What should Jacinda Ardern say in her state of the nation speech?

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, February 7th, 2019 - 71 comments
Categories: jacinda ardern, labour, Politics - Tags:

I put up a post five years ago asking what then Labour leader David Cunliffe should say in his state of the nation address.

The post provoked rather intense discussion and 425 comments.

Tomorrow Jacinda Ardern will do the same although the circumstances will be different.  She is of course Prime Minister and her speech will no doubt be a discussion of what is going to happen, not what she wants to happen.

So what should Jacinda talk about in her speech.  What are the matters that are really important to the country?

Please be civil to each other and trolling will not be tolerated …

71 comments on “What should Jacinda Ardern say in her state of the nation speech?”

  1. Grey Area 1

    Maybe take the climate crisis seriously instead of just talking about it.

    • bwaghorn 1.1

      Its become accepted by even deep thinkers like garner and most jo blows in the street . . That had to happen before progress could be made . This government was the first to openly discuss it .

  2. Art 2

    Climate. It’s ideological but it’s really the only really pressing issue and funnily one we’re doing so little about. We need to start preparing for the effect on communities, especially rural ones with a lack or reduced lack of access to emergency services.

    We need to start looking at our coastlines and how they’ll be affected. We need to consider food sources might dramatically change. Extreme weather events such as flooding and high winds will require an improvement in our emergency response, shelters, resources.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    She ought to outline the coalition’s 2019 legislative program. She ought to tell us the date the climate-change legislation will be enacted. If that is not yet finalised, she ought to explain why not!

    She ought to admit that the Treaty of Waitangi is flawed due to mistranslation, and explain precisely in detail the differences between the two versions. She then ought to advise Sir Geoffrey Palmer that he is wrong to suggest that it is a suitable basis for a new constitution for Aotearoa, because erecting any democratic structure on a racial fault-line is not sensible.

    • left_forward 3.1

      You ought to learn Te Reo Dennis so that you can interpret the precise difference for yourself between The Treaty of Waitangi and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
      Your comments are in direct contrast to Art above, who included himself in all he said – you ought to become more aware of the part you play.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        I don’t believe it is appropriate for pakeha to present as fake Maori. I don’t respect those who do. Authenticity is vital.

        The thing about interpreting is to do so in such a way as to transcend subjectivity. Politics only works when folks find common ground. Someone must therefore articulate that common ground.

        Now, in respect of the incompatibility between the two versions of the Treaty that I identified here yesterday, a political framing is required. Like a bridge across the chasm. Who better than the PM to provide that?

        • left_forward

          A pakeha learning Te Reo is being a fake Maori?
          No! This is Aotearoa – this is our country – absorb it all Dennis!

          We are all responsible for understanding the Treaty / Te Tiriti and building the common ground – although I am certainly not against the PM doing her bit.

          • greywarshark

            Utopian – unhelpful. Maori would prefer pakeha to learn and understand and not to pretend that they are the master or mistress of tikanga. You are talking PC – a dangerous language when it is a default expression.

            • left_forward

              I didn’t say anything about being master / mistress of the universe?!
              How is learning our first language, te reo tuatahi o te tangata whenua o Aotearoa, being utopian, unhelpful and PC, when a pakeha makes an effort to understand?

        • veutoviper

          From your @3:

          “She ought to admit that the Treaty of Waitangi is flawed due to mistranslation, and explain precisely in detail the differences between the two versions. She then ought to advise Sir Geoffrey Palmer that he is wrong to suggest that it is a suitable basis for a new constitution for Aotearoa, because erecting any democratic structure on a racial fault-line is not sensible.

          and from your 3.1.1 above:

          “Now, in respect of the incompatibility between the two versions of the Treaty that I identified here yesterday, a political framing is required. Like a bridge across the chasm. Who better than the PM to provide that?”

          Dennis, masses has been written, discussed, and debated for years over the differences between the two versions of the Treaty.

          Your suggestion that the PM should just admit that the Treaty is flawed due to misinterpretation, explain the differences in detail, and tell Palmer that he is wrong to suggest that it is a suitable basis for a new constitution has me shaking my head in disbelief that you think it is that simple.

          FGS, Palmer is one of the most knowledgeable constitutional lawyers in the country and quite frankly, I would take what he says re the Treaty/Te Tiriti and a constitution over what you say or Ardern says, any day of the week.

          And I take it that you have not listened to and taken in what Ardern actually spoke about in her speech at Waitangi on Tuesday – because her speech spoke exactly about building the bridge between our two houses, Maori and Pakeha.

          Here is the transcript


          And a video


          or here


          I suggest, politely and respectfully, that tikanga and the Treaty etc are not your strong points, Dennis, and I support left_forward in their suggestions to you here.

          • Dennis Frank

            Folks are bogged down in misunderstanding, due to the ongoing failure to acknowledge the missing principle that is included in article two of the Maori version but not in article two of the English version.

            I believe honesty about this ought to prevail. Palmer’s continuing obfuscation makes him seem part of the problem. We cannot credibly proceed to a new constitution on such a flawed basis. Hence the necessity of reframing the Treaty: leave the historical flaw behind, make progress via a contemporary integral frame, including all relevant principles, that is suitable for the future.

            I see no reason why the PM ought to be shackled by any leftist denial syndrome. I believe she’s capable of speaking for all, and ought to do so!

            • veutoviper

              I am by no means an expert in this area, but from most of what I have read from those who are more expert, this flaw is accepted and the Maori version of Te Tiriti is now considered the dominant version for all intents and purposes.

              • Dennis Frank

                I have no problem with that personally. From the perspective of all however, it’s a totally different story. Firstly, the historical truth needs to be told. Not only Palmer must admit it, everyone must.

                Secondly, any perception of a breach of historical contract must be ditched. A contract is an agreement to terms, and a commitment to the future therefrom. When you have two versions of the contract, and a principle of one is not included in the other, the contract can only be considered credible in respect of the points included in both.

                Use of the Maori version is problematic inasmuch as Hobson trusted Henry Williams to do the translation accurately. The missionary failed. How can the Crown be bound by a foreign-language document that no crown agents could read in 1840? The notion is a sick joke. The even-more ridiculous notion that people almost two centuries later ought to be bound by it is even sicker…

                • solkta

                  Dennis if you spent some time to actually study up on the issue rather than wasting time here you would know the relevant arguments from contract law and international law. The British drafted both versions. They were offering the treaty. The onus was on them to ensure the version had identical meaning.

                  If you are arguing that the Treaty is null and void then you are up Shit Creek as you then rely on the grace of Maori to stay in this country and/or own land here. If the government were to come to this conclusion then the only thing left for them would be to vacate Parliament and hand power to Iwi representatives.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Misinterpret what I wrote however you like. Your opinion in regard to the mistranslation of the missionary seems irrelevant. I was commenting on what actually happened, as proven by the difference he created. The political consequences are the point, not speculation.

                    • solkta

                      I’m not giving an opinion about a minister i’m telling you what the fucking law is.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      No, you made a general statement about “relevant arguments from contract law and international law.” You did not actually cite any clauses in any laws to prove their relevance.

                      You were trying to imply that only lawyers can have a valid opinion about the political relevance of the treaty, seems to me. That’s not a stance that is likely to impress any political activist!

                    • solkta

                      I can’t be bothered finding you a link because i know you are lazy and don’t research stuff and just come here and talk twaddle instead.

                      We have the rule of law here. Without that we don’t really have anything at all. Most political activists understand the constitutional issues in regard the Treaty.

                • Gabby

                  It does seem like bad praxis franxie. They really should’ve thought of that.

        • Ed1

          I had thought that the “accepted” position was that in the event of incompatibility, it is the Maori version that takes precedence – which makes it a task more related to education of non-Maori than anything else. Is that correct?

          • Dennis Frank

            That’s the current politically-correct position, which I have no problem accepting as a basis for settlement of Treaty grievances. Not so in regard to the future, once that process is complete. Nor in regard to the constitution.

            • marty mars

              It is called the Contra proferentem rule not ‘the current politically correct position’ as you guesstimated

              • Dennis Frank

                “Contra proferentem, also known as “interpretation against the draftsman”, is a doctrine of contractual interpretation providing that, where a promise, agreement or term is ambiguous, the preferred meaning should be the one that works against the interests of the party who provided the wording.”

                I like the balancing effect of that. Seems likely to negate the intended bias of the designer, to produce a fairer deal. Thanks for that info!

    • solkta 3.2

      She ought to admit that the Treaty of Waitangi is flawed due to mistranslation

      As part of the Greens/Labour Confidence And Supply Agreement Labour agrees to:

      17. Honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the country’s founding document.


      “Te Tiriti o Waitangi” is the Maori version. This is a big but often missed win for the Greens. As i understand it, this is the first time Labour has acknowledged Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the definitive version.

      The Green Party of course has formally acknowledged the Maori text since adding the preamble to their charter around about 2000:

      The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand accepts Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand; recognises Māori as Tangata Whenua in Aotearoa New Zealand; and commits to the following four Principles:


  4. Kat 4

    She perhaps ought to include a few hard hitting words on the fourth estate and how its role in keeping New Zealanders accurately informed is being subjugated by the publishing in our major daily news mindless drivel opinion such as the diatribe today from Hosking and Soper in the Herald.

    • Rapunzel 4.1

      Either that or ignore them more than they do, not giving them the time of day is what they deserve – not particularly realistic I know but it would be somewhat satisfying. I recall they were fairly circumspect when the media was left out of it to a degree when the coalition was being formed, that is the last time I remember actual reporting being kept to the facts.

      • Kat 4.1.1

        Unfortunately ignoring them, from afar, won’t deny them the light of day. They need to somehow be vigorously challenged as it is only going to ramp up during 2019 before exploding like a puss ball in election year.

        • Anne

          I agree with Kat. Observation over many years tells me that ignoring them does not work. Fake or distorted news reports/opinions have been around for decades, and to not respond when commentators and reporters use them is to run the risk of the readers starting to believe them. It works, which is why they continue to do it.

          National’s strategy for Jacinda Ardern is to distort her every action/word, and present her as a lazy, ill informed, non-caring person who is out of her depth. It is of course the antithesis of the truth. But if it continues for long enough without purposeful challenge, people will start to believe it.

          • cathy

            fully agree.

            we know what they print is often drivel and is frequently biased. we know that. but many in the general population accept what they read without thinking too much about it and each of those has a vote.

            often perceptions are created just from headlines.

            perceptions are more important than facts when it comes to elections. the labour party knows the media are putting out this picture from the nats, as well as the natural bias of media commentators and i’m disturbed not to see it countered by Labour much better than it is or appears to be.

          • Kat

            Yes Anne and the Herald as the conceived, baptised and confirmed mouthpiece of the National party is attempting to turn a silk purse into a sows ear. Whereas they worked hard and diligently to try and make a sows ear look like a silk purse with Bill English. Before him it was an exercise in what you can do with tripe.

    • cathy 4.2

      everything hosking says is a diatribe. i refuse to read any of it.

    • Jimmy 4.3

      Soper has been a leftie since forever?

  5. Alan 5

    sensible, achievable targets in all key areas of policy, the electorate hates uncertainty.

    • left_forward 5.1

      And targets will bring certainty?

    • alwyn 5.2

      “targets in all key areas of policy”?
      Wash your mouth out. All targets for periods of less than 10 years into the future have been scrapped.
      Targets simply get interpreted as being what the Government should be judged by. They merely demonstrate how useless this lot is and that is not fair to the Coalition of Losers.

      • Red Blooded One 5.2.1

        Your continued use of the term CoL or Coalition of Losers shows the true nasty side of the right wingers, you fit perfectly with the likes of Sarah Dowie and her bullying. I personally object to anyone calling others losers, John Banks was a classic example of that nastiness as well. Your need to belittle people calling them losers shows your own insecurity and pettiness. (to the moderators : it may not be my place to ask, but I respectfully suggest that consideration be given to banning anyone who willfully uses that derogatory term, it doesn’t add to debate)

        • AB

          RBO – it’s just that alwyn is emotionally immature and is taking somewhat longer than average to work through the stages of grief. He’s still at the anger/lashing out stage. Be kind to the afflicted.

          • Red Blooded One

            thanks AB, you are right of course I should try and be kinder to the feeble minded but some days I am less forgiving. I see Michelle Boag the pillar of the National Party and exemplar of good grace and kindness even used the term on National television a while back and no one pushed back. Some days it just grinds my gears.

          • greywarshark

            Thinking of immature people on the blog and anger/lashing out. Made me think of flashing. And that thought seemed appropriate as a description of the trolls we have here, whipping away the cloak of apparent maturity, intelligence and good judgment to show the grisly, pathetic reality lurking underneath for some private amusement they get. Hey, looky here, look at me and be amazed/surprised/unsettled/shocked etc. Basically they are attention-seekers, empty-head and time fillers.

        • te reo putake

          Good point, RB1. I misread alwyn’s comment and assumed “coalition of losers” referred to the various factions in the National party.

          I’m not sure that it really crosses the line in terms of abuse, particularly as it’s so logically flawed. After all, no party has won an MMP election outright, so anybody using the term to refer to a governing coalition is simply exposing their own ignorance.

          However, other mods may not be as charitable as me, so perhaps Alwyn should refrain from using it again, just in case.

          • Red Blooded One

            Thanks trp. I guess I will be pilloried for being too PC, but so be it. Regards.

        • Gabby

          Wally has to keep using it until he gets orders to the contrary.

  6. Tony Veitch [not etc.] 6

    What I would like to hear in Jacinda’s speech – but I’m sure as hell not holding my breath!

    Placing this country on a war-footing regarding climate change:

    Such as –

    An immediate reduction of immigration to zero.

    An immediate banning of all trucks over a certain size and progressive reduction in truck size and transfer of all goods to rail.

    Free public transport in all New Zealand cities and towns and restrictions imposed on private car transport.

    An immediate ban of all new dairy and industrial farming and a time-line for movement to totally sustainable farming.

    Restrictions placed on domestic air travel and later international air travel.

    A hyped-up tree planting programme.

    Socially –

    A 70% tax on all incomes over, say $200,000 – which is more than enough to live comfortably on!

    A rigid tightening of all tax loop-holes so the uber rich can’t avoid contributing to the society they live in – that includes foreign corporates.

    Institution of a UBI and elimination of WINZ and other agencies designed to protect the rich.

    That’s enough to start with – well, I can dream, can’t I? The trouble is, I may have very little time left (as little as 36 months) to dream!

    • greywarshark 6.1

      Tony V – not
      Keep us fizzing with your ideas won’t you and tell us how things are with you.

      • Tony Veitch [not etc.] 6.1.1

        Thanks gws.

        I’ve decided to only comment on climate change on the Standard – all other topics are just peripheral distractions (however important they may be at the moment.)

        That is, unless I can’t help my self and some rwnj talks a load of rubbish (which is more than likely!)

        • greywarshark

          Very wise. Have you had a look at the romping ride on the post called – like – should we teach children The Treaty of Waitangi?

    • Bewildred 6.2

      Ed lives on in Vietchy

  7. greywarshark 7

    I am concerned about helping lower income people, no income people, no hope people being helped so they don’t get regarded as ‘hopeless’ people.

    A comment from police spokesperson heard on Radio nz this morning about the
    lack of empathy of young criminals and how they have come from families with no love etc. So its all the families fault; well certainly the fault is partly the family’s behaviour, upbringing, bad role modelling etc.

    Then there is the input of society which has had a swingeing effect on some families, the cold-blooded abandoning of domestic enterprise in society with its jobs at livable wages in favour of importing from other countries with virtual enslaved labour so we can have lots of cheap stuff that we throw our in huge piles.

    And the role model for the families of watching how police behave; who prey on their naughty teenagers bereft of the toys of the better off. They go joy-riding and get chased to their deaths by police, so exciting just like the cop reality shows on tv; great empathy there from the police. Perhaps the two sides should talk and have joint empathy and understanding workshops and call a truce on bad behaviour.

    I would like a ‘bootstraps’ minister who isn’t Shane Jones, who is practical and caring but firm – someone like Celia Lashlie and not po-faced like Family First or other middle-class patronisers and preachers. Ask people what would help them, and then help them to get it. Offer firm help, and opportunities to return later and have another go if they screw up, they just have to go to the back of the queue.

    I would like people to be listened to and have sides sorted out in arguments. Who is speaking from what sector – say in euthanasia – are they from conservative religious, conservative medical, conservative economic regarding loss of business etc, citizens with anecdotes, citizens with ideals, citizens being pragmatic, citizens who are informed and have drawn up practical steps that would guide the legal framework.

    Same with limiting farming to what is appropriate and healthy for the country and the industries. Look at sectors – what possibilities for sheep – wool use, meat use.
    Dairy and irrigation – can these be detached asap. Can rights to irrigation, often given for 35 years, be bought back please. Can all water usage for bottles for domestic and for export be stopped, and businesses be bought out after limitations put on their volumes, that will make the price of the business less.

    Housing – how can this be tackled bottom up. Work supervised under building apprenticeships starting with children from steady low income families who have basic education skills. To be run by master builders who are honest and good tradesmen, not flash harries. Houses built by the state and bought on lease basis so they remain in state ownership. Earning to buy your own house has been ruined as a concept by excessive immigration and overblown supply factors. But buying into a lease of State housing would give security of housing. Two and three level housing with good sound insulation, fire separation would be the norm, separate garden and clothesline areas, off street parking, built to future climate and good environmental standards.

    Land zoning be introduced again. It causes problems, so does everything.

    Local government be limited as to spending again – no general competence but a sensible allowance and for dearer projects a Local-Central alliance would be
    formed to provide reasonable infrastructure.

    Roading – local areas would have more say about their roads, and the national transport would have to listen. Speed limits could be higher in places, and lower in many places. Courtesy on the roads rather than relying on punitive, ‘We’re all equal on the road, mate’ attitude promoted. Slowing down before entering roundabouts would be an important courtesy gesture. People would get prizes for being noticed as good drivers. We are said to be hell on the roads, so let’s work on being friendly and co-operative as.

    Luckily for all the second half has vanished into the bowels of the system. But it was all about parents being treated better and getting good social and individual outcomes. But I shouldn’t bother – everyone hates single parent beneficiaries and so asking for something different isn’t as possible as flying to the moon.

  8. alwyn 8

    An explanation to the Public, and preferably an apology, for the fact that the unemployment rate, and the underutilisation rate are rising and that the employment rate and the Labour force participation rate are declining.
    What is the CoL going to do about it? If they don’t know what to do admit it instead of simply waffling as is her normal practice.
    The Public are entitled to the truth for a change.

  9. Stuart Munro 9

    I’d quite like to see a commitment to treat neoliberalisism they way we treat convolvulus – dig it out, and poison the roots.

  10. Bewildered 10

    I would like hyperbole and virtue signalling on reducing poverdy, a brief overview of the articles of the treaty, a definition of GDP and lots of “let me be clear” but anything but in practice, lots of smiles but the odd stern frown wrapped up with let’s do this but not sure what and in 10 years That should about do it😊

  11. Drowsy M. Kram 11

    Reducing “poverdy” seems a worthy goal, but (clearly) each to their own.


    • Bewilderd 11.1

      Wake up Drowsey I am using Jacinda pronunciation of the word Poverty not the queens England Often quoted by rwnj taking the p of Jacinda as do the left to Siomon dictation (note also taking p with the use of England vs English if that escapes you as well) 😊

  12. ken 12

    Things could be a lot worse……..Bill English could be PM.

  13. patricia bremner 13

    In the PM’s speech a broad brush overview of intentions 2019.
    The gritty details will be confirmed in the wellness budget.
    The outstanding current problems of Carbon, Mico plasma bovis, climate change impacts, home and abroad, inequality, the rule of law, and scientific basis for decisions, AI and the related problems, Employment Law, Developing the Regions, Race Relations, World Affairs. Good Luck.

  14. greywarshark 14

    Something about giving thought to gender anxieties and legalities (as well as euthanasia rationalities).

    This was interesting and informative about gender and changing birth certificates.
    (Can we ever get it settled so everyone can have a place to be in that’s separate from that other gender just for a while, apart from going into a one-sex monastery?)

  15. greywarshark 15

    Just thought of something else to ask PM Ardern. Drones to be licensed and able to be shot out of the sky if they are flown outside designated areas. They are handy useful things like quad bikes. Farmers and workers kill themselves and possibly their children, but drones are a public nuisance when used carelessly or maliciously.

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