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Manaakitanga

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, January 27th, 2018 - 73 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, jacinda ardern, labour, Maori Issues, Politics - Tags:

There will be debate amongst the different groupings of the left about how far we can trust this Labour-Green-NZ First Government and will they be a bunch of sellout careerists or will they deliver the sort of society that Micky Savage dreamed of.

Policy decisions will be important.  These are the crunchy on the ground decisions that will make fundamental changes to the direction our country is taking.  Things like the 90 day fire at will law and how Labour addresses it are important.  They went some of the way this week and all jobs in organisations that have 20 or more employees will no longer be able to do this.  And other changes they want to implement will have a profound positive effect not only for the trade union movement but also for ordinary people.

Good job.  I only wish they went further.

The law is crazy.  Suggesting that new jobs will appear because employers will for a short period of time be able to fire workers is just too many levels of crazy.  Employers will only employ people if there is work to be done.  Being able to fire people more easily will not create more jobs. The only thing it will do is reduce job churn because people are more afraid to risk moving from existing jobs.

I know that Labour has received some stick from the decision not to do away with the 90 day fire at will law completely but MMP Governments are like this.  You need everyone on board, or an opposition that is willing to do the right thing.  Otherwise results can be less than optimal.

It is clear that the compromise is because of the position taken by NZ First.  If anyone has evidence to the contrary please post it.  And lets judge this Government by what it has done, not what some are afraid it might do.

The other important aspect of ruling is style.  John Key was during the early days of his leadership quite good at it.  He appeared superficially to be an inclusive genuine good bloke who had a side line of allowing his Government to sell off our assets, trash our collective institutions and destroy our environment.  But for a long time what he was saying was not too bad.  Pity he did not mean it.

I am convinced that Jacinda does mean it.  Her responses and public comments have been exceptional not to mention brave.

As an example her comments this week on Ratana Marae were extraordinary.

From Newshub:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says we should turn to Maoridom for an example of the kind of compassion and ethics the Government should show.

“I want to be a Government that brings back manaakitanga”, she said. Manaakitanga is a concept central to the Māori worldview, meaning to show respect, generosity and care for others.

“For that, we should turn to Maoridom and see the work that was done in Kaikōura, Christchurch and Te Puia. Where there was need, maraes opened their doors and responded to the need of the people,” she said.

“That is the kind of Government we want to be.”

Manaakitanga fits in perfectly with the Socialist ethos of from each according to their ability, to each according to their need.

Micky Savage would have approved of this speech.  If policy decisions match the ethos expressed by this Government then we are in for an interesting time.

73 comments on “Manaakitanga”

  1. Nick 1

    Tautoko.

  2. Pat 2

    “All this suggests is that the Labour-led Government will be between the incrementally and moderately progressive compared to the previous National one, if not particularly radical. We shall have to wait and see whether this turns into a different vision which captures public attention.”

    A thoughtful (and assuming no major external shock,likely accurate) assessment

    https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/how-economically-radical-will-today%E2%80%99s-labour-led-government-be

    • red-blooded 2.1

      Well, you seem to have found the closest-to-negative comment you could from this (I agree, quite thoughtful) piece, Pat. Most of the discussion focused on the benefits of moving away from PPPs, increased spending on infrastructure, a more active approach to housing, increased commitment to environmental issues…

      eg The previous National Government seemed seduced by PPPs – using them for schools, hospitals, roading and in social housing. It was very vague about explaining reasons for its enthusiasm. The only one I could see (aside from helping your mates) was it kept some spending off the books. But that is temporary, for in the longer run there would be increased debt servicing. Promises that spending would be smaller because of greater efficiency are rarely met. The one place where private business seems to do better is in the contractual arrangements sharing the downside risk when a project fails which tend to end up borne by the Crown (recall Think Big/the Major Projects).

      • pat 2.1.1

        lol…really? thats what you take from my posting of Brian Easton’s summation paragraph?

        As you have read the link,my choice of taster appears to have been successful…..a positive outcome!

    • patricia bremner 2.2

      Jacinda is straight and true. No subterfuge. So I don’t search for information through “interpretations” any more, I prefer the first hand account.

      Though I must admit, family and friends here and overseas tell me she is “a breath of fresh air” after the stale political half truths. That seems so right. Especially her awareness of Maori values and practices.

      We are all so proud to call her New Zealand’s Prime Minister. I notice a growing respect in journalists’ reporting, Audrey in particular, and even Barry Soper wrote a balanced item on unions.

      John Roughan wrote a pleasant but superficial piece on Jacinda in the NZ Herald today. Perhaps he sees a very interesting future biography? All jokes aside, she is having a good effect on many aspects of NZ life at speed, opening conversations and lines of communication with grace and wit.

      The big issue is coming up. How she handles the gap between rich and poor.
      We have to hope coalition negotiations don’t derail good intentions.
      Carers and the sick or disabled are needing their financial stresses attended to.

      Everything that has been done by this government so far shows care for people. May that continue. Jacinda has shown the way.
      James Shaw’s speech on the state of the planet was sound and thought provoking.
      Winston’s comments on inequality were welcome. I believe these people have respect and trust for one another, and they will prevail.

      • JanM 2.2.1

        I agree 🙂

      • Rosemary McDonald 2.2.2

        “Carers and the sick or disabled are needing their financial stresses attended to.”

        More than that…we want our Human Rights attended to…self entitled bunch that we are!!!

        Labour promised to repeal this….http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2013/0022/latest/whole.html

        and ditch this….http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11240668

        …and seven of the current Government MPs kicked up shit in the House over this…http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/informationreleases/ris/pdfs/ris-moh-fcc-may13.pdf

        And we have written letters and sent emails and some have made phone calls just to remind Labour and their partners of these issues, and that we are waiting in hope…

        So far, its been ‘we’ll pass it on’ or ‘get lost’, ‘wait your turn’ or ‘we have more important stuff to do’.

        patricia bremner….Labour has historically done poorly by people with disabilities (not on ACC) and their family carers. The fact that our attempts to engage with them have been largely rebuffed, bodes badly.

        I anticipate that the most we will get is a vague promise ‘to hold talks with the sector and seek advice from the Ministry of Health’. I’ll eat my hat if they even entertain the thought of actually speaking with us. God forbid we will ever be treated with that much respect.

        Don’t get me wrong…these are not the only issues that are important to me…building more state houses for folk to rent or buy, and a rent freeze to stop predatory slum lords from making the tenant pay extra to live in a safe . warm home. Removing GST from healthy foods and increasing GST on alcohol and junk food. Outlawing loan sharks and those horrible trucks that circle the poorer parts of town on benefit day. Holding off on signing the TPPA or whatever it is called today…at least until it is written that there will be no legal or financial repercussions for our Government should exercising our autonomy affect a company’s profit. Pay teachers more…as well as raising the bar for entry to teacher training, Stop importing nurses from overseas while NZ nursing grads struggle to find work. Do something, anything, to stop huge amounts of NZ grown timber being exported while Kiwis pay eyewatering prices for simple framing timber. Restore rail. Reduce trucks…or at least reduce the maximum weight of trucks.

        • patricia bremner 2.2.2.1

          I hear you Rosemary xx I have written too. I worked in the field, and know the hurdles and mazes you work with.

      • Pat 2.2.3

        “Jacinda is straight and true. No subterfuge. So I don’t search for information through “interpretations” any more, I prefer the first hand account.”

        Is this suggesting that the article states otherwise?…I see no implication in BE’s article of such. You may not place any weight upon the ‘interpretations’ of others but I am open to the views of those (especially) who have interested themselves in these events over the long haul and have a history of credibility…as Mr Easton surely has.

        • patricia bremner 2.2.3.1

          Sorry, my bad. Should have said, ” with exceptions,” as I meant many slant what has been said, or quote out of context.

  3. cleangreen 3

    Micky; – do make this happen,

    Good thoughts there Jacinda,

    I am a total fan of humanity, for a Labour Government who pledged “we will be a Kinder,caring, warmer, inclusive, transparent Government, where all will have a voice and be heard; – PM elect jacinda Ardern at Auckland town hall, during her first speech in front of thousands before the 2017 election.

    Whats not to like with those visions in Labour’s focus for us all?

    As we have need to reform our outlook on others, because as a Nation we have become so un-caring and selfish self-centered today, compared to when i as a child of 8 years old in Napier as I grew up in the 1950’s.

    We all felt a ‘cloak of security and compassion’ during the golden years of egalitarianism that I have long yearned for us to return to again.

    Anything is better than this rat race we live in today with totally indulged consumerism and self importance at the head of any other thought now as they use those cold words of false ideals like “aspire to” before mentioning those simple human words like “compassion and caring.”

    100% Micky.

    “I want to be a Government that brings back manaakitanga”, she said. Manaakitanga is a concept central to the Māori worldview, meaning to show respect, generosity and care for others.

  4. cleangreen 4

    Well done jacinda,

    Long ago those words were common place in my world as a child growing up in 1950’s after the world two war as society was far more reflective of the pain and hardship we all suffered through then and today in this “rat race world” compassion and caring is not regarded as a virtue any more, as we are to busy trying to keep our heads above the waves of poverty and illness.

    We in NZ have become a self centered aggressive hateful mob since those days i feel and have lost some of our simple ‘humanity’ to each other today.

    I will always be a fan of jacinda as she stood there in the Auckland town hall announcing her acceptance as leader of the Labour party in the lead up to the 2017 election when in front of thousands she said;

    “We will deliver a government with a caring, kinder, gentler,transparent, inclusive manner where all will have a voice and be heard,”

    Whats not to like here?

    Full marks for your post Micky.

    “Lets do this” please.

  5. KJT 5

    Not promising so far. Half pie getting rid of the 90 day rule, and going with the, cosmetically modified, TPPA.

    Two pre election commitments gone already.

    Small employers are theme worst abusers of the 90 day rule.

    • red-blooded 5.1

      So, given that NZF ruled out applying the changes to small businesses, what did you expect Labour to do? They are leading a coalition government – in order to pass a law they either need all 3 partner-parties to vote yes, or they need National to opt in. Labour + the Greens can’t do it on their own. Should they have simply left the 90 days provision applying to 100% of new employees, or done what they could by wiping it out for 70%?

    • Sanctuary 5.2

      FFS.

      Surely the lesson of the Key/English government is you put a popular person in charge and then slowly boil the frog. Bill English only learnt one lesson from the 1990s. And that wasn’t that neoliberalism was a catastrophe that should never be repeated. The only lesson that dim witted fanatic learnt was having exhausted lying to the public to ram through your agenda (MMP put an end to that rort) you had to get even more cunning and pretend to be centrist behind a popular, vacant leader and slowly boil the frog.

      That is why I am giving this government a full term to see which way they are going.

      • KJT 5.2.1

        National have to “boil the frog” slowly, and secretively, because a majority of the public, including a large proportion of National party voters, would have opposed the things they were doing. So much of their policy was against the best interests of New Zealanders.
        Labour does not have that problem with opposing the 90 day bill and the TPPA.

        Are you so tribal as to be blind to the contradiction. “Neo liberalism has failed”. But we are going to sign the TPPA, anyway! David Parker, who should have been in National, with his contempt for the publics wishes, has even told us that public submissions to the select committee are unlikely to make any difference.

        All the fine words cannot conceal the gutless start. I hoped for real change from Labour this time, but the cave in to the right wing narrative on tax policy right at the start shows little has changed. I suspect nothing will until the third way careerists, in Labours parliamentary wing, die out.

        • Molly 5.2.1.1

          Bogota’s past and present mayor, Enrique Peñalosa, is an example of how politicians can make moves to make radical change.

          An interesting man, who on his first day in office, sent the bulldozers in to pull up congested streets in the city to allow pedestrians the right of way.

          This kind of change didn’t come without resistance, and didn’t achieve all that he wanted during his term. But that forward hard-core momentum made his approach to public transport, cycleways and community spaces a framework to be copied the world over.

          An astute man, who provides very quotable lines, but importantly, follows up with concrete and decisive actions.

          “The importance of pedestrian public spaces cannot be measured, but most other important things in life cannot be measured either: Friendship, beauty, love and loyalty are examples. Parks and other pedestrian places are essential to a city’s happiness.”

          “Higher income groups always have access to nature at beach houses, lake cabins, mountain chalets, on vacations – or in urban settings at golf courses or large gardens. Parks allow the rest of society that contact as well.”

          “For the poor, the only alternative to television for their leisure time is the public space. For this reason, high- quality public pedestrian space, and parks in particular, are evidence of a true democracy at work.”

          “Why is all the power of the State applied in opening the way for a road, while it is not done for a park such as the Long Island Sound greenway? Despite the fact that more people may benefit from the greenway than the highway?”

          “Do we dare create a transport system giving priority to the needs of the poor? Or are we really trying to solve the traffic jams of the upper income people? That is really the true issue that exist?”

        • Carolyn_Nth 5.2.1.2

          I also see Parker as a major problem in implementing the work and economic policies that the majority of NZers need – Parker and also Robertson.

          My reading during the election run-up was that Team Ardern much preferred a coalition with NZ First than with the Greens. They worked to mute any impact the GP might have on pressuring for stronger policies for the least well-off.

          I have yet to decide where Ardern stands politically on all this, but her policies will be as good as the advisors and ministers (and political parties) she selects.

  6. koreropono 6

    Manaakitanga cannot be reduced to the simplistic interpretation implied in Jacinda’s speech – it is but one aspect of many elements (which should be viewed as a whole not dissected into a singular term that loses its essence and meaning) and it is not sufficient to use it as a platform to claim that this is “what kind of government we want to be”. Manaakitanga cannot be separated from other aspects, including whakawhanaungatanga, tikanga, Kaitiakitanga, mana and noa (just to name a few)…of course in the Aotearoa/New Zealand context we should not ignore the value of te Tiriti o Waitangi (the supposed partnership that has never happened in the true meaning of the word). I think it is insulting when manaakitanga is reduced to a singular meaning, as a sign of tokenism (IMHO), and presented as something to strive for but then successive governments ignore all the other elements that go hand in hand with manaakitanga. I think it is a shame when people don’t understand that te ao Maori cannot be reduced to singular meanings based on tauiwi values and world views. I am sure that Michael Savage would have embraced the importance of the collective over that of the individual, maintaining relationships, caring for others, caring for our world, upholding people’s mana (not trampling on them), using tapu, rahui and noa to protect people and environment – all of these things (and more) sit with and behind manaakitanga. It is a pity that successive governments continue to say what they think sounds good but then fail to deliver, not just to Maori but to all New Zealanders, especially the vulnerable. Meanwhile this same government is letting us down regarding their backtracking on the 90 day bill, or the now rebranded TPPA, which Labour failed to engage “with Māori to strengthen the Treaty of Waitangi exception, as the Waitangi Tribunal advised” (see https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/25-01-2018/labour-progressive-tppa/). So when people say they want to practice manaakitanga, it is high time they engaged in the process properly and not continue to operate in a paternalistic manner, whilst ignoring the concerns of the collective whilst embracing failed neoliberal economic policy.

    • weka 6.1

      +1.

      (that comment would make a great post KP).

    • Bill 6.2

      Is this (arguably so) cultural appropriation just another step on the road of “third wave” politics; the third way politics that disavowed even the merest pretense of socialist ambitions (via social democratic priorities) in lieu of of concentrating on various “feel good” and only allegedly progressive* policies and programmes around such things as LGBTQ+ rights etc? The nuclear stance can be taken as an example too, because while a good thing, it didn’t do a damned thing in terms of power within society –
      perhaps besides acting as a nice distraction, while those seeking power got on with re-aligning things and laying claim to it.

      Is attempting to inject Maori concepts into white political rhetoric really any different to the appropriation and bastardisation of context and meaning that occurred around the wildly popular use of dreamcatchers in the 70s by “spiritually aligned” (or whatever) westerners?

      Why, unlike rejuvenated Labour Parties in some other countries, can’t the leader of NZ Labour speak a straight forward challenge to power? Why this “safe” (but arguably offensive) route that’s all wrapped up in vacuous “aspiration” that leaves power unquestioned and unchallenged?

      *progressive challenges fundamental arrangements of power, and is abused/diminished when taken as being merely the pursuit of something laudable.

      • weka 6.2.1

        “Why, unlike rejuvenated Labour Parties in some other countries, can’t the leader of NZ Labour speak a straight forward challenge to power? Why this “safe” (but arguably offensive) route that’s all wrapped up in vacuous “aspiration” that leaves power unquestioned and unchallenged?”

        Um, because she’s a centre leftie?

        I’m not convinced yet that it is third wave exactly (I think it’s something else, that sits between third wave and proper left). But I agree it’s cultural appropriation and there are distinct problems with white people taking out the bits they like and leaving the rest, and in this context (NZ neoliberalism), that’s going to cause problems.

        I also think that the framing of a caring society is still important, and is useful both in and of itself (McFlocks less dead babies argument), and to help shift NZ to something more compassionate. That could actually help those who are working to change the fundamental power structures. And given the govt we’ve just had, centering compassion is a challenge to the hegemony. Useful, but not sufficient.

      • Incognito 6.2.2

        In (the) Western (white) culture reductionism rules and it is almost unthinkable (!), but not counter-intuitive, to view things as a whole. This, and cultural ignorance and …, are the most likely reasons why some people try to borrow concepts (e.g. words with very deep contextual meaning) from other cultures & languages and fuse & assimilate them together with others in some kind of cultural melting pot. Inevitably, some of the original meaning will get lost in this process.

        Putting my cynicism aside I think we are seeing genuine attempts to find a way forward from status quo but I fear that the reductionist approach will prove to be a major cause for it possibly turning into an exercise in futility.

        My hope was briefly invested in the Greens as they appeared to embrace a much more integrated and holistic approach and a policy platform that was in accordance with that.

      • mickysavage 6.2.3

        If it is cultural appropriation then let it happen. Ngati Pakeha deciding that they should make Maori world views happen is surely a good thing.

        Is attempting to inject Maori concepts into white political rhetoric really any different to the appropriation and bastardisation of context and meaning that occurred around the wildly popular use of dreamcatchers in the 70s by “spiritually aligned” (or whatever) westerners?

        No because if the concepts take hold then we will have a better and more left wing country.

      • Gabby 6.2.4

        You believe there was no discussion and consultation bill? You think she just grabbed an eng-mao dictionary and jotted down the first synonym?

    • Molly 6.3

      Thanks koreropono.

      Very good explanation about how the appropriation of terms used in isolation, negates the full meaning of the word.

      It would be good to see this up as a post, especially heading towards Waitangi Day.

      • JanM 6.3.1

        Te Ururoa Flavell, Waiariki candidate, Maori Party

        “Manaakitanga is at the heart of Maori Party kaupapa and Rotorua is also renowned for its manaakitanga of our visitors. We need to extend manaakitanga to homeless whanau and find community-led, whanau-centred solutions.”

        Hmmmm!

        • Louis 6.3.1.1

          Hmmmm is right JanM, good point made.

        • Molly 6.3.1.2

          He also appropriated for political purposes, as his voting choices as an MP can attest.

          • JanM 6.3.1.2.1

            Whatever Te Ururoa Flavell did as a fluent speaker of te reo who presumably has a good grasp of tikanga is between him and his conscience, but I do not think, for a moment that Jacinda had any cynical intention in her use of a word that has, for better or worse, entered into the everyday language of many people in this country.

            • Molly 6.3.1.2.1.1

              Koreropono above has written far more knowledgeably and aptly than I can about why the use – in this case – denigrates the full meaning.

              Instead of considering how that is, and why this might be detrimental long term to better understanding of Te Ao Maaori and tikanga, there have been numerous comments about how well-meaning the speech was, and how the Pakeha application of the word is “good enough”.

              This attitude impedes NZer’s understanding of Te Ao Maaori as much as, if not more than direct resistance.

              • JanM

                And that is always the case when one culture uses another’s language, do you not think?

                • Molly

                  … and that is where you believe deeper understanding of culture lies? Not to mention off-topic.

                  Stop being dismissive, and consider the points made.

                  • JanM

                    I have – many times and if I knew who I was speaking to I would have a lot more to say

                    • Molly

                      If you had considered them, you would make your comments relevant to those points – but you dismiss them.

                      …” if I knew who I was speaking to I would have a lot more to say”
                      ??

    • patricia bremner 6.4

      6. KP In what way has Jacinda “trampled values”. She has indicated she is “learning” in the area of Tiro Maori ao. Her wish was to be more inclusive caring and kind.

      She and her government carry heavy baggage of past disappointments and broken promises, so her wish to do better, should be treated as that. To call that superficial and insulting smacks of superiority and a choice to be insulted.

      Jacinda Ardern has stated Te Tiriti o Waitangi is central. Perhaps we will get a clearer picture during her five days at Waitangi. Or do you see this as a “token” as well?

      • koreropono 6.4.1

        PB perhaps you didn’t read my post properly, perhaps your unwavering loyalty to Jacinda Ardern blinds you but I suggest you take off the blinkers and really read what I wrote, instead of frothing at the mouth while ignoring the bits that contradict your assertion that “Jacinda Ardern has stated Te Tiriti o Waitangi is central”, is it really? Are you seriously saying that because Jacinda says something, it makes it so? If that is what you are saying then your reading and/or comprehension has failed you. You have completely missed the point…her five days at Waitangi mean very little in light of the fact that her Government have already shown their disregard of Maori and the Tiriti, and hell that was just in their first 100 days.

        Moreover your comment that because I state that you cannot reduce te ao Maori to singular meanings, “smacks of superiority and a choice to be insulted”, is another example of how Maori are constantly having to reassert their position because some people (and you’d be one of them Patricia) just don’t get it, some people believe that we should be grateful for what we get and it is okay to take the bits they want, or the bits that sound good, whilst ignoring the other bits…and Patricia te Titiri o Waitangi is one of those things that is often ignored or washed over when it suits governments…and your dearly beloved Jacinda and her Government have already done that.

        • patricia bremner 6.4.1.1

          KP,How has Jacinda ignored and washed over te Tiriti o Waitangi?
          Are you referring to the CPTPPA in regard to “their disregard for Maori and te Tiriti” ?

          To my acumen or lack there of….. that is hardly pertinent.

          Cultures are a living whole thing, tradition the pieces.
          All cultures are affected by contact, good or bad, and yes, at first understanding may be superficial and even out of context. We all look through our own experiences, and we are shaped by those. Hopefully we can work together.

          Maori have graciously waited for us to catch up, with many scars going very deep. Perhaps you are right, we are so willful and blind we are incapable of the needed change. I hope not. We need communicators and good will on both sides for all our sakes. As for being selective, well yes of course we will land on what makes sense in our world view. Changing concepts and practices is hard.

          I don’t worship Jacinda, I admire her efforts so far. But she can’t do this alone, and when she reaches out a hand…… what then?

          • koreropono 6.4.1.1.1

            pb “To my acumen or lack there of…..that is hardly pertinent” and therein lies part of the ignorance when people don’t understand how very pertinent it is when Governments fail to consult with Maori.

            Maori have not ‘graciously waited”, they’ve had no choice and they are still waiting…

            • patricia bremner 6.4.1.1.1.1

              Having read some of your earlier posts, “Home sweet home” perhaps i did misunderstand, sorry if that is so.

  7. Wei 7

    Are we going to get anything from Jacinda in the way of real policy changes that make a real difference to the lives of ordinary people? All we have ever heard from her is nice sounding and flowery words. All the good stuff she wants can never be achieved without a solid economy, the appropriate use and analysis of solid statistics, and taking a cold eyed rational approach to things.

    “We all felt a ‘cloak of security and compassion’ during the golden years of egalitarianism that I have long yearned for us to return to again.”

    Those glorious golden years of ‘egalitarianism’ and ‘security’ were largely achieved by being a fully signed-up member of British and US imperialism. The source of that wealth that under-girded that golden age was taken off Africans and Asians. New Zealand supported efforts of the US and Britain to maintain this system and acted as America’s pit bull in Korea and Vietnam, and Britain’s in Malaya, and even went so far as to back Britain’s aggression in the 1956 Suez crisis (something even the Americans could not do publicly)

    Its all very well waxing lyrical about ‘egalitarianism’ and ‘security’, of the 1950s. But the strong economy and wealth that enabled these lovely concepts were not justly obtained.

    John Minto rightly said Jacinda is basically all talk and no action. https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/01/23/the-problem-with-jacinda/

    Nothing that has happened since she became PM has proven otherwise —-unless we count becoming pregnant as a massive achievement.

    • Heather Grimwood 7.1

      I am sad on this lovely summer’s day to read your last sentence, which is a really nasty comment, not intended to be part of any movement/moving towards a more embracing society.
      As well, you either have not taken on board how much has been done already to implement policy conducive to this , or have not read Labour’s actual policies ( remembering that Jacinta and the Labour party are now part of a coalition government under our MMP system).
      Whatever your views however, there is no excuse for plain nastiness.

      • Wei 7.1.1

        Oh, for heaven’s sake —Jacinda is a politician who should be placed under public scrutiny and heavily critiqued – just like anyone else would in her position. She is very highly paid, and she promised a lot, so a lot should be expected of her. She’s not some sort of saint, and she has done little if anything at all yet to deserve the sort of accolades that have been heaped upon her, except that some people find her nice to look at—and that’s a large part of her popular appeal. And Labour shamelessly played to that sexist appeal. In terms of sheer competency and achievements to date, Andrew Little outstrips her in spades, but realised that a large part of the electorate votes on image and not on substance. That cannot be denied.

        • red-blooded 7.1.1.1

          Hey, Labour was willing to back Andrew Little all the way! He was a fine leader, but not a fine communicator. TBH, that’s a big plus that Jacinda brings to the role. You say she depends on her looks; I say she’s smart, articulate, thinks on her feet, listens well, handles interviews with intelligence but also with wit and charm. She’s proven her competence during the election and after, both in the negotiations and in her appointments (cabinet posts, various inquiries, support roles etc), her leadership in implementing the 100 days plan and planning for beyond that.

          When you say a large part of the electorate votes on image, I don’t necessarily disagree, but I don’t think people vote on looks. Image is persona – people see Ardern as likeable and relatable as well as smart, a good team leader…etc. Don’t dismiss the woman because she presents well in the media. She and her team are doing good work and getting things done.

    • patricia bremner 7.2

      Much of your post is right. But to accuse Jacinda of not achieving anything except getting pregnant smacks of nastiness.

    • patricia bremner 7.3

      Wei, 7. You are demanding a “solid economy”.

      Well their budget is ahead of projections, this quarter, by +$250 million. aprox.

      Perhaps that may give money for some of your wish list? Though you fail to list it.

  8. red-blooded 8

    When has John Minto ever praised any government?

    There’s not going to be a revolution under this government, but there’s already strong steps towards rebalancing and rebuilding. Frankly, I think we should be celebrating the fact that, instead of another 3 years of decay and indifference, we have an active, progressive government things who are rebuilding and innovating. Things are going to be better because of them – can we say that of the alternative?

    There’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism, governments need feedback and pushing along, they need input and they need to know what people are concerned about. Promote the issues you care about – sure, great. We need to take care not to just be tearing them down all the time, though.

    Oh, and Bill – it may be true that Labour is rejuvenated in Britain and the Dems had a surge of support for Sanders, but the cold hard fact is that neither of these carried enough people along with them to actually win, so neither is able to actually effect change. I know the election systems are different and that’s a big part of it, but it’s also true that our Labour Party aren’t standing on the outside, saying things, they at the centre of government, doing things. I think that should be celebrated.

    • koreropono 8.1

      They (Governments) also need to remember that they do not own us and when they fail to listen, or gain power through deceit they are not acting in our interests, they are acting in their own.

      The rebalancing and rebuilding is contingent on keeping certain interests happy though…so who are they (Labour) really looking after? I would suggest it is not the people who need more than what’s currently on offer or even the people who believed their duplicitous double speak pre-election.

      People need fair welfare policy. they need homes and they need enough income to feed their children…at present they’re still waiting and I wonder what ‘real’ increases people get when other factors are taken into account (but that’s another post and another topic) – bottom line is I do not see this Government practicing manaakitanga in its proper context…I doubt they even know how to manaakitanga without bowing down to business and making sure it gets approval from them first.

      • red-blooded 8.1.1

        koreropono, I’m pretty sure you realise that major societal shifts and practical outcomes (housing etc) don’t happen in 100 days. Government is, by its very nature, incremental. They have to make plans, allocate resources, manage processes through policy shifts and instructions to the public service. No-one ever promised a magic wand – that would have been “duplicitous double-speak”.

        Bottom line is this government has started really strongly. They’re moving on housing, on incomes, on protecting workers’ rights, on health infrastructure, on freeing up access to education… All of this stuff impacts people’s lives, especially the people who struggle to get by.

      • patricia bremner 8.1.2

        Koreropono, “Gain power through deceit” … MMP? That is not deceit. So you supported Bill’s view?

        • koreropono 8.1.2.1

          Patricia I am fairly certain that it is clear I am not referring to MMP in my post – power through deceit refers to their lack of transparency around the TPP and that both they and NZ First gained votes because they reassured people that they would not sign the deal. Labour claimed their 5 bottom lines had to be met – Labour ministers reassured voters that they would not support the ISDS clause – Labour have not gained NZ a “vastly different” deal under the rebranded TPPA, this is just spin, a spin that many diehard Labour supporters swallow. Labour were particularly clever when they openly went after the green vote…only to back pedal on issues once they achieved power. And don’t get me started on the 90 day bill. If Labour had been transparent, if NZ First had been transparent, I imagine we’d be looking at a vastly different Government today.

          • patricia bremner 8.1.2.1.1

            Yes and 70% of workers would have no protections and the other 30% no hope.
            What was “the other government ” offering that made them so attractive?

            • koreropono 8.1.2.1.1.1

              PB you are clearly blind to anything that might muddy your rose tinted glasses…rather than ask what “the other government” what “offering”, mores the point is what WAS Labour offering pre-election and how does that stack up with what they’re delivering now?

              • patricia bremner

                Koreropono, Take the mote out of your eye and admit what you were asking for in Home sweet home has been granted ($28 )
                I actually apologised LOL.

    • Wei 8.2

      No argument here that even if this lot does absolutely nothing, they are vastly preferable to the previous government —who were pro-actively destructive on a whole variety of fronts. But that’s not a very high bar to set.

      • Heather Grimwood 8.2.1

        Wei, in addition to my comments to your earlier post…..your use of “even this lot” reinforces the fact that you do not come from a viewpoint that helps mutual understandings. Why not help the changing of attitudes so sorely needed and of such Jacinda is the figurehead?

        [How about you lay off the “nit picking bordering on the personal” stuff there Heather? It’s probably only going to lead to some sort of “flame” thang. Cheers.] – Bill

        • Heather Grimwood 8.2.1.1

          sorry Bill………have NEVER been called a nit picker in 85 years…..at times been commended on being non-petty.
          I sincerely feel that the expressions above that upset me do not come from one who embodies goodwill.

    • Bill 8.3

      Oh, and Bill…

      Rather than “winning and losing”, what about in terms of progress? Both Sanders and Corbyn came from “nowhere” and through a hail of negative coverage to come very, very close.

      Meanwhile, the SNP are the government after occupying the political ground left vacant by UK Labour under Blair.

      So, UK Labour didn’t form government and neither did Sanders become a Presidential candidate – but in terms of shifting debate, opening up conversations and formulating policies, they’re streets ahead of NZ Labour.

      Sanders probably won’t run again, but the platform he’s helped form stands a fair chance of being the platform that the next US President stands on. And the Corbyn led UK Labour party will probably win the next UK election.

      It would have been nice if NZ Labour were a part of that progress rather than seeming to be bulwark of liberal policy settings that have “had their day”.

      I understand that for you, the mere fact that a Labour party is in power is a cause for celebration. But to me, that would be like celebrating Blair entering Downing Street (which I never did).

      In short, it’s evidence of larger political shifts that interest me – not political brands.

    • patricia bremner 8.4

      Yes

  9. chris73 9

    “If policy decisions match the ethos expressed by this Government then we are in for an interesting time”

    If indeed

  10. Louis 10

    “They went some of the way this week and all jobs in organisations that have 20 or more employees will no longer be able to do this. And other changes they want to implement will have a profound positive effect not only for the trade union movement but also for ordinary people.

    Good job. I only wish they went further.”

    Thought this was worth repeating.

    “This is the first round of employment law changes that this government plans to make. It is the first steps towards reversing 30 years of working people having their rights diminished and losing their fair share of a growing economy”

    Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11981946

  11. Louis 11

    Bottom line.

    Changes will occur in steps, over time. It was never going to be an all or nothing in one big swoop. It’s a coalition government. Patience is required. I’m just thankful and grateful that change has begun.

  12. Incognito 12

    Jacinda Ardern does (as do a few others) indeed give interesting public speeches & interviews that can lift one’s hopes for something exciting and better, something progressive …

    Ms Ardern obviously wears many hats too when she says “[t]hat is the kind of Government we want to be.”

    In the OP:

    And lets judge this Government by what it has done, not what some are afraid it might do.

    This is the crux of it; it is not about nice speeches and political rhetoric but about actions – actions speak louder than words.

    Maybe it is early days? Maybe Ms Ardern’s hats are not as interchangeable in the outside world? Maybe there always will be a gap or disconnect between words & deeds, particularly in politics? If so, how big a gap is acceptable? One that is politically defensible and (thus) viable?

    I disagree that we can only judge on what has been done, on action, because inaction is a special form of action (cue: the previous 9 years), isn’t it? Perhaps we should not judge at all and just get on with things and life, and never give up – let’s do this!

    • patricia bremner 12.1

      Given how little was done in the past 9 years to help ordinary folk, this government is full of care and kindness in it’s first 100 days.

      Some are not giving them a 90 day trial, which I find amusing given the strident criticisms.

      • Incognito 12.1.1

        I hear you but it is not really about what did or didn’t happen in the last 9 years but more about the sense of urgency, the feeling (or is it more than that?) of running out of time, of what is ahead of us and lies waiting (for us) around the corner …

        This growing sense of unease is real and won’t go away by a few nice editorials, some sweet-talking, or political rhetoric. Do you know what I’m talking about?

        • patricia bremner 12.1.1.1

          Yes, that is why I referred to James Shaw’s State of the Planet speech.
          We have local concerns, but there are global issues pressuring this government and humanity.

          • Incognito 12.1.1.1.1

            Sure, but James Shaw’s State of the Planet speech was not in his capacity as Government Minister and thus not representing Government and I thought that is/was what we’re discussing here. Obviously, the boundaries are never that clear, which I referred to as wearing (many) different hats @ 12.

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