Andrew Little (New Zealand politician)

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Andrew Little
MP
Andrew-little 5.jpg
35th Leader of the Opposition
Incumbent
Assumed office
18 November 2014
Prime Minister John Key
Deputy Annette King
Preceded by David Cunliffe
15th Leader of the Labour Party
Incumbent
Assumed office
18 November 2014
Deputy Annette King
Preceded by David Cunliffe
President of the Labour Party
In office
2 March 2009 – 2 April 2011
Vice President Moira Coatsworth
Preceded by Mike Williams
Succeeded by Moira Coatsworth
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Labour Party list
Incumbent
Assumed office
2011
Personal details
Born (1965-05-07) 7 May 1965 (age 49)
New Plymouth
Nationality New Zealand
Political party Labour
Alma mater Victoria University of Wellington
Website Labour Party profile

Andrew James Little (born 7 May 1965) is a New Zealand politician and former trade union official who was elected as Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party on 18 November 2014. He has been a Labour list MP since 2011. Previously he was the national secretary of New Zealand’s largest trade union, the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU), and he was President of the Labour Party from 2009 to 2011.

Early life[edit]

Born in New Plymouth on 7 May 1965,[1] Little was educated at New Plymouth Boys' High School and studied law, philosophy and public policy at Victoria University of Wellington in the 1980s, where he became active in the campaign against New Zealand's student loan scheme. He was elected president of the Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association and later served as New Zealand Union of Students' Associations (NZUSA) president in 1988 and 1989.[2]

Career with unions[edit]

After graduating he took a job as a lawyer with the Engineers' Union (a forerunner of the EPMU), with his work including Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) and employment law issues.[3] In 1997 he was appointed the union’s general counsel (chief lawyer). Two years later, he was appointed assistant national secretary, and was elected national secretary when Rex Jones stood down from the position in 2000.

In 2007 Little was ranked at number 40 on the New Zealand Listener Power List.[4]

Political career[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
2011–2014 50th List 15 Labour
2014–present 51st List 11 Labour

On 2 March 2009 it was announced that Little was elected unopposed as President of the New Zealand Labour Party.[5] He held that post until 2 April 2011.[6]

50th Parliament (2011–2014)[edit]

Little stood for Parliament in the 2011 general election; despite a loss in the New Plymouth electorate to the National Party incumbent Jonathan Young, he was elected as a list MP owing to his ranking of 15 on the Labour Party list.[7][8]

He took on the ACC portfolio and gained profile during the National Party's restructuring of the organisation.[3] Together with Trevor Mallard, he launched attacks against ACC Minister Judith Collins, who eventually responded with issuing a defamation claim. The affair resulted in the resignations of the ACC chairman John Judge, and the ACC chief executive Ralph Stewart.[9] In 2012 Trans Tasman in the annual review of politicians performance gave him a 5/10 and commented: "Landed some hits on ACC. Many get the feeling he could have done more as ACC puts the squeeze on claimants, perhaps was a bit distracted over his and Trevor Mallard’s legal battle with Judith Collins. Sometimes looks like he regrets the decision to come to Parliament."[10]

51st Parliament (2014–present)[edit]

He again lost New Plymouth at the 2014 election against Young, and with a much increased margin, but this was partially explained by boundary changes.[3][11] He was elected as list MP because of his ranking of 11 on the Labour Party list.[12]

Following Labour's defeat at the general election in September 2014, David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour Party.[13] Little announced his bid for the 2014 Labour Party leadership election on 9 October 2014 and was nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway.[14][15] He won the election, which was held on 18 November 2014, and defeated Grant Robertson, David Parker, and Nanaia Mahuta.[16]

Corporate manslaughter bill[edit]

Little has a private member's bill in the ballot that, if passed, would create a new criminal offence of corporate manslaughter.[17] The bill was drafted in the wake of the 2010 Pike River Mine disaster and the CTV Building collapse during the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.[18] The bill is modelled on the United Kingdom's Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.

Little believes the bill is needed as "the track record of prosecutions under the Health and Safety Act is that they tend to focus on lower level failures because getting the evidence and securing the conviction are easier, but personal responsibility for fatalities goes unchecked."[19] A 2012 3News poll found that seventy-four percent of respondents would like to see a charge of corporate manslaughter introduced.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Little currently lives in Island Bay, Wellington with his wife Leigh, a son, and their pets.[3][21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Andrew Little". New Zealand Parliament. 6 March 2013. Archived from the original on 6 March 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "New Zealand Union of Students' Associations - General History". NZUSA. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d Davison, Isaac (9 October 2014). "Who is Andrew Little? Union chief, lawyer and Gangnam Style dancer". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Clark still most powerful but Key nipping at her heels". The New Zealand Herald. NZPA. 14 September 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "Andrew Little elected Labour Party president". The New Zealand Herald. NZPA. 2 March 2009. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Armstrong, John (2 April 2011). "John Armstrong: On top for now - in a job no one wants". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "Labour Party List 2011". Electoral Commission. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  8. ^ Donnell, Hayden (28 November 2011). "Colourful crop of new MPs heading for Parliament". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "ACC privacy breach timeline". The Dominion Post. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  10. ^ "8th annual roll call – how our MPs performed in 2012" (PDF). TransTasman. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  11. ^ "2014 election results". Electoral Commission. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  12. ^ "2014 General Election Party Lists". Electoral Commission. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  13. ^ Howie, Cherie (27 September 2014). "David Cunliffe resigns as leader". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  14. ^ Trevett, Claire (9 October 2014). "Andrew Little puts hand up for Labour leadership". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "Nanaia Mahuta to contest Labour leadership". The New Zealand Herald. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  16. ^ Watkins, Tracy; Fox, Michael; Vance, Andrea (18 November 2014). "Little wins Labour leadership". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  17. ^ "Crimes (Corporate Manslaughter) Amendment Bill". NZ Parliament. 2013-12-03. 
  18. ^ "CTV families push for corporate manslaughter law". One News. 25 February 2014. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
  19. ^ "Corporate manslaughter charge in new bill". 3News. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
  20. ^ "Government looking at corporate manslaughter laws". 3News. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
  21. ^ "Andrew Little". New Zealand Labour Party. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
Political offices
Preceded by
David Cunliffe
Leader of the Opposition
2014–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mike Williams
President of the Labour Party
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Moira Coatsworth
Preceded by
David Cunliffe
Leader of the Labour Party
2014–present
Incumbent