Andrew Little warns Key what he’ll try to gum him about

This is a new strategy – Andrew Little telling the media what he’ll hold John Key to account over when parliament resumes.

Labour leader Andrew Little says a number of issues have been building up over the summer which Labour will focus on when Parliament resumes this week, including the funding of the SkyCity Convention Centre and a rise in the unemployment rate.

Just before Christmas, SkyCity chief Nigel Morrison said he wanted the taxpayer to bridge any shortfall in construction costs or the company could walk away from the deal.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce suggested Auckland City help to meet any shortfall.

That’s a sitter. ?There is a deep dissatisfaction with National over the SkyCity situation, not helped by Steve Joyce keeping SjyCity’s hopes alive by telling the public that discussions about tax payers paying for SkyCity’s private business investments are ongoing.

As this is an issue where the Government is on the back foot with little public support, it will be great to see if Labour can actually place some hard hits on the PM here. ? But having warned Key days in advance, I doubt it.

Mr Little also said the rise in unemployment in last week’s statistics from 5.4 per cent to 5.7 per cent was unexpected.

Yeah, that’s just a dumb line of attack. ?As we’ve seen, this is on the back of more jobs being available and more people deciding to enter the workforce looking for work. ?These are all positives of an economy that’s doing quite nicely.

I don’t see the mantra that “unemployment is up to a staggering 5.7 percent” as anything but a wet tissue to maul Key with. ?It will be a waste of time and easily batted away.

Two other issues he nominated for focus were the proposed deployment of up to 100 New Zealand Defence personnel to Iraq in a non-combat training role…

We know the country is 50/50 on sending troops to Iraq. ? And the support is swinging towards going. ?To focus on this issue will just allow more airtime to explain the reasons behind it, and support will continue to grow. ?This isn’t the vein of political capital that Labour thinks it is.

And there will also be a continuing and ongoing niggle about Dirty Politics. ?The Fraser House listening devices tell me Megan Woods has been tasked to keep the issue alive. ?This is another sure vote winner for Labour, as it got them so far last year. ? But hey, keep it coming Andy – it’s valuable advertising to me.

Parliament starts tomorrow, with John Key’s state of the nation/speech from the throne/drone drone drone/yawn thing. ?(Flags!!)

The real business of parliament will resume, including the first Question Time, on Wednesday.


– NZ Herald