Little’s temporary line-up – updated

November 24, 2014

Labour leader Andrew Little has announced his new, temporary, line-up.

“Labour has many new and highly capable MPs who will have the opportunity to prove their ability. At the same time our senior hands will be on deck to take the fight to the National-led Government and support our upcoming stars,” Andrew Little says.

“I am pleased to announce Annette King will be my deputy for the coming year. In recent weeks she has shown how crucial her wisdom and strength is to Labour.

“Grant Robertson will be my Finance spokesperson and number three. He is one of the best performers in Parliament and is more than a match for Bill English.

“Nanaia Mahuta’s lead role in Labour regaining the Māori seats is recognised in her number four position and her reappointment as Māori Development spokesperson.

“Talented up and comers Carmel Sepuloni, Kelvin Davis and David Clark are taking on key roles and will be important members of my front bench.

“These roles will be reviewed in a year to ensure Labour has the strongest possible team to head into the 2017 election. . .

These are the only people named in Labour’s media release on Scoop and I’ve just checked Labour’s website which has nothing at all about the new line-up.

Whoever is where on the full list, they are temporary positions because they’re all up for review in a year.

No politician should ever consider a position theirs until they choose to relinquish it. Prime Minister John Key has reshuffled his cabinet including replacing some members.

But putting the whole caucus on notice suggests Little lacks confidence in his own judgement and/or his colleagues.

It’s also hypocritical the leader of a party that opposes 90-day trails for employees is putting his whole caucus on trial.

Update

NewsTalkZB has the full list:

Labour Party Caucus 24 November 2014
1 Andrew Little Leader of the OppositionSecurity and Intelligence
2 Annette King Deputy LeaderHealth
3 Grant Robertson Finance
4 Nanaia Mahuta Maori Development
5 Phil Twyford HousingTransport
6 Chris Hipkins Shadow Leader of the HouseSenior Whip

Education

Early Childhood Education

7 Carmel Sepuloni Social DevelopmentJunior Whip
8 Kelvin Davis PoliceCorrections

Associate Justice (Sexual & Domestic Violence)

Associate Education (Maori Education)

Associate Regional Development

9 Jacinda Ardern JusticeChildren

Small Business

Arts, Culture, Heritage

10 David Clark Economic DevelopmentAssociate Finance

Associate Health (Mental Health)

11 Su’a William Sio Pacific Island AffairsLocal Government

Associate Housing (South Auckland)

Interfaith Dialogue

12 Iain Lees-Galloway Labour
13 Megan Woods EnvironmentClimate Change
14 David Cunliffe Regional DevelopmentTertiary Education

Research & Development

Science & Innovation

Associate Economic Devt

15 David Parker Trade & Export GrowthShadow Attorney General

Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

16 David Shearer Foreign AffairsConsumer Affairs
17 Phil Goff DefenceVeterans’ Affairs

Disarmament

Auckland Issues

Ethnic Affairs

     
Unranked Trevor Mallard Assistant SpeakerInternal Affairs (excluding Gambling)

Sport and Recreation

Animal Rights

Parliamentary Reform

Unranked Ruth Dyson ConservationSenior Citizens

Disability Issues

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery

Unranked Damien O’Connor Primary IndustriesBiosecurity

Food Safety

Unranked Clayton Cosgrove RevenueSOEs

Building and Construction

Earthquake Commission

Assoc.  Finance

Unranked Sue Moroney ACCImmigration

Women’s Affairs

Associate Labour

Unranked Clare Curran ICT
BroadcastingOpen Government

Assoc. Justice

Assoc. Commerce

Unranked Kris Faafoi CommerceState Services

Racing

Assistant Whip

Unranked Louisa Wall Youth AffairsAssoc.  Auckland Issues (South Auckland)

Assoc . Sport and Recreation

Unranked Stuart Nash ForestryEnergy

Land Information

Statistics

Unranked Rino Tirikatene FisheriesAssociate Regional Development

Customs

Unranked Meka Whaitiri WaterAssoc. Regional Development

Assoc. Finance

Assoc. Primary Industries

Unranked Poto Willams Community & VoluntaryAssoc. Housing (Chch)

Assoc. Justice (Family)

Assoc.  Education (Christchurch Schools)

Unranked Peeni Henare TourismAssociate Maori Development (Employment & Te Reo Maori)
 Unranked Adrian Rurawhe Civil Defence & Emergency ManagementAssoc. Internal Affairs (Gambling)

Assoc. Treaty Negotiations

 Unranked Jenny Salesa Employment, Skills and Training

 


Clearing out dead wood

November 24, 2014

Tweet of the day:


Draft Foreign Fighters Bill

November 24, 2014

Prime Minister John Key has released the final draft of legislation which addresses the rising threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters.



. . .“Following a narrow and tightly focused review of our settings in relation to foreign terrorist fighters, Cabinet has signed off on proposals that will strengthen our ability to deal with the evolving threat we are seeing,” Mr Key says.



“As I said earlier this month, New Zealand’s risk and threat profile is changing and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been successful in recruiting New Zealanders to its cause.


“I have been as open as I can be with New Zealanders about that threat, without overstating it.



“This draft legislation contains measures that can add to the safety and security of New Zealand in the short-term.



“A more comprehensive review of legislative settings will occur in a broader intelligence review that is required under law to begin by the middle of next year.



“I am working to seek broad political support for this legislation and my office is conducting those talks in good faith with a number of parties.



“We have also shared the draft legislation with a number of interested parties outside Parliament in order to give them additional time to consider it.



“It is my intention that the legislation will be introduced on Tuesday and be passed before the House rises for Christmas, so that we are in a stronger position to deal with the threats our agencies are seeing.



“There are safeguards built into the legislation and it will go before a select committee for a short period of consideration.



“The legislation is also subject to a sunset clause which reflects how long the full process of the more comprehensive review is expected to take,” Mr Key says.



The main proposals contained in the legislation and which have been previously flagged by the Prime Minister are:

  • Extending the period the Minister of Internal Affairs can cancel a passport to up to three years from the existing law’s 12 months
  • Giving the Minister of Internal Affairs the power to temporarily suspend passports for up to 10 working days in urgent cases
  • Allowing the NZ Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) to carry out video surveillance on private properties for the purpose of observing activities of security concern, modelled on the Police’s powers in the Search and Surveillance Act
  • Allowing the NZSIS to conduct emergency surveillance for up to 48 hours prior to the issue of a warrant, with the approval of its Director and subject to the oversight of the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security.

This sort of legislation needs scrutiny but it should be beyond party politics.

The world is too small a place to think that small and far away as we are, New Zealand need not worry about the growing threat from terrorism.


Knowing little about Little

November 23, 2014

6/10 in Stuff’s quiz on Labour’s new leader Andrew Little, four of which were guesses.


What’s the price of union votes?

November 21, 2014

Patrick Gower calls Andrew Little’s win of Labour’s leadership the great union rip-off.

“It’s a backdoor takeover by the unions. Simply, Andrew Little would not be Labour leader without the unions,” Gower said on Firstline this morning.

“He is the unions’ man; Little is a union man, and the unions have got their man into Labour’s top job.”

Gower says it’s ironic after trying “almost too hard” to give men and women an equal say – the ultimately doomed ‘man ban’ – that a small group of “union blokes” have effectively chosen the party’s new leader.

“Most of those delegates, according to one of the most senior sources in the Labour Party, are men… It’s just six unions out of about 150-odd in New Zealand. Just six of them get to have their say over this, and five of them actually rely on delegates – the union bosses, the union chiefs, the union heavies. They say who they want.” . .

They will also say what they want in return for those votes and it will be some big policy wins.

Unions not only inflicted on Labour a leader not favoured by either MPs or the wider membership and they will be doing their best to inflict union-friendly policy on the rest of us.


Little majority really Little minority

November 19, 2014

Labour’s undemocratic constitution means some members are more equal than others.

Some, for example, get more than one vote.

A member who is also a member of an affiliate union gets two votes and one who is also an MP gets three.

That means that while the party’s new leader Andrew Little won 50.52% of the votes they came from fewer than 50% of the voters.

When some members are more equal than others, getting more than half the votes isn’t the same as getting the support of more than half the voters.

This is a case not of a Little majority as a Little minority, the exact size of which depends on how many of his supporters had two or three votes.

He has won the leadership on the strength of the unequal power in the party which gives some members more than one vote.

That makes the base from which he has to build party unity even smaller.

One of his other challenges is to restore internal discipline and the behaviour of some MPs at the press conference wasn’t a good start:


No ringing endorsement

November 18, 2014

It took three rounds before Andrew Little gained 50% of the vote for leader – and then he only just made it:

. . . The first two rounds of counting eliminated Nania Mahuta and David Parker, leaving Grant Robertson against Little. Caucus and party member votes favoured Grant Roberston, but a strong vote from union affiliates decided the vote for Little.

The decision was a close one, said Little, who won in the third round of voting with a total of 50.52%, compared to Grant Robertson’s 49.48%. . .

That isn’t a ringing endorsement and Andrew Geddis calls it the worst result ever:

The only thing worse than electing the wrong person as leader of Labour is electing him by the narrowest of margins, by virtue of the influence of a handful of individuals acting under instructions. 

Labour just made the wrong choice, in the worst possible way. . .

First, Little beat Grant by just over 1% of the weighted votes cast. That’s about as close a margin of victory as you can get, achieved on the third round. So the overall mandate for Little’s leadership is … fragile, at best.

Second, Little lost heavily to Grant in both the Caucus and the Membership vote in every successive round of voting. Little was the first choice to be leader of only four of his colleagues (assuming he voted for himself, that is). Only 14 of 32 backed him as leader over Grant by their third choice – meaning 18 of 32 think Grant is a better person to lead them. And in respect of the membership vote, Little was consistently 10% behind Grant at each stage of the vote. . .

The Herald gives the break-down on the voting:

 

Last time members inflicted on caucus a leader the majority didn’t support.

This time the unions, who had 20% of the vote, have inflicted on caucus and the party, a candidate the majority didn’t want.

Unions have money but Act and the Conservative Party are good examples of how that is not enough without members.

Little hasn’t managed to win a seat and was the last Labour MP in to parliament on his party’s list and the union support that gave him the leadership will make many centrist voters wary.

But before he can have any chance of wooing voters, he’s got the big job of wooing his caucus and members.


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