TV REVIEW: Q+A – Andrew Little looks Prime Ministerial

By   /   May 14, 2017  /   14 Comments

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Andrew Little was on with Jessica Mutch. She pushed Little on Charter Schools and Maori Prisons because when Maori suggest anything that might be designed by Maori for Maori we know Western Civilisation itself is in the balance and may just tip over the cliff and smash into a trillion pieces that can never be put back together again.

Good Q+A this morning.

Andrew Little was on with Jessica Mutch. She pushed Little on Charter Schools and Maori Prisons because when Maori suggest anything that might be designed by Maori for Maori we know Western Civilisation itself is in the balance and may just tip over the cliff and smash into a trillion pieces that can never be put back together again.

Little is very svelte in his response. He pulls it back to Labour values. What some of the more shrill critics of Charter Schools may like to consider before beginning their screams of protest is that the NZ State Education system has been failing Maori since the moment the Treaty of Waitangi was signed.

Demanding that Maori must sit on their hands and not try to lift their own people out of poverty and an under performing education system by running their own that fall well within the current Public Teaching standards is so much more damaging when you also consider that the latest research on why Maori and Pasifika  students fail is because of the self projected limitations placed upon them by  middle class Pakeha teachers.

Perhaps there is more to discuss openly than scream blindly over, because you know, it’s supposed to be for the kids and the current public education system is in fucking free fall. I’m not in support of Charter Schools, I want far more money to go into public schools, that’s the solution to me. But I also think that there are a few examples as to where the Public Education system can learn something from Maori.

Andrew is very good, looks like he’s had a good conference. The sense of gloom that has spread amongst some of the Labour MPs is misplaced and the energy of the Conference seems to have chirped everyone up.

The panel is on, Mike, Josie and Ken. I know, I know, which one is the right wing opinion. Classic stuff.

I think the biggest challenge of this election will be how to explain to the wider electorate how a Labour and NZ First minority Government is going work. Each of the pundits all acknowledge that MMP means the exact make up of the Government post September is actually not clear at all.

Does Winston do as he has in the past and surge ahead on an angry anti-immigration platform to be the kingmaker?

If Winston goes with National the immediate friction will be Housing and Peters would become a target of blame for any ongoing social frictions.  Winston’s xenophobia can’t work with National’s close relationship with China.

If Winston goes with Labour it will be a minority Government as Winston will simply push the Greens out again. The payback for the Greens would be some Ministerial Positions, Labour would have to give them that and Winston realises his own cavalcade of political freak shows he brings in off his list can’t be trusted anywhere near power.

Pundits note that maybe the Greens will get hit, but no one is clear how the votes can splinter under MMP.

The moment activists realise Greens + Labour can’t = 51% they are going to freak.

Mike Williams ends the show by attacking Willie Jackson.  What a dick move.



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  1. phillip ure says:

    i thought the most telling/accurate comment came from the most obvious/overt of those three card-carrying rightwingers on the panel – the employers guy – campbell..

    when he noted/asked where is the policy from labour that excites..?

    answer: there isn’t any..

    it’s just more neoliberal-incrementalism – with a couple of bandaids over suppurating-sores and a few ambulances parked at the bottom of the cliffs..

    and of course no mention of that other ‘p’-word – poverty…

    if labour don’t come up with some game-changing poverty-busting promises/policy (a la what bernie sannders promised – and what jeremy corbyn is currently offering the voters in britain..) – they are toast/will gift a fourth term to the tories..

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      I agree, it was not really that great an interview on Q+A, it was better though than the interview the almost nasty Paddy Gower had with Andrew Little on The Nation yesterday.

      Andrew was good at keeping up appearances, and at not giving anything away, but apart from that, he told us basically NOTHING of substance.

      Andrew’s speech of today by the way:

      “Delegates, we have four and a half months ahead of us, and a great opportunity to give this country a fresh approach:

      * to make sure everyone has a decent place to live;
      * for hospitals that can treat everyone who turns up for care;
      * to give hope to young people looking for work;
      * to make our rivers clean again and take real action on climate change and the environment.

      Delegates, the next four and a half months are a fight for a better New Zealand, and for everyone in this magnificent country of ours.

      Delegates, we can do this. We must do this.”

      And this:
      “First, we’ll ban overseas speculators from buying existing houses. Simple as that. We’ll do that in our first hundred days.”

      That and the rest may sound good and ‘positive’, but it does not give us any idea about how these few selected goals will be achieved, and what the actual policy will look like.

      This was a feel good conference, a motivational event, trying to get the members and supporters and advocates ready to go and do the campaigning, nothing else.

      The actual ‘overseas speculators’ are not that large a part of the problem, they are few in numbers, as I have claimed all along, most increased home buying comes from already wealthy Kiwis (incl. permanent residents with other passports) who live here and who invest in more property. There have also been many middle class Kiwis come back home, who earned a fair bit overseas and bring back tens of thousands or more on their bank balance.

      I am mystified about the “speculator tax loophole”, as any enterprise that makes a loss can of course declare this when making a tax declaration, so will Labour treat property differently, and how will this be done legally, I wonder?

      Much talk about the “Kiwi Dream” and hope and aspiration, nothing of substance, as even Mr Hooton tweeted.

      We are there again, the choice between a great and a lesser evil, and in a few years time, should Labour win, we wonder, what was all that about?

      I feel this is not going to make it, it is not enough, this is trying to win the election the Emmanuel Macron way, trying to please many and having little in the way of really solid, convincing policy.

      This year I will go to the voting booth the least enthused I have ever been, again faced with the greater and lesser evil, nothing to feel excited about.

      But I sense, since even the employers and business people seem to realise it is time for a change, and since even many in the MSM settle for such mellow, shallow stuff, thinking it is nevertheless time for a change, Labour may win and form a minority government with NZ First and Green support for one term.

      It cannot be ruled out though that we will have a minority National-ACT government, perhaps even supported by NZ First, getting some baseline demands met.

  2. Andrew says:

    So is Labour for or against Charter Schools?

    Personally I think Charter Schools are a great idea and we are already seeing the positive educational outcomes for Maori since ACT initiated the idea.

    So why is Labour against them? There are two obvious reasons:

    1. Charter Schools are non-union and since over 50% of union members are in the teachers unions, the success of Charter Schools is poison to unionism.

    2. Socialism prospers amid failure. The last thing the left in NZ want is for Maori to step up, educate themselves and become conservative and middle class .

    • Socialism prospers amid failure.

      Would that be failures such as the 1929 Depression? The 1987 sharemarket crash? The 2008 GFC/Recession? Growing homelessness and housing unaffordability?

      Thing is, Andrew, neo-liberalism has been the fad since the 1970s/80s. Why has it resulted in failure do you think?

      Take your time thinking about it.

    • Nick says:

      Charter schools are entirely hit or miss and that is already enough to kick them for touch.

      The core plan is to raise all boats, but because there may be more than one way to skin a cat (as Gareth Morgan showed us), there is nothing essentially wrong with parallel systems, on condition that they adhere to the essential tenets of good education: trained teachers and a national curriculum. If beyond that there is an enhanced attention to kaupapa Maori , or performing arts or outward bound physicality, or conservation, or Mandarin or whatever, that can only add richness to the culture.

      Creationists and climate-change-denier science courses need not apply. But schools with different emphases may not be a bad thing at all, on condition we are talking about an even playing field, orthodox state schools are not disadvantaged and the specialized schools are located in areas where more mainstream choices are also available.

      There may be some issues over religious instruction or philosophies that the State would rather not be associated with, but these are comparatively minor quibbles. The main aim is the bring all these systems within the Big Tent rather than placing them in a quarantined ghetto.

      Another risk may be that if specialized schools, even within the State system, are seen as advantaging their students in some tangible way, academically or even in sporting contest, perhaps , especially through government doctrinaire enthusiasm or some such reason, there can be a self-selecting element to their catchment which decapitates nearby schools of their most able students to the disadvantage of others.

      With these provisos qualified and monitored experimentation can be beneficial. But in the end, the goal must be to above all strive to enhance the educational experience of ALL students. And that must be a general system focus, not an exception-carve-out focus, that has any chance of advancing the cause of education in New Zealand

  3. bert says:

    It was nice to see a presenter wait for answers, that was until I watched The Nation and the Chipmunk go to town on Little. The Chipmunk interviews English totally differently and Angry English shuts him down, get that, ANGRY ENGLISH!

    • jax says:

      Gopher Gower gave a master class on Nation in how to be both interviewer and interviewee.

  4. Mike in Auckland says:

    Andrew Little held his speech today, and he and Labour want to close a tax loophole for property investors, who can offset gains in properties against losses on other ones, thus lowering their tax burden as it still is possible now. Under Labour they would only be able to declare costs and losses against each individual property.

    What this may lead to is that multiple landlords will increase rents on the properties that make some losses, or to increase rents across the board.

    This will not help renters.

    Better news would have been more state and social housing investment and building, and an expansion of Kiwi Build, thus adding to supply, which would have stopped property and rent increases much faster, and which would lead to lower prices and lower rents.

    But that is not where Labour dares to go, it seems.

    Here is what wrote about Andrew’s Labour congress speech:

  5. David Stone says:

    I’ve known and still know quite a number of teachers. Not one of them could possibly ,by any stretch of the imagination, be held responsible for the failure of any of their pupils. People who choose to do this job care about all their charges to a fault. They might be too busy to give every child the individual attention they need, but to solve the failure problem requires looking outside the classroom.
    Teachers have to allocate their time so as to get as many through the curriculum as they can however, and once a couple of kids start to fall behind, they loose interest and start to become disruptive.
    It would probably be worthwhile to identify this problem as early as possible so more of someone’s time could be put in to those kids who need it, perhaps just for a while.
    If this can be done by an organisation with a possibly special background connection to ease communication I think that would be worth a try. It would cost a bit more to give this extra attention but in the long run I recon it would pay off. But the results would need to be seen to be better, and it would only want to be provided to those that need it.
    D J S

  6. Historian pete says:

    I watched Andrew Little on both Q+A and Nation and thought He was impressive and has come a long way in the last few years.Chipmonk Gower clearly had instructions to antagonize Little and constantly interrupted him,and was disrespectful to a point never seen in interviews with National Party Spokespersons.

    • bert says:

      Fully agree, it bordered on bullying. The Chipmunk goes nowhere near that ground with English, so credit to Little, he IS prime minister material.