That was a great weekend for Labour.
The campaign launch was a huge and vibrant success. Jacinda Ardern talked about ending poverty. She called climate change “my generation’s nuclear-free moment”. She talked about education, and housing, and rivers, and more. She talked about principles, and she delivered a vision.
Bill English talked about roads. $10b on roads, when we have a housing crisis, a homeless crisis, increasing levels of extreme poverty. $10b on roads when we should be building public transport and reducing carbon emissions. It’s dinosaur politics.
Day one and $10 billion down. National’s answer to “Jacinda-mania” couldn’t be more old fashioned – pull out the cheque book.
As a sea of red gathered outside the Auckland town hall to bask in the new found optimism and euphoria generated by new leader Jacinda Ardern, National leader Bill English was in the provinces spruiking a $10 billion spend up on provincial highways.
Ardern’s speech steered clear of spending promises but was big on vision – including making climate change “the nuclear free” moment of this generation.
Labour would not have known that National was planning to make a big roading announcement when Ardern wrote her speech. But the contrast could not have been more stark.
And while roads are always a winner with voters, reaching back into the same old bag of tricks risks making National look predictable and tired. …
$10b. What a waste!
Jacinda Ardern goes for vision as National grab the cheque book https://t.co/dU0t0N1xZd
— Stuff.co.nz Politics (@NZStuffPolitics) August 20, 2017
— Newshub (@NewshubNZ) August 20, 2017
We. Don't. Need. New. Roads. Build. Us. Rail. https://t.co/IU3NGhwtsT
— Stewart Sowman-Lund (@StewartLundNZ) August 20, 2017
Here’s Bill English’s vision “I want to build a country where every child has a road named after them” https://t.co/uITkvN5eGU
— Bounder (@DawgBelly) August 20, 2017