The Whipping Post: The Good, the Bad, the What The?

The year’s first House sitting week might have been and gone, but what a rip snorter.

The good

Bring it on home

First up - and we couldn’t let the week go by without mentioning it – was Waitangi Day. Serious issues got an airing, as they should, but this year's was surely the first to have a trending hashtag, and hopefully the last where a Minister gets walloped with a rubber body part. The palaver continued, during the usual Tuesday caucus-run standup. Like the proverbial dog with a, er, tasty morsel, the media just couldn’t seem to let it go. Andrew Little confirmed his status as a true professional, the journos not so much. Their reaction is priceless…

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National's Stairway to Heaven

All that glitters…

Official documents showing the Government has spent $19.5 million on a revamp of the Ministry of Education building serve as a reminder that National’s profligacy continues unabated.

The refit, the latest in a series of Ministry mega-spends, includes a $2.6 million grand staircase, a “Koru”-style transit lounge and a “concierge” style arrangement in the reception area. It comes as schools around the country are being told there’s no cash for desperately needed upgrades to past-their-use-by date buildings.

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6 Top Tweets about Andrew Little's #sotn16

We're a little biased, but we reckon 3 years free post-school study across a person’s lifetime is pretty great. And lots of people seem to agree with us too. Check out six top tweets about Andrew Little's State of the Nation.

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Andrew Little's State of the Nation Speech 2016

Right, I want to tell you a quick story about the Future of Work and I promise it’s 100% true.

When I ran the EPMU, I got an incredible insurance claim form to sign off from one of our senior organisers.

He’d taken his union car into the carwash to have it cleaned.

He’d punched his code into the computer and had driven in.

The machine was running, the car was covered in soapy water and then he remembers he’s left the cell phone aerial up on the back of the car.

He hops out, leaving the driver’s door open, and runs around to the back to get the aerial.

The problem is, our man’s a bit short.


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Andrew Little On the TPPA

I make no apology for taking the issue of the TPPA and its impact on New Zealand seriously, and approaching it with caution.

There’s been robust debate about it among the Labour caucus, as there should be with any issue likely to have a major impact on the country.

Labour is a party of free trade. This isn’t a product of the last couple of high profile trade ministers in Labour governments. It goes back the full 80 years since we first formed a government. We have always championed the cause of better access to markets and free trade. We are a nation heavily dependent on exporting. It’s how we produce a large chunk of our wealth and generate jobs.

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Labour boosts Dole for Apprenticeships

Labour will take action to reduce the stubbornly high numbers of young people not in school or work by expanding its Dole for Apprenticeships scheme.

Unemployment is rising and our young people are some of the worst affected. National’s policies have meant 90,000 fewer people are in post-school education. There are more than 72,000 young Kiwis who don’t have a job and are not in education or training while employers are crying out for skilled workers in a range of industries.

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New General Secretary for New Zealand Labour Party


The New Zealand Labour Party is delighted to announce the appointment of Andrew Kirton as its new General Secretary.

Andrew brings to the position broad and senior experience from previous roles in the private sector and government, both here and in the UK.

Andrew was head of public affairs for Heathrow Airport before joining international construction company, Mace Group, to lead their global corporate affairs function.

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Some festive R&R and then all eyes on 2017 - Andrew Little


After a successful conference and announcement of the new shadow cabinet, Andrew Little is looking forward to getting together with family for Christmas and a spot of R&R.

We’re off to the Wairarapa to spend time with my wife Leigh’s family, then New Plymouth to visit mine. We just do the very traditional Kiwi Christmas – with a big lunch. 

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When Santa came to Wairoa - Jacinda Ardern


Watching hundreds of AFFCO meat workers’ children opening what may be the only gifts many of them receive this Christmas, will be an abiding memory for Jacinda Ardern.

Jacinda had the job of delivering 200 presents to Wairoa after Labour MPs and colleagues pulled out all the stops to provide presents for children of AFFCO Talleys workers facing a grim Christmas due to the long-running employment dispute.

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In the presence of history - Stuart Nash


With dozens of former Labour MPs descending on Parliament last month to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the first Labour Government, the media was gleefully anticipating some potential fireworks.

“We certainly identified the possibility of some robust debate as a risk factor,” says Napier MP Stuart Nash, who came up with the idea for the celebration and hosted it with Andrew Little.

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