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Andrew Little Speech to Committee for Auckland — September 30th 2015

Introduction – A better future for Auckland

Tena Koutou Katoa.

Thank you so much for the invitation to speak to you this afternoon.

[Acknowledgements]

When I was living in Auckland in the 1990’s, the most common phrase I heard when talking about the city and its issues at the time was “if only they had done this 30 years ago, or forty years ago, or fifty years ago.”

Auckland is a city with a history of putting things off and playing constant catch up.

That suggests a city not confident about its place or its future.

But that’s not Auckland now.

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Andrew Little: Speech to Cullen Breakfast

Section One – Andrew’s Approach

Tēnā Koutou Katoa.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to address you this morning.

These breakfasts are an important meeting place for leaders and thinkers in modern New Zealand. It’s a real honour to speak today.

I want to give you an idea of the direction of the Government I will lead, and the type of Prime Minister I hope to be.

It won’t surprise you that I think we need to make big changes to the direction of our country.

Some of the most basic aspirations that New Zealanders hold are becoming harder to achieve.

New Zealanders don’t ask the world. But we do have high hopes for our families, and there are some things we see defining our unique place in the world.

Most of all, what Kiwis want is a chance to work hard and build a secure future for ourselves and our families.

That’s what my parents were able to do.

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The Man Who Saved the World

The Wellington premier of the film “The Man Who Saved the World” was hosted at the Beehive Theatrette last night.
Among the audience were Ambassadors and members of the Diplomatic Corps, MPs, former leading New Zealand diplomats and a former Governor General. There was a strong and positive response to the film and the messages it carried.
The film is the true story of Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov. It is about how close the world came to being destroyed by a computer error which nearly precipitated a nuclear war.

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Political will to beat the TB epidemic

Parliamentarians from the region have this week formed the Asia Pacific TB Caucus, at an historic meeting in Sydney, Australia, to drive progress against this intractable disease.

Some 60 percent of the world’s TB cases occur in the Asia Pacific region, where nearly five million people fall ill each year.  The continued development of drug-resistant TB is a threat to global health security.  

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The Saudi Sheep Files – Updated

New documents published today show Minister McCully appears to have breached the Public Finance Act by dressing up the cash payment paid to Hmood Al Khalaf as a joint venture.

In a briefing to Murray McCully on 19 April 2012, MFAT officials said they would find a way to meet Al Khalaf’s previously stated desire for compensation ‘possibly through the joint venture’. They did this after Mr McCully had earlier insisted the $4 million payment not be called compensation because that would cause “a plethora of layers and bureaucrats” to become involved.

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Today is the United Nations International Day of Youth

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Today is the United Nations International Day of Youth and the theme is Youth Civic Engagement.

So today Parliament is calling for nominations for the 2016 Youth Parliament.
This is a great opportunity if you are aged 16-18 on October 2015 to be either a Youth MP, or a journalist in the Youth Parliamentary Press Gallery. 

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Andrew Little - Environment Speech

Speech to Environmental Defence Society Conference

12 August 2015

Check against delivery

Thank you for the invitation to speak. The Environmental Defence Society is a true leader in New Zealand’s environmental discussion and so it is very special to be able to talk here today.

Can I begin by acknowledging my colleague, Megan Woods, who is our Environment and Climate Change spokesperson and who has been doing excellent work this year.

I’d also like to acknowledge Gary Taylor. I know first-hand that Gary is a forceful advocate for the environment. His voice counts.

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The Saudi Sheep Files

Today Labour is publishing documents obtained under the Official Information Act from Foreign Minister Murray McCully regarding the Saudi sheep deal for the public to view for themselves.

The documents prove the actions of the National Government relating to a $4 million facilitation payment to a Saudi Arabian businessman and a $6 million demonstration farm in the Saudi Arabian desert were unethical and wrong.

It is evident that the documents show deliberate misrepresentations by the Minister of Foreign Affairs as to the true nature of the payments made to the Al Khalaf group.

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The Health and Safety Reform Bill

The government’s Health and Safety Reform Bill should have been the legislation that kept John Key’s promise after the Pike River disaster to fix health and safety.

Instead it became a political football for National’s internal factions and a target for some of New Zealand’s worst employers.

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Honouring Erima Henare – a lasting legacy

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Tamāki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare is proud to have been the “first Te Kōhanga Reo baby” elected to Parliament. All who follow in his footsteps and all Kōhanga Reo students and their families, past and present owe a debt of gratitude to Peeni’s father Erima Henare and grandfather Sir James Henare who were pivotal in developing and championing the movement.

The Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust Board was launched in 1982 with Sir James and the then Māori Queen Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu instrumental in its founding. Erima Henare took up the torch of Te Reo and carried it proudly and with great distinction until his death in May this year.

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