Ardern’s first year

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Like our esteemed writer, Lushington Brady, I only read The Guardian so that you don’t have to. However, just occasionally, it proves worthwhile. Here is an article about Jacinda’s first year as prime minister, and… well, let’s say that the fairy dust seems to be wearing out fast. quote.

In her first speech, the PM hailed a new beginning but 12 months later transformative change is yet to be seen.

Peters’ choice thrust the then 37-year-old into the spotlight, sparked the “Jacindamania” phenomenon, and set the clock ticking as voters awaited the dramatic change her party had promised.

Ending child poverty. Bringing kindness and empathy to politics. Tackling climate change and improving the lives of New Zealand’s most vulnerable people. The ambitious pledges kept coming. end quote.

Most of those promises had been made by a party that never expected to be in government. One year in, none of those promises have been realised. Not one. quote.

Ardern has consistently remained New Zealand’s preferred leader in the polls since being sworn in, but solutions to some of the nation’s problems remain elusive. As the months have slipped by it has become hard for New Zealanders to see evidence of transformative change in their day-to-day lives.

Petrol prices are at a record high, synthetic cannabis deaths are soaring and tens of thousands of teachers and nurses have gone on strike for the first time in decades. A plethora of working groups and reviews have prompted the catch-cry: “less hui [meetings] more do-ey”. end quote.

Jacinda promised Mike Hosking that there would be no strikes… quote.

Joe Carolan, an organiser at Unite Union which represents many low-paid workers, says there is “huge anger” about the high cost of housing and transport, and many workers feel betrayed that a Labour-led government is not doing enough, fast enough to improve their everyday lives.

“We’re gearing up a for a big round of strikes in 2019 that is coming with the new mood … there seems to be a hundred working groups about everything, and any change seems to be token,” says Carolan.

“It’s been nearly a year since we had the government, and most people would say the housing and transport situation has got worse.”end quote.

Yes, the cost of living has definitely increased in the past year. Just wait until that feeds into the inflation figures and the Reserve Bank increases interest rates to control inflation. Just about the whole sorry state of affairs – apart from the increase in global oil prices – can be laid at the feet of this government. quote.

A number of public inquiries shows a departure from previous government’s heavy reliance on management consultants.

But the working groups and reviews are slow, expensive and time-consuming, and make it difficult for voters to measure quantifiable outcomes, or pinpoint concrete improvements. end quote.

There is evidence coming out now that these working groups are merely paying lip service to government policy. In other words, they are not looking at the issues objectively. They are simply going to say what the government wants them to say. quote.

Political observers agree Ardern’s rejection of traditional leadership styles has seen her subjected to a range of gendered criticism, including the recurrent refrain that she is “inexperienced” – despite having three more years in parliament than former PM John Key – and insinuations that she is overloaded and struggling to keep up with her job. end quote.

Gendered criticism? Really? When in doubt, play the race or gender card. It always works.

Digital image credit: Rick H

John Key had real-life experience when he entered politics. Jacinda’s only real-life experience was working in a fish and chip shop when she was a student. Tell me how that prepares her to run the economy?

The article doesn’t mention her blindsiding the lucrative oil and gas industry. It seems The Guardian still has a small bag of fairy dust in the drawer somewhere.

I’m going to leave the last word to someone from Northland. quote.

In Northland new mother Jaime Faulkner, 36, is adamant her life has improved in the past year. Extended paid-parental leave, and a new best start payment of NZ$60 (£30) a week for her baby’s first year have made “a serious difference”, she says, and allowed her to spend more time with her daughter, and buy necessities such as nappies and clothes. end quote.

Wait until you have to go out anywhere in the car, Jaime. You will see then how much this government is helping people like you.


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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