The forthcoming 2023 edition of the LawFuel Power List has former Labour leader and multiple ministerial post-holder make his entry, following his decision this week to return to the law.
Despite a disastrous election and a host of failed policies, senior Labour Party minister Andrew Little has retained – and attained – sufficient skills, experience and contacts to create a significant role in consultancy, Treaty, health and criminal justice matters.
The former unionist lead the Labour Party from 2014 to 2017 and as a minister in the Ardern government from 2017 to 2023.
Receiving the ‘angry Andrew’ moniker for his often unvarnished telling of the truth, not a bad thing for a politician, he has been a politician without strong personal appeal but nevertheless underrated as a publicity-shunning operator.
He is, as Post political writer Luke Malpass said, someone who was both selfless and someone who “marched to his own tune” . . “giving often frank and unburnished answers to questions.”
As a former senior minister and Minister of Justice from 2017 until 2020 he holds an influence within the profession that he dealt with frequently, including his time as Minister of Courts, that will survive his resignation from politics.
Apart from his work creating the mega-health entity, Te Whatu ora, Health NZ, he had strong legal and administrative connections with other developments in New Zealand including the re-entry to Pike River and Treaty negotiations for six years, including treaty claims.
As Justice Minister he lead the call to reduce the prison population by 30 percent and dump the ‘three strikes’ law – both matters becoming major election issues in the midst of a rising crime wave.
He also oversaw the removal from the Crimes Act 1961 of abortion, permitting abortion for women within 20 weeks of pregnancy.
In the wake of the Pike River disaster, he attempted to pass a private members’ bill in 2010 to create a new offence of corporate manslaughter, The Crimes (Corporate Manslaughter) Amendment Bill.
He was also lead minister for the Government’s response to the Christchurch mosque attacks.
A man of many parts and given a wide range of often complex and difficult responsibilities sees the former unionist and lawyer a person whose abilities and experience across a wide range of activities and professions, from health and Treaty issues to defence, health and safety, public service and other areas see him join the 2023 Power List.