Andrew Little: if you want to send a really strong message to New Zealanders…





Palmerston North, 8 November 2015 – In his speech to the Labour Party Conference Andrew Little said;

‘Most Kiwis believe we owe it to our kids to give them a better life than we had.

But this government has turned a blind eye to appalling rates of poverty in this country.

That’s why the children’s wards of our hospitals are seeing Kiwi kids sick with third world diseases.

It’s why Emma-Lita Bourne died in a state house because her home was mouldy and unhealthy and no one was willing to help.

We must never let anything like that happen again.

New Zealand, we are a better country than that.

We’ve got to turn the page on the last seven years;

We’ve got to turn the page on rising inequality, on child poverty, on the housing crisis and on cuts to our health system…


We still have 305,000 children living in poverty. 305,000.

2 out of 5 of those children have a parent who is working.

This can’t continue. It is unjust and it’s not who we are.

We all know this, but we’ve turned our backs for far too long.

Well, that ends today.

I’m committing our party to a new principle:

We will not tolerate poverty in New Zealand in the 21st century...


We’ll work towards 100% qualified teachers in ECE centers so every kid can get the best start in life.

We’ll feed hungry kids with our food in schools programme and we’ll make sure every child grows up in a warm, safe, dry home with our Healthy Homes Guarantee.’

[Re-published in-part via the Labour Party website]

Fine words. Words conveying a strong message.

Now Andrew Little needs to follow  up those words of hope by doing something simple and at little cost to the tax-system; announce a new role of Minister for Children, and take on the position himself.

John Key has allocated the portfolio of Minister for Tourism to himself, and takes his role ‘seriously’ by regularly holidaying on the sun-drenched, warm-sands, of a Hawaiian beach. Nice for him. He gets a very nice tan out of it.

Andrew Little should do the polar opposite; take on the role of Minister for Children, and show the people of New Zealand where the priorities of a real Prime Minister should be.

TDB Recommends

Come the day after the next election, the plaque on the Ninth Floor PM’s office should read;

Rt. Hon. Andrew Little
Prime Minister
Minister for Children

He’ll miss out on the suntan, but his reward will be true legacy-making stuff.

And better than a new flag, any day.




What's Done to children they will do to society





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  1. Brilliantly put Frank!

    I love the juxtaposition of Key, Minister for Tourism, lounging on a Hawaaiian beach while Andrew Little, as a future Minister for Children, gets down to hard work to combat child poverty!! What a picture that paints!!

  2. Although a good idea and cause. I think the main role Labour needs to take for Kiwi kids is to firmly come out against TPP. It will clearly impact children with medicine increases, food standard decreases, zero food labelling, wage drops etc. National know it will lose them votes to agree to TPP and want to get Labour looking like they support it too. Here is what they are saying in the US. I think a very similar position to NZ public – but they at least have media that discusses both sides unlike in NZ>

    • I share your cynicism dude, but somewhere we’ve got to hope that the middle class idiots gain some compassion.

      I really hope so…

    • The optimist in me sez we are, Hemebond. (I don’t know what the pessimist side of me things – he never gets out of bed in the mornings.)

      We just have to keep spreading the message; highlighting the problems (never call them “issues”); and offering good, sound solutions.

  3. Frank, this is a great suggestion. I read Andrew Little’s speech and found it very inspiring. You’re right – it needs to be followed up by action and an unwavering focus on supporting the most vulnerable people in New Zealand, such as children living in poverty, unemployed people, those with disabilities and mental health issues, to name just a few neglected groups in our society. The National Government obviously takes sadistic delight in further disenfranchising these people. Bring on the 2017 election and let’s pray that people will do the right thing for our society and boot National out!

    Keep up the great work Frank.

  4. Minister for Children vs Minister for Holidaying in Hawaii, that’s quite a message to send to the voting public. Nice one, Frank

  5. Holy Bicuspid, Frank!

    That is one hell of a powerful idea. It gives terriffic traction to his “Jobs” thingy as well as a pictures-speak-a-thousand-words slant to the coming fight.

    Kudos Grasshopper… 🙂

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