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What the Prime Minister actually said

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, September 27th, 2018 - 71 comments
Categories: Africa, International, jacinda ardern, labour, Politics, racism - Tags:

Beyond the baby photos, this is the content of what Prime Minister Ardern said to the United Nations general Assembly yesterday:

Mr Secretary-General, Madam President of the General Assembly, distinguished colleagues.

I am honoured to be here to mark the legacy of Nelson Mandela in this 100th year since his birth.

Nelson Mandela was a global icon for the fight for equality, freedom and human rights. He led the struggle against apartheid and division.  But not only that, he personified the values of forgiveness and reconciliation.

When I say his impact was global I mean it. Nelson Mandela had a profound impact on New Zealand.

His struggle against apartheid was supported in New Zealand through a mass protest movement that opposed sporting contact between our countries, culminating in major protest events in 1981.

My father missed my first birthday because of it, he was a policeman and was called upon to work during the protests that surrounded the tour.

The 1981 Springbok Tour protests were a lesson in solidarity, and its impact.

When Madiba visited New Zealand in 1995, as the elected President of South Africa, he described the news of the protest actions in New Zealand as being like the sun coming out.

I remember that 1995 visit; his dignity; and his inspiration. Mandela was a living embodiment of the United Nations’ values. It is these values and Mandela’s moral example that we must look to promote in a world that is more fragmented and fractured than ever before.

It’s an example that calls for justice, peace and forgiveness.

For many New Zealanders, our most vivid memory of Mandela was his appearance on the field following South Africa’s 1995 Rugby World Cup victory over New Zealand while donning a Springboks jersey and presenting the trophy to the South African captain. This was a seminal moment. If Mandela could make peace, so could the rest of South Africa. That one act of both triumph and reconciliation said so much about who Nelson Mandela was: his capacity to forgive, his commitment to reconciliation, and his ability to lead and inspire against all odds.

It is these same values towards peace that we committed to when we signed the United Nations Charter. We collectively bound ourselves to the “pacific settlement of disputes”, and to diplomacy.

This means that when we see a worsening security situation, we act. For too long, the United Nations and the international community have waited to react. Instead, we must be proactive and place greater focus on conflict prevention.

We must get better at identifying high risk situations and warning signs, before the conflict starts. We must not be silent in the face of intolerance, hate and discrimination. We must speak for those who do not have a voice. We must pursue equal rights for all.

Today, let us remember Mandela and the values he devoted his life towards on his long walk to freedom.

But let us not forget that there is still work to do. We must ensure that the just, peaceful, prosperous, democratic, fair and inclusive world which Mandela strived for is fully realised. New Zealand’s commitment to this work remains unwavering.

Above all else, Madiba taught us that no issue in the world, whether it be racial inequity or indifference is insurmountable. That none of us are too small, or too far away to be relevant in the collective struggle for justice.

As we remember Madiba, my hope is that we all give reason for the sun to come out.

Thank you

It was concise, moral, respectful, and resolute.

I’d like to see this little country raise its voice like this more often.

71 comments on “What the Prime Minister actually said”

  1. Gosman 1

    Given this grand statement what is the current Government actually doing to implement such high-minded ideals? I see little difference to the approach of previous governments.

    • Ad 1.1

      Better speechwriters.

    • ianmac 1.2

      Expect those with imagination and integrity to accept and absorb Jacinda’s wisdoms while guessing that those who are bereft of humanity, will sneer and wallow in self indulgent unimaginative drivel. Which are you Gosman?

    • simbit 1.3

      Shifting discourse, and not even subtly.

    • AB 1.4

      Our best clue that they are doing something to implement these ideals, will be that you are critical of them.

    • Macro 1.5

      Good grief!!

    • mister smokey 1.6

      Gosman.

      There’s a photo, of Bolger shaking hands with Mandela.
      This is just after our Springbok Tour, near civil-war, of ’81.

      But the battle’s done, and here’s National, having created the whole ker-fuffle,
      fighting the issue, (to get re-elected), “moving on.”

      Same thing with the nuclear-free. National fought it all the way.
      Then, in government, no worries. Accepted it.

      So, best Gosman doesn’t come in, greasy as Iago, with a first-thread comment like that. That all’s just flowed along with the Parties.

      Big lie.

      Gosman and the wretched questions. Gosman, Iago. Go.

      • In Vino 1.6.1

        As dear old Saun Fitzpatrick would have said, full credit to Mr Smokey.
        I just hope that Gosman knows who Iago is.

        • Gosman 1.6.1.1

          I don’t know who this Saun Fitzpatrick person is.

          • Doogs 1.6.1.1.1

            Gosman, sneering at a typo is about your level. You just enjoy lobbing firecrackers into the mix, don’t you? As in 2.1, and 2.1.1.1 – same again, and again. Do you have a canker inside you that gnaws at your soul making you spit vitriol at anything you don’t like? Ease up man or you’ll die in a shrivel.

  2. adam 2

    So the question remains, what about the white economic dominance in South Africa?

    Why after apartheid were the same players who drove the economy of the apartheid machine, left to keep the rewards of their pillaging and rape of the black community?

    Why do we ignore the fact that people, real people are still suffering under an economic system in south Africa which has it foundation built on apartheid?

    • Gosman 2.1

      Zimbabwe tackled the white economic dominance in that country quite decisively. How did that work out for them again?

      • adam 2.1.1

        So your response to the on going oppression of Black south africans is to say how bad it is that white people in Zimbabwe had the land they stole, taken back off them.

        Classy.

        • Gosman 2.1.1.1

          Nope. I stated that tackling inequality vis a vis the Zimbabwe situation didn’t exactly work out in the way people like you thought it would. In fact Zimbabwean’s are poorer today than they were at independence in 1980. That might give people like you cause to pause and think about the solutions you propose. However I suspect it won’t and ultimately you will continue to support policies that will lead to economic calamity.

  3. Thanks for not calling her sparkle pony – well done you.

  4. Anthony de Villiers 4

    The answer was clearly articulated by John Pilger in his memorable article “Mandela may be remembered for his greatness but not his legacy.” Black influential leaders (including Mandela) were ‘bought out’ by apartheid corporate bosses at the time of transfer of power. Promises of nationalisation (of mines or example) and the freeing up of millions to uplift the victims of poverty were abandoned. Pilger brought this up in an interview with Mandela but was brushed aside with ‘you don’t understand, times have changed.’

    • Gosman 4.1

      Can you name me one country that nationalised mining and other big business and the country became better off as a result?

      • chris73 4.1.1

        Venezuela?

        • Gosman 4.1.1.1

          Very good!

          • chris73 4.1.1.1.1

            Thought you’d like that one 😉

          • Marcus Morris 4.1.1.1.2

            Every South American nation that has tried to assert independence from US domination and develop a socialist state has been undone (except Cuba) by US interference via the CIA. Venezuela’s predicament was entirely predictable.

            • Gosman 4.1.1.1.2.1

              Venezuela is not an economic basket case because of the CIA. It is an economic basket case because of Socialism.

      • joe90 4.1.2

        Iceland’s 2008 nationalisation of the banking industry.

      • Dukeofurl 4.1.3

        “name me one country that nationalised mining and other big business and the country became better off as a result?”

        Saudi Aramaco. Was american is now all Saudi.

        Air New Zealand was another.

        During the GFC the US Federal Reserve effectively nationalised firms like Chrysler, GM and quite a few financial institutions.

        https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/wall-street-humiliated-by-nationalisation-of-banks-961397.html
        Just they went out of the way to not call it nationalisation

        ‘President George Bush appeared in the White House Rose Garden yesterday morning to declare that his government was immediately taking stakes in nine of the biggest banks in America, and would extend its hand to hundreds and possibly thousands more.’

        • alwyn 4.1.3.1

          “Air New Zealand was another.”
          Really? Pray tell us when did that happen?
          Do you even understand what the phrase “nationalisation” means?
          The RBNZ was nationalised by the then Labour Government in 1935.
          Air New Zealand wasn’t.

          • In Vino 4.1.3.1.1

            Oh, alwyn, give us a break. Your usual traits of arrogance and petty punctiliousness…
            “Really? Pray tell us…”
            “Do you really understand…?”
            You are boring us to tears with your pedantry.
            No, strictly speaking, Air NZ was not nationalised.
            But we all know that it was bailed out by Govt., and remains partly Govt-owned.
            Diddums.

            • alwyn 4.1.3.1.1.1

              If you are going to claim I said things by putting them in quotes please do so accurately.
              Where did I say “Do you really understand…?”?
              Can I claim you said
              “Yes, I Vino, am nuts”?

              However more to the point.
              If what I say upsets you why do you read the comments. Resist temptation and ignore them. I’m sure it will make you ever so much happier not to have your blinkered view of the world expanded into reality.

              • In Vino

                “Do you even/really understand?’… Both vintage alwyn style.
                But thank you for proving my point yet again.

      • reason 4.1.4

        Libya did … when they booted out BP ( British petroleum )…… and used their oil wealth for their citizens.

        Libya achieved the highest and greatest improvements in living standards for its people in the shortest amount of time … out of any country in the world.

        Nato / Clinton / Cameron destroyed it in their ‘humanitarian intervention’ …. it has now suffered the quickest reversal and decline in living standards for it’s people*.

        * Iraq has suffered a similar misery when they had a more direct war / invasion waged against them….

  5. mac1 5

    Nelson Mandela’s greatness brought my father and me closer together. My dad never watched rugby, the Tour was an issue which he never discussed as he probably found rugby irrelevant. We never discussed South African politics.

    But late in his life in a conversation he just dropped in the comment that Mandela was a ‘great man’.

    I spoke of this at my father’s funeral, saying that the same wellsprings in Mandela’s greatness were also present in my father’s life- compassion, a passion for justice, and decent values especially personal integrity. Deep spoke to deep.

    What Jacinda Ardern said at the UN reflects also upon her values, her vision, her core beliefs. Right actions come from right motivation.

    What Ardern said would have resonated with my father. “We must ensure that the just, peaceful, prosperous, democratic, fair and inclusive world which Mandela strived for is fully realised.”

    It will resonate with many New Zealanders.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    This means that when we see a worsening security situation, we act. For too long, the United Nations and the international community have waited to react. Instead, we must be proactive and place greater focus on conflict prevention.

    Interesting.

    Is she saying that international law should apply globally and without exception and that the UN should enforce it?

    • Gosman 6.1

      Looks a lot like what Tony Blair used to say.

      • SPC 6.1.1

        Yeah “if” regime change was “conflict prevention”, rather than an attempt to enforce resolution.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1

          The US’ use of ‘regime change’ has always been about putting in place a US puppet government and always against international law.

    • SPC 6.2

      It is well known that global warming could lead to greater conflict betwen nations over resources etc.

      And it is a stretch to equate conflict prevention with “enforcing” international law.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        It is well known that global warming could lead to greater conflict betwen nations over resources etc.

        True but we also need to learn from history that eternal infinite growth also engenders wars for resources.

        And it is a stretch to equate conflict prevention with “enforcing” international law.

        There’s no point in having a law unless it’s enforced and the only body available to enforce international law is the UN. That is, of course, why the UNSC exists and the veto that the major nations in the UN have is why it fails.

  7. left_forward 7

    This is a fantastic, stateswomanlike speech.
    Excellent sentiment, vision and leadership.

  8. Nick K 8

    She hails democracy while her government puts in the most undemocratic bill ever passed in our parliament.

    • SPC 8.1

      To prevent recurrence of the most undemocratic activity in our history – National bribing members of the NZF caucus back in 1998.

      • Nick K 8.1.1

        Pathetic reply. The waka jumping bill is completely unjustifiable.

        • SPC 8.1.1.1

          Rules are only brought in to prevent a corruption, as occured in 1998 (it was a Labour-Alliance government that brought in the 2001-2005 legislation).

          Rules to prevent than the corruption of the democratic process through bribery have their place.

          It is a pity that no one trusts National not to do the same again.

          • shadrach 8.1.1.1.1

            What you call ‘bribes’ are a long standing feature of the NZ political landscape, and both major political parties have been culpable of offering bribes to either the electorate or (in the MMP environment) to other political parties. I would argue that what you call ‘bribes’ are an inevitable result of MMP. The politicians call this ‘compromise’.

            That we now have one of the biggest ‘compromises’/’bribes’ ever in the Waka Jumping law, and that it is being introduced by a Labour led government, makes your comments reek of irony. Or perhaps hypocrisy.

            • alwyn 8.1.1.1.1.2

              As both sides of politics put it.

              WE provide great benefits that the people want and deserve.
              YOU attempt to bribe them.

              • shadrach

                Yes, well put.

                • SPC

                  Bribing people in office, MP’s, is corruption.

                  Calling this part of democracy is just pathetic excuse making.

                  Which is why most of the public support preventing a recurrence.

                  • shadrach

                    Note I referred to (/what-the-prime-minister-actually-said/#comment-1529826) what YOU call bribery. My understanding was you were referring to MMP deals, as you referred to 1998. If I misunderstood, I apologise.

                    My point was simply that deals are done under MMP that some would describe as ‘bribery’, as I thought you did in the context of 1998. The irony I was highlighting was you criticising bribery, yet supporting the Waka Jumping legislation, which was itself a ‘bribe’ to secure the support of NZF.

                    • SPC

                      Sigh – do you know what happened in 1998?

                      MP’s in parliament were bribed to leave their own caucus, bribed with baubles of Cabinet office if they left the NZ First party caucus.

                      This has nothing to do with MMP, but everything to do with the waka jumping legislation.

                      If people trusted National not to do the same thing again, it would not have been passed in 2001 (sunset 2005) and 2018.

                    • shadrach

                      I know what you are referring to, but you seem to be re-writing history. The reason NZF splintered was far more complex, and to a significant degree had it’s genesis in Winston Peter’s decision to go with National after the 1996 election, having campaigned so strongly to remove them.

                      “This has nothing to do with MMP…”
                      It has everything to do with MMP. The 1996 election was an MMP election. As the term of that government progressed, NZF became increasingly unstable, and with it the government. National seized on that instability to do the deals with selected NZF MP’s you describe as bribery.

                      “…but everything to do with the waka jumping legislation. ”
                      The waka jumping legislation is nothing more than a large rat Labour is having to swallow as part of the price of power. It is itself an act of bribery.

                      “If people trusted National not to do the same thing again, it would not have been passed in 2001 (sunset 2005) and 2018.”
                      I don’t trust any political party to stay the course on it’s commitments, which is why the ability if MP’s to hold their party accountable is important. At the outside, the individual MP’s decision is put to test within 3 years.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2

          It is completely justifiable which is why ~80% of the population want it. Most people remember the shambles of the 1996 National/NZ1st government and how National enticed NZ1st MPs to drop being NZ1st MPs to prop up the illegitimate National government after the collapse of the coalition.

          • shadrach 8.1.1.2.1

            “It is completely justifiable which is why ~80% of the population want it. ”
            Based on? The last poll I saw on the issue was in 2013.

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Yeah, that one.

              There hasn’r been one since. I suspect that the support for it is not what the oligarchy like and so they hide it.

              If we had actual democracy this would have been put to referendum but with support in the electorate like that there’s no way that was going to happen despite it being part of our governance. Think about that. There was supposed to be a referendum on the re-organisation of Auckland into the Suershitty but National removed that requirement so that they could force it through against the wishes of Aucklanders.

              • shadrach

                A five year old poll is not particularly useful, which is why I thought maybe you ad something more recent.

                Re the supercity – the idea had merit (just), the implementation sucked. And the blame for that rests with Auckland mayors and the National government, who should fixed the mess Brown (in particular) created.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Re the supercity – the idea had merit (just), the implementation sucked.

                  True and all National had to do to get it right was to follow the findings of the royal inquiry into it. Instead they invented all sorts of BS and invented it far too fast. The blame for all the expense blow outs after that was entirely down to National and Act who passed the stupid legislation and tried to put the whole thing in place far too fast.

                  My point though was that the entire idea of the super-city was supposed to have been put to a referendum. That was in law and, IIRC, it was even entrenched law but National and Act decided that they knew better and repealed that law so that they could force it on us.

                  In other words, National and Act over-rode our democracy so as to put in place their failed dreams.

                  • shadrach

                    I’m not going to argue with your main points, but the role of Brown (and to a lesser degree Goff) in the poor outcome that is the super-city cannot be understated. Yes the model was flawed, but a capable mayor would have reined in spending and driven the cities priorities around core activities.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’m pretty sure a mayor doesn’t have that power. They can suggest and guide to some degree but that’s about it. The managerialism that we’ve had for the last two to three decades has left the running of government departments in the hands of the unelected bureaucrats. That applies to both local and national government.

                    • shadrach

                      I don’t disagree about the power of ‘unelected bureaucrats’, but the Mayor of Auckland does have considerable power, and most certainly could have steered the implementation of the super-city better than was the case. The CEO of Auckland City reports to the Council, which is chaired by the Mayor. The establishment of the supercity has not achieved the promised economies of scale, but it has led to a huge managerial class, a loss of democracy, and stagnation in a number of council core services.

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