Guest Post – What is Little’s vision for New Zealand?

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, July 3rd, 2015 - 111 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, Deep stuff, greens, james shaw, labour, nz first, Politics, winston peters - Tags:

I was impressed that Andrew Little tweeted a supportive response to Mandy Hager’s open letter to Labour Leader Andrew Little. I fully agree with Ms Hager that the Labour leader must show passion and fire.

I just watched President Barack Obama sing Amazing Grace in a church as part of a eulogy. It’s a rare and thrilling thing to express political emotion perfectly, and in a perfect political moment.

Late into his Presidency, in this last week, Obama has seen many of his great ambitions finally realized. They have impact far beyond Washington: the changes he has set in motion in health, trade, discrimination, defence, and race relations will continue for many, many years to come. Not saying I agree with everything, but he’s peaking perfectly with America.

So what frustrated me about the direction of the open letter was not its plea for political passion, but its focus on what the state’s powers can do for us, and where the state’s powers should be limited.

I want an alternative government to reach for something greater than that. But it’s not for me to define it.

I would like to see James Shaw, Winston Peters, and Andrew Little give us a glimpse of their future not only of the state, but of New Zealand’s whole economy. A peek at the promise of 2017’s alternative government.

I was intrigued two elections ago that the Green Party called for “a wealthier New Zealand”. They sought to broaden the concept of wealth. Good challenge.


  • New Zealand can now fleece more overseas cash from cruise ships than it can from sheep.
  • Auckland’s property wealth growth is the only significant countering force to the massive drop in dairy exports across regional New Zealand: Auckland is now behaving like an economy separating from the rest of New Zealand.
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing employ just 7% of New Zealand’s workforce. But Food and Beverage exports are 38% of our exports.
  • Emerging export categories in the last decade include high technology manufacturing (especially Fisher and Paykel Healthcare), and computer services, processed foods, and wine.
  • Fonterra accounts for 70% of all Research and Development expenditure in Food and Beverage, and Fonterra is also by far our major international company.
  • Even with dairy volatility, current predictions are still for a GDP growth of 2.8% over the next four years, and an unemployment rate of 4.7% in election year.

I understand the current government’s plan to improve our “wealth”, in their terms. They will facilitate hard and soft networks, they will cut deals, and they will keep the financial and regulatory framework as stable as possible. So far, New Zealanders voted for this in overwhelming percentages.

What is the ambition of Andrew Little, James Shaw, and Winston Peters, for a vision of a wealthier New Zealand beyond the concerns of the public service and Parliament?

Can they articulate that, and give us the faith that – like President Obama – it might take several years to kick in, but it really will kick in, and it will be astounding.


111 comments on “Guest Post – What is Little’s vision for New Zealand? ”

  1. Sable 1

    Lets take an honest look at a few of Obama’s “achievements”:

    (1) Drone strikes (way up)
    (2) Guantanamo Bay (still in operation)
    (3) The disgusting TPP deals….corporate governance for us all….
    (4) Provoking potential global thermonuclear war with Russia and maybe China too…
    (5) Leading on from point four starting a new arms race and cold war….
    (6) Round after round of endless spying on everyone……

    Seriously poster, you must be kidding……

    • David H 1.1

      Sable’s Got a rather large point. But then again Sable, with the ‘GOP’ holding power in the Senate, getting anything on that list reduced is rather a large ask.

    • Nigel 1.2

      And the fact that Obama simply looks tired and beaten when talking about gun control.

      • Ad 1.2.1

        On current trajectory he will be evaluated as in the top 20% of US Presidents.
        The stuff he’s wanted to win, he’s won.

        • Ergo Robertina

          Yeah – Obama’s ”peaking perfectly with America”. How do you write such awful rubbish without cringing?

  2. b waghorn 2

    I want to see them bring integrity back to politics key and his chums have put nz on a slippery slope to being a corrupt country. And people are excepting it as the new normal.

    • Smilin 2.1

      well put. selling of NZ govt responsibility to the corporate sector, a govt without a country to govern. why should the govt get paid and powered to do nothing

    • Ad 2.2

      That’s a real quandary.

      Politicians are held in such low esteem in New Zealand – on the level of journalists and tow truck drivers – that there is little chance of returning it soon.

      And yet Winston Peters and John Key – politicians who both understand the political game like their blood flows – remain far more popular than more ethical leaders such as Metiria Turei.

      New Zealand’s political market rewards political leaders who know the game, are charming, and keep giving stuff to their own supporters.

      So there is little likelihood of integrity in an honest and open sense coming back.

      In fact, a future alternative government (Labour-Greens-NZFirst, etc) will be very difficult to turn this around, due to the complexity of the coalition arrangements needed to sustain it. MMP itself rewards distasteful deals.

      That is why I want to see their respective leadership spell out well before the next election what their position for the economy of New Zealand should be.

  3. Peter 3

    ………. in the same vein what is Mr Keys vision ……… what do his actions since 2008 tell us about his vision for NZ? If we can characterise his vision the opposition might have more chance of differentiating their personal vision for NZ’ers?

  4. Atiawa 4

    John F Kennedy’s New Frontier speech of 1960 may have greater relevancy in 2015 for Labour the Greens and NZ First.

    ” For the problems are not all solved and the battles are not all won – and we stand today on the edge of a New Frontier…..But the New Frontier of which I speak is not a set of promises – it is a set of challenges. It sums up not what I intend to offer the American people, but what I intend to ask of them”.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      Political speech of clanging cymbals UK style – Peter Sellers delivers – and shall evah continue to do so.

      Grasp, I beseech you, with both hands [Aside: I’m so sorry, I beg your pardon, madam.] the opportunities that are offered.
      Let us assume a bold front and go forward together.
      Let us carry the fight [noise of a blow being struck] against ignorance to the four corners of the earth because it is a fight which concerns us all.
      Now, finally my friends, in conclusion, let me say just this: [silence].

    • Ad 4.2

      If set piece speeches still had effect, Cunliffe would have had a better chance at winning the last election.

      They have a far reduced place now – there’s simply no popular format – and the public have far lower concentration spans.

      Meanwhile, back in season 5 of The West Wing……

  5. Naturesong 5

    I would like to see James Shaw, Winston Peters, and Andrew Little give us a glimpse of their future not only of the state, but of New Zealand’s whole economy.
    Are you aware that ‎Metiria Turei is not only co-leader of the greens, but is their highest ranking MP?

    I expect this sort of stuff from misogynists, clueless reporters and anyone else to whom women are invisible.
    Hoping for better from those who blog at the standard

    • McFlock 5.1


    • weka 5.2

      Exactly. A major lapse in perspective to suggest that Shaw (who I think is the bottom ranked MP) is the one to look to 😉 (I think Shaw is great, with important potential to make a lot of change, and I am very happy he is co-leader, but even he acknowledges Turei as his senior).

      • Tracey 5.2.1

        and especially as Turei was one of the architects of and speakers to, the “richer nz” campaign

      • greywarshark 5.2.2

        For some reason I thought that James shaw might have voted against the Harmful Communications Bill and didn’t consider Metiria Turei on that subject. I think this is sexism on my part. Similar to the stories once told about sending for the doctor, and then being surprised it was a she!

        In the end neither Metiria or James voted against, but at least Gareth Hughes did, who has the ICT portfolio amongst others, plus three other Greens who gave it thumbs down.
        “However, there have been strong submissions from media organisations who are concerned that this legislation may have a chilling effect upon freedom of speech.
        “Four Green Party MPs will be opposing the final reading of this legislation. Gareth Hughes, Russel Norman, Julie Anne Genter and Steffan Browning have concerns about the possibility this legislation impact on New Zealanders and their right to freedom of speech.
        “While a relatively rare occurrence there is provision for split voting in the Green Party caucus on various pieces of legislation….

    • Karen 5.3

      +1 Naturesong

    • Ad 5.4

      He’s co-leader.

      • Lara 5.4.1

        You still forgot Metiria Turei.


        Ignored. That’s the problem.

        Why did you do that? That’s the question.

        • Ad

          Writing too quickly.
          No particular choice to it.

          • Naturesong

            Everybody makes mistakes.

            But, to change the world, we must first change ourselves to reflect what we wish to see in the world.

            And to develop good habits, mindfulness of the small things is essential.

            I should note, I generally agree with the point of the post.
            It’s just that having watched Metiria Turei for year’s battle against being marginalised and made invisible in the public sphere because she’s a woman or because she’s Maori (and sometimes just cause she’s Green) my tolerance is low.

      • Naturesong 5.4.2

        That’s true, and I don’t deny his position, ability or commitment
        But he’s new as both MP and co-leader so likely experiencing an enormous learning curve at the moment.
        He’s also been busy with the campaign to make sure that global warming (the existential threat human on the planet) is front and centre. I suspect he may have eased off a bit over the last few weeks to allow Nick Smith and co. as much room as possible.
        Give him a chance to get all that under his belt first.

        Turei on the other hand is established, has full command and knowledge of the systems and processes she needs to progress the Greens policy – and remember, the leadership don’t make the big decisions on policy, coalitions or other working arrangements, the membership does.

        So she (Turei, not the cat’s mother) is actually in a better position to front on these issues.
        But! This is New Zealand, it may well be that Turei needs a helper man, or helper whitey in order for her ideas and advocacy to be heard.

    • mike 6.1

      Quite right. If a person ignores such a high profile, hard working, experienced woman as Turei, then what the hell has he actually got to tell us?

      • Lara 6.1.1

        Agreed. Nothing that I would consider with any weight.

        Whether the omission was done consciously or subconsciously it is telling that it was the only woman left out. And no edit has been made to fix the error.

        I think it says rather a lot about the writer.

      • Naturesong 6.1.2

        I’m going to assume you are a human being.
        Which means you will have at some point in the past made a mistake.

        Now, given that you have made a mistake, I have decided, using the logic you expressed above, that your opinions are worthless.

  6. McFlock 7

    Personally, I’d go the other way and try to de-presidentialise NZ politics – talk about their parties’ vision, how they see their parties working together on what issues, how their caucus teams are balanced etc.

    • Naturesong 7.2

      Policy and practicalities vrs. Cult of personality


      • Scintilla 7.2.1

        You mean a CoP like our Glorious Leader:
        “I exploit you, still you love me
        I tell you one and one makes three
        I’m the Cult of Personality.”

        Living Colour

        • Naturesong

          Yes, I was thinking about that song when I commented. The firsat time I heard the song, was also the first time I’d heard the phrase.

          Living Colour was part of a group of conscious bands that came out of America during my teens and early 20’s. Although they were addressing issues often from a very specific American perspective, I could see similar issues and forces at work here.
          It started with Public Enemy. Then onto Living Colour, Disposable Heroes, Arrested Development, Rage against the Machine etc.

  7. weka 8

    “I would like to see James Shaw, Winston Peters, and Andrew Little give us a glimpse of their future not only of the state, but of New Zealand’s whole economy. A peek at the promise of 2017’s alternative government.”

    Fuck the economy, I want to see their vision for NZ’s wellbeing. The economy should be a servant to that.

    I agree it’s about broadening the definitions of wealth, but I would see it more as about how to measure and then promote and maintain wellbeing rather than making the economy as the leading issue. What kind of society do we want really?

    • Ad 8.1

      Happy with that, but i was just inviting dialogue slightly narrower than everything.

      You may recall the debates about “wellbeing” as a concept during the Local Government Act reforms of 1989, also the collective purposes of the Resource Management Act of a similar era. That was the highpoint of what you are referring to.

  8. upnorth 9

    ummm here the ironic bit – so we have a guest post and mandy hagar giving andrew littles vision statement – when will we hear from andrew little?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      Are you so useless that you’re incapable of finding his media centre on the NZLP website? Oh no, silly me, you aren’t in the slightest bit interested in what he has to say, you’re just trying to imply that this is a Labour Party website.

    • upnorth 9.2

      i know this not a labour website – I am just saying when will Andrew Little go on TV or MSM and say these are the Labour policies.

      Dont you think him sending a tweet is very weak – he is a leader – I want to hear from all our leaders – James from the Greens have made more policy announcements in his one month that Andrew Little has in his entire time in parliament – I think that is a fair call – once again the Greens trumping Labour.

      • Tracey 9.2.1

        social media is becoming as good a way to get your message out as any, especially when MSM chooses what they will publish and how they will frame it.

      • Ad 9.2.2

        Both of them would be great.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.3

        Ah, so it’s Labour’s policies you can’t find, along with the delusional belief that Little can get air time and column inches whenever he wants to.

        Funny how your opinions diverge from reality in precisely those ways that disparage the Left. It’s almost as though you are motivated by hate or something.

        • Ad

          Although it’s Little’s job to communicate those policies, not the public’s job to go and find them.

          He needs to communicate a whole bunch better than he is.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            So you say, and yet John Key couldn’t accurately communicate National Party policy if his life depended on it. Doesn’t seem to affect his polling.

            • Ad

              Different party, different leader.
              National doesn’t need to win on policy, because they are multigenerationally consistent, and implicit.

              Labour will only even win if the leader is compelling AND the policy is fantastic.

              I’ll definitely do a post on Key, but another time.

  9. Charles 10

    “…So what frustrated me about the direction of the open letter was not its plea for political passion, but its focus on what the state’s powers can do for us, and where the state’s powers should be limited.

    I want an alternative government to reach for something greater than that… the Green Party called for “a wealthier New Zealand”. They sought to broaden the concept of wealth….”

    You want neither Transformational nor Managerial government, but in the spirit of Obama’s Song, Transcendental government?

    ” New Zealand can now fleece more overseas cash from cruise ships than it can from sheep.
    Auckland’s property wealth growth is the only significant countering force to the massive drop in dairy exports across regional New Zealand: Auckland is now behaving like an economy separating from the rest of New Zealand.
    Agriculture, forestry and fishing employ just 7% of New Zealand’s workforce. But Food and Beverage exports are 38% of our exports.
    Emerging export categories in the last decade include high technology manufacturing (especially Fisher and Paykel Healthcare), and computer services, processed foods, and wine.
    Fonterra accounts for 70% of all Research and Development expenditure in Food and Beverage, and Fonterra is also by far our major international company.
    Even with dairy volatility, current predictions are still for a GDP growth of 2.8% over the next four years, and an unemployment rate of 4.7% in election year.

    How to reconcile and redistribute these precarious imbalances, or relocate the excesses to other locations and industries? Will it take “several years” to do this? It could be done faster if, say,

    Companies could not do more than a core service product and had to contract out to other businesses for all peripheral items/services/activities.

    Tax law heavily redefined to tax those with a lot of capital/assets, and those who live mostly to exist (Food, Rent etc) pay nothing, until they acquire assets, then tax brackets begin again.

    Small business encouraged to the point of removing all obstacles other than basic record-keeping, until profits reached a certain level, as above.

    Private ownership of land abolished, change-over period of the lifetime of present owner; then follow the Kaitiake “model”.

    Mostly self-supporting Commune/Small Communities encouraged in areas presently only sparsely populated … although perhaps not all like Fiordland.

    Private ownership of houses moves to control of the state. Change-over period, lifetime of present owner/company (trusts must nominate an individual).

    Free Education – widening definition of what is deemed valuable to society. More local schools built. State sponsors/subsidises a teacher to go wherever they want – no discouragement via income.

    Tariffs on imported consumer goods return.

    Make sure that there are no penalties for a producer to supply local markets over export markets.

    Dissolution of centralised State as caretaker of localised affairs: South and North have their own government.

    Central government leadership must follow the co-leader format: One male one female, or two female.

    At no point must a mother be “discouraged” from employment by law, or disadvantaged by motherhood if she does not work. Men may not work more than 40hrs a week in an employee/self employed arrangement.

    State recognises only civil unions, marriage becomes an optional concern for the church.

    Hmm. That should about blow the heads off most of the population.

  10. G C 11

    “…give us the faith that – like President Obama – it might take several years to kick in, but it really will kick in, and it will be astounding.”

    ARE YOU SERIOUS. American has to’ print money’ to pay the interest on it’s National Debt. More people are in poverty than ever in America. They are the world biggest jailor (pop %).

    America was once a manufacturing nation – now they’re got a McDonaldised, low wage economy. Luckily for them the ‘greenback’ is still the worlds reserve currency.

    They above feature-article is probably the most ignorant article I’ve read today. The presuppositions are shockingly ridiculous .

  11. meconism 12

    I would like to see the opposition parties state what they think the role of government is? It seems that the Nats don’t give a rats arse about governing for everyone so what are our options?

    • Ad 12.1

      The memory of agency or indeed even the ability to operate levers of power with some degree of skill only seem to come back to this government when there’s a great big corporation dangling a deal of monumental scale, corruption and unlikelihood in front of them.

      Any politician who can explain not only what they want to achieve, but clearly how they are going to get there, would be quite welcome.

  12. maui 13

    Meanwhile Chris Trotter thinks Little has to disappear for at least 6 months, seems a little risky, but what do I know.

    • Ad 13.1

      Bad case of pseud’s corner from Trotter there.

    • I’m always interested in when various pundits (including right here at The Standard) start making pronouncements about what Andrew Little’s strategists are telling him to do, and why.

      I mean, this is a bit of a humblebrag but I’m good mates with several of the folks in Little’s office, and *I* sure as heck don’t know that kind of detail.

      What it seems to come down to is people make observations, invent strategies to fit their observations based on what they would do, and reporting them as fact.

      I’ve even seen rightwinger commentators try the “obviously his staff are telling him to …” line, which is just hilarious.

      • lprent 13.2.1

        Yeah, they don’t talk much. Nor should they.

      • Tracey 13.2.2

        thanks for this. i am never quite sure why the right are so sure that leaders are the puppets of their staff. unless they are saying theirs are and they assume all are the same?

    • BM 13.3

      I agree.

      The only time that matters for a politician is the 3 months before each election.

  13. Tracey 14


    Can you post about the reference to the Green Party 2011 campaign including for a “wealthier new zealand.”?

    I have googled but can’t find it and the context for it.

    UPDATE: Found it it was for a “richer new zealand”

    “We want a New Zealand that is richer in the things that really matter – strong communities, a beautiful, well cared for environment and a clean, green economy that works for everybody,” said Dr Russel Norman, Green Party Co-leader.

    “A truly richer New Zealand will be powered by a clean, green economy that is based on green jobs and innovation,” said Dr Norman.

    Green Party Co-leader, Metiria Turei added, “In our vision for a richer New Zealand, every child has enough to eat, our rivers are clean enough to swim in and our jobs are good for the environment and the economy.”

    “Living in a richer New Zealand is about much more than economic growth – it is about living in a beautiful country where we look after the environment, it’s about living in strong communities where people feel connected to each other.

    “A truly rich country is one where everyone gets a fair go,” said Mrs Turei.

    Helping the Green Party communicate their vision is creative agency Running with Scissors. Co-director, Friday O’Flaherty explains their involvement;”

    Thanks for taking the time to write this.

  14. BM 15

    If you look at NZ as a business, how well do you think we’re doing?

    Can NZ ltd run better, more profitable, have happier employees/share holders under Andrew Little?

    If he’s got the goods to make the above happen, he’s a shoe in.

    It’s as simple as that.

    • Tracey 15.1

      well BM, according to a BNZ economist we are a hair’s breath from another recession.

      IF the economy is doing so well, as so many supporters of this government have been saying for the last couple of years, why did my partner just get a 1% wage increase? Doesn’t seem very rock star.

      • BM 15.1.1

        Meh, it’s all chicken guts reading stuff.

        A decent CEO shouldn’t be phased by that sort of prediction/analysis.

        Over analysis will cripple any business.

        • Skinny

          Stop quoting previous Greek leaders blind man. The whole world knows the result of that gun ho attitude.

          As you know Little is strategically savvy hence he is more interested in jetting out of here networking overseas rather than photo opportunities at the rugby, leaving that up to Key the hapless Blues supporter.

          • BM

            Andrew Little, the union messiah.
            Yeah, he’s the man, every one get out of the way , the chosen one is going to save the day.


            • Skinny

              All Union (in Little’s case former) leaders are highly capable business leaders, they have to be, the shareholders (members) democratically elect them. Little knows he has the luxury of ghost walking, while Key is trying to reinvent himself by moon walking all over the dance floor. Must be the pits his own caucus are booing him off the stage. Can’t wait till the crump off with the darling of the rights Judy Doll.

            • Tracey

              the only one calling him a messiah is you. where u been anyway? it has been a wbile.

        • Tracey

          a ceo of a business? you seem to me to be a very useful representative of the 49%. scary but useful.

      • Ad 15.1.2

        The R Word: Quite a shadow to have pass over us.

        Joyce was quite adamant in his meeting with the Mayor and Auckland Council today that essentially everything is fine, tourism will save us, and thank God for the Christchurch and Auckland real estate booms. Awful.

      • whateva next? 15.1.3

        …”Doesn’t seem very rock star.”
        we are just the roadies

      • G C 15.1.4

        Not to be all ‘doom and gloom’ however, I wouldn’t be surprised if New Zealand is plunged into a financial crisis which begins at the end of September this year and culminates in comparisons with the Great Depression down the line.

        This to many will be a wacky prediction, however it’s validity will start unfolding at the end of September – beginning of October.

        • Ad

          Surely financial collapse can’t be the only way to get an alternative government elected? Can’t they do that with simply better people and better policies?

      • Peter 15.1.5

        … why are my wagEs 40% below the equivalent role in Australia when there economy is said to be failing but ours is not?

    • Ad 15.2

      If we were a listed company, we’d still be be a utility stock.

  15. rob 16

    chicken guts reading? hahaha. this government is all about analysis anal stuff.
    they seem proud to deliver figures that can’t be questioned and to held to account, and if they can then change laws so they can be shut down.
    absolutely corruption in it’s purest form.
    hello the new, Zealand! thanx Nat voters! not!!! when redemption comes, may you keep you’re heads down or yet again up you’re arse and denying what you’ve done!

    • BM 16.1

      Redemption?, are we talking red hot pokers up the jacksey?

      Lol, You lefties make me laugh.

  16. Chooky 17

    re : “I would like to see James Shaw, Winston Peters, and Andrew Little give us a glimpse of their future not only of the state, but of New Zealand’s whole economy. A peek at the promise of 2017’s alternative government.”

    ….omitted from this post is METIRIA TUREI !

    …one might ask why …and the implications of why no one else has pointed it out? ( covert sexism , racism?)

    …she is not the INVISIBLE FEMALE co-leader of the Green Party)

    (ah yes on rereading from bottom to top ….I see Naturesong is the only one who has pointed this out!….good for Naturesong)

  17. Ad 18

    Will be pretty important for the Opposition to come out strongly against messages such as these this morning from The Nation:

    “Joyce dismissed estimates from commentators like Goldman Sachs of a five-year low in dairy prices, but thought prices may stay slow, “slightly longer than Fonterra” had thought.

    “I’m not arguing that it isn’t a tougher time for dairy, because it is a tough time for dairy, but it will be important not to talk ourselves into a funk about it”

    Say something strong, Greens and Labour.
    Do it today.

    • Mike the Savage One 18.1

      It should have been said already, by now, but it seems there is lack of clarity re what actual solutions Labour and Greens may have on offer now, especially since Labour are still not quite sorted, re any future policy they will present.

      That interview on The Nation was an almost free run for Joyce, only teased at times with desperate questions by Paddy Gower, whether he would think Goldman Sachs were right, or whether John Key as PM was right, when it came to the development of dairy prices over the coming years. Gower tried to get an admission out of Joyce, that we are heading into recession territory, but as we know, Joyce is a master of words and spin, and would not go near there.

      The sombre summary of The Nation today, and the panel’s discussion, it was, that neoliberalism rules, also amongst the “opinion makers” and “shapers”, the ones in the MSM. There was only so much a government could do, was the conclusion of all, so the government is trying.

      Labour and Greens need to present a clear, convincing, feasible, and attractive economic alternative, otherwise few voters will be swayed by whatever criticism Grant Robertson and others may throw at National.

      The challenge is there, and that may be an opportunity, it is time we are delivered something of a plan, an exciting plan, that promises a better future for ALL of New Zealand, not just the middle class and the few percent of key “stake-holders” and wealthy at the top.

      • BM 18.1.1

        That’s a huge ask and to be honest I don’t think the left have the people, skills or money to achieve what you’re asking.

      • Ad 18.1.2

        Yours is the closest response to what my post sought:
        Where is the vision or programme from the left that excites or angers or motivates people?

        Key’s government is showing all the signs of being renewed in caucus, renewed in policy, with plenty of funds in the bank, all the way to an historic fourth term.

        Mandy’s post was the standard little wish-list that has got the left nowhere for 3 consecutive terms.

        Come on Labour, or Greens, whee is the almighty effort needed to change a government? You will have to wrest power off Key hard, not simply presume this kind of government will fade.

        Kay is not fading.

        • ankerawshark

          “Where is the vision or programme from the left that excites or angers or motivate’s People??”

          Cunliffe had it.

          • Ad

            Indeed. Fat lot of good it did us.
            Worst defeat in generations.
            Now it is up to Little and the others.

            • ankerawshark

              Yes, fat lot of good it did us. The media are the reason imho that we don’t win. Little et al could stand on their heads, give away money or anything you could come up with and the media will spin it against us. Either very blatantly as with Cunliffe (if you feel so inclined read someone called Grant’s comments at the bottom of Chris Trotters article on Little and what he needs to do). Seems he was someone up close and personal to the action, although you didn’t need to be to see how the media were out to get Cunliffe.

              For my sins I watched the Nation yesterday and it was classic spin for the National Party. Steven Joyce not even getting a wet bus ticket from Paddy Goebbels (opps, I mean Gower), Then an interview with Ron Marks aimed at making NZ 1st look divided and silly. Then the panel!!!! Simon Wilson “I feel sorry for Steven Joyce” …………. Paddy (I dictate the narrative) Goebbels saying Labour can’t criticize National over the reliance on dairy as they will look negative”.
              story spun to favour National. Job done. 2017 over.

              Please excuse my pessimism

              • Ad

                Completely understandable.
                Most logical lefties suffer from Left Melancholy after a defeat of that scale.

                Which is why the elected lefties need to communicate better.
                To start with, to motivate an unmotivated base.

        • Mike the Savage One

          To be honest, and this will upset some, what really is needed, is a new future-focused party, also serving as a progressive movement.

          Labour cannot sufficiently defended its “brand” and identity as a party of workers, as that goes back to its history, and is based on unionised labour movement ideals, of fair pay and rights for all. This can to some degree be achieved within a single, modern economy such as New Zealand, but when most of what we buy is produced by pittance earning workers in off-shore places, barely earning enough to live decently from their wage, then it sounds hollow and hypocritical to go on about the “labour movement”. Only if you stand for the rights of workers everywhere can you uphold such high ideals, but Labour does not, and cannot and does not want to.

          New Zealand First is not based on the “labour movement”, talks about fair pay and living standards and opportunities and so for New Zealanders, also standing for conservative values and nationalism, does though mainly only appeal to elderly folks, to some nationalist minded workers and so, who are only marginal. It may appeal to disillusioned National or Conservatives voters, yes some socially conservative former Labour voters, but will never become a major movement in itself.

          Mana has remained to be a marginal party on the left, and with Hone Harawira and his strong Maori rights stand does get confused with being another “Maori Party”, and since the failed campaign funded by Dotcom, plus the nasty campaign from the MSM and some in opposition, it has largely lost credit, and will not get much traction to become a movement of the future.

          A new party is needed, left of centre, progressive, future focused, still strongly committed to workers’ rights (firstly in NZ), to reasonable degrees of equality and fairness, and that is also preparing the people and country for the change from a fossil fuel age to a sustainable era, by using modern technology, smart organisation and can also accommodate business.

          Eventually capitalism will fail and may be overcome, but we need above suggested solution for a transition to a better society in the distant future, simply to survive for now.

          You may say the Greens are representing that, but I fear, they are also perceived as being too much neither here nor there. Those supporting Greens and Labour should be possible to accommodate into ONE party. It must be a party that focuses on the basics, and that does not come with historic claims and traditions that are simply unrealistic to uphold or create in a modern day, technologically advanced society dependent on trade with the rest of the world.

          As the “left” or progressive side of the political landscape is at present, it remains divided into three parties, as an opposition with NZ First it represents even four parties, who all compete with each other. This does not help, and does not appeal to many voters. Hence they rather stick with the devil they know or not vote at all.

          A new party with new, smart, also hopefully more younger candidates and members, that is in my view the best option to seriously consider, to get out of this hopeless mess we are facing at present. It should also come with the flair of a young, modern movement, with activities and a message carrried by an effective campaign. It better happen soon, or we can wait for another disappointment and another term ruled by Key and his Nats and hangers-ons.

          • ankerawshark

            No disrespect honestly, but your ideas will split the Left vote even further. New parties, don’t do that well to date.

            • Mike the Savage One

              Hah, it would not require any of my ideas to split the left further, too many on the left have been doing this by themselves for too long already, and I fear will continue to do so, as some want to have special attention areas covered by policy, and as others put their own personal ambitions before the common interest of any progressive movement.

              As for new parties, I agree, the record of success is mixed, but there have been examples where a new party could be formed, achieved wider appeal and reached substantial support within a short time span, especially if there was enough dissent and frustration amongst large shares of a population, who would be happy to give a new party a go.

              Then it also depends on how it is all started, who may be charismatic and smart enough to lead it, and who stands behind it.

              Hence I would not be so pessimistic, as the existing parties do all not enjoy much enthusiastic support, that is my observation. But thanks for your honest, appreciated feedback.

              • Chooky

                Rather than start a new party …better and more practical to use the existing parties with their structures but have an overall ‘Left Umbrella Coalition’:

                1.)…so that cooperation is the order of the day and NOT knee capping

                2.)…the objective being to get rid of this present government …this should over-ride all other objectives!

                ….with Metiria Turei at the helm of this coalition:

                1.)…. Metiria Turei is an experienced Left and environmental politician with an impeccable record.

                2.)…..she has already shown she can work with Mana/Int and Labour and NZF….

                3.)…she is attractive to the 50% women vote and the Maori vote as well as the Left vote

                4.)… she is fair and balanced and has mana

          • Peter

            …. new name … Progressive Party?

            • Mike the Savage One

              Perhaps ‘ADVANCE New Zealand’, or ‘NZ Future Alliance Party’, or something along those lines? Words like “Progressive”, “Labour”, “Workers” and “Green” combined with “party” have already been taken, sound “over-used” and hardly exciting now.

              But the name should not be more important than the message and policy.

      • Chooky 18.1.3

        re “The challenge is there, and that may be an opportunity, it is time we are delivered something of a plan, an exciting plan, that promises a better future for ALL of New Zealand, not just the middle class and the few percent of key “stake-holders” and wealthy at the top.”

        simple answer to that : look to Mana/Int …and Metiria Turei leading the Greens… and maybe NZF

        …the Labour Party is not a bold leader…rather it is a neolib follower and watered down version of jonkey nactional ie hopelessly compromised from within

        …especially ever since they got rid of David Cunliffe…the grassroots Labour members’ choice of leader

        • Ad

          What’s the point of re-hashing last years’ election results?
          Mana/Int are dead – whatever one wishes.
          Greens appear to have peaked.
          Labour are required to form an alternative government.
          The only way is up – but the question before How, is Why?

          • One Anonymous Bloke


            How about because they comprehensively and consistently outperform the National Party in any policy area you care to mention?

            This is the problem with your argument – the policies have always been better, and all history demonstrates this. According to you, this means more votes.

            • Ad

              Then they should prove it.
              They haven’t though this term.
              Which is the point of the post.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Yeah right, how do you suggest they “prove” that policies they can’t implement are better?

                Inventing impossible hoops for them to jump through isn’t much of a contribution if you ask me.

  18. Adele 19

    Kia ora

    Labour, NZ First and The Greens all look decidedly beige from my end of the spectrum.

    Unless you include an independent Maori voice this arrangement is a tent being built rather than a whare

    • Mike the Savage One 19.1

      The Treaty of Waitangi principles and its spirit should be an integral part of any progressive NZ party’s program and policy, but if you feel more comfortable to have a party standing for Maori interests before anything else, you are welcome to do so. It appears even National has by now accepted the TOW and is comfortable in working with Maori, not so ACT, of course, and possibly not the Conservatives. Re NZ First we all know what Winston’s views are.

  19. gnomic 20

    ‘What is the ambition of Andrew Little, James Shaw, and Winston Peters, for a vision of a wealthier New Zealand beyond the concerns of the public service and Parliament?

    Can they articulate that, and give us the faith that – like President Obama – it might take several years to kick in, but it really will kick in, and it will be astounding.’

    What colour is the sky on your planet? Too absurd to engage with. Greece is where we’re going, not Utopia. Get a grip. The trio you mention probably couldn’t agree on which way was up, let alone a destination for the shaky isles.

    • Ad 20.1

      It’s something, but it’s no GFC.
      Not seeking utopia, just an alternative policy prescription from the current government.

      Not too much to ask really. Since it’s their job.

  20. rhinocrates 21

    I wish him lots of luck, but it needs more than one person – it needs a party caucus behind him (and not in the sense that David Cunliffe did – with knives out). I’d call the front bench dead wood if it wasn’t so soggy – compost is more appropriate, but sadly it’s without the fertilising qualities.

    There are some, Like Louisa Wood and Iain Lees-Galloway, who know what they stand for and have energy and will. Right now they are being held back and need to be promoted.

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