Jacinda uses her grandfather to score political points

It’s a variation on the don’t you know who I am play…this time using her sick grandfather, who has now managed to get an apology simply for being the grandfather of the People’s Princess.

It is a dangerous step though for Ardern to take, using family members in a  political way. Because if she hasn’t been entirely truthful with his circumstances then the government is entitled, as is the DHB, to defend themselves, using grand dad’s real circumstances.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has criticised Labour leader Jacinda Ardern for bringing her 85-year-old grandfather into the political debate.

“I think it’s a bit edgy, bringing close family into the political debate,” Coleman said when asked about the situation.

“That’s generally something we don’t do as politicians.

Ardern revealed at political rally in Nelson on Wednesday that her maternal grandfather was asked to leave a crowded Waikato Hospital on Tuesday night before he was ready.

Staff tried to discharge him at 11.30pm but he refused and was allowed to stay the night, she said.

Yesterday, Waikato Hospital said it had hit capacity with non-emergency elective surgeries cancelled and patients sleeping in corridors on Monday night.

“We will be taking only emergencies today in the emergency department,” emergency department specialist Dr Andrew Wilde said in a video posted online. “Anyone who presents with a non-urgent problem will be asked to go and see their general practitioner or a local accident and medical centre, or must be prepared for a long wait.”

“My understanding, from what I gleaned from my family this morning, is that my grandfather was admitted into hospital, and again as I say, I do not blame the health service for this, I blame the fact that we are stretched because there is under-funding of the Waikato DHB.

“They tried to discharge him at 11.30 last night. That simply wasn’t possible. He’s 85-year-old, there wasn’t the ability to transport him home at that time of night, and so he did remain there.

“And I thank the workers in that system for the support they’ve given my grandfather and my family, but for me, that was about highlighting what this election should be about, and that’s improving health services.

“It’s not about me. It should be about people who need those services.”

Asked whether it was a case of a lack of beds, and whether someone else was kicked out so he could have their bed, she said she could “only assume that that would have been the case”.

Ardern has stated that her grandfather lived an hour from the hospital. I don’t know where her grandfather lives, but at 11.30pm in an hour you can pretty much drive to the outskirts of Auckland like Pokeno. Morrinsville is just 30 minutes away. You can’t even drive across Auckland in 30 minutes. Matamata is 42 minutes away. Te Awamutu is 25 minutes. Raglan is 41 minutes. Te Kuiti is an hour away. Putaruru is 50 minutes. Tokoroa an hour. Te Aroha is 47 minutes. Paeroa is an hour, but Thames is closer to Paeroa.

The point is, where does he live that takes an hour to get home…most places that feed into Waikato Hosiptal are well under an hour, so I simply don’t believe her.

She has shamelessly used her grandfather for political points scoring.

 

-Fairfax

 


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