All these claims about generational change turn out be nothing more than spin

The youth-adjacent PM Jacinda Ardern has been waxing lyrical about so-called generational change.

It turns out that it is nothing but spin and bluster from a government that is fast developing a reputation of being shallower than a bird bath.

The 19-year age gap between Jacinda Ardern and Bill English jumps out at you quite a bit.

The “youth-adjacent” Ardern gave a simple “yes” to a question about medicinal cannabis during the debates last year, while the grey-haired prime minister stumbled through a non-answer. Ardern participated wholeheartedly in NZ Post’s Twitter Secret Santa, English wasn’t aware of the scheme when media first asked him about it.

But prime ministers, no matter how powerful, do not make up an entire government. Every government has a cabinet of ministers who collectively make most of the major decisions.

And despite widespread proclamations of generational change, the new government’s cabinet is on average just one year younger than the last one.

Until one minister has a birthday this week, the ages of the 20-person cabinet adds up to a perfect 1000 – giving a clean average age of 50.

As of September 1 last year, just prior to the general election, the average age of National’s cabinet was just one year older: 51.  

So a total lie about generational change. All based on one MP, Jacinda Ardern

If you take NZ First out of the picture – with their septuagenarian leader Winston Peters and 63-year-old deputy leader Ron Mark – you end up with an average age of 47.875.

But an average of 20 people misses certain nuances. National leader Bill English was the sixth oldest person in his cabinet – Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is the youngest member of hers at 37.

So Labour’s generational change doesn’t actually exist. What a joke. Another myth busted.

And it isn’t just Ardern: Labour’s cabinet has six ministers under 45, while National had just two: Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Education Minister Nikki Kaye.

Parties are usually keen to build a Cabinet that is broadly representative of the country at large, but many meet with difficulty.

Despite making up a touch over half of the population, there are just seven women in Ardern’s cabinet – the same as there was in National’s.

(Oddly, that isn’t the last similarity – both cabinets also had six list-only MPs.)

Roughly 37 per cent of New Zealanders are white men, yet they make up 45 per cent of the Cabinet.

The patriarchy, old and pale resists!

Seven members of the 20-person cabinet are of Māori or Pacific descent – said to be the largest proportion ever.

All of the Ministers have some kind of post-secondary training, with 17 of them holding a Bachelors Degree or higher – compared to just one in five adult Kiwis.

How many are unionists? How many have ever paid provisional tax or employed someone out of their own pocket? Those are statistics I want to know.

How many have had a real job?



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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.