More than little late to pay

NBR columnist David Cohen wrote in the print edition of the paper last Friday that Labour leader Andrew Little hadn’t paid a bill he’d sent him.

Cohen had been asked to analyse Little’s communication, did so, sent the bill and followed up with phone calls and emails.

It was only yesterday, four months late and after Steven Joyce raised the matter in parliament, that Little paid up:

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce attacked Little over his stance on employment law changes after revealing Little had not settled his bill with National Business Review columnist David Cohen.

Writing in the NBR last week Cohen confirmed he did paid work for Little to help him secure the Labour leadership but four months later was still waiting for the cheque.

Joyce said he raised the overdue bill because it was important for Parliamentarians to “pay people promptly”.

Little insisted afterward that the bill had been paid – but would not confirm or deny that the payment had only been put through after Joyce raised the matter in Parliament.

“It’s been paid today.”

Little insisted afterward that the bill had been paid – but would not confirm or deny that the payment had only been put through after Joyce raised the matter in Parliament.

“It’s been paid today.”

He said the bill had been sent in good faith but went to his campaign team rather than himself.

“It was on that person’s desk and flitted around some others,” Little said.

“Had it come to me at the time he remitted it, it would have been paid at that time.”

Little would not say what time he paid the bill and whether it was after Joyce raised the issue.

“It hasn’t been paid as a result of what Steven Joyce said in the House but it’s been paid.” . . .

Can Little be blamed for the tardiness of a member of his campaign team and the others whose desks the invoice flitted around?

At least as much as it shows a problem with processes and not just in a huge hole in the way bills are dealt with but also in media monitoring.

The leader of the Labour Party won’t’ have time to read every column inch that’s written but someone in his office ought to be monitoring the media for every mention of him.

I read Cohen’s column last week and it’s difficult to believe that either no-one in Little’s office, caucus and the wider party did.

It is easier to wonder if they did and didn’t alert him.

If no-one monitors the media, or isn’t doing it properly, Little has a problem. If people who are supposed to support him read the story and didn’t tell him, he’s got an even bigger problem.

Four months is more than a little late to pay a bill, especially when you’re leading a party that purports to stand up for workers and wants to court small business people.

There’s no smaller business than a one-man one.

Update: Cohen makes this point on Radio NZ:

. . . He sent in his report and invoice four months ago.

“During that time I followed up the invoice, I called his office, I spoke with Matt McCarten, his Chief of Staff, many emails were exchanged and it became abundantly clear that the waiter had been stiffed, as it were.”

Mr Cohen said he found this ironic given Mr Little’s recent attempts to connect with small business and the self-employed.

“Andew Little has been crafting excellent speeches on the pressures felt by small business, by freelancers, by sole operators and he’s been committing himself to lessening the stress and strain that one in five New Zealanders, like me, experience.

“Now, you can’t really hold forth on these subjects and not look after your own creditors.”

Mr Joyce was being questioned by one of Mr Little’s Labour MPs about whether the government intended to take a tougher line on zero hour contracts.

Mr Joyce used that as an opportunity to take a potshot at Mr Little.

“This is obviously not a zero-hour contract.

“It could perhaps be better described as a zero-payment contract – the employer in this case being then-leadership aspirant for the Labour Party, one Andrew Little, the current Labour leader.” . .

A Chief of Staff and unionist who doesn’t understand the importance of paying bills properly?

Where’s his concern for the worker and where are his political antennae?




12 Responses to More than little late to pay

  1. We respect “gotcha” politicking, aye!
    Petty, petty, petty.

  2. rayinnz says:

    Robert, then Mr Little puts the boot into the Greens
    How did that feel

  3. Rayinnz – incongruous. He’s made a mistake and it will be corrected, I reckon. Seems he didn’t follow the required legal pathway and Metiria, being a lawyer, will sort that out quick-smart. Farrar’s comment is interesting. He seems to believe that everyone on a “panel” must be a Yes-man and that anyone expressing opposition should be expunged. I believe the opposite – that dissenting views are necessary to create the creative tension that gives robust results. The same thing happens here. “Farrars” like Mr E are for ever trying to have me banned. It’s clearly a right-wing bully tactic and so deeply entrenched in the right-wing psyche that the victims of it can’t see it at all.

  4. Andrei says:

    Lol Robert the left blogs are hardly bastions of free speech

    Tried to leave comments on Frog Blog a couple of times, never got out of moderation

    Got banned from Red Alert for disagreeing with Charles Pierre Chauvel over the merits of the ETS

    Their loss

    As for these storms in a teacup over Andrew Little, to me it seems so banal – like kids arguing in a kindergarten sandpit over whose dad is the best arm wrestler

  5. Mr E says:

    “like Mr E are for ever trying to have me banned.”

    This situation reminds me the of Movie Shawshank Redemption, where all the inmates claim to be innocent and the “system screwed” them.

    I not trying to ban you Robert, but I think you need to take responsibility for you behaviour on blogs. If you constantly breach the rules, perhaps you deserve to be banned. Have you ever considered repeated moderation was discouragement of unwanted behaviour rather than some conspiracy against you? And have you ever thought change might avoid that?

  6. “Hall monitor! Hall monitor!!

  7. Mr E says:

    Are you referring to Ele as the Hall monitor?
    I predict that won’t help your case.

  8. Andrei says:

    You know Robert from time to time you actually post something worth reading

    But in between those very rare gems you flood this blog with dross such as your 11:58 effort

    Normally I wouldn’t engage you on such matters, why add to the white noise that drowns out reasonable debate, but today given matters of real substance and major significance that are taking place as we speak I am exceptionally irritated by the inconsequential and disruptive nature of the your contribution to the Home Paddock community.

    I would hate to see you banned from here, my friend but you need to wake up, pull yourself together and start discussing issues of import in a sane, rational and adult manner because if you want the cruel truth there is probably not one regular commenter here who would lament the loss of your input if you were to disappear forever

  9. Thanks for your considered advice, Andrei. I too seek reasonable debate. My adversarial stuff is always in response to slights from the “other” side, though they seem unaware of their contribution, so ingrained is it in their thinking.

  10. And Andrei, your analogy re the banal attacks on Little, “like kids arguing in a kindergarten sandpit over whose dad is the best arm wrestler” is spot on.

  11. Gravedodger says:

    Guyton, of course it is somebody else who’s to blame, typical bloody socialist, take ownership of your problems, you are the only one who can remedy them.

    Reminds me of the tale about the proud Scots Mum who went to her sons graduation parade with the Scots Guards:
    Ooch Ther’s ma wee Geordie an ‘es the only one in step

  12. Ha! Go Gordie – free thinking’ man!
    I’m not blaming anyone, Gravedodger. Let’s unpack your comment though, as an example for Andrei:
    “Guyton”, you begin. If I begin, “E”, rather than, Mr E, I’m accused of name calling. “typical bloody socialist” – nice little ad hominum slight there, Gravedodger – still on your first line and already with the insults. Andrei, Gravedodger affects righteousness and right-ness, but can’t see the beam in his own eye, while screeching about the mote in mine. Thanks, old, old fella, for illustrating so neatly, the blindness you and your ilk suffer from.

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