Andrew Little

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Andrew Little is the leader of the New Zealand Labour Party.

Background

Little is the son of English immigrant teacher and a National Party activist. He went to New Plymouth Boys High. His partner is Leigh Fitzgerald.

Anti Tour

In 1981 Little opposed the Springbok rugby tour of New Zealand.

Victoria University

!983 was Little's first year at Victoria University, as a law student. He was on the Student Representative Council, open for any student to go along every fortnight in the Union Hall.

My first year was 1983 I just went along and observed and watched and enjoyed the histrionics of it. Then I guess I just got more seriously involved became involved in the executive in 1986 and the following year became student president.

Student politics

1986 got onto VUWSA executive. Law student. 1987 President VUWSA 1988/1989 NZUSA President

Labour influence

December 1999, Little was one of 8 unionists from Labour Party interest groups who advised Margaret Wilson on her new Industrial Relations legislation.[1]

Workers Charter conference

Little.JPG

Matt McCarten, John Minto and Socialist Worker hosted a “Workers Charter” meeting Saturday October 11 2006, in Auckland.

The Workers Charter Movement was the embryo of a new left wing political party, modeled on the successful British “Respect” coalition and the less successful Australian Socialist Alliance. It was also a co-ordinating body for militant union trade union activity. The “movement” published a “Workers Charter” newspaper.

This Saturday, 7th October, starts 11am

Auckland Trades Hall 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn

11 – 11.10am Welcome from chair (Daphne Lawless).
11.10am – 12.30pm – Workers Charter, a paper for the movement – introduced by John Minto (editorial) & Bronwyn Summers (financial).
1.30 – 3pm – Unions in the 21st century – intro by Laila Harre (NDU), Andrew Little (EPMU), Sue Bradford (Green MP), Mengzhu (Radical Youth) and Joe Carolan (unionist & socialist).
3.15 – 4pm – Human Rights for Workers campaign – introduced by Vaughan Gunson (unionist & socialist) and Eliana Darroch (Radical Youth).
4pm – 4.30 pm – Graham Matthews, Australian unionist.
4.30 – 4.45pm – election of expanded, national editorial board of Workers Charter paper.
4.45 – 5.30pm – Climaction Day (4 November) to build a campaign for

System Change, Not Climate Change. Speaker(s) to be confirmed.

Graham Matthews was a National Committee member of Australia’s largest Marxist-Leninist organisation, the Democratic Socialist Perspective. He had also been in recent years, NSW and Victorian convener for the Socialist Alliance.

Daphne Lawless, Vaughan Gunson and Joe Carolan were all members of NZ’s largest Trotskyite group, Socialist Worker, which effectively has sister party ties to the DSP and Socialist Alliance.

It was significant that Green Party MP Sue Bradford supported the meeting. When Bradford was in the Workers Communist League, her group had very close ties to the DSP’s fore-runner, the Socialist Workers Party.

Laila Harre and Andrew Little also participated. Harre as head of the Socialist Party of Aotearoa dominated, NDU, (which heavily backed the Workers Charter) has a long history of involvement with the far left and is a close friend and business partner of the Green’s Russel Norman.

Little, head of the Engineers Union, had strongly supported the NDU’s recent industrial battle with Progressive Enterprise.[2]

McCarten appointment

Labour leader Andrew Little appointed left wing strategist Matt McCarten as his chief of staff, December 10, 2014..

Mr McCarten was chief of staff for former leader David Cunliffe and was kept on in a temporary basis after Mr Little won the leadership in November.

Mr McCarten's appointment in February stunned the Labour caucus because as a founder of the break-away Alliance Party, he had spent years opposing Labour.

But he has earned the trust of MPs and staff with his strategic skills and people management skills.

Mr Little has been reviewing the leaders' office. Yesterday he confirmed Mr McCarten's appointment and all other staff will be kept on.

Mr McCarten helped to found the militant Unite Union for low paid workers.[3]

References

  1. [ NZH 29.2.00]
  2. [http://archive.indymedia.org.nz/article/72416/workers-charter-conference, www.indymedia.org.nz Workers Charter Conference Submitted by Anonymous on 4 October 2006]
  3. [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11372642, NZH, Audrey Young, Labour leader appoints new-but-old chief of staff Matt McCarten 11:45 AM Thursday Dec 11, 2014]