The one thing Jacinda Ardern can do is speak to our hearts

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 am, December 18th, 2022 - 134 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, Deep stuff, election 2023, jacinda ardern, labour, nicola willis - Tags:

Mawkish sentiment running up to Christmas perhaps, but imagine Luxon or Willis speaking hours after the Christchurch massacre.

Some may recall the Jacinda Ardern of the speech right after the Christchurch Massacre. Tone perfect.

Some may also recall how she took New Zealand diplomacy to stratospheric heights with Emmanuel Macron of France soon afterwards.

The thing that may be hard for many to accept is that Ardern’s beliefs are deeply conservative. Conservative is precisely the right impulse after the deep structural adjustment of the 1980s and 1990s that massively and near permanently decreased the entire power of citizens and of politics itself in New Zealand. Ardern is the kind of politician that emerges after that.

So what we have seen is a fundamentally conservative character at work.

To conserve the social fabric after a terror attack.

To conserve the world’s multilateral legal framework after aggressive attacks by tyrants elected and otherwise.

To conserve what was left of the public sector institutions by recentralising them.

To conserve the earth itself.

To conserve Labour’s political capital in preparation for the next massive crisis to befall us, as indeed crisis has about once every 2 years for over a decade.

To conserve from harm the country of New Zealand in a pandemic with aggressive controls into entry to New Zealand – even at the cost of the rights of citizenship.

That is the nature of a conservative impulse of Ardern. To conserve in this form is to save. And of course she codes this language her own way.

Picture Luxon or Willis trying to do any of those clips. It hurts.

What she has not done, what she alone can do, is name the emotional and psychological accumulated trauma that many, many New Zealanders bear now. So many of us are in a state of paralysis with these few days left of 2022. We are spent. And I bet if we are, Ardern is too.

So the reset of this government must be one that accurately names the exhaustion with change, the exhaustion of coping, the unwillingness of most to face more than just getting up and brushing our teeth.

We no longer have any patience for adventurous policy or promises that may or may not get delivered.

Only Ardern of the entire Parliament indeed of her entire generation has the ability to govern for calm in the name of the calm we all need.

If this is politics approaching psychoanalysis in the vein similar to Elias Canetti’s Crowds and Power, then this is the politics of conservative psychoanalysis that New Zealand needs.

It is the politics of stop.

It is the politics of hold each other because we can’t bear anything else.

And if she names this as she has been able to name other national impulses, there’s just a chance that she can turn Labour’s fortunes around.

It is the one thing Ardern alone can do.

134 comments on “The one thing Jacinda Ardern can do is speak to our hearts ”

  1. Tony Veitch 1

    In view of the crises (multiple) which will probably run rampant around the world in 2023, starting with the food shortage triggered by Russian aggression, we will need a calm head of state.

    I agree, only Jacinda Ardern is capable of speaking for all of us – Luxon . . . Willis . . . Seymour . . . nope.

    Which is another reason why we simply cannot afford a change of government next year!

    • bwaghorn 1.1

      " Which is another reason why we simply cannot afford a change of government next year!

      then she needs to get her arse in front of all the squawking airheads like all the reporters on tv3 and dismantle their bs ,they are doing more for national than luxon is. not sure if its on purpose its more likely they just like to over egg everything

    • Herodotus 1.2

      That is why I see more divisions than I can recall since 1981. Supporter or Labour appear unable to even register the current failings !!

      When we have what we see now a government TOTALLY focused on polls there is no planned direction that we are taking – only for Labour to retain power.

      we have had 5 years of time in which change for us to see and experience COULD have been put in place – and what do we see? Eg health under total stress and finally a wee U turn on allowing nurses to be fast tracked. “"We don't think it is unreasonable for there to be a requirement for two years of work before a residency is attained, and that gives us maximum confidence that visas that are issued will result in people working in that area," he said.” why nursing are they the only sector that cannot be trusted ??

      • x Socialist 1.2.1

        I think we need to look ahead to Labour's rebuild. This blog is a microcosm of the macrocosm Labour Party. It's obvious there are posters here who understand what needs to be done, but others are just incapable of breaking their ideological bubble.

        I think after Xmas things will become clearer when some of Labour's big guns, after reflection during the holiday break, decide to call it quits. I'm picking Ardern, Mahuta and Little to throw the towel in. That will allow plenty of new blood to be blooded under Tory rule.

        • Robert Guyton

          Your "picks" are mis-picks. It will be interesting to revisit these "after Christmas".
          Edit: ” That will allow plenty of new blood to be blooded under Tory rule.”
          Are you a fox-hunter, tally-ho?

          • x Socialist

            ''Your "picks" are mis-picks. It will be interesting to revisit these "after Christmas".

            Yes, admittedly a big call. My reasons:

            1- Ardern has better things to do after the election. It even sounds wrong calling her ''leader of the opposition.'' Losing the election allows her to leave on her own terms with her mana intact. She will say she's done her bit, the people have spoken and it's now time for Labour to regroup under new leadership. But imagine if she left before the election. The odium poured on her from all quarters would be immense.

            2- Mahuta, like Jackson, is finished under new Labour leadership. Tainted goods that even Labour supporters have questions about. Not that Mahuta will be worried. She's made her contacts; knows how the system works. She will have heaps of consultancy work ahead of her, especially as Maori elite suffer under the yoke of Toryism. She'll probably make a whole heap more, too.

            3- Little just looks plain tired. He's been lumbered with the worst portfolio going. The medical fraternity hate his guts and after the Tories gut the unions, he won't have much to look forward to. I think he's even having trouble believing his own bs. I feel sorry for the guy.

            • Robert Guyton

              "Ardern has better things to do after the election" – yes, lead the country with a mandate to continue.

              Mahuta, you imply, is motivated by personal financial profit.


              Little may well be "tired" – he's contributed a HUGE amount to the progress made over the past term of Labour governance.

              • x Socialist

                ''Mahuta, you imply, is motivated by personal financial profit.'''

                No, I'm not implying that. She has been in parliament for over 20 years. She isn't going to retire and become a housewife is she? Consultancy work would be a natural progression should she leave parliament.

                • Robert Guyton

                  ''Mahuta, you imply, is motivated by personal financial profit.'''

                  "She'll probably make a whole heap more, too."

                  "No, I'm not implying that."


                  • x Socialist

                    "She'll probably make a whole heap more, too.''

                    Bland statement of probability should she become a consultant. I clarified for you.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Nanaia Mahuta seems to me to be motivated by finer things than 'personal financial profit'.

                      As does David Parker, et al.

        • Incognito

          This blog is a microcosm of the macrocosm Labour Party.

          No, it isn’t. Not by intention, design, or content. Stop the lazy labels and come up with better debating arguments that don’t rely on simplistic and inaccurate generalisations. Read the About section again because next time you assert this again you’ll cop an instant ban.

          I'm picking Ardern, Mahuta and Little to throw the towel in.

          I’m picking that you are deliberately spreading untruths here.

          Ardern is absolutely committed to running – both for Prime Minister and for the Mt Albert seat.

          "Yes, I've already signalled to my team that I will be looking for that selection," she said.

      • Most of those polls are held for and by the opposition.

  2. Sabine 2

    yeah, nah nah.

    Nothing the PM could state that would change reality for the many.

    The country does no longer need words it needs deeds and this Labour Party – and fwiw, i don't blame Jacinda – after all they only got the job because Andrew Little could not organise a piss up in a brewery and thanks in large part to Winston Peters who really thought that Labour was the better answer – is not able of delivering a single thing other then ideological restructuring of admin and burocracy.

    No houses, run a way food and energy prices, ramraids, machete attacks, public shootings but no police on the streets anywhere, crumbling infrastructure and so on.
    Kids dying of tonisilities due to lack of health care. No shouting allowed.

    But be calmy worded dear Leader, as shouting would increase the anxiety and dread so many have of today, tomorrow and the next day. And besides shouting would not become a person of the statue of Jacinda Ardern.

    They can be calmly reciting a telephone book or Waiting for Godot, no one is believing a word they utter and that includes Good morning and Good Evening.

    Sadly for the country, supposedly they and their counterparts on the right are the supposed best this country has raised. And that is something the country might ponder.

    This troupe in government, and in the opposition benches is the best this country has to offer.

    • Tony Veitch 2.1

      No houses, run a way food and energy prices, ramraids, machete attacks, public shootings but no police on the streets anywhere, crumbling infrastructure and so on.
      Kids dying of tonisilities due to lack of health care.

      Golly, we really are third world – Somalia or the Gaza Strip seem better places to live!

      A different reality to the one I'm experiencing, but then, I haven't yet gone down any rabbit holes!

    • Robert Guyton 2.2

      "yeah, nah nah."

      The Inner Sabine speaks (and sounds a lot like Paula Bennett)


      • Kat 2.2.1

        Yes, the queen of charades……and these charade people, they are all over the place at the moment….frown

        • Anker

          I ususally assume when people criticise the person on this site, in this case Sabine, they have nothing to argue with.

          I make an exception with Swordfish, because I think his commentary is pointing out the psychology behind the woke elites.

          • Robert Guyton

            You adore, swordy, we all know that!

            Sabine's exhibiting as "pinched". Worth mentioning, imo.

            • Anker

              I think Swordfish combines a razor shape wit, which I find hilarious with the ability to cut to the chase and call out what is happening in terms of middle class identity politics. I wish I had his ability in that area.

              • Robert Guyton

                Don't underplay your potential, Anker! Swordy just repeats, "woke, woke, wokety-woke" ad nauseam; you could do that just as well!

          • Patricia Bremner

            Rubbish Anker. Sabine gets what she deserves. She says she speaks for Rotorua Well wow!! We have lived here since 1971. Her "No houses" is lie one.

            There is more social, aged and private building plus a huge commercial build underway in Rotorua, more than in 72/73.

            So my comments are about her bile and mistruths. I will call them out. Too bad if that causes ripples. Some of us have been bloody polite in the face of twisted rejoinders and sour comments.

            Please offer some positive suggestions for the change you want. ( see you say you have I will read them.)

            • Anker

              I think its good people call out peoples arguements and facts Patricia.

              I saw Robert referring to Sabine as being like Paula Bennet and I don't accept the comparrison.

              I think I do offer positive suggestions for the changes I want.

              I did post a link yesterday with the new Workers Now party. They have a 10 point manifesto and mostly I agree with it. I particularly like their policy on women only spaces. Its in the feeds under Red Line.

              I also mentioned on another post that I think studying to be a nurse, Dr or any health professional should be made very, very attractive and mentioned bonding and even provision of housing for rural areas that can't attract Drs.

              I have also linked and commented on TOPs tax policy. From memory no tax on the first $20,000 and then a land tax.

              In one of my comments above I praised Jacinda and the initial Covid response.

              I think X socialist is right about David Seymour standing up for democracy. I know that DS is not popular on this site and that I will likely get challenged on this. Fair enough.

              I think Shane Reti would make an excellent health minister, having watched his interview of Q and A.

              I think Labours decision to cut the petrol tax and reduce public transport fairs was a good one.

    • Anker 2.3

      I would add to your Sabine of "no houses" etc, very, very stressed GP,s ED Drs and nurses, in fact all health professionals, who are wondering why the f…k they aren't in Australia yet ("where the bloody hell are you?" has never felt so menacing.)

      I have some time for Jacinda. She got played a rubbish hand in terms of CHch, the pandemic etc, but she has been a great figurehead in these times.

      However this Govts performance has mostly been woeful. The Covid response gets ticks from me, but frankly they seem to have abandoned any sort of response now and seem to be doing out of sight, out of mind.

      Education is a worry, with truency rates so high (and Jan Tinettis response of t.v adds showing how great school was). How's that going Jan? All those kids back in school yet?

      Why they pushed on with Three Waters when 60 % population against, 22 % for. Why the hell are they dying in a ditch over that.
      The cost of living payment, looked to be like a lolly scramble for the masses.

      I have already posted on Health on Open Mike today, but really AL needs to be fired. Read my comments and Ian Powells article on OM if you are curious as to why I am saying this……

      Housing? …………………..Could it be any worse?

      But actually Marama and James say the Greens have had a phenomenal year……….Just shows how self centred they are.

      • Robert Guyton 2.3.1

        And how anti you are. What do James and Marama mean by their comment? I'd appreciate your view on their statement.

      • Chess Player 2.3.2

        I like your summary, Anker.

        There are major problems that need solving, and irrespective of how the problems arose, we need people in charge who will sort things out.

        • Anker

          Thanks Chess Player. I don't always feel the most popular person on this site.

          • RedLogix

            Same from me too. There are a handful of people I respect on this site and I usually read their contributions. What they have in common is that while I do not necessarily agree with them, there is almost always something I can learn from them. That makes them authentic and interesting.

            You are definitely one of them – thanks. yes

            • hetzer

              Agree too. The partisan turd polishers damage their own political parties with their nonsense. I always read you Anker as a balanced contributor.

            • Anker
              • Cheers RL. I really value what you post, particularly of late the stuff on water utilities. Your professional background really adds to the discussion on 3 waters
          • Jester

            Many on this site cannot bear to have the Greens or Labour (or especially Jacinda) criticised even when they have clearly done something unpopular with the majority of the general public. They will argue ' black is white'. But the comments do make entertaining reading.

    • Stuart Munro 2.4

      Little hasn't been inspiring – Pike River was not much of a result.

      But he has at last scraped up something akin to pay parity with Australia for some nurses.

      Given another couple of terms he might even do something else.

  3. bwaghorn 3

    To be honest the concern face and speeches from the pulpit give me the shits, that being said i believe she is genuine.

    Kiwis need to take a good dose of stiff upper lip, things aren't that bad , most of us have work and a roof, there's a good few thousand people alive that wouldn't be if Ardern hadn't been brave,

    build more houses ,apparently there could be 45000 in the building industry looking for work next year, move heaven and earth to train, retain and gain more gps, drs and nurses, and for fuck sakes get people out of motels.

    And work with farmers ,labour told them to come up with HWEN, SIGN THE FUCKING THING THEN TWEK IT AFTERWARDS.

  4. You do go in for hyperbole Sabine.

    "No houses"… read the bloody stats and stop blethering. There is more building going on than ever.

    The next things you accuse the government of are mainly caused by the ongoing pandemic issues and fallout.

    Further climate change issues supply chain issues and the cost of infrastructure is causing fuel and food costs before the war added to that.

    You, like the Nats and their buddies Act, don't mention covid or the War….. oh no it is this "do nothing government" Bloody trolling.

    You belittle people who have worked to improve lives and seldom offer any positive input.

    Advantage is discussing Jacinda Ardern's qualities and approaches.

    In typical style, you are exaggerating and selectively using incidents to prop up your bile and how gracious of you 'not to blame Jacinda" sarc.

    • x Socialist 4.1

      ''Advantage is discussing Jacinda Ardern's qualities and approaches.''

      Do these qualities extend to protecting democracy? Or the first duty of any government – protecting it's citizens from internal or external threats?

      I would rather have deeds over empathy.

      • Robert Guyton 4.1.1

        Even deeds that lack empathy?

      • xsocialist. Who do you see as currently protecting democracy?

        • x Socialist

          Only ACT seem to be big on democracy. The rest seem to either not know how important democracy is to our way of life, or they don't care. I have heard little from Luxon or anyone else for that matter. They seem to think democracy is a given. I can tell you when I look at names on a war memorial that isn't the case.

          • Robert Guyton

            ACT are only big on ACT.

            • x Socialist

              ''Prime Minister Refuses To Acknowledge One-person One-vote.''

              Well, let's hope ACT ACT out. I'm sure most on this site want their grandchildren/ children to have voting rights on constitutional matters in the future.sad

              • Robert Guyton

                Do ACT support the right for prisoners to vote?

                How about people between the age of 16 and 18?

                One person, one vote?

                • x Socialist

                  Prisoners…vote? You mean allowing people who have sinned against societies laws being given the right to participate in the political make-up of said society. I hope not? ACT aren't the Greens.

                  Voting for 16 year olds. Please!

                  One person, one vote?

                  Yes, over 18, enrolled and not a prisoner. Vote for whoever you want.

                  • Incognito

                    Both the unreasonable limits on voting rights for prisoners and people aged under 18 were successfully challenged in the Supreme Court. That constitutes at least one reason for political action and change. ACT doesn’t accept the decisions and would happily do nothing and leave things as they are (status quo). Therefore, despite their grandstanding and political rhetoric they demonstrate that they are unfit to govern NZ. FYI, prisoners sentenced for 3 years or longer are still not eligible to vote, as was the case pre 2010.

                    May I remind you that this Post is about Jacinda Ardern and not for diversion trolling with misleading ACT propaganda.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    I thought as much.
                    ACT – barely a clue between them.

                  • tWiggle

                    One person, one vote. In that case remove the two votes available to multi-property owners in local-body elections.

                • Gosman

                  There is a big difference between the scenarios you reference and the concept of one person, one vote. The difference is that the qualifying factor is temporary. a 16 year old will be able to vote once they reach the age of 18. Ditto a prisoner will be able to vote again when they are released from prison.

            • Muttonbird

              ACT are only big on protecting the embedded advantage white people have.

          • SPC

            An ACT party press release, with a link title that is a misrepresentation.

            • x Socialist

              I got the link off Scoop. I could have posted the YT clip. But why waste blog space on a short segment? Either the PM said that, or she didn't.

              • SPC

                I would hazard a guess the PM was saying that it would be a misrepresentation “overly simplistic” to portray the Three Waters legislation as inconsistent with one person one vote.

                Consider how in Wellington councils (each elected by locals) own the collective regional water assets but have created a management body not directly accountable to voters. Is that also inconsistent with one person one vote?

                It was of the “intent” to deliver professional and competent water care. Expert management in the treatment for safe drinking and also measurement of fluoride additive, leaky pipe repair (delicate/fragile/old central city underground infrastructure) etc.

                • RedLogix

                  From experience I know that council entities like Wellington Water are reasonably responsive to public and council challenges. Senior management do not operate in a bubble, they are awake to their public role and profile. They may not be directly elected, but there is a high degree of public accountability nonetheless.

                  If nothing else you can find most of the information you need in the public domain on their website. I just checked it out and there is a remarkable amount of detailed information there – highly transparent.

          • Sacha

            Democracy is not mob rule.

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    Luxon this, Seymour that, Willis, Peters blah, blah, blah!

    Jacinda hasn't even begun her charm offensive – that will come next year. Then, all others will be swept from the floor.


    • yes We believe so Robert. Rather than just charm I think it will be reinforcing hope.

      But I for one am going to call out the trolls. I know we are not meant to feed them, but the lies and exaggerations should be called out.

      This is an incredibly difficult time in history and we do not need hot heads and egos, but rather considered and experienced cool judgement, backed by clear vision. BAU is no longer suitable or even possible in some sectors. Therefore different strategies are required, even if the nimbys hate it.

    • Chess Player 5.2

      This might be what you want to happen, but I doubt it will play out that way.

      Ardern's brand is totally over-exposed, just as Churchill's was after WW2.

      In my opinion, we will see a reversion to type at the next election, and Labour's share of the vote will be reduced significantly. People are getting very tired of hearing Ardern's voice, and seeing Ardern's face. There was about 9 years of normal exposure within a 2 year period, after all.

      People don't see Ardern as charming they increasingly see her as annoying.

      • Robert Guyton 5.2.1

        Jacinda will refresh her image, turn up the brightness, have some fun, warm hearts and slay the baldy-dragon and the arrogant pronk!

        Just you wait and see!

        • Herodotus

          Jacinda will refresh her IMAGE, – Thats about it IMAGE, how about substance and completing what was her priority and "getting" involved in politics: say Child Poverty, Climate Change etc there is a constant of not seeing things to fruition oh thats right the PM has how turned to the right of the political spectrum and its all about "Ardern’s instructions to have an “absolute focus” on the economy"

          She has been seen this term to be less on delivery

          Why was the country (Auckland) placed into restricts from covid over the last few years ? – To protect our Health system from being overrun. Currently we have a covid break out (up to 80k /week) and a health system under stress due to lack of resources ?? So why are we not currently protecting the system ?? I hope you/family are not in the position that requires health assistance because if you are you will see 1st hand what the health system is facing – And from personal experience, great people out there doing all they can but you can see the stress it is under. BUT the PM will refresh her image!!

          • Patricia Bremner

            Well personally I hope she and her team have a refreshing rest, as it is well deserved.

            We are facing tough times, but from a good base.

            Anyone insinuating Jacinda Ardern is just image needs to do some serious self reflection, that is so far from reality it is ridiculous.

            • Herodotus

              Well tell that to Robert – He has the impression that the PM is so shallow and that all NZ needs is for a refreshed image, and all will be well. Not sure if that tells more about Robert, how he sees the PM or how he sees the country. That all we need is some PR team to remake PM and all will be well ?? But then you like others are all good are mis direction and inability to see what is happening and then what actions are required-as can be seen by your comment to me and NOT directed to Robert.

              • Robert Guyton

                You know of a politician, Herodotus, that doesn't cultivate their image or allow their PR people to help maintain their most favourable "face" for public consumption?

                I know, there was Don Brash, but look where that got him…

              • Jacinda Ardern did not drive 200 meters in a Limo for effect. Luxon did, so why are you not questioning that superficial image?

                Now you will say I'm deflecting again. Lol

                When failed ideas are all that is offered it leads one to assume shallow pools of talent in National and the other guy!!

            • Anker

              Patricia I agree,I hope Jacinda does have a restful and relaxing holiday and if she was on this site, I would wish her a Merry Christmas

          • Robert Guyton

            Luxon will struggle to make his appealing.

        • Stuart Munro

          Luxon, as vaudeville villains often do, is slaying himself.

          Expensive Secretive Gnat Strategist: We will not propose policy that might provoke serious debate, or alienate core support groups like befuddled pensioners – no, our campaign will be one of charisma – the luminosity of our pallid paterfamilias surpasses even the gleaming teeth of that Labour girlie. It's done, dusted, in the bag – nothing more to be said.

          But it transpires that much more will indeed be said before the next election.

    • Jester 5.3

      Jacinda has already cancelled the Waitangi BBQ and will probably reduce the number of public appearances as she knows she has lost a lot of her popularity. "Security" will be the concern.

      • Incognito 5.3.1

        Your disingenuity is on full display here. On the one hand, you claim that crime is out of control without evidence to back it up and despite the counter-arguments from other commenters who refer to stats. You also link to clips of overseas violence predicting – if that’s the Right description – this will be “NZ in a years time” [sic]. Yet, on the other hand, you ignore the violent threats made to the PM, MPs, and other officials in the public view. None of this is caused by Ardern’s declining popularity (in the polls) per se.

        If you want to spin a compelling counter-narrative here, then you’ll have to come up with better arguments than the fear mongering RW talking points from talk back shows and the like.

      • Muttonbird 5.3.2

        Security is a concern because right wing nut jobs are violent and act out on that violence.

        • x Socialist

          You make a good counterpoint to your own comments. Ever thought about what swing voters would think if they visited this blog? Well, I have. So I act accordingly. My detractors add the commentary.

          • x Socialist

            I bet most of those protesting against Jacinda during the parliamentary occupation had never voted Right in their lives.

            • JeremyB

              "I bet most of those protesting against Jacinda during the parliamentary occupation had never voted"

              • Robert Guyton

                Given the way they lionised Winston during his walk-around, I'd say most were new to the world of political thought.

              • Anker

                I am not sure what FIFY means, but actually there is a grain of truth in what

                x socialist is saying. There was a poll done at the protest and the majority of those had voted Labour and Greens. Some had voted for a Christian Right party (small number, but larger than they polled in the election. Some Nats and Act, but I can't remember what the percentages were.)

                Can try and find the link if required

        • Anker

          I hope the NZ SIS are looking after her and all politicians and are detecting whatever geniune threats are out there

      • "Waitangi BBQ" How sad that these groups are able to be so loud obnoxious and threatening that she can't bring her family and do that. A sad indictment that like Trump they can't accept the rules, and paint themselves as special while disrupting the day for everyone else.

        You say "she has lost her popularity". Agree that her popularity has come down from previous highs, but the threats are from a specific group with an agenda to disrupt and make NZ ungovernable.

        We should all be concerned about that attack on our democracy, as an open system is more easily disrupted.
        Unless citizens are prepared to accept "Rule of law" we can end up with civil disobedience, where no one is safe.

        • Jester

          Too many citizens are already not accepting the rule of law. People attacking dairy owners with machete when the guy didn't resist and told them to take what they wanted. Those type of people need to be removed from society as they are dangerous and do not obey any laws.

  6. PsyclingLeft.Always 6

    Jacinda Adern…called by the few…. Jabcinda, the pretty communist, the red queen et al , (and well…fuck THEM )

    I am certain no other leader could, across all the trials and tribulations of our recent times, have led us example.

    I respect her Insight and her… Incise ( methinks Luxon and Co. not so much : ). She is IMO, a Gem.

    I wish her all the Best..and sincerely hope she has some nice Family time soon.

    Onya, Jacinda : )

  7. Mike the Lefty 7

    Yes, Jacinda Adern's strengths are that she can make decisions in times of crisis and she is empathetic. In the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch massacre she showed wisdom and true leadership in how she dealt with a shocked nation. She is personally accessible and is regarded highly by foreign leaders.

    But all of that matters little in the daily grind of life for New Zealanders who sense that the world around them is changing fast and that Labour is not keeping up with the play. You can debate if or how much Labour is responsible for its problems but when you are in government the buck stops with you. New Zealanders want to see their leader obviously firmly in control and unfortunately Jacinda now seems increasingly vulnerable and some of the personal magnetism has gone.

    It is ironic that you describe Jacinda as conservative, because her opponents accuse her of being the opposite. National and ACT routinely accuse her and the government of socialism (as if that is a bad thing) and her more mentally unbalanced detractors accuse her of being in the order of the devil incarnate.

    I personally still have a high regard for Jacinda. If New Zealand was ever as unfortunate to be in the same shoes as Ukraine I would much rather have her as leader than smug Seymour and waffling Luxon. We have to remember that John Key, when he sensed his popularity was waning and the job was no fun anymore baled out rather than risk the indignity of election defeat, whilst Jacinda grinds on.

  8. bwaghorn 8

    Jacindas spoken to rural nzs heart so much, their Christmas parade featured a bomb with the labour parties name on it.

    • Robert Guyton 8.1

      The parade, cancelled previously because of Covid, should have been cancelled this time round, because of idiocy.

      • bwaghorn 8.1.1

        Was having a beer in point once(possibly plural) had been chatting to some dude for 10 mins or so, when I told him I was from the north island he turned and walked away, might be something in the breeding.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    I think that Ardern has two main problems:

    Firstly, I think she was over-exposed during Covid and voters got weary of her communication style.

    Secondly, I think her problem is that she doesn't have a lot of talent around her. This means she has to basically push the bus without much help. Evidence of this can be seen in the way that the same names are called upon whenever there is a problem. For instance, Chris Hipkins and Megan Woods who I rate as highly effective politicians.

    If she was in a stronger team she would be able to focus more on her strengths.

    • Robert Guyton 9.1

      She's not yet begun to woo the voters.

      When she does, you'll be left reeling!

    • Stephen D 9.2

      You must be kidding.
      Labour has a number of high performing ministers. Robertson, Woods, Wood, Hipkins, Mahuta.

      Nationals front bench… crickets

      • Anker 9.2.1
        • I really rate Shane Reti. He as brilliant on Q and A about health. If National win, he will make a real difference to health
        • KJT

          If National win Reti will continue the creeping privatisation of health, that has cost us so much in the last few years.

        • SPC

          Did he support the pay increases offered/made?

          • Anker

            SPC. I don't know the answer to that, but I didn't hear him or National or Act for that matter say they were against them

            • Incognito

              Here you go. Luxon and National are no friends of nurses and health workers in public health. As their history have shown, time after time.


              • Anker

                Cheers Incognito.

                I am reading this as Luxon being inexperienced and wanting to hedge his bets. I do note the politicking by the Greens on this.

                I will continue to watch for National policy on this.

                • Incognito

                  Here’s more ‘politicking’, by a union:

                  E tū is appalled to hear this morning that National Party leader Christopher Luxon has reneged on a commitment to keep health and education funding at least in line with inflation.


                  Anybody who gives Luxon the benefit of doubt on this is seriously naïve, IMO.

                  • Anker

                    there is no date, that I can see on your Etu publication.

                    Have Labour committed to keeping pace with inflation?

                    National likely doesn't want to make commitments in case it has to do U turns.


                    "However my biggest reflection is how poor the Government's leadership of the health system has been, to the extent of generating an inexhaustible supply of chickens coming home to roost in the lead up to next years election. This is evidenced in interminable tension and conflict between the Government, on the one hand, and the workforce and its representatives, on the other"

                    • Incognito

                      The date is in the meta data; it is 3 August 2022.

                      To answer your other question, there are the pay parity agreements and other settled pay negotiations that show commitment – actions speak louder than (empty & hollow) words.

                      You do know what National’s ‘policy’ is for Health NZ, don’t you?

              • Sacha

                That nice Mr Luxton is just misunderstood, I tell you. And so thoughtful.

        • I would rate him, except he had little to say when Whangarei Hospital was in a state under National. Why was that? KJT supplies a possible reason. That is also why I find many of Powell’s protestations poor and self serving.

    • Jester 9.3

      "I think her problem is that she doesn't have a lot of talent around her."

      That is stating the obvious. When Phil Twyford, Kelvin Davis and David Clark are some of your top performers, you know you are in trouble.

      • Mike the Lefty 9.3.1

        What about Grant Robertson – even Business NZ and other similar business lobby groups have a high regard for his abilities and performance?

        And Nanaia Mahuta, despite the bile she gets from shithead National supporters because she has mokos, is proving to be an effective foreign minister who doesn't kiss the arse of Middle Eastern dictators like one of her National predecessors.

        And Michael Wood, definitely one to watch for future governments.

        If you want to talk about lack of talent you should go no further than the opposition parties made up largely of gun nuts, rural squires and consultants.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    Personally, I haven't been at all impressed with Wood or Mahuta. Robertson is OK I guess, though he seems to have been getting flustered in some of the interviews I have heard from him lately.

    Woods and Hipkins seem to have an air of calmness and competence about them. Hence why they seem to get sent in to troubled roles.

    For instance, Hipkins holding two heavy roles, education and police, along with being minister for the Public Service.

    And being brought in to take over from Poto Williams when she was floundering in the role. In fact I think Hipkins would make a good PM if the job ever comes up for him.

    Woods was brought in to housing after the Kiwibuild flop which Twyford had been in charge of.

    There hasn't been much opportunity for voters to become familiar with National's front bench yet. That actually might be a positive for them.

    • x Socialist 10.1

      I agree. Hipkins ticks all boxes as a future leader. But I reckon Labour will go with Robertson, and that will cost Labour dearly in my opinion.

      • Robert Guyton 10.1.1

        They are rock-solid secure with Jacinda. The others will wait their turn. Labour won't do as you reckon, I reckon.

  11. Incognito 11

    Steady as she goes.

    A much deeper Post than a first reading may suggest.

    • tsmithfield 11.1

      I think the post is actually pointing out Labour's main problem. If what Labour is relying on is Ardern to come out with some galvanising empathetic statement that sways voters, then Labour is in big trouble.

      And it also echoes the issue that has bedevilled politics for awhile now. That is the cult of personality.

      The problem for Ardern is that she may have to try and connect to voters with policies they see as ineffective and unpopular supported by a team that voters perceive to be comprised largely of academics.

      If the upcoming election were to be held in economic conditions that prevailed last year then I have little doubt that Labour would have romped in. The problem is that the economy is likely to be very difficult next year.

      Also the continuing crime wave isn't helping Labour at the moment, with the latest dairy attack resulting in serious injuries to a worker despite all the fog cannons and other bells and whistles being in place.

      I think the effect of that will be that voters will be looking more for credentials than personality. For all Luxon's faults, he does have a strong business background. In tight economic conditions, I think voters will be swayed because of that.

      And National's knee jerk promise of boot camps etc will likely resonate with voters who expect everything can be a quick fix. Personally I doubt it will work because problems that have taken generations to develop are going to take generations to resolve.

      I think the fact that politicians can gain traction through policies that are ridiculous under the cold light of analysis. For instance boot camps to stop crime or building 100000 houses to solve the housing crisis.

      What this says to me is that our population is becoming progressively dumbed down, and I think that is something we should all be concerned about. But that is another debate.

      • Robert Guyton 11.1.1

        Jacinda Ardern has forged a very strong background in the "business" of running a country, through very challenging circumstances.

        Luxon got nuttin'.

        • tsmithfield

          As I said above, if the election were held in the same economic conditions as last year, you would have a valid point. But if the economy is in recession, then people will start to question whether Labour actually did do a great job in handling the economy back then.

          • Robert Guyton

            They'll also start to question National's economic abilities as well, tsmithfield, and will have come to terms, again, with Joyce's hole and Goldsmith's figgerin'. Luxon's vague wobbly-thinks (how much do those retirees get, akshully?) isn't helping National's image.

      • SPC 11.1.2

        Consider the decline in building consents 2008-2014, as to why government intervention to maintain a sufficiency of building activity is required to mitigate the boom bust cycle caused by the market (incl RB interventions).

        One could note that the number of building consents since 2017 is well over 10,000 per annum higher than it was.

        The number of uptake in building consents 2019-2020 c40,000 per year and in 2021 50,000 indicates why it was not easy for the government to access the capacity to deliver on Kiwibuild in addition to state housing renovation/refit and replacement. But the government is in place to take up some of the slack caused by Orr's interest rate rises.

      • We need more than austerity pruning to sharpen the bottom line for fat cat capitalists, which is Luxon's background.

        Trump's way of thinking and the blurring of magic gaming and straight out lies makes it hard for many to find the truth.

        Yes let's look at "dumbing down", a concept that goes to the heart of "Back to basics", for public education by National, while they sent their children to private schools and provided more money to attract the better teachers for them.

        A similar practice happened in medicine. In both cases our pacific and maori demographic were failed miserably.

        All the PM's actions have aimed at helping the greatest number. The greedy hate her and have the money to influence. The farming lobby have come on board far more the press lead us to believe. The faction who are angry are a minority. Mark you their concerns about pine plantations by distant offsetters has some credence.

        We all feel our lives have been impacted badly, but burning Jacinda Ardern at the stake won't make those problems disappear.

        Food will still be expensive through war and weather shortages.

        Climate change will continue and the fractious political mood will lead to loud angry voices.

        The anarchy on our streets is a symptom of those pressures.

        There is little time for reflection as events and information happen in real time. This is the background where simplistic solutions will not work.

        The Governments efforts to build houses improve infrastructure promote sustainability honour our indigenous rights and fight a pandemic needs an extraordinary leader. We are fortunate to have that.

        That we are all tired is a given. I hope the jackals let her recharge as she says "There is more mahi to do."

    • SPC 11.2

      Framing a successful pandemic response protecting life with the wider narrative of “conserving that of value”, is one way to counter the portrayal from NACT that Labour is proposing disruptive change.

      • Graeme 11.2.1

        Well this Government has certainly been disruptive to National's plans to privatise everything but the kitchen sink.

        Strong centralised water management, Polytechs, and Hospital / Health administration make it hard to flog off bits.

        • KJT

          Right Wing politicians sole reason for existence, is to transfer public wealth to their cronies.

          Everything else is just window dressing, to get them in a position to do so.

  12. Sacha 12

    Some people get their understanding of politics only from mass media smoothly relaying right-wing lines – and it shows.

    Do we need to give up on the idea of persuading them and concentrate on the more open ones?

  13. BAW 13

    Nat voter here.

    Jacinda has strong communication skills.

    But she is dealing with a grumpy electorate, and many people have switched off or gone hostile. They don't care about kindness, nor excuses. They want inflation to stop and life to get safer. Yesterday.

    Oddly enough Jim Bolger had the same problem in the run up to the 93 election. He recalled taking Journalists on trips around the country to help sell the message life was going to improve.

    • roblogic 13.1

      Agree, it is all about the mood of the people. IMHO the 2 month lockdown of Auckland was a (political) step too far — it may have saved lives, but doomed Labour's poll numbers.

      But the media has also turned septic — the current obsession with crime has no parallel during the reign of Key. This has the hallmarks of a cynical Murdoch media tactic. Each report is true, but the long term narrative is false. Emotional manipulation.

      As well as calculated neglect of what any balanced person should be able to observe — Labour is doing a great job and National are simply unfit to govern.

    • Jim Bolger had what big issues to face? His Electoral reforms though huge were not life threatening. He has mellowed, I remember some of his impatient comments.

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