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Helping Fiji

While it is now over a week since cyclone Winston hit Fiji, leaving at least 44 people dead and close to 40,000 people without homes, the islands are still reeling.

the heart-breaking pictures coming out of the region have prompted me to make a donation to Cyclone Winston relief. So many people have lost their homes and – in worst cases – family members. A little help can go a long way in a disaster zone.

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Diary Spy

Monday

The fifth anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake which killed 185 people.  Labour Leader Andrew Little went back to the Cashel St building he was in when the earthquake struck, before attending  a memorial service in Hagley Park with Labour’s Christchurch MPs.

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

THE BEST

The luckier country

The week kicked off with a reminder of just how privileged we are to be living in New Zealand. First up was Victoria University’s climate change conference, where Kiribati President Anote Tong laid out the issues facing low-lying Pacific nations. Discussing his country’s future with Andrew Little he noted that even if there was a massive sea change on how the world responds to climate change the 102,000 islanders on Kiribati are unlikely to have a home within 50 years.  Just as poignant was the testimony of the young refugee who told a public hearing at Parliament of the heartache of having to leave two brothers in a Thai refugee camp after the family fled Myanmar following the torture and killing of her father – used by the army to minesweep. Despite that, she was, she said, ‘so grateful’ to be in New Zealand. “We’ll never forget what you have done for us, in the country we now call ours. New Zealanders should be proud of what they are doing.”  Food for thought.

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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

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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

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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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