- Date published:
12:06 pm, April 5th, 2023 - 91 comments
Categories: climate change, jacinda ardern, labour, political parties, politicans, poverty - Tags:
Today is Jacinda’s official last day on the job as a member of Parliament.
She will deliver her valedictory speech this afternoon at 5:30 pm.
She is still young, she is only aged 42 and who knows what else she will achieve. Already she has achieved a great deal and performed that rare feat of leaving the country in much better shape than it was in when she took over.
Already the new jobs are rolling in.
Prince William has appointed her as a trustee of the Earthshot Prize, a trust dedicated to funding projects designed to save the planet. She has also been appointed as special envoy for the Christchurch Call.
She has always had her detractors. Even today my snark detector is off the chart as the right show their lack of class and engage in the sorts of personal denigration they are renowned for.
There are those who complain about the lack of delivery. They lack an appreciation of the enormity of the job or how complex the issue is. For instance with climate change the structures and goals are now in place. And with the most recent return indicating a 3.5% reduction in green house gas emissions for the last measured quarter the trends are in the right way as well.
There are strong arguments that the pace needs to be quickened but reflecting on the past six years the structures are now in place for the Government to kick on with the issue.
And dealing with this issue, and child poverty, while managing through a one in one hundred year global pandemic took great skill and stamina.
Most importantly was the style that she brought to the job. She successfully campaigned on being kind and avoiding the level of personal abuse and attacks that are far too common.
And as pointed out by Bronwyn Hayward her style of leadership was the perfect counter and the perfect antidote to current attacks on democracy. From Radio New Zealand:
Political scientist Bronwyn Hayward of the University of Canterbury said Ardern’s Christchurch Call to eliminate extremist content will have a long-lasting impact on not just New Zealand, but the world.
“There’s been a lot made about the fact that she resigned under pressure from the trolls, which is completely missing the point that what she’s saying is that in this era where we’ve got particularly Russian, but also other countries’ bots that are attacking liberal leaders,” Hayward told Morning Report, saying Ardern was the first global leader to “really understand” how what happens online can spill over into the real world.
“She understands that democracies are now under attack, and the front line is your social media, where we’ve got a propaganda war coming internationally.
“So she’s taken a very systemic approach to thinking about how to tackle that, so that in local communities it feels like you’re reeling from Islamophobia, to racism to transphobia, but actually, when we look internationally at what’s happening, naive and quite disaffected groups have been constantly fed this material and she’s taken a systemic approach to it.”
Like Helen Clark I am sure that Jacinda will continue to contribute to New Zealand for decades to come. And once the dust thrown up by trolls and the right settles she will be ranked as one of our greatest Prime Ministers.
Jacinda Ardern is one of the greatest politicians to have ever represented NZ .She was a phenomenal Prime Minister who excelled during unprecedented crisis events and won elections without personal attacks. There's not one of you reading this that could have done that job.
— Mikey Havoc (@havocexpress) April 4, 2023
'You don't know what you've got 'till it's gone.'
Thank you Jacinda. We have been lucky, and we are so proud of how you have conducted yourself, at home and abroad. We hope you and yours have a happy life.
The Bremner Family.
In my lifetime, only Norman Kirk neared her in (political) stature, and Michael Joseph Savage before my time.
Grateful thanks to Jacinda for her hard work and dedication, charm, style, kindness, humour, empathy, and last but not least, her smile. Also for raising New Zealand's profile internationally.
I wish Jacinda and her family a peaceful, relaxing life.
"leaving the country in much better shape than it was in when she took over". This would make a great Aprils fool's joke. Cost of Living, Homelessness, Debt, Climate, Divisiveness, the list goes on and on. All wore under her premiership. Its up to Hipkins and others to reverse the damage.
Paddy gets it about right:
Discussing Ardern's departure, Gower, Newshub's former political editor, said she wasn't good at managing her Government.
"This is a political fact that, even now, the Government is still really shambolic when it comes to the basics."
"We've got someone sitting next to us who was in a Government who ran for nine years and it ran, in my opinion, a lot more competently – even in that last term," Gower said, appearing on AM's panel alongside Paula Bennett – who was a senior minister in the previous National Government.
Gower said Ardern would bow out of politics with a "mixed record".
"My analysis of Jacinda Ardern is she was a political phenomenon – and that doesn't mean she was a phenomenal person or leader or anything like that – but… like any phenomenon, she blazed her way into leadership, knocked these guys out of Parliament and that beginning was incredible," he said, referring to Bennett's National Government. "But, like any phenomenon as well, she crashed and she burned and then there was a last little splurt with this amazing exit and that's, to me, what she was – a phenomenon who blazed, crashed and burned."
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Well that goes a long way to explain the uselessness of Paddy Gower as a political reporter.
It's like Gower has no knowledge of any other news about leaders in any other democracies, anywhere.
And he's sitting next to Paula Bennett, whose actual achievements in government are listed below.
Gower–the news Gargoyle–illustrating once more that pundits are no substitute for skilled journalists and objective analysis.
I tend to agree with you. But even a broken clock is right twice each day🙂
Then a broken clock is better than Paddy Gower.
You revel in negativity: Jacinda blazed, was crashed and was burned.
If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
Got it, thanks. Apologies.
Well … the climate was worse after she left office (Northland, Auckland, Coromandel and East Coast/Bay area etc) … . As was homelessness.
But I doubt blame for that falls on the new PM – it was the first third year of La Nina since the 1950's and occurring while temperatures are rising worldwide
And Groundswell divisiveness developed in opposition to any action on AGW mitigation.
All nations have higher debt after the pandemic (and greater division during the pandemic). All nations are facing higher cost of living – and few doing as much as the government to mitigate this.
One can note a continuing increase in the the number of state house numbers, but a problem assisting people to afford private rentals (a concern that increasing AS just leads to higher rent prices).
A current problem is that the RBG OCR increases will deter investment in new housing and sustain homelessness.
Cost of Living – you mean she is responsible for the Ukraine war?
Homelessness – record numbers of public and private housing being constructed, Kiwibank thinks shortfall could turn around this year.
Debt – some of the lowest public debt figures in the OECD.
Climate – today's announcement was of a 3.5% reduction in GHG emissions. Didn't you read the post?
Divisiveness – she failed to reach across to those with weird counter reality views so yep.
Can't you do better than this?
Thankyou mickeysavage – I was trying to construct a reply to the thebiggestfish7, but I knew I would have the rage of the mods on me in a big way, so I will simply wholeheartedly agree with your post.
Yes, thanks Mickey, it is sad some people twist the facts and the stats.
Jacinda is that rare thing, a genuine caring Leader, who is honest enough to admit she has used up her reserves.
We feel shattered by the last five years, and we didn't bear responsibility.
Our family and friends have nothing but admiration for her, and a fervent wish for her happiness, which is bound to be tied up in community building and welfare.
Thankyou Jacinda for working so hard for us.
In particular for your international leadership, and your leadership in times of crisis.
I personally hope that you don't take too much time off, or do a Richie McCaw and do something satisfying but small.
You have a lot still to give and I hope you do that on a broader stage than New Zealand.
If anyone still doesn't know how impressive Jacinda Ardern was in a very tough job, then give the job to Christopher Luxon and you will quickly find out.
Hell of a price to pay for your education, though.
Oh, too true!
Yes Observer, Luxon has put on a veneer lately, but that mask would slip very quickly.
He will be remembered for dissing NZ overseas and having no time for bottom feeders. Look at his "friends".
You will be known by the company you keep, (and your suited stand-ups).
True, Luxon probably falls into the smile/wave/do as little as possible category of politics which John Key practised so well.
Why anyone would want the job of PM is a mystery to me. Perhaps it is the attraction of exercising power? But it is a role somebody must perform.
Trouble is, once you are PM every New Zealander expects you to solve all the nation's problems – a good definition of impossible.
Much Aroha Jacinda, Clarke and Neve for your future.
You will be remembered kindly in this household and no doubt many others, for your devotion towards the wellbeing of all NZers, in both the good times and the bad.
Keep safe. Take care
Mary & Kevin
Her greatest achievement – the best Covid response in the western world – was never going to be allowed to stand. Any example of an activist, social democratic state achieving historic popularity by prioritising the common good over private profit, must be villified, poisoned, belittled or forgotten. The global and domestic far-right ran the vilification attack, their enablers in the local mainstream right mounted the more socially acceptable attack of amnesia. Given my age and the ravages of childhood asthma, I may indeed be alive because of her. 'Thanks' are insufficient.
At the start of the pandemic in 2020 somebody on Twitter said something like "the measure of a successful response will be all the people who are still here to complain that it wasn't successful".
There are no opinions in a cemetery.
Yes, for a few brief incredible months public health was put before private profit. And many special needs and older people in particular owe their lives to that.
It is easy enough to forget now that in the early months of COVID there was no guarantee that a vaccine could be developed or made widely available. A lot of the noise around the pandemic was international capital wanting to proceed on its merry exploitative way.
Well said indeed AB. +100%
Same here AB
Great response to Covid for some time (that I whenever I had the chance praised and thanked them them for) then she and Labour gave up and started making political decisions, not ones based on the science. The amnesia you speak of seems to relate to latter-day Ardern.
Jacinda , you were disparaged, undermined, reviled…by people who wouldnt have been able to handle a week of your life. (incl some on the Standard : (
You led NZ ..through some of our worst crises. And I absolutely rate your Christchurch and Covid leadership…as World standout shining.
A true Gem…sadly missed, but …all the Best to you and your Family.
And a great Future for you.
Our fervent hope for her as well. PLA.
I wish Jacinda and her family all the best.
She was a political superstar, who saved the labour party and got labour into government, twice and led NZ well during several crises and in person was a genuinely warm person who for a time, made NZ feel good about itself again on the world stage.
She does however leave NZ in a much worse state than when she took office and no amount of cherry picked data will erase the amounts of poverty, people living in motels, hardship, housing insecurity.
In 2020 she was polling in the 60s, that's nation builder polling, she could have made some huge gains for social democracy in NZ but instead opted for mild tweaks to the status quo, bureaucratic reforms and social policy whilst throwing a few crumbs to the peasents.
Under this labour govt the rich have gotten enormously richer and the poor have gotten poorer.
She went from saying capitalism had failed to ruling out even mild social democratic reforms. Her legacy is her leadership in a crisis, which is solid but sadly lacking in many major wins for the center left.
Oh What could have been, had she had the courage to govern day to day with the conviction and strength she showed in times of crisis.
Still, the Jacinda era was exciting and buzzing with possibility. Oh what could have been if we actually did this….
All the best to Jacinda and her family, one hopes with her gone the tempo of politics cools a bit and the left can stop obsessing over race, gentitals, skin colour etc for six months and actually address the cost of living and housing crisis that are crushing the poor, working class and middle class in this country.
Can you name any western nation that this has not occurred in? The amount of world wealth held by the 1% grew worldwide. One cause was the pandemic response – QE increased asset wealth.
And no, those on benefits have not gotten poorer, and they are the poorest. Their incomes have gone up more than costs. MW have also increased in real terms.
No more than an assertion, that no statement of facts will change your mind.
"She does however leave NZ in a much worse state than when she took office…"
One of the prime reasons for that is that she was top dog after two elections. Many would have been merely scarred for life with Peters going with Labour in 2017. Much of the bitterness for that would have been sheeted to him.
Actually winning an election, not only that, the event being a thrashing, was beyond the pale. The embarrassment, the indignity, the sheer pissed-offness by those who had her a mere upstart girl was extreme. She was an existential threat to (what they saw as) the natural order. Many went feral and Ardern became a forever pariah. She leaves with that large 'anti' mob being clearly identified as being in anarchistic mode. Can't get their way? They're going to go crazy.
Ardern's governments not being bold, not having courage, not having foresight, not doing anything? She has been labelled a dictator to rival the worst in history when she tried to do anything. Decisions and plans were met with 'the death of democracy' labels. What to do? What to do with a massive majority? Don't do anything. People want change, people want action. But they can't handle change.
It's like roads – everyone wants better roads but no-one wants roadworks.
A good thing about the 'worse state' the country has been left in, is some appreciation of the presence, quantity and quality of the feral negatives. If the Nat/Act mob is not in after October their erosive crusade to run the country down will change gear. If Te Pāti Māori is part of the Government bundle it will go into overdrive.
I would like to wish all the best to Jacinda.
I think she should rightfully be remembered as one of NZ's great prime ministers.
I saw her as a charismatic style leader. And similar to many such leaders in history, she tended to shine in a crisis. But, I think she suffered the fate of many such leaders who tend to struggle when things start becoming mundane and a bit of a grind.
But, we tend to remember those leaders for their moments of greatness. For instance, the leadership of Churchill in the second world war, and Zelensky now. Churchill struggled and lost popularity after the war. And, who knows, Zelensky may experience the same once the war ends, and the population gets into the long grind of the rebuild.
In a similar way, I think Jacinda will be remembered for those times when she united the country when it was facing a crisis, not the later part of her career where she lost a lot of popularity. Also, I thought she was an outstanding ambassador for New Zealand internationally.
Like all women in politics, the extra b.s they have to deal with is OTT.
Far to many external events dragged on her and her government as well.
As such, she burnt out rather quickly, shame.
We live in a time when to many are not facing up to the reality of a warmer globe, and the end of a economic system. I think too many are delusional that we can carry on doing what we have been doing. I think Jacinda was caught in the middle of this, and if Ardern had more in the tank, she may have been a good leader for what is to come – we will never know.
Watching Luxon, Willis, Collins et al give Jacinda a Hug at the end of her speech was at the same time illuminating and dimming……very
No sign of the ‘arrogant prick’ though……
Jacinda exuded sincerity and competence. A genuine person with no artifice.
Luxon has none of that. He comes across as fake. No media training can create sincerity or trust.
I wish Jacinda and her family well. However, her legacy as PM is one of failure to deliver on a range of policy commitments from Kiwibuild to transparency to mental health to the school counselling project to Te Pukenga to Te Whatu Ora…shit it's a horrible record. But perhaps the most damning assessment of her time in office is the rate at which her replacement sought to ditch a raft of key policies adopted by Ardern's government in a rear guard attempt to win re-election. He may well succeed.
(Policy? Policy? Hold my beer)
– Trades training and apprenticeships all free. Already delivered for 250,000 people
– Free school lunches for 220,000 young people
– Made the first new public holiday in five decades
– Winter Energy Payment for over a million New Zealanders
– Minimum wage is now $22.70 per hour. Remember what it was under National?
– Largest ever Police workforce increase
– Sustained the entire economy by essentially subsidising every major business through the largest economic and social crisis we have faced since WW2
– Massively expanded Pharmac category and disease subsidy
– Handled the largest epidemic in a century and kept 99.9% of New Zealand cohesive
– Delivered more than 14,000 public and transitional houses
– The Families Package is the biggest state boost in $$ for over a decade
– Secured Free Trade Agreement with the EU
– Paid parental leave expanded to 26 weeks ie from 4 months to 6 months
– Free doctors visits for all children under 14
– Doubled minimum sick leave
– Took more than 60,000 firearms out of circulation
– Kept the country from breaking down into revenge and chaos after our worst ever massacre since the late 1800s.
– Delivered an economy with record low unemployment, which is larger than than pre-covid despite the worst economic shock since the Great Depression
– Required all rental houses to be warm and dry, and much higher renter security against landlords
Haven't raised a sweat yet.
But sure, go for the long term institutional reforms if you like.
"Since we took office, we have secured six new free trade agreements and upgrades"
Small beer, for the most part. And some of those things (eg record high unemployment) are not sustainable, and have been engineered at what have been and will be huge long term costs. The scale of policy failure has been unprecedented.
The examples Ad listed are not small beers and does not show policy failure at all.
They represent little more than BAU. And they don’t in any way make up for the succession of policy failures.
Disagree with your opinion.
Don't you mean "Sour Grapes"?
Ad's list included legislative changes such as "Doubled minimum sick leave". These are legislative changes that are easy pickings because the cost is imposed on someone else. The entire list cannot come close to surpassing the failure of this government to deliver on a raft of policy commitments.
That's exactly what it is, Patricia.
A great summary Ad, better than this grumpy effort.
Liberty Belle, your off key criticisms grate like a bad note.
Your clapper needs an overhaul.
Majority of polices Hipkins mentioned were deferred to a later time
Do you really believe that?
It was in the announcements, most were deferrals.
Do you really believe that?
Already answered that, so what is your point in repeating your question, it won't change the answer.
You didn't answer it. You pointed to the 'announcements'. My question is, given that this government are great at announcing things that don't happen, do you really believe them?
Not true Liberty Belle and I did answer, the majority of policies Hipkins referred to were deferred.
You're just not getting it. The only people claiming they were deferred at the deferees. These people have a colossal record of not delivering on announcements, which is why I’m asking if you believe them.
Rubbish, disagree with your opinion and it's you that doesn't get it.
"I wish Jacinda and her family well. However…"
There you are.
But he didn’t say “but” …
Rather selective criticism don't you think?
The Opposition promised the natural outcome of their alleged economic knowledge – but our growth rate under their misgovernance was inflation + low skill migration – where are your critical faculties on that?
There is plenty Labour did not and should have achieved – but if National were your baseline, they are the very Gods of getting things done.
National is not my base line. This conversation is about Jacinda Ardern and her government.
If you mean to avoid hypocrisy, you must apply the same standards to your allies as your opponents.
On the competence metric Labour are way ahead of any contemporary opposition. You must find another ground to cavil on – there is no shortage.
"…you must apply the same standards to your allies as your opponents".
The same 'standards', yes.
"On the competence metric Labour are way ahead of any contemporary opposition."
On the competence metric, this Labour government would have to one of worst in recent times. KiwiBuild. Te Pukenga. Mental Health. RNZ/TVNZ merger. The list of failures goes on and on.
And here's a just a small taste of some smaller scale policy failure:
School counselling programme achieving 10% of its target | Stuff.co.nz
Ministry of Social Development Zoom job expos: Taxpayers fork out more than $800,000, only 126 people attend – NZ Herald
Government spends nearly $1m renovating homes that could soon be demolished – NZ Herald
That doesn't include the rather inconvenient problems this government has with a lack of transparency, and losing cabinet ministers.
EDIT: Here’s another cluster from this government…plummeting vaccination rates. https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2023/04/the_immunisation_data.html
All of these are partial truths.
Nevertheless, they compare favourably with their predecessors.
So your manufactured outrage, not having previously targeted that lamentable shower, seems incredibly selective.
Christchurch still lies in ruins, and the standards of the so-called rebuild appall even the relatively sanguine contractors that performed them to this day. So corrupt was Gerry's Cera, that not only were staffers convicted, but none of their actions that faced judicial review survived.
Nothing from the RW tr0lls though – were you getting a cut?
You have one very dodgy complaint. Compared to this government, Key's actually got things done. Even Paddy had to admit it.
"Christchurch still lies in ruins…"
Seriously? If you're actually interested, this might inform you.
Before and after: how the 2011 earthquake changed Christchurch | Christchurch | The Guardian
Good God – You think the Guardian knows Christchurch better than people who live there? What ignorance! What arrogance! You need scolded by James Earl Jones.
Pshaw – Key's was the absolute laziest and most useless government NZ has ever had. Christchurch – billions of wasted and misappropriated money – and you have the effrontery to whine about MSD using 800k?
Where is your sense of proportion? Are all RW trash as transparently stupid as you? You are a screaming joke – dumber than Gower and by golly that's difficult.
Our rivers run with poo – the bullshit is wadeable – Key’s screw up – Nick Smith’s ministerial failure. Where were you? Simping that simpleton Gower?
"You think the Guardian knows Christchurch better than people who live there?"
So you didn't read it then.
But again, you're a one trick pony. If you want an example of wasteful spending, this government takes every cake.
$500k overseas recruitment ad campaign called 'a failure' after just 3 people were interviewed | Newshub
'Ludicrous' spending on establishment board weeks after RNZ/ TVNZ merger canned (msn.com)
Government advertising spending out of control – National | RNZ News
Jacinda Ardern fronts post-Cabinet press conference after Auditor-General criticises cost-of-living rollout – NZ Herald
Government spends nearly $1m renovating homes that could soon be demolished – NZ Herald
Revealed: Kāinga Ora spent over $24m of taxpayer money in four years on its own office renovations | Newshub
Ministry of Social Development Zoom job expos: Taxpayers fork out more than $800,000, only 126 people attend – NZ Herald
The 'ridiculous' amount Waka Kotahi spent on two big red prop 'zeros' – NZ Herald
$220,000 of taxpayer money for a film about Chloe | Kiwiblog
Government blames COVID-19 for 46 percent increase in communications staff | Newshub
Government pays up to $600k for prime Auckland office space to lie empty | Stuff.co.nz
Please take it easy, Stuart. This not a hill worth dying on. You know that LB has no argument when he starts spamming you (and the site) with countless (just under the limit that would trigger the Auto-Spam Filter, i.e., a deliberate tactic and ploy) partisan links without any critical analysis or commentary – it is a form of trolling.
Nice sentiment in this tweet too.
And here's a happy memory (via Nick Rockel)
I forgot the 10 year Bright Line Test for taxing real estate. Which is asclose to a Capital Gains Tax as we're ever going to get.
And raised taxes on income over $180k.
The trick is to recognize how much Labour redistributed without structural reform. A simple socialism, from back in the day.
More tributes, from Morgan Godfery and "Auny Hoha"
I've never been someone to fawn over celebrities but I can honestly say I love Jacinda Ardern. She is everything I am not or could ever be and I'm incredibly grateful to have experienced her leadership.