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What the Prime Minister Actually Said – Kindness yes kindness

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, September 29th, 2018 - 50 comments
Categories: International, jacinda ardern, United Nations - Tags:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Here is the full text of her speech.

E nga mana nui o nga whenua o te ao

Tena koutou katoa

Nei ra te reo mihi maioha o Aotearoa

Tena tatau i nga kaupapa korero

Ka arahina e tatau

Me te ngakau pono

Me te kotahitanga o te tangata

Madam President,

Mr Secretary-General,

Friends in the global community.

My opening remarks were in Te Reo Māori, the language of the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand. As is tradition, I acknowledged those who are here, why we are here, and the importance of our work.

It seems a fitting place to start.

I’m struck as a leader attending my first United Nations General Assembly by the power and potential that resides here.

But in New Zealand, we have always been acutely aware of that.

We are a remote nation at the bottom of the South Pacific. Our nearest neighbours take 3 hours to reach by plane, and anywhere that takes less than 12 hours is considered close. I have no doubt though, that our geographic isolation has contributed to our values.

We are a self-deprecating people. We’re not ones for status. We’ll celebrate the local person who volunteers at their sports club as much as we will the successful entrepreneur. Our empathy and strong sense of justice is matched only by our pragmatism. We are, after all, a country made up of two main islands – one simply named North and the other, South.

For all of that, our isolation has not made us insular.

In fact, our engagement with the world has helped shape who we are.

I am a child of the 80’s. A period in New Zealand’s history where we didn’t just observe international events, we challenged them. Whether it was apartheid in South Africa, or nuclear testing in the Pacific, I grew up learning about my country and who we were, by the way that we reacted to international events. Whether it was taking to the streets or changing our laws, we have seen ourselves as members of a community, and one that we have a duty to use our voice within.

I am an incredibly proud New Zealander, but much of that pride has come from being a strong and active member of our international community, not in spite of it.

And at the heart of that international community, has been this place.

Emerging from a catastrophic war, we have collectively established through convention, charters and rules a set of international norms and human rights. All of these are an acknowledgement that we are not isolated, governments do have obligations to their people and each other, and that our actions have a global effect.

In 1945, New Zealand Prime Minister Peter Fraser said that the UN Charter offered perhaps a last opportunity to work in unison to realise the hope in the hearts of all of us, for a peace that would be real, lasting, and worthy of human dignity.

But none of these founding principles should be consigned to the history books. In fact, given the challenges we face today, and how truly global they are in their nature and impact, the need for collective action and multilateralism has never been clearer.

And yet, for all of that, the debate and dialogue we hear globally is not centred on the relevance and importance of our international institutions. Instead, we find ourselves having to defend their very existence.

That surely leaves us all with the question, how did we get here, and how do we get out?

If anything unites us politically in this place right now it is this – globalisation has had a massive impact on our nations and the people we serve.

While that impact has been positive for many, for others it has not. The transitions our economies have made have often been jarring, and the consequences harsh. And so amongst unprecedented global economic growth, we have still seen a growing sense of isolation, dislocation, and a sense of insecurity and the erosion of hope.

As politicians and governments, we all have choices in how we respond to these challenges.

We can use the environment to blame nameless, faceless ‘other’, to feed the sense of insecurity, to retreat into greater levels of isolationism. Or we can acknowledge the problems we have and seek to fix them.

Generational change

In New Zealand, going it alone is not an option.

Aside from our history, we are also a trading nation. And proudly so. But even without those founding principles, there are not just questions of nationhood to consider. There are generational demands upon us too.

It should hardly come as a surprise that we have seen a global trend of young people showing dissatisfaction with our political systems, and calling on us to do things differently – why wouldn’t they when they themselves have had to adapt so rapidly to a changing world.

Within a few short decades we now have a generation who will grow up more connected than ever before. Digital transformation will determine whether the jobs they are training for will even exist in two decades. In education or the job market, they won’t just compete with their neighbour, but their neighbouring country.

This generation is a borderless one – at least in a virtual sense. One that increasingly see themselves as global citizens. And as their reality changes, they expect ours to as well – that we’ll see and understand our collective impact, and that we’ll change the way we use our power.

And if we’re looking for an example of where the next generation is calling on us to make that change, we need look no further than climate change.

Global challenges

Two weeks ago, Pacific Island leaders gathered together at the Pacific Islands Forum.

It was at this meeting, on the small island nation of Nauru, that climate change was declared the single biggest threat to the security of the Pacific. Please, just think about this for a moment.

Of all of the challenges we debate and discuss, rising sea levels present the single biggest threat to our region.

For those who live in the South Pacific, the impacts of climate change are not academic, or even arguable. They are watching the sea levels rise, the extreme weather events increase, and the impact on their water supply and food crops. We can talk all we like about the science and what it means, what temperature rises we need to limit in order to survive, but there is a grinding reality in hearing someone from a Pacific island talk about where the sea was when they were a child, and potential loss of their entire village as an adult.

Our action in the wake of this global challenge remains optional. But the impact of inaction does not. Nations like Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, or Kiribati – small countries who’ve contributed the least to global climate change – are and will suffer the full force of a warming planet.

If my Pacific neighbours do not have the option of opting out of the effects of climate change, why should we be able to opt out of taking action to stop it?

Any disintegration of multilateralism – any undermining of climate related targets and agreements – aren’t interesting footnotes in geopolitical history. They are catastrophic.

In New Zealand we are determined to play our part. We will not issue any further offshore oil and gas exploration permits. We have set a goal of 100% renewable energy generation by

2035, established a green infrastructure fund to encourage innovation, and rolled out an initiative to plant one billion trees over the next 10 years.

These plans are unashamedly ambitious. The threat climate change poses demands it.

But we only represent less than 0.2% of global emissions.

That’s why, as a global community, not since the inception of the United Nations has there been a greater example of the importance of collective action and multilateralism, than climate change. It should be a rallying cry to all of us.

And yet there is a hesitance we can ill afford. A calculation of personal cost, of self-interest. But this is not the only challenge where domestic self-interest is the first response, and where an international or collective approach has been diluted at best, or rejected at worst.

Rebuilding multilateralism

But it would be both unfair and naive to argue that retreating to our own borders and interests has meant turning our backs on a perfect system. The international institutions we have committed ourselves to have not been perfect.

But they can be fixed.

And that is why the challenge I wish to issue today is this – together, we must rebuild and recommit to multilateralism.

We must redouble our efforts to work as a global community.

We must rediscover our shared belief in the value, rather than the harm, of connectedness.

We must demonstrate that collective international action not only works, but that it is in all of our best interests.

We must show the next generation that we are listening, and that we have heard them.

Connectedness

But if we’re truly going to take on a reform agenda, we need to acknowledge the failings that led us to this cross road.

International trade for instance, has helped bring millions of people out of poverty around the world. But some have felt their standard of living slide. In New Zealand, we ourselves have seen the hesitancy around trade agreements amongst our own population.

The correct response to this is not to repeat mistakes of the past and be seduced by the false promises of protectionism. Rather, we must all work to ensure that the benefits of trade are distributed fairly across our societies.

We can’t rely on international institutions to do this, in the same way as we cannot blame them if they haven’t delivered these benefits. It is incumbent on us to build productive, sustainable, inclusive economies, and demonstrate to our peoples that when done right, international economic integration can make us all better off.

And if we want to ensure anyone is better off, surely it should be the most vulnerable.

In New Zealand we have set ourselves an ambitious goal. We want to be the best place in the world to be a child. It’s hardly the stuff of hard and fast measures – after all, how do you measure play, a feeling of security, happiness?

But we can measure material deprivation, and we can measure poverty, and so we will. And not only that, we are making it law that we report on those numbers every single year alongside our budgets. What better way to hold ourselves to account, and what better group to do that for than children.

But if we are focused on nurturing that next generation, we have to equally worry about what it is we are handing down to them too – including our environment.

In the Maori language there is a word that captures the importance of that role – Kaitiakitanga. It means guardianship. The idea that we have been entrusted with our environment, and we have a duty of care. For us, that has meant taking action to address degradation, like setting standards to make our rivers swimmable, reducing waste and phasing out single-use plastic bags, right through to eradicating predators and protecting our biodiversity.

The race to grow our economies and increase wealth makes us all the poorer if it comes at the cost of our environment. In New Zealand, we are determined to prove that it doesn’t have to be this way.

But these are all actions and initiatives that we can take domestically that ease the blame and pressure on our international institutions. That doesn’t mean they don’t need fixing.

Reforming the UN

As the heart of the multilateral system, the United Nations must lead the way.

We strongly support the Secretary-General’s reform efforts to make the UN more responsive and effective, modernised so that it is capable of dealing with today’s challenges. We encourage him to be ambitious. And we stand with him in that ambition.

But ultimately it is up to us – the Member States – to drive change at the UN.

This includes reforming the Security Council. If we want the Council to fulfil its purpose of maintaining international peace and security, its practices need to be updated so it is not hamstrung by the use of the veto.

New thinking will also be needed if we are to achieve the vision encapsulated in the Sustainable Development Goals. In New Zealand, we have sought to embed the principles behind the SDGs in a new living standards framework that is guiding policy making, and the management of our resources. And we remain committed to supporting the roll out of the SDGs alongside international partners through a significant increase in our Official Development Assistance budget.

Universal Values

But revitalising our international rules-based system isn’t just about the mechanics of how we work together. It also means renewing our commitment to our values.

The UN Charter recalls that the Organisation was formed to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which through two World Wars had brought untold sorrow to

humanity. If we forget this history and the principles which drove the creation of the UN we will be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.

In an increasingly uncertain world it is more important than ever that we remember the core values on which the UN was built.

That all people are equal.

That everyone is entitled to have their dignity and human rights respected.

That we must strive to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.

And we must consistently hold ourselves to account on each.

Amongst renewing this commitment though, we have to acknowledge where accountability must continue – and that is especially the case when it comes to equality.

So many gains have been made, each worthy of celebration. In New Zealand we have just marked the 125th year since women were granted the right to vote. We were the first in the world to do so. As a girl I never ever grew up believing that my gender would stand in the way of me achieving whatever I wanted to in life. I am, after all, not the first, but the third female Prime Minister of New Zealand.

But for all of that, we still have a gender pay gap, an over representation of women in low paid work, and domestic violence. And we are not alone.

It seems surprising that in this modern age we have to recommit ourselves to gender equality, but we do. And I for one will never celebrate the gains we have made for women domestically, while internationally other women and girls experience a lack of the most basic of opportunity and dignity.

Me Too must become We Too.

We are all in this together.

Conclusion

I accept that the list of demands on all of us is long. Be it domestic, or international, we are operating in challenging times. We face what we call in New Zealand ‘wicked problems’. Ones that are intertwined and interrelated.

Perhaps then it is time to step back from the chaos and ask what we want. It is in that space that we’ll find simplicity. The simplicity of peace, of prosperity, of fairness. If I could distil it down into one concept that we are pursuing in New Zealand it is simple and it is this. Kindness.

In the face of isolationism, protectionism, racism – the simple concept of looking outwardly and beyond ourselves, of kindness and collectivism, might just be as good a starting point as any. So let’s start here with the institutions that have served us well in times of need, and will do so again.

In the meantime, I can assure all of you, New Zealand remains committed to continue to do our part to building and sustaining international peace and security. To promoting and defending an open, inclusive, and rules-based international order based on universal values.

To being pragmatic, empathetic, strong and kind.

The next generation after all, deserves no less.

Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa.

50 comments on “What the Prime Minister Actually Said – Kindness yes kindness”

  1. I’ve never heard of anyone suggesting Globalization as a means, let alone a good way, of delivering ‘kindness‘ to the masses.
    My impression is Globalization feeds off exploitation of resources and workers and the fears and desires of the middle classes, and the questionable sleight of hand that allows us to call everyone middle class, and most importantly the ability of signing the whole world up to massive debt, from individual Nations down to the humble street cleaners and rice farmers.

    Since 2008, global debt has soared from $142tn to $250tn, which is three times the combined income of every nation. Unctad said that this situation was worse than expected after global incomes failed to keep pace with rising debt levels.

    The report found that the ratio of global debt to GDP is one third higher than in 2008 before the crash.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/26/corporations-behind-increase-in-developing-world-debt-report

    In the study, the researchers developed a survey based on the hypothesis that a number of factors – including fewer landowners, increased control of scientific management, and increased integration of local and global markets impacting the prices of agricultural goods – has resulted in stress among Thai rural workers.

    https://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-08-exploring-link-globalisation-stress.html

    • Incognito 1.1

      I’ve never heard of anyone suggesting Globalization as a means, let alone a good way, of delivering ‘kindness‘ to the masses.

      We come in peace.

  2. Bill 2

    So Liberalism, after promoting Trudeau as the poster boy for “compassionate liberal capitalism” , and after promoting Macron as the poster boy for “compassionate liberal capitalism” is now getting in behind Ardern as the poster girl…

    She’s far better in terms of branding than either of the other two – who in quick order fell foul of the public’s perception of them as….well, mere poster boys for a despised political ideology.

    I wonder how long before people peer behind the facade this time? Given NZ’s isolation, the media coverage in the rest of the world is probably that much easier to spin…

    • greywarshark 2.1

      I can understand you being cynical Bill but let’s not flatten the message and stamp on it, now that it has been brought out into the open air, let the sunlight keep falling on it and develop a kindness measure. One for New Zealand alone, one for the world, and let’s have a report of daily movement on kindness, just as we listen to movements in our financial statements on radio and other media which give stockmarket news and the latest currency moves and exchange rates.

      Build on every positive thing, don’t spoil them by doubts or wise cynicism thinking of past happenings. Even if it is one step forward and half back, it still is going in the right direction, it keeps hopes up, and enables us to keep going and not be despairing.

      • Adrian Thornton 2.1.1

        Wrapping an existing brutal and failing economic ideology in some sort of fluffy cloud of bullshit political speak only means more of the same, reminds me of Helen Clark, just another street corner pusher of neoliberalism.

        There are no steps forward that I have seen or heard, at best a few sidewise steps…

      • Ant 2.1.2

        “…..and let’s have a report of daily movement on kindness, just as we listen to movements in our financial statements on radio and other media”. Agreed, the “good sorts” and other broadcasts of kind action under increasing publicity will empower the kindness currently articulated by young idealists to gain momentum. We may look to a new world religion having little to do with worship but based on actioning the highest values lying at the core of our better selves. ‘Religion’ religare: to bind back binds us back to that which is deepest in ourselves which in turn evokes the recognition that that deep place is common to all of us. “Do unto others” was not a commandment to please God but an invitation to recognise humanity as one. Asked what his religion was the Dalai Lama replied “loving kindness.” Aligned with multilateralism, much emphasized by Ardern, we may look forward to restorative ventures promoting the highest interests of the planet and its life-forms. Ego has another ‘identity’ now emerging as the myriad folk expressing fulfilment within organisations advancing voluntary help to the needy. In turn the widespread recognition that our planet is needy will empower mindful action in line with the needs of the whole.

      • Bill 2.1.3

        I can understand you being cynical Bill …

        I wonder what I might say that would help you understand that I was making a reasonable observation; wasn’t being cynical…

        In the video link posted below, a Labour MP identifies different centres of power , challenges them and outlines policies to redress systemic imbalances and inequities. That’s a kind thing to do.

        Talking of kindness while doing and saying nothing about the train rattling on down the tracks to wherever….that’s not kind.

        And again. That’s not a cynical observation or set of observations.

  3. Adrian Thornton 3

    Calling bullshit on Ardern’s “kind” globalist ideology spin, sounds and feels a lot like flogging a dead horse.
    If you want to remind yourself what a actual real progressive Labour leader sounds like, and one who has policies that match all the talk, then listen to this…. and then listen to the John McDonnell Speech to Labour Conference, and then relisten to Ardern for some perspective on how much hollow bullshit gets spun right into your face.

  4. AB 4

    It’s a big task to reconcile kindness with a dominant ideology that promotes private gain by any legal means available, and hang the consequences. (And if it’s not legal, then we have money and influence with elected representatives, nod, wink.)
    One of these is going to lose, and looking at the forces marshalled on each side, it will be kindness that loses.
    Much as I admire Jacinda’s values and clarity as a communicator, we need structural solutions that are going to annoy a hell of a lot of powerful people.

    • Incognito 4.1

      Fair comment. The PM is as much leading the way as riding the wave or groundswell of changing sentiment. How or when this leads to tangible changes is an open-ended question.

      • patricia bremner 4.1.1

        Incognito, 4.1 Well said. Jacinda is genuine in her call. Tangible change takes time. It has to overcome prejudice and disbelief!! It is not weak, it is needed.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      +111

    • Kat 4.3

      “One of these is going to lose, and looking at the forces marshaled on each side, it will be kindness that loses.”

      Or that often quoted biblical pronouncement “and the meek shall inherit the earth” may just come out to play. Perhaps Jacinda Ardern needs to find that elusive word that means both kindness and power combined.

  5. At least she is stating an ideal. Not telling us we should be cheap labour, and aspirational!!

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Aside from our history, we are also a trading nation. And proudly so.

    I’m pretty sure that the majority of people don’t actually know what that means, take no pride in it and are often worse off because of it.

    And we most definitely shouldn’t be excluding history from it because for the first 100+ years we spent a hell of a lot of time actually developing our economy so that we didn’t need trade. We built trains here so that we had reliable transport. We had the DSIR for research into knowledge to improve and further develop our economy. We understood that trade removed good jobs and wealth because the economy is a zero-sum game. Increasing exports here increases imports elsewhere and destroys jobs in that elsewhere and vice versa. It’s why we had tariffs.

    International trade for instance, has helped bring millions of people out of poverty around the world. But some have felt their standard of living slide. In New Zealand, we ourselves have seen the hesitancy around trade agreements amongst our own population.

    Can’t say that that first statement is true and FTAs have been increasing the poverty in this country. The majority of people are seeing their living standards slide or stay the same. More and more are seeing them slide.

    The economy, the real one and not the delusional one that economists and politicians follow, is always a zero-sum game. That’s a simple truth about physicality.

    We can’t rely on international institutions to do this, in the same way as we cannot blame them if they haven’t delivered these benefits. It is incumbent on us to build productive, sustainable, inclusive economies, and demonstrate to our peoples that when done right, international economic integration can make us all better off.

    Define better off because I can assure you it’s not having rich people with even more unearned gains as has been happening. The Classical Economists all warned us of rentier capitalism and the damage that it does to society but all we hear today is just how great rentier capitalism is. People owning multiple houses so that they can get richer bludging off of others. Multimillionaires making million dollar ‘investments’ where they do nothing but walk away with multiple millions of dollars that costs the country. These thefts are celebrated rather ridiculed and illegal.

    • SPC 6.1

      In the 1990’s a nation experienced the privatisation of their state asset wealth (the greatest in history), and then the quickest emergence of rentier class in history occured. So that within one hundred years a landed estate aristocracy were replaced with capitalist oligarchs (via the intermediary of a communist state).

      From a distance we can see how tragic all this is, but only a few note it also happened to us (our landed gentry emerged with the handing over of leased land and is symbolised by “Massey’s Cossacks”). Of course our period between then and now was the first to third Labour governments.

      The 4th Labour government and now the 5th are an effort at damage limitation. For the last and then next National government it is about securing and bedding in permanent victory for a classist order of rule, and reducing the means and measures available for resistance.

  7. Kat 7

    My take from Jacinda Ardern’s speech is that Multilateralism is one of the important tools we have to transform globalisation into prosperity. The PM is not promoting market integration on a global scale as such and refers in her speech to globilisation as a cause of inequalities and therefore a need for rebuilding multilateralism as a fix. The PM is aware that international institutions can’t be responsible to fix unfair distribution of the benefits of international trade and puts forward the challenge to first develop fully inclusive societies within countries. The PM in her speech calls for increased cooperation between countries through reformed international institutions such as the UN to confront major issues of the times such as climate change, poverty, human rights and world peace.

    It’s either that or the building of more thicker and higher border walls.

    • Chris T 7.1

      That is a lot to take out of what was basically just a load of slogans and fluff.

      I’d have a lot more time for it, if she actually sorted her issues at home

    • Jilly Bee 7.2

      Thank you Kat – I couldn’t have put it better, in fact, I was struggling to find words to how exactly I feel about the visit to the UN. Sure it’s aspirational as John Key was so keen on uttering, but we all took a step back and paused a little and took stock of the situation, we could at least start to make N Z a far better place for all of us, not just the ultra well off. I was having a quick look at Twitter this morning and a particular Aussie ex-rugby player who is just a bit fond of what’s happening on this side of the ditch was positive about Jacinda’s time in the Big Apple and a hell of a lot of his followers were suggesting that Oz becomes N Z’s West Island – all in jest of course but I think what has happened over the last week is being heard over there. I have a family member meeting the PM next week – he’s rubbed noses with a lot of pollies over the years and will be very interested in his take on her.

    • miravox 7.3

      Good points, Kat

      My view is that it was a skilful speech.

      Given the arena she pitched it well – aspirational, internationalist, setting out the New Zealand government’s position, reminding people of values we admire (and the international community thinks we have) and stressing another value – kindness.

      Sure there’s a lot to work on at home, and sure there’s a lot of assumptions about how much we can do, that the values she stated are real, and how we’re going to change the globalisation pattern of winners and losers. But it was right for a UN speech and its reception internationally pretty well confirms that.

      She’s done fabulously well on this trip. Back to the dirty business of doing domestic politics rather than selling the country to an audience willing to listen. I wish her well. We need this government to succeed and feel it can inch forward into more socially-democratic ideals.

    • Bill 7.4

      The inequity is systemic. Talk of being nice is vacuous nonsense that pointedly ignores the systemic nature of the shit that’s around us. Ardern is being positioned as the replacement for Trudeau and Macron – the poster girl and apologist for liberal dogma.

      Interesting that your comment embraces that old TINA chestnut….

      • Kat 7.4.1

        The alternative that Jacinda Ardern espouses is real and more about the generating of fresh public conversations that have the potential to effect long-lasting, systemic change than impossible immediate radical revolution. Put her down and call her a poster girl if you must however time will be the great decider of which she shows no fear of being judged.

        • Bill 7.4.1.1

          John McDonnell (speech links above) isn’t proposing any “impossible immediate radical revolution”. But what he’s outlining will be transformational at the structural level.

          Meanwhile, Jacinda is drifting towards some kind of “if we all hold hands and sing happy songs, the bad stuff will go away.”That’s not a reflection on her. That’s all liberalism’s got left in its box of tricks.

          I also pointed out that both Macron and Trudeau were (discarded) poster boys. Jacinda is a superior replacement, so hardly a put down. 😉

          • Kat 7.4.1.1.1

            Your comparing a leaders introductory speech on the international stage at the UNGA with a speech to the party faithful at a UK Labour conference. Thats comparing apples with lollies. A fair amount of the policy content of that speech by John McDonnell is similar to what Jacinda Ardern has already proposed in numerous speeches and debates here in NZ and if you think they are not transformational at a structural level then you perhaps need to think again.

            • Bill 7.4.1.1.1.1

              Fully aware they were different platforms and different audiences.

              But I can’t quite see a Jeremy Corbyn standing up at the UN and doing an entire speech that amounts to a “let’s hold hands” routine, any more than I can envisage Ardern (or Robertson) standing up in front of NZ Labour supporters and picking institutional power and systemic power apart while putting benefactors of currently “comfortable” arrangements on notice as UK Labour politicians are doing.

              Can you point me to specific transformational structural changes that NZ Labour have signaled are in their sights, and/or that are being wrought through an unapologetic implementation of specific policies? And failing that, would it be reasonable to question if you (and many others) are projecting onto Ardern in a similar way that many projected onto Obama?

              • SPC

                He had the legacy of the GFC (growing deficits and debt before then) and a Bush foreign policy adventurism to wind down.

                His brief majority in Congress did enable a relatively cheap reform Obama care. Better economic circumstances would have resulted in more achievement in that period, and then maybe continued electoral success.

                Should he have done more than moderate their militarism? Should he have got the economy out of the recession without protecting the established corporates?

                How much can any one man in that office do, if they do not have Congress? (or the media or the mind of the American voter).

              • Ed

                You won’t hear Ardern or Robertson say this at the NZ Labour conference.

              • patricia bremner

                Bill, Kiwibuild like Kiwisaver will take time to impact lives.. but it will.

                Many aspects of change are enacted or in the pipeline.

                It is only a year!!!

                • Bill

                  Neither Kiwisaver nor Kiwibuild represent any change at the structural level.

                  Y’know…McDonnell (above) speaks explicitly about “changing the world” and of “socialism”, while here in NZ the most dizzying height reached is some crap about saving the “kiwi dream” of home ownership 🙄

                  The NZ Labour conference is about to start. You think you’ll need more than a mill workers finger count to tally up the mentions of socialism in key note speeches?

          • Ed 7.4.1.1.2

            Labour’s Rebuilding Britain is a lot more than kumbaya.

        • Adrian Thornton 7.4.1.2

          @Kat, Of course she has no fear of being judged (in the short term) as you might have noticed, defenders of the established economic order are generally well liked by their own class, and it also happens that that same class includes most historians, who also happen to write most of the history texts.

          In the long term, her legacy as a defender of neoliberal orthodoxy might be seen a little differently.

          • Kat 7.4.1.2.1

            I am interested to know what specific economic order you wish to see introduced.

            • adam 7.4.1.2.1.1

              Well you are on a left wing site – so have a shot in the dark.

              Here a hint – begins with the letter S, and includes the concept of equity for all.

      • Ed 7.4.2

        This article by Christine Rose on the Daily Blog is spot on.

        “The case against the hollowness of Jacinda’s Labour – we need more than words!

        But we seem to have lost the capacity for critical scrutiny of political messages. Are we so relieved that this government isn’t National-led that we will settle for less than what might have been? Now that with relief we finally have a Labour-led Government, have we lost a sense of inquiry and our ear for irony? Is it no longer acceptable to expect better, more, a real move away from the austerity and hypocrisy of the past nine years. How long should we wait and what compromises are we prepared to accept in the hope of eventual real change?

        Because hope won’t feed the kids, pay a deposit for a house, pay the power bill or put fuel in the tank. Hope alone won’t change the six figure salaries of executives or the too-low minimum wage. Hope won’t stop climate change, suicide, little kids getting bashed to death, synthetic cannabis ruining and killing people on our streets. Only real change will do that. And we don’t have much time.“

        https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2018/09/29/must-read-the-case-against-the-hollowness-of-jacindas-labour-we-need-more-than-words/

  8. CHCOff 8

    Jacinda showed there’s alot of potential for New Zealand to make a slice of what global leadership is able to be voluntarily received and thus showing what such international forums & gatherings can all be about.

    I’d say it went as well as it could of and unrealistic to expect anything more at this stage.

    Labour’s first term is about decelerating to point of stationary New Zealand’s decline under Neo-liberal trends as best it can, and becoming an more dynamic and intelligent organisation is context i’d give to that.

    • Ian 8.1

      Meanwhile Fuel prices are going thru the roof and poverty is increasing.The housing crisis is getting worse and windfarm investors got sucked in.Hopefully she can decelerate to the point where she blends into a dynamic and intelligent organisation contextually speaking of course.

      • Muttonbird 8.1.1

        Why don’t you go an think of your nitrogen reduction commitments instead of attacking the people who are trying to get you to fix it?

        • Ian 8.1.1.1

          It is a lot easier managing nitrate downwards than managing a dissapearing income. I don’t want or need your flavour of poxy help.Thanks .

      • CHCOff 8.1.2

        It is the nature of deceleration that there would still be increases in direction overall.

        Firstly, finding and getting the bearings sorted is just as important, if not more so, than the delivery itself for it is the quality (& thus sustainability) of the delivery that matters in the end distance.

        NZ1st!

        : )

  9. Bewildered 9

    Do you really think The US , countries in Europe and Asia etc really give a flying fk what nz thinks.let alone what Cindy thinks ( feels probably more than think re Cindy ) Stop kidding yourself, half of nz think she is a flake and well above her pay grade, let alone she having any global interest beyond woman mag type interest

    • Muttonbird 9.1

      Put the pipe down bro.

    • Charlie 9.2

      Thats not what Davids current polling reveals Cam.

    • Bill 9.3

      Do you really think…

      Jacinda Ardern will be very good in the role she’s stepping into. And plenty of power brokers in the US, Europe and elsewhere will be paying serious attention, and hoping she can somehow halt the demise of their shared liberal order.

      “Thinks” isn’t your strong suit, is it ‘Bewildered’? And yeah, I know I’m probably wasting my time responding to your comment….

    • Stuart Munro 9.4

      There’s a lot of intelligent people around the world looking for decent leadership. Kindness is a metric that the Trump white house for instance, clearly lacks. If it becomes popular no doubt it will be eroded to the point of any other Sirian virtue, but for the moment it’s a fair description of what’s missing. It’s not an insufficiency of market influence or post-modern or global values, but a failure to meet that old Kantian standard of treating people as ends in themselves.

      Whether their leader can make certain notoriously black labs come to heel is something else again – but even the worst of them know that without her they’d be an awfully long time in opposition – watching the slow motion train wreck that seems to be the best the Gnats can manage on their best day.

    • patricia bremner 9.5

      Bewidered …9 What a load of gobshite nonsense!!
      She could run rings round your sexist rubbish!!

  10. RedLogix 10

    Well I’m all for this kindness idea. Would be good if we started in on it around here.

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