Duncan Garner: Little - is that it?


Where has Andrew Little been?

I make no apologies for this – but Andrew Little’s State of the Nation speech was dreadful. Is that it? Where was the detail?

We all want jobs. So what. Crucially, it did not give you a reason to change your vote…

Labour says it cares about small businesses and wants to promote small businesses to be flexible, nimble and innovative.



So why hasn’t Labour listened to one thing small business want to keep – the 90-day probation period for new workers?

The problem is the unions still own Labour’s soul and own Labour’s thinking. Ideology still rules in Labour. What about what works? Kiwis want things that work.

Small businesses love the 90-day trial period for new employees. They do so because it means if things turn sour they don’t risk being taken to the cleaners.

This is what small businesses want and Little wants to get rid of it. You can’t say you want to help small business then ignore their pleas.

The speech is far too general. It is a bore. It is underwhelming and forgettable.

Why couldn’t Labour be more bold and ditch its ties to the union stronghold?

Why didn’t it promise tax cuts for small businesses which move to the regions - an incentive for small businesses?

It’s just full of rhetoric about tax simplification.

Labour is not trusted by small business and this doesn’t cut it. Where were the ideas and creativity?

So what about Key?

He’s addressing an issue his Government has been caught out on; housing supply and affordability in Auckland.

More than three thousand people who earn reasonable money and live in a state house may be kicked out – they’ll be told to rent privately so those more in need can live there. There are 5000 people on the state house waiting list. Sounds okay doesn’t it?

But will people be kicked out with nowhere to go? Does their rent increase? What does that look like?

Key says he wants to sell 1000-2000 state houses to private providers to use as social housing . They are likely to go to current social housing agencies – that’s okay isn’t it?

Key says it might be more. So how many – and where are these houses? Is that code for a mass sale?

Also will new houses be built with the proceeds?

A few questions, sure. But it looks ok. The truth is the Government aren’t experts in running a housing agency. It ain’t 1950 anymore. But many social housing trusts are good at it - who do you trust? The government or a social housing trust?

Key won today’s battle. He had detail and an idea. Little’s was meaningless waffle. He will need to do much better, be bolder and have new and fresh ideas. Today was puff ‘n’ huff- and more puff than huff. 

Duncan Garner hosts RadioLIVE Drive - 'where content is still king' - weekdays from 3pm

source: data archive