So, Labour leader and Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little has clocked up his first 100 days. How nice. And although he has not made any serious gaffes yet, Mr Little remains quite untested. Serious issues are all around him – the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement; issues regarding what New Zealand should do to help deal with Islamic State; sorting out Christchurch; the housing crisis and sorting out their caucus.
So, what will he do about them? Good question. I have a rough idea of what I would be doing (in crude chronological order):
1) Giving National an ultimatim to come clean on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement or Labour will walk away from it – the secrecy is nauseating. The fact that other neutral intellectual groups such as doctors of medicine are raising alarm bells in Australia and New Zealand (and now nurses in the United States), should concern everyone. This ultimatim needs to happen soon, i.e. in the next month or so.
The protests that are going to happen nation wide on 07 March 2015 are not about crippling trade, but about stopping something that could have significant impacts on New Zealand’s sovereignty here.
2) Appoint someone to be the chief spokesperson for Christchurch issues – did Labour really honestly think that Christchurch issues would just disappear with an election? It certainly seems to be the case with Labour, who at this time have no such spokesperson to go up against Gerry Brownlee. Other parties do. In New Zealand First for example it is Denis O’Rourke. The sooner this happens, the better.
3) Announce a policy to be enacted if Labour wins the next election to require Parliament’s permission for a military deployment against a hostile state or force – few would argue against it (except National M.P.’s, as even their traditional Parliamentary allies A.C.T. and United Future did not like the Islamic State announcement. It might take a bit of time to thrash out the details, but striking whilst Islamic State is a major attention grabbing issue seems like the smart play.
4) Get rid of the Labour Party – to use a Michelle Boag (former National Party President)phrase for M.P.’s that do little more other than keep up appearances/occupy their seats/take home a pay cheque – deadwood. Trevor Mallard has been sidelined by his Assistant Speaker role, but others like Nanaia Mahuta, Annette King, Moana Mackey, and to a lesser extent Phil Goff are doing what for Labour? National cleaned its house out before it came to office. It started another renewal last term. When will Labour do likewise? Certainly before the end of the year they need to start.
5) It was noted today that the average house price in Auckland now sits at about $764,000. Ouch! On my current income, after tax, and with absolutely no money spent on anything else, I would take 30-33 years to come close (within say $10,000-15,000)to having that amount. But how much of the heat in the Auckland market would be there if New Zealand had a law saying only nationals from those countries where New Zealanders can buy property, can buy property in New Zealand? This might be better left until election time, but it is certainly a policy I would like to see.
Andrew Little would be much higher in my estimate even though I won’t be voting for Labour any time soon if he got onto these issues.