Labour Party elects Andrew Little as leader; he has been sceptical about Labour's plans for Capital Gains Tax and later eligibility for NZ Superannuation

Labour Party elects Andrew Little as leader; he has been sceptical about Labour's plans for Capital Gains Tax and later eligibility for NZ Superannuation
Andrew Little at a news conference announcing his Labour Leadership vote win/Lynn Grieveson/Hive News

By Bernard Hickey

The Labour Party has elected former union leader and list MP Andrew Little as its leader, clearing the way for Labour to look at dropping its policies in favour of a Capital Gains Tax and a later age of eligibility for New Zealand Superannuation.

The results show the Labour Caucus of MPs and the majority of individual party members favoured Grant Robertson, but overwhelming support from union affiliates lifted Little into the top job. Nanaia Mahuta and David Parker were a distant third and fourth.

Little told a news conference the Capital Gains Tax and New Zealand Superannuation policies would be reviewed by the Party's Council and Caucus. He said he expected all the leadership contenders and former leader David Cunliffe would all have senior leadership roles in the Parliamentary party. He did not say who would choose as his Deputy.

Parker later said he would not accept any role as Finance spokesman or Deputy Leader again, while Grant Robertson said he would not stand again for the leadership after losing twice in succession.

Little signalled a review of all policies and rejected suggestions he did not have the support of the caucus or the party at large, given they had supported Robertson.

"We need to get the policy review process underway and that has been a point of discussion during this election race and we need to make sure that the policies we go into 2017 with are the policies that are New Zealander's priorities, they are clear, understood and they give us the chance to win in 2017," Little told a news conference.
Asked if he only won because of backing from unions, he said: "No, I won the vote for the party leadership and I will be leading the party. All parts of the party voted and I won that vote."
Labour President Moira Coatsworth said Little had the full support of the whole Labour Party.

“Andrew has the leadership skills and the vision to win the trust of New Zealanders and take Labour to victory in 2017," she said.

"I have no doubt he will go on to become a great Labour Prime Minister who builds a stronger, fairer and more sustainable New Zealand.”

Little won by 1.04%

Little was elected by a majority in the third round of a preferential four way contest. The turnout in the Party section was just under 70% (7% more than in 2013), and Party individual financial membership has increased by over 48% since General Election Day September 20th 2014, Coatsworth said.

Little beat former deputy leaders Robertson and David Parker, and MP Nanaia Mahuta.

The Caucus voted 56.5% in favour of Robertson in the final third round of voting against 43.75% for Little, while party votes favoured Robertson by 55.23% to Little on 44.77%.  Union affiliates supported Andrew Little with 76.56% of the vote, while Robertson secured 24.44% of union votes. 

Under the Labour Party rules, the Party member vote counts for 40% of the votes in an electoral college, while the Caucus votes count for 40% and union affiliates count for 20%.

The end result was 49.48% in favour of Robertson and 50.52% in favour of Little.

Robertson had argued more in favour of a Capital Gains Tax. Here's my October 9 article detailing Little's call to review Labour's Capital Gains Tax, New Zealand Superannuation, and New Zealand Power.

EPMU congratulates Little

EPMU National Secretary Bill Newson, who succeeded Little as EPMU leader, congratulated Little.

“I have worked closely with Andrew and know he will be a strong and successful leader,” Newson said.

“Our National Executive unanimously endorsed Andrew because of his experience, ability, and dedication to the rights of working New Zealanders," he said.

The EPMU is the largest union affiliated to the Labour Party.

(Updated with vote details, background, quotes from news conference, picture)

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Thank goodness !
All New Zealanders should be thankful for this
Now at least we  are gaurenteed at least 6 years of National's business - freindly policies
This hapless little character is no match for John Key  

John?  Is that you?

Updated with more detail on results. Robertson won the votes from the Caucus and the Party, but the union votes were just enough to nudge Little over the line.

Thank goodness for that.
That should be the last we see of any chance of a capital gains tax.
Never thought I would be cheering for a Labour Leader.
Mr Little told the audience of about 300 party members that Labour had now lost support in three successive elections - something that had never happened before.
He said there were a number of reasons for that but two policies stuck out - lifting the retirement age and capital gains tax.
"There are at least two policies I know for a fact have caused people not only to not vote for us but to turn us off completely."
He said the party and caucus had championed those policies. "But the conclusion I've come to now is that those two policies alone are enough to stop people even considering what we have to say any more."
The tax was aimed at property speculators, but Mr Little said it also impacted on those who had scrimped and saved to buy a second property which they considered their retirement savings.

I only voted for Labour because of CGT.  As one of the majority that doesn't own their own home, my vote will now go Green if Labour drops the policy.

I only voted for Labour because of CGT.  As one of the majority that doesn't own their own home, my vote will now go Green if Labour drops the policy.

Trampled all over it?  Is that when John Key made a false claim about the policy during the Christchurch Press debate?
The only thing John Key tramples over is hard working New Zealanders.

Their best outcome, what gets me is how close it was, the party and MPs really think Grant had wide appeal in  greater NZ? Good grief split party and total disconnect prevails within.


haere ra Gracinda,Mahuta and Parka - now whens the next leadership vote due?

Updated with EPMU congratulating its former leader. He needed its votes to win.

Did anyone notice how much caucus votes this guy got?  
It might be another David Cunliffe in the making.  the Nat must be kicking themselves because they might have to be the govt for the next 2 or 3 elections, getting a bit boring for them.

yes even the members didnt like him.
he wont be able to say.."..I have the full support of my caucus.." ever
well not with a straight face anyway

Absolute rubbish. The missing million have nothing to do with the CGT. It's more due to a weak media and poll-driven and personality centric political coverage.
"My team can't win, what's the point".
You'd never vote Labour anyway.

True !

Hangon ZaneyZane, you're an employee? Yesterday you claimed to be paying over 40K in rates, which suggests you own about 15-20 rentals.   Are you telling me the income from 15 rentals cannot sustain you and you need a second job to make ends meet?

Not wanted by the people of New Plymouth
Not wanted by his own caucus but somehow he is expected to defeat John Key.
Bugger the unions

With MMP its the National vote that counts. 

Lucky to be in Parliament because he was low in Labour's list for the party vote. Obviously his own caucus don't rate him. He will be well up the list if he survives 3 years. I don' t think that will happen as the polls will not treat him well. As he admitted today he is hardly exciting in terms of personality. Would you have a beer with him?

Labour here needs a Tony Blair type leader  to re-invent itself

Didnt really mind which of the four became leader. All are average at best. I suspect Little will last 2 years and then Stuart Nash or Kelvin Davis will take over as leader.
Thats unless they both see sense and do a Shane Jones. They both seem to be too clever to stay with Labour. 

glad they sorted that, it really was so damn important.


Deckchairs on the Titanic - not sure if the Labour Party has hit the iceberg yet but it is about to. John Key is assured of a job for a long as he wants it and remains interested (and under 65)

Many of you are fairly harsh on the poor chap. The thing is: with him being the leader for a while and with the media coverage that comes with that, people become "known", "talked about" and actually "popular". Its like music, by repeated playing, people get to know a new song and whether its a good song or not, people cheer when its played.
eg John Key took ages to take the most preferred PM spot away from Clark. But now that he's got it, it takes ages for anyone else to become anywhere near as popular.
So, give it a while. Little will become popular. (Unless he does something stupid or if other Labour party members sabotage him).
One last comment: I note that all the comment here is about CGT. Personally I think that upping the retirement age was the worst Labour policy. That was why I would have never voted for them. (Plus their alliance with Greens). I'm sure that there are hundreds of thousands of baby boomers out there who would have pricked up their ears at this one and voted accordingly.

This hilights the uncomfortable relationship that the union movement have with the educated left voter.The idealogical left  would probably want climate action, sustainable options, investment in education and reaserach and social resposiblity. There is some overlap here but there are also a number of uncomfortable areas. For me Little's humourless attacks already suggest a pent up anger that makes me a left voter uncomforable.
The voting of the cacus, party and union weighting tell a story that roberton was prefered by the thinking left.
I'm not sure where this leaves me. Do we need a liberal demacrat pary?

Hi,  "idealogical left"  not so sure on that.  The "idealogical green" yes and that's why I have a love / hate relationship with the Green party.  Personally  I have yet to hear any Labouristas make any comments on the environment I would consider worth a damn.  Do you have any URLs? "social responsibility?" yet their position on birth control is what?  un-mentioned maybe?  Even the Greens have none as such that I can see, too busy not wanting to offend their minorities, both of them.
Little is a new boy on the block but I expect very little from him, I hope Im wrong.  I mean he doesnt look like a Neil Kinnock or Tony Blair and he needs to be both really fast.  Or JK will enjoy another couple of easy election wins.
"leaves me" same as me each election picking the least awful party out of a bunch of deaf, blind no hopers who couldnt lead us out of a wet paper bag.

This sets the scene for the Labour party to split; I think you’ll see 3 parties eventually:
Robertson leading a ‘progressive’ party
Mahuta leading a Pasifika/Maori party; &
Little leading a union party. 

It will be interesting to see what his job creation plans are.'His track record on saving jobs as an epmu official is poor.You would have thought that if he could create jobs he would have whan he was in the EPMU.

Considering a) the huge changes that have happened in de-centralising, downsizing and less Govn/public ownership (eg Telecom for instance) over the last 20+ years. b) the move to the free market mantra. c) in effect unions have been neutered legislation wise over the last 15 years+ it is hardly surprising anyone can save jobs.   Not that they ever could without a robbing peter to save paul going on.

Ever heard of a transformational leader ?
Tony Blair was one , fresh faced , new ideas , and appealed to the middle Brit voter .
Conceptualised the idea of  New Labour .
Also he had no trade union baggage , a Prestigous school education and Oxford graduate
Tony Blair was a bit  like John Key .......... normal , married to a woman , has kids , and an easy going exterior demeanour .
I am sorry , this bloke Little does not even look like a Prime Minister .
He lacks the dynamism and personality required to turn this org around , so he is the leader of what can only be described a loose alliance making up a mixed barrel of monkeys

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