Jacinda’s really done well so far, but the real test is yet to come

Photo / Michael Craig

Karl du Fresne muses some more

Jacinda Ardern hasn’t put a foot wrong so far. Her relaxed and assured performance, for such a relatively inexperienced leader, has been remarkable.

Shaw, too, is a personable and seemingly capable politician who did well to haul the Greens out of the deep hole that Metiria Turei dug for them.

But the real test is yet to come.

A prime minister with no experience in government will have to manage a large number of similarly inexperienced ministers, while also managing potentially very awkward relationships between two smaller coalition partners with very different agendas. It’s going to be interesting.

One final thought. It’s been a cruel outcome for Bill English, but he hasn’t shown a trace of bitterness.

For her part, Ardern made a point of generously paying tribute to English in her opening remarks on the night she became prime minister-elect.

Whatever else may be wrong with our politics, we should be proud that the two leaders behaved with such civility after the white-hot tension, drama and uncertainty of the election.

Perhaps it’s because we’re a small, intimate country and we need to get along with each other. Your political opponent might have kids at the same school as yours, or end up sitting next to you on the plane, or bump into you at the meat counter in the supermarket.

Whatever the explanation, perhaps other countries should send their politicians here to see how it can be done.


Just kidding.


Karl du Fresne

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.