investment in our productive land?
    3. Should New Zealand sign up to the TPPA?
    4. What’s the best way to react to climate change?
    5. Should we start taking more refugees?

    1. ban them
    2. None
    3. HELL NO!!!
    4. Wrong question. It should be: What’s the best way to become sustainable as a society?
    5. Maybe but it would be better to help those countries actually become a stable environment

    We’re a small country with an outsized influence on world affairs. That’s because we’re true to our values of democracy, equality, openness, and tolerance.

    Well, we used to be – before the 4th Labour government decided that rich people were more important.

    It’s because for a small country at the bottom of the world, one that doesn’t possess all the natural resources or the large markets to support a first world standard of living on its own, engaging with the world’s economy has been a vital part of securing our own prosperity.

    We, of course, do have those resources available to us. Saying that we don’t is an outright lie.

    We are blessed by the fact we are a nation not divided by ethnic, religious or sectarian conflict.

    Well, we’re not shooting at each other but I think you’ll find that there’s actually quite a bit of such conflict.

    Opposing unlimited foreign money pouring into Auckland housing doesn’t prevent us attracting capital to support growing Kiwi businesses.

    We don’t need, and have never needed, foreign money to grow NZ businesses because we can only grow them from using NZ’s resources. How do we get NZ’s resources available to NZ businesses? By extracting them from the land and making them available and by not selling them offshore. We do that by having the government do the extraction.

    Opposing trading away Pharmac for the TPPA doesn’t mean we can’t negotiate free trade deals that help our citizens, as Labour did with the China FTA.

    Don’t need free-trade deals either – just need to set the conditions under which we, as a country, will trade with other countries. They can do the same and, lo and behold, we have free trade.

    Yes, it will involve foreign investment, but investments that generate jobs and wealth in NZ, not wealth that gets sucked offshore.

    No foreign investment creates jobs that we couldn’t have done ourselves thus foreign investment brings nothing to NZ but it does suck money offshore.

    • maui 4.1

      5 simple answers (often one word) to 5 big questions, clear, concise, no bullshit. That offers an alternative, I’d vote for that. I’m not voting for someone who’s still deciding their stance on something 6 months later. I think this is why Bernie Sanders is so successful – you know where he stands.

  5. David Scott 5

    I often ask my friends who all used to be Labour supporters if they would vote Labour again. Not one of them said yes. Labour lost its way and doesn’t represent grass roots NZ the way it used to. Unless they pledge to reverse the damages done by National they won’t get a lot of their old vote back.

    And as for refugees, the media makes it seem like everyone in NZ is saying “take more, take more.” I haven’t found a single friend who wants more. Everyone says LESS. Why should we give them a free home and cushy way of life when we have people here struggling to survive on $10,000 per year and poverty affecting so many.

    When we have ethnic and religious problems here, and security is compromised, those of us with common sense will be able to say WE TOLD YOU SO.

    • weka 5.1

      When we get to the point of needing international aid, will you want other countries to help us?

    • b waghorn 5.2

      So who do you’re friends vote for.?

    • Karen 5.3

      I think you should choose your friends more carefully.

      My friends are all Labour or Greens and they all think the refugee quota should be doubled immediately.

      • Rodel 5.3.1

        He should just say “I haven’t found a single friend…” and leave it at that.
        Wouldn’t surprise me.

  6. Dorothy Bulling 6

    Well spoken Andrew Little. Will be interesting to see if the news media report this speech and I hope it is on Facebook.

  7. BM 7

    Christ, what a terrible speech.

    Think about your audience Andrew, discussing climate change and increasing refugee quotas at a grey power meeting.
    Do you honestly believe that’s what they want to hear?

    Seriously, WTF.

  8. ankerawshark 8

    BM us older people are very concerned about how we leave the planet. We think about the opportunities we had and feel very concerned for younger people facing the impact of climate change…….

    And those of us who feel we have had a good life mainly due to policies of previous labour govts believe and support people far less fortunate than us in doing that too!

  9. Bill 9

    I’m not seeing anything that might inspire in any way or anything that could have hope latched to it.

    Is the following ‘summary’ too harsh?

    “Those were good guys and these guys are bad guys. There are guys from elsewhere doing some good without challenging anything fundamental. We want to be just like them. Vote Labour.”

    edit. Is it because all the speak is about ‘New Zealand’ and reputation and institutions and there’s just nothing directly about us – people?

    • Atiawa 9.1

      What would inspire a grey power audience in Whanganui if not a trip down memory lane, sprinkled with a dose of good ol’ fashioned juice flowing patriotic concern for the land that their forebears likely fought to retain in two world war’s?
      Perhaps a weekly half priced steam boat trip up the river with a swipe of their gold card to pay for the privilege would be more inspirational. How about a plan to reopen the railway workshops? Maybe a plan to get Jetstar to fly into the city and back home again after a day trip to Auckland to allow first-hand comparisons with house prices.
      What do you think they would have wanted to hear Bill?

      • Bill 9.1.1

        What do you think they would have wanted to hear Bill?

        See, that’s the problem right there. If everything is catered to what its imagined a particular audience might want to hear, then I think it’s pretty safe to assume that nothing is being said.

        Just say what you have to say – people will come.

    • leftie 9.2

      Predictable anti Labour bashing from Bill.

  10. Smilin 10

    The only problem with the UN is its been dead since the global currency went off the gold standard
    I mean they couldnt even bring French terrorists to justice for bombing the RAINBOW WARRIOR

  11. weston 11

    yeah soon as the speach sounds like electioneering thats it for me i start feeling sick .,Wish labour would be more contraversial sound more like draco seems a modern politician cant even swear a bit only time i can remember one swear was cullen calling key a rich prick prob woulnt hurt if al did a bit of that since its a nice sticky title .AL could take a cue from sanders in the states and corbyn in the uk see if he could get on the same wave and start seriously stiring some shit after all theres plenty to stir !!!

  12. pete 12

    I just wish Littles script writers had learned a little from James Corbyn and Bernie Sanders. This sort of speech will not get any traction and rightfully so.

    Where is the stuff that really matters to the 99% who own the half of the country not owned by the remaining 1%? Close tax havens, charge companies tax, close loopholes which allow the rich to escape taxation, nationalise banks (for god sake they cream the boom-time profits and demand public bailouts when the chips are down), design strategies to close the wage gap!

    With that new money provide free and improved education, invest in renewable energy, health care and research, make it a priority to get EVERYONE out of poverty, clean up rivers and make this country clean and green instead of just saying it.

    Why do these people worry if they alienate corporates? The Labour party need voters not corporations to win an election. If the manifestos of the two major parties are so indifferent that the winner is decided by the party with the larger electoral funds it really doesn’t matter who governs. A large number of people are clearly fed up with the ever rising corporatism of the world and ready to support someone who is eager to grab the wheel and get the ship off that destructive neo-liberal course.

    Don’t try to be centrist while the “center” has shifted to the right edge of the political spectrum.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Why do these people worry if they alienate corporates?

      Because they’ve bought into the lies that wealth flows from the rich and the private sector. It doesn’t of course – it flows from the nation and the community, it resides in our land and seas and it is the work of the many that converts it from raw wealth into things of value. The rich just take that value for themselves through usury and bludging.

  13. Whatever next? 13

    As usual, cogent and practical explanation of plans to turn around the downward slide of society and remind us there is another way.
    Andrew makes complete sense, and even if there were a few minor variations from my views, I have trust in the overall approach of Labour.
    What does completely confound me is the quibbling and squabbling amongst the group of people who don’t support National, yet are unable to galvanise to elect a government which will bette serve the majority.
    Listening to people who seem to be “punishing” Labour for previous policies, and expecting current Labour to dance only to their tune sometimes makes me feel they get what they deserve, unfortunately at a high cost.

  14. The lost sheep 14

    Andrew is a decent bloke. Honest, sincere, and with deep roots in traditional Labour Party values. I like him. But.
    He almost completely lacks the essential charisma of great leaders. That spark that connects with and inspires large numbers of people to believe in a leader simply ain’t there.

    Surely you can all see that. I mean honestly, just take the lack of energetic support for him here on TS? Damning with faint praise?
    If writers and commenters on this site can’t generate any significant passion for the man – why on earth would you expect the general public to do so?

    The Left desperatelyneeds an inspiring leader that can command attention and put a razor sharp vision across with sufficient power to sway the public to believe in his/her ability to deliver it.
    Sorry, but that isn’t Andrew Little.

    Finding that leader should be the absolute number one priority for anyone who seriously wants to see a Left Wing Government again in Aotearoa.
    But I have a feeling it isn’t….

    • Raf 14.1

      I’ve never seen anyone with less ‘charisma’ than Jeremy Corbyn and he’s doing alright. I associate ‘charisma’ with the likes of Blair and Obama. You can keep it. What we need is what Corbyn’s got – conviction and guts.

      • The lost sheep 14.1.1

        If ‘charisma’ is a spark that inspires people to believe in your leadership, then self evidently you are wrong about Corbyn Raf.

        And that’s my point. Andrew Little is not inspiring anyone to join The Labour Party, let alone 180,000. Andrews speech above was given to a Retirement home, rather than the 99th overflowing town hall in the last 2 months…
        Andrew is not going to do a ‘Corbyn’, and no one else in the NZ Labour Party is either.

        There is something fundamentally wrong with the state of the NZ Left. It’s full of people who are experts at dissecting the truly appalling incompetence of National, but even given the low bar that is set, as a collective The Left is persistently unable to present a convincing alternative to the electorate.

        I gave up on The Left in despair at the lack of collective intelligence 4 years ago. And to be honest, I haven’t seen anything at all since that indicates there is a fresh spark of life in the tired old body. Love to be proven wrong on that, but not holding my breath.

    • fax 14.2

      What like Jim Bolger?

  15. Ad 15

    It would have been a whole bunch more fictive if Andrew Little had delivered this speech as part of the candlelight vigil for the refugees last night in front of Parliament.

    The content was OK as OK goes, but it was not mentioned in the media at all: what was missing was appropriate theater and context to get pickup.

  16. pete 16

    Labour hast lost their roots. This isn’t Little’s fault. It happened to the left all over the world.

    But, Corbyn and Sanders have so wonderfully demonstrated in their campaigning so far that the roots are still there and that it is possible to reconnect. Unfortunately, this Labour party hasn’t latched on to it [yet?].

    I think the problem is the gutlessness of the speech; where is the declaration of war to the fascists who created the mess we’re in today? Once Andrew Little is given a powerful speech to deliver, we can start looking at how well he does his job. But you really can’t blame the man for lacking charisma when the product he’s trying to sell is just not what anyone wants.

    When we hear narcissist Mike Hosking rant on for minutes warning us from loonatic Little we know Labour got traction!

    • The lost sheep 16.1

      A ‘leader’ doesn’t sit around waiting for someone else to give them the right ‘product’ and a powerful speech to back it!

      If the current plan is failing, a Leader takes the initiative and proactively leads the Party to a new and more successful place….

      • pete 16.1.1

        Here is quite a revealing article from Grant McLachlan (a former Parliamentary researcher and a National Party campaign director) explaining in passing how the National Party machinery operates. Nicky Hager’s Hollow Men and Dirty Politics are other great sources for such information. Surely, Labour is no different.

        The current plan is the same that has been in place for almost a decade and it isn’t working. But I agree and hope your right and Andrew Little is proactive and does take charge. A good first step would be to the populate the Labour Party machinery with new blood.

  17. save NZ 17

    I think this speech is a good start to get Labour back in the game.

    It is not perfect but the messages are a lot clearer than previously.

    At least it is trying to say how Labour are different from National.

    Would like a bit more details in their website about how they plan to achieve these goals i.e. restrict foreign ownership.

    Labour people are more educated and more likely to actually check the policy behind the words. Therefore the words are empty and open to being undermined if Labour are not transparent on the policy and can say it simply in a sound byte – word to them – keep it simple but also have it backed up in more detail in other areas like websites.

  18. Whatever next? 18

    National has created a culture ( cult even)of “follow the leader” Team Key etc. without Key, National is nothing, as we saw when English was in charge.

    Some Labour supporters appear to want the same style, and are expecting some “charismatic” Svengali like figure to save us all………..it is a total contradiction to Labour values and the leader is only a part of equation, the body of the party is what is important.
    This passivity amongst voters is inevitable after the deliberate dumbing down of electorate, and maybe it has got yo get worse before people stop expecting some one else to fulfil their dreams.

    • The lost sheep 18.1

      So National ‘created a culture’. It works, and they have successfully ‘dumbed down’ the electorate and made it inevitable that things have to get worse before anything can be expected to change?

      But given the higher average intelligence of the Left Wing Whatever, surely it is possible for the Left to ‘create’ a strategy to successfully counter Nationals manipulation of the electorate?
      No need to lie passively on your back and think of England while the Tory’s fuck you over?

    • save NZ 18.2

      +1 – John Key is really just a stepford wife of the US & banking neoliberal interests. Looks good, says nothing, has a vast array of people in the background setting up the veneer of a ‘good guy’ and rehearsing his lines.

      Nope Labour needs the opposite someone who has integrity and convictions. That values decency over money. Andrew Little is not the messiah but with the right support, policy and strategy and MP’s supporting him Labour can come back.

      • The lost sheep 18.2.1

        ” with the right support, policy and strategy and MP’s supporting him Labour can come back.”

        7 years and counting. When is this actually happening?

  19. AmaKiwi 19

    My version of Andrew’s speech would have been more pragmatic; less idealistic.

    1. We should chart our own course internationally because we have learned that big powers use us for their own ends: the ANZACs slaughter in WW1, Vietnam, Rainbow Warrior bombed by France, our agricultural markets obliterated by the UK when they joined the Common Market, etc.

    2. We should lead on climate change because there are huge business opportunities to those who invent ways to reduce agricultural pollution and develop clean technologies.

    3. Refugees: We have an aging population. The refugees are almost all young, in their prime working years, healthy enough to make the arduous journey, and well educated. 40% have at least one university degree. This was pointed out recently as the reason Merkel was very clever to welcome so many refugees. Refugees will vastly improve Germany’s demographics.

    4. Selling land and assets is a no-brainer. Do you want to be the landlord or the tenant; the owner who gets the dividends or the hired peon? Plus you can add the amount of dirty money flooding into NZ that will inevitably produce corruption as locals are bribed.

  20. Trevor Mills 20

    Little has spoken well, now he has to back it. Little needs to help the Greens and NZF hold Key accountable not just during question time, but everything Key says needs questioning. Everywhere Key goes, a monkey needs to be on his back. When Key goes away overseas, the next-in-line needs to go through the questioning and pressure of being watched. This is only a small means of Little getting his voters backing him, but it also makes Key aware that Little is standing stronger, which is going to piss Key off.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1

      Far easier to expose the incompetence, hubris and corruption of the entire Cabinet and let Key dig his own hole with his own arrogance and graft.

    • b waghorn 20.2

      I agree with oab and would ad attacking key directly is dangerous territory because of the fact that many have a loyalty to him that’s similar to the loyalty given to a friend as soon as you attack him they become defensive and switch of to the message.

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