by Tom Chodor
Tuesday, 19
July 2022
Dispatch
10:10

New Zealand falls out of love with Jacinda Ardern

The once popular Kiwi leader is crashing in the polls
by Tom Chodor
Credit: Getty

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern returned home recently from a series of international trips: giving the commencement address at Harvard, attending the NATO summit in Madrid, swinging by Brussels for trade talks, and being one of the last international leaders to meet with Boris Johnson before his fall.

While the common perception at that last meeting was of a dead man meeting a popular and competent leader, the reality is a bit more complicated. This was highlighted during an interview on the last stop of her trip in Australia, where a journalist pointedly asked what it was like to be more popular overseas than in her own country.

While she brushed off the question, the point remains: things are not going well for Ardern and her second-term Labour government. A recent poll has shown that the opposition centre-Right National and ACT parties would win next year’s election comfortably, while over 50% of voters now believe the country is heading in the wrong direction. This is a far cry from 2020, when Labour stormed home to an unprecedented landslide election victory, while Ardern was being feted as a model leader.

How did it come to this?

The first thing to note is that the 2020 election was itself an aberration. At the end of 2019, Labour was struggling to implement its political agenda, with its coalition partners blocking more ambitious policies around tax and climate change. In addition, extra spending in areas such as child poverty and health were did not yield results, and big schemes to construct affordable housing and infrastructure flopped under incompetent management. Commentators wondered whether Ardern would end up as a one-term wonder.

Then Covid-19 hit. Through a combination of geographical luck and apparently competent management, New Zealand weathered the initial wave, and life largely continued as normal, unless you were a citizen trying to return home. Observing the carnage and mismanagement elsewhere, voters rewarded the government. In this sense, Covid-19 was a welcome diversion, elevating pandemic management above all other issues, and diverting attention from the government’s struggles in other areas.

Yet, the Zero Covid approach was only delaying the inevitable, and once Ardern began shifting to living with Covid at the end of 2021, the shine began to wear off. Stumbles on issues like availability of rapid antigen testing, workforce shortages, or the response to anti-mandate protests showed that New Zealand was a ‘normal’ country, facing the same difficulties in managing Covid as everyone else. It was no coincidence that it was around this time that Ardern’s — and Labour’s — popularity came crashing back down to earth.

However, Covid-19 is not the issue that’s currently dragging her government down. Like the rest of the world, New Zealand is moving on from the pandemic, with even the government is looking to leave it behind in the rear-view mirror. As the country has experienced a sharp uptick of infections during the Southern hemisphere winter, Ardern has been nowhere to be seen, much to the consternation of those who cheered her tough policies.

Instead, the key issues concerning Kiwi voters right now are a cost of living crisis brought about by the highest inflation in three decades, stagnating wages and economic growth, unaffordable housing, a health system running on fumes, and a rise in violent crime. Most of these were there in 2019, and many of them got worse over two and a half years of the pandemic. Whether Ardern and Labour are better placed to address them this time is very much an open question.

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Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 months ago

Why on earth is the populace fooled by the Arderns and Trudeaus of this world in the first place? I find it quite incomprehensible.

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
2 months ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

After any party has been in government for a while they stack up a bit of a record of stuff-ups and worse, so if the other side has young, smiling, optimistic leaders, you give them a go. It’s rare, these days, that we can vote enthusiastically for any party or leader, none of them seem to have any principles.

Could anyone be enthusiastic about the Tory leadership aspirants? Rishi is the best groomed; beautifully dressed, polished, actually shining …. if you’re going have to look at the PM on TV all the time, it might as well be him. There’s the woman with the Catherine Deneuve thing going on, but politically she doesn’t seem to know whether she’s Arthur or Martha. Rishi sets the standard, well, sartorially.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
2 months ago

That does put me in mind of the sketch from the harry Enfield show (currently being repeated on That’s TV, with trigger warnings for sensitive types who can’t deal with 1990s humour) where Tim Nice-But-Dim remarks that Tony Blair wears ‘jolly good suits’ and went to a ‘good school’. Looks like we’re back there again!

Last edited 2 months ago by Al M
Ben M
Ben M
2 months ago

Kemi Badenoch is the only one – she has real life experience and realistic ideas. Doesn’t believe in woke or net zero target too

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 months ago
Reply to  Ben M

She should set a target of net zero woke.

Alex Alexander
Alex Alexander
1 month ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Wake me up before you Go Go , that will be the day!

Alex Alexander
Alex Alexander
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex Alexander

Sorry thought you were referring to Ardern not Kemi

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 months ago

I assume you refer to Penny Mourdant. Given what we are told of her track record by former employers etc she certainly has a lot of ‘nerve’. Not quite sure about ‘Deneuve’.

Valerie Brown
Valerie Brown
1 month ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Please do the world a favour and watch Big Oil V The World on BBC Iplayer. Read the IPCC reports dating back over 30 years. Wake up and see, smell and taste the world burning. People like you need to take a holiday from Stupidity..go. somewhere like Madagascar where climate change is killing people and babies are dying. Take Kemi, Boris, Rishi and all the politicians Left and Right with you.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 months ago

Could anyone be enthusiastic about the Tory leadership aspirants?

No.
Kemi is least-worst but “least-worst” the default position of most voters on most issues. Tribalism is dead on the centre and right and weakening even on the left.
Only politic obsessives and possibly drugged-up are enthusiastic, like the Glasto crowd chanting for Jeremy Corbyn.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 months ago

true, Adern has had the toughest time and voters are usually too ill advised to be able to comprehend what alternatives could have worked better – and are venal enough to not be able to see anything past a cost of living rise – regardless of what really is causing it. Voters get the leadership they deserve and if they cant appreciate what Ardern has accomplished I an sure that she personally would feel grateful for a good long rest up !

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 months ago
Reply to  chris sullivan

Crickey thats a lot of down votes – but what would i know – I only actually live in NZ !

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
2 months ago

This is correct. Trudeau was elected because Canadians wanted anyone but Stephen Harper who was trying for a third term in office. I loved Harper – but he really let the side down by not retiring gracefully. Canadians knew that Trudeau was a joke – but they wanted change. For the record Trudeau is much worse than a bad joke.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

The Dmb and Dumber haircut Fidel Castro’s love child got requires much less care than the previous coiffe, leaving him more time in meddle in things about which he is either dumb or dumber..

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
2 months ago

“There’s the woman with the Catherine Deneuve thing going on, but politically she doesn’t seem to know whether she’s Arthur or Martha.”
Haha, hilarious!

Andrew F
Andrew F
2 months ago

Rishi beautifully dressed?
You must be joking.
His suits look shrunk in the wash.
Ok for 20 plus intern but not for PM or Chancellor.
I am sure his outfits are very expensive, but so what.
Never mind his attire, though.
Guy with Green Card and non-dom wife as a leader of Tory party?
Fine for Russian Oligarchs but not for PM.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
2 months ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

When I watch their delivery it seems to me they are leaning into either ethos (Trudeau) or pathos (Ardern).
Trudeau’s weaponised delivery system is an assumed, natural self righteousness. His ethical framework is good and holy, how can it not be?
Ardern has weaponised pathos – feelings and emotions – as a delivery system. She wraps up logos and ethos in a blanket of feelings and emotions.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 months ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Both apparently graduates of the Young Global leader school founded by Klaus Schwab of WEF fame

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
2 months ago

I am definitely starting to wear a tinfoil hat about the WEF. Canada’s deputy PM is also a WEF alum. The latest Trudeau government scandal is their insistence that everyone leaving or coming to Canada use the NRCan app. It is universally loathed – by travellers, border guards, tourism associations, elder advocates, etc. Inhad to use it and it is a time wasting pain in the @ss. Yet not only are they sticking with it – they declared yesterday they are going to make it permanent. None of this makes any sense for a political party until you put on your tin hat and read about how the WEF wants us all to have digital ID. They have also already gave a live demonstration of how digital banking can be used to punish political opponents and intimidate everyone else.

Last edited 2 months ago by Gunner Myrtle
Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
2 months ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

… niceness, kindness, compassion in general, is the essence of motherliness. And, (especially in the Anglosphere) the feminine is the now the default proclivity in both public and private sector bureaucracies, fields where females are now preponderant.
But mercy before justice is also a reliable recipe for chaos. Which is why the Daoist concept of Yin-Yang associates chaos with the feminine.
Many tears have yet to be shed before there’s a reappearance of brightness, passion and growth.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Because the opposition in NZ in the last two elections have been woeful, and this upcoming election doesn’t seem to be any better. Living in NZ I’ve got no strong feelings towards Ardern one way or the other, she’s neither the saviour portrayed in much of the media or the devil described by the anti woke culture warriors. She’s a fairly centrist politician firmly in the Blair mould, just without the war mongering

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
2 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The problem with youngish politicians like Jacinda Ardern, Justin Trudeau, Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, and (my home state California governor) Gavin Newsom is that they promise a lot with glitter and shine yet deliver a little (or nothing at all). As the saying goes, they are big hat and no cattle.
Contrast that with a Donald Trump, who bloviates and blusters but still get things done. He’s big hat and lots of cattle. I’m still surprised by those who ignore the string of accomplishments by the man in his four years as president. He was a centrist and a realist, but gets tagged as an ideologue. That’s a shame.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

I’ve lived under numerous PMs in a few different countries of various ages, and that criticism could have been levelled at all of them not just the younger ones.

E. L. Herndon
E. L. Herndon
2 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

You speak for many. His style may have been oafish, but he did believe in his country and he did deliver, save, alas, for completing the wall. As for the “youngish politicians”, I believe that character is important for a leader. I am offended for NZ that Ardern is apparently an unwed mother, and as a Californian, I thought Newsom’s caddish behavior (trifling with the wife of the staff member) was revelatory as well as low. Personal traits preview public actions, all too often.

Alex Alexander
Alex Alexander
1 month ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Those on welfare vote for her and there are a lot of them.
Ardern is the wolf in sheep’s clothing plus total censorship of MSM. “I am your single source if truth “ nonsense…

Last edited 1 month ago by Alex Alexander
Ludwig van Earwig
Ludwig van Earwig
2 months ago

This article is inaccurate in a couple of important ways.
First, if it was Ardern’s coalition partner (NZ First) that stopped her from bringing in a capital gains tax, why didn’t her government do so when they obtained an absolute majority in the 2020 election? The truth is economic reform is not in her government’s political DNA – they’re focused mostly on ethnicity and gender, like all too many “leftist” parties in the 21st century.
Second, you haven’t mentioned the policy that is going to hurt Ardern most at next year’s election – her government’s ethnostate agenda, referred to euphemistically as “co-governance”. Since the 2020 election, her government has unveiled plans to “decolonize” the education and health systems, and to give unelected tribal elites 50% control of NZ’s water. Indigenous Maori knowledge is now officially co-equal with so-called “Western” science, and has been introduced to the school science curriculum. A new government-funded separate Maori Health Authority is reviving traditional practices such as maramataka (basically, astrology) as a treatment for health problems.
The government did NOT campaign on any of these policies at the last election. In fact, the ethnostate agenda was kept hidden even from Ardern’s coalition partner before the last election, the NZ First Party.
But what the article above is right about is the manifest lack of competence of Ardern’s government. They really do not know what they’re doing.

Last edited 2 months ago by Ludwig van Earwig
Matthew Fisk
Matthew Fisk
2 months ago

Ardern ruled out a cgt while she is prime minister in 2019. The government instead introduced a new top income tax bracket. This didn’t even please their own activists given how low the revenue from it is

Ludwig van Earwig
Ludwig van Earwig
2 months ago
Reply to  Matthew Fisk

Her ruling out a CGT “while she is prime minister” gives the lie to the article’s claim that her tax policy was stymied by her coalition partner. NZ First would however have opposed her ethnostate agenda, which is why it had to be kept under wraps till after the 2020 election.

Last edited 2 months ago by Ludwig van Earwig
Kerry Davie
Kerry Davie
2 months ago

I would observe (on the basis of many decades of living in NZ) that the best government NZ has had over that long time, and its worst, have both been Labour governments. The former was the Lange/Douglas government in the 1980’s and the latter is the current Ardern government. The former saved NZ in the nick of time from the economic insanities of Robert Muldoon; the latter is embarked upon a course that will destroy NZ as a modern democracy.

Last edited 2 months ago by Kerry Davie
Chris England
Chris England
2 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davie

My memory of Rogernomics was the brutal (necessary, but badly implemented) removal of subsidies for farming but maintaining protectionism for manufacturing. It sent many farmers bust, suicides, people doing shopping on their farm bikes because they couldn’t afford the fuel. It was awful

Angela Angela
Angela Angela
2 months ago

I could not have said that better! This co-governance and especially the Three Waters policy is completely undemocratic and dividing our country!!! Many of us are also staggered by the incompetence of Labour MPs and such little return on such unprecedented spending. It’s a disgrace and embarrassment to our fantastic little country!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 months ago

How on earth a lovely, sane, straight talking old fashioned and noble land such as New Zealand could possibly have fallen for this shallow, tedious, dim and inarticulate vanity spinner, God alone knows? I know that Aus and NZ are a couple of years behind swallowing the US lavatory flush of woke, as is the UK, but her blatant lack of credibility is frightening!

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 months ago

I don’t think anywhere is that far behind the US these days. Media transmits their diseases instantly.
The other point is that she got into power from a minority position due to a coalition deal with Winston Peters NZ First Party and was able to call an election when COVID border closures were popular. Within those closed borders, NZ residents had a lot of freedom compared to other countries.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
2 months ago

Most of the US doesn’t swallow the woke, actually. It’s wildly unpopular most places and has been criticized by even Barack Obama. You wouldn’t know that from watching the mainstream media though, or our entertainment industry, which is shamelessly pushing all things woke, diverse, LBTQ+*%#etc. This makes sense only when you consider that woke culture is, primarily, a youth movement, most popular on college campuses and in certain circles of social media, and connect that with a reality a marketing professor once explained to me back in college. Companies will do anything and everything to cater to the 18-35 demographic, because they have a lot of research showing that people in that age group establish buying patterns that last a lifetime. Much, if not all, of the woke signaling is about appealing to that culture while ignoring everybody else because there’s also a lot of data shows that older people won’t change their patterns no matter what happens. Once there’s another youth fad that overtakes this one and the woke generation ages out, something else (hopefully something less stupid) will replace it.

Last edited 2 months ago by Steve Jolly
Andrew F
Andrew F
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

I would like you to be right, but I doubt it.
All the expressions of woke including BLM, net zero, open borders, identity politics are result of neoMarxists takeover of national institutions with education prime example.
Corporations love it, because it diverts attention of young people from declining living standards in the West due to globalisation.

Kerry Davie
Kerry Davie
2 months ago

In the same way the Canadians have inflicted Justin Trudeau upon themselves.

Last edited 2 months ago by Kerry Davie
rob red
rob red
2 months ago

There is also that she thinks she is popular in NZ because of the $50,000,000 bribe grant given to media outlets in NZ to save them during covid. But it came with conditions, one being that they are not allowed to report negatively on the govt. Nor on the policies mentioned below by Ludwig Van Earwig. In 2 years they have spent money on everything except increasing the capacity of hospitals. Instead they have spent $100,000,000 on Maramataka, a made up belief that the Maori of NZ had learned to harness the power of the moon to heal themselves!

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  rob red

You’re being slightly misleading there aren’t you. The Maramataka is essentially the Maori calendar, which ran with the moon cycles. It has nothing to do with harnessing the power of the moon to heal yourself.
The $100 million you mention is also part of the devolved Maori health budget, and that money is part of a mental health programme that deals with seasonal mental health issues, except being Maori focused they’ve used that calendar rather than the European one.
Now I’ll agree that money could have possibly be better spent elsewhere, but let’s not start telling blatant falsehoods just to try and score some cheap points

Matt M
Matt M
2 months ago

No western leader is going to make it through this period of pestilence, war and famine.
Trump: gone
ScoMo: gone
Merkel: gone
Boris: gone
Sleepy Joe: unpopular, lame duck, about to get terminated
Macron: lame duck, no ability to pass legislation
O Scholz: unpopular and drifting
Draghi: quitting
Trudeau: unpopular, minority government, soon to be replaced
Mark Rutte: tanking, riots on the streets
And now even Ardern is not immune.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Xi, Putin, Erdogan, Orban … and Dan Andrews: still with us.

Matt M
Matt M
2 months ago

Yes – I stress the western bit.
It is possible that Xi, Putin and Erdogan might be gone before the aftershocks die out.
Dan Andrews of course will always be with us!

Andrew F
Andrew F
2 months ago

I think it is wrong to put Orban etc in the same group with dictators.
He was elected multiple times with huge majorities in proper elections.
I am really disappointed with Hungary policy towards war in Ukraine, but Orban is really popular in Hungary.

Craig Young
Craig Young
2 months ago

As an expatriate Kiwi in Britain, who was personally highly affected by the effective locking out of expatriate citizens for two years, I agree with a lot of that assessment. But you – apparently deliberately – left out that Ardern was in Brussels to arrange a free trade deal with the EU and in London to seal a similar deal with the U.K.
These are important achievements from the NZ perspective.
You should not have left that out.
Still. Ardern’s “Be Kind” mantra rather grates when you realise just how incompetent her government often is, and how harmful and divisive some of her COVID policies were, setting citizens against each other. But, for me, it’s the secrecy, the arrogance and the incompetence that get to me.
I voted Labour last time, but I am seriously considering voting National in the next Kiwi election.
I will have to hold my nose to do it, but there comes a time when you’ve got to stop the rot.

Last edited 2 months ago by Craig Young
Arkadian X
Arkadian X
2 months ago
Reply to  Craig Young

I thought that trade deal was all Truss’s doing 😉

Craig Young
Craig Young
2 months ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Lolzers…

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
2 months ago
Reply to  Craig Young

As another expat Kiwi living in the UK, when I became aware of the “be kind” and the “you don’t have to worry, we will do the thinking for you” response in one announcement(though can’t find it at the moment), coupled with her covid pronouncements from a medical perspective, I wondered whether she had dialectically synthesised logos and ethos to form her delivery method – pathos. Thus, it is not enough for logos and ethos, the correctness of what you say – the moral righteousness of what you say, is signalled by pathos – feeling and emotion. Hence the style of her delivery.
Just spit ballin’ of course.

Craig Young
Craig Young
2 months ago

Ardern said that in the context of updates on COVID that she/her government should be seen as “the sole source of truth”.
Yikes. At the very least that is clumsy phrasing and it’s arguably quite revealing, but not something she has since repeated.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
2 months ago
Reply to  Craig Young

I don’t think Ardern does clumsy. I have heard her speak in other venues outside of her party political arena and she is very articulate and on point. But I suppose I can extend her the benefit of the doubt.
What does irk me is the narratives around here that lean into identity politics by playing on her sex as if that gives her some special magical power.

Ludwig van Earwig
Ludwig van Earwig
2 months ago

Ardern’s qualifications are in “communications” i.e. spin. So she’s good at sounding plausible and in control. Did I mention her stint in Tony Blair’s spin department?

Last edited 2 months ago by Ludwig van Earwig
Craig Young
Craig Young
2 months ago

“I don’t think Ardern does clumsy” – Yes, fair point.

Kerry Davie
Kerry Davie
2 months ago
Reply to  Craig Young

Very revealing: that there is in all governments, but particularly those of a socialist bent, an instinct for totalitarianism.

Warren T
Warren T
2 months ago
Reply to  Craig Young

It’s about time that the people who vote for these quacks acknowledge the errors of their ways. Thank you.

Craig Young
Craig Young
2 months ago
Reply to  Warren T

“Thanks”, I think?
I will point out that the last NZ PM (Jon Keys, National Party) stood by and did precious little to progress the rebuild when my home town, NZ’s 2nd largest city, was destroyed by several earthquakes.
So voting for that party is not exactly an easy deal for me, nor for anyone who (like me) leans even slightly to the left of centre…

Last edited 2 months ago by Craig Young
michael stanwick
michael stanwick
2 months ago
Reply to  Craig Young

Well I went back at the end of 2019 for may mother’s funeral. My home town of Whanganui was dead as a door nail. Closed down shops, and a sense of decay. It was very unsettling and not the vibrant city of my youth. All my rellies got out and fled to Oz for employment.

Last edited 2 months ago by michael stanwick
Ludwig van Earwig
Ludwig van Earwig
2 months ago
Reply to  Craig Young

Yes the next NZ election is an unappealing prospect, every bit as bad as America 2016. As for John Key – an utter grifter. I still remember the (short-lived) joy on hearing that he’d resigned as PM. But little did I know what was in store for us.

Martin Brumby
Martin Brumby
2 months ago

I don’t think it became a political issue (it should have been), but the Pike River Coal Mine disaster was a straw in the wind.

Unbelievable incompetence in the design of the mine, especially in the location of the ventilation fan underground, the failure to control methane, the failure to provide a realistic second means of egress, the list goes on and on.

And (whilst I’m not a huge fan of regulation), the idea that one inexperienced Mine Inspector could cover all mining and quarrying activity across the whole of New Zealand was a piss take.

Absolute incompetence.

The fact that it never became a big issue (and Labour would certainly have been even worse) is revealing.

But we have governments across the world believing in magic rather than genuine science.

So it isn’t just a NZ problem…

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
2 months ago

I thought the election in America in 2016 was a good one. Donald Trump squashing the establishment to eke out a victory for getting things done. I was pleased to vote for him.

Hilary Taylor
Hilary Taylor
2 months ago
Reply to  Craig Young

John key…And I disagree with ‘stood by and did little’ and I’m still in post-quake Christchurch. The series of devastating quakes wrought huge damage and while valid criticisms can be made about the re-build that phrase is inaccurate, imo. As for Ardern, the gush & mush are too much for me and I resent being treated like a kindergartner. Our young adult professional children cannot afford housing and the brain drain will be huge…not that I blame only this govt for that state of affairs. I largely agree with Ludwig & NZ is no longer the glassy marble on so many levels.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  Craig Young

I just can’t bring myself to vote National currently.
I personally think Ardern has been a mixed bag, while kiwibuild was a shambles house building is currently at the highest level it’s been for 50 years, along with a large increase in state housing. The 3 waters reform was badly needed, though very badly handled, ditto the healthcare reforms. For all the economic doom and gloom inflation is still below the OECD average, and government debt is incredibly low by international standards. However house prices and rents have climbed considerably under their watch, though they do now appear to be dropping, and the ongoing mask wearing in supermarkets i find to be performative nonsense.
However the only policies I’ve heard from National are to increase immigration to keep wage costs down, lower the top tax rate (which is already low compared to other countries), scrap the brightline tax for property speculators and give landlords a tax cut with the interest deductions. There’s nothing in there for us “bottom feeders” so although Labour is much further to the left socially than I’m comfortable with I’ll still be voting for them at the next election unless something drastically changes

Craig Young
Craig Young
2 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Fair do’s. Well argued.
For me it’s much more finely balanced, but I am leaning to National. Here’s my take:
Kiwi build is right ambition, terrible delivery.
Mental healthcare in NZ is a total and utter disgusting scandal, and the total failure to improve mainstream healthcare is just not on. (Mike King ought to be knighted.)
Three Waters is a case of reform being needed but the “remedy” is being rammed through against all reasoned opposition/lack of consideration of alternatives.
Violent crime is now rampant and the govt has no response.
And there was no mention whatsoever of the co-governance agenda in any manifesto. It needs debate and discussion, not to be rammed through furtively by secretive “Nanny knows best” sour faced, illiberal “liberals”.
Also, dammit, as an expatriate Kiwi, we were treated appallingly by Ardern and co, and so I am minded to vote for my interests and remind Labour that they can’t treat people like that and expect no consequences. So much for the NZ Bill of Rights Act.
And I could go on. Our Foreign minister is out of her depth and the govt is now straight up appeasing China.

Last edited 2 months ago by Craig Young
Andrew F
Andrew F
2 months ago
Reply to  Craig Young

I have never been to NZ.
Quite a few NZ citizens on this forum mentioned violent crime.
Is it a result of mass immigration of wrong people like in Sweden?

Hojo Colaca
Hojo Colaca
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Not at all. We have our own NZ born and bred Underclass. Fully funded by a welfare lifestyle and next to no concern about any limp-wristed punishment coming their way. not that any are usually caught or charged.

Colin Barber
Colin Barber
2 months ago
Reply to  Craig Young

As a Brit living in NZ I can agree with your post – good points. I did not vote for JA – and after her grandstanding and divisive politics of the last 2 years this NZ needs to move on quickly. The trade deals for sure are good and seemingly long overdue.

Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
2 months ago

I’m not a farmer but I am a UK smallholder in a rural, farming community so I have an interest in farming. I follow a farming forum (https://thefarmingforum.co.uk/index.php?forums/-/list) which has a number of New Zealand farmers as members and if they are representative then I can say that Ardern is very unpopular with them because of her anti-farming policies.
The top 2 exports from New Zealand are Dairy, Eggs, Honey (28.5%) and Meat(14.2%). So introducing a meat tax seems like she’s shooting herself in the foot. This is one of a number of policies which will harm farmers. Does this sound familiar?

Craig Young
Craig Young
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

Hmmm. A meat tax? Think that’s a new one to me. (I have lived in the U.K. nearly 25 years, so sometimes miss out on news from home.) Except to say that Kiwi Farmers loathing Labour is not exactly new, and there is GST (VAT) on food in NZ. So, going to get the groceries is a seriously wallet damaging enterprise in NZ. Another “kind” policy. Not.
Oh. Perhaps it’s the environmental tax on methane? I think that’s coming in soon. I think.

Last edited 2 months ago by Craig Young
Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
2 months ago
Reply to  Craig Young

Yes, here it is if you believe the BBC
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-61741352
Except I see in that article that the National President of Federated Farmers in New Zealand broadly approves the scheme so perhaps I’m wrong.

Craig Young
Craig Young
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

Crikey. The “Frustrated Farmers” supporting a Labour policy?
I really have been away from home for a long time… 😉
Yes, it’s a methane tax. Dunno if that’s a good idea. NZ’s rivers are now undrinkable thanks to intensive dairying. Not sure that a new tax will help matters.

Last edited 2 months ago by Craig Young
Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 months ago

She got into power with support from Winston Peters, the one who wanted to ban Islamic immigration.
She got re-elected due to COVID.
Honeymoon’s over, she needs to make her case for re-election properly now.

Kieran O'Driscoll
Kieran O'Driscoll
2 months ago

There is plague of useless box tickering morons from the marxist-feminist matriarchy of incompetence, divisiveness and hate, who are destroying the western civilization because they are feckless and of course because ….. men. In addition she exemplifies the garbage from the World Elite Fascist club!!

John Dennis
John Dennis
2 months ago

The voting public in NZ is just as stupidly tribal as every other western democracy in the world, A huge proportion vote for the same party over and over again. But it’s extremely sensitive to arrogance. The moment they think their leader has become aloof it’s over. Adern has become a bit of a t**t, as did her predecessor Key, and Kiwis are quite intolerable of twats.

Last edited 2 months ago by john.dennis.01
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  John Dennis

Do you see a decent alternative in the opposition though? The thing that will save her in my opinion is a multi millionaire property speculating landlord promising large tax cuts to multi millionaires, property speculators and landlords during an escalation in the cost of living. Ardern is a middling politician but the alternative simply looks worse to me

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
2 months ago

Out of interest, how high is inflation in NZ and what is supposed to be the root cause of it?

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 months ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Over 7% now and rapidly rising. Cause is whatever you want , but don’t mention money-printing.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
2 months ago

So, the same as everywhere else. I wonder how Switzerland is doing. They had low inflation last time I heard.

Gordon Welford
Gordon Welford
2 months ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

The root cause is the lengthy lockdowns in most counties.And this outcome was obvious to many people whose opinions were blotted out and/or vilified

E. L. Herndon
E. L. Herndon
2 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Welford

Agree. The operation was a success. Sadly, the patient died.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

7.3%, so pretty much bang average for the OECD. Being as geographically isolated as NZ is any rise in shipping and fuel costs hurt the economy quite considerably

David George
David George
2 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Here is NZ against our top 15 trading partners:

  1. US 9.1%
  2. UK 9.1%
  3. Italy 8.0%
  4. Thailand 7.7%
  5. Germany 7.6%
  6. New Zealand 7.3%
  7. South Korea 6.0%
  8. France 5.8%
  9. Singapore 5.6%
  10. Australia 5.1%
  11. Indonesia 4.4%
  12. Vietnam 3.4%
  13. Malaysia 2.8%
  14. UAE 2.5%
  15. China 2.5%
  16. Japan 2.5%
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  David George

The OECD average is 9.2%, though this is skewed higher due to Turkey. So NZs 7.3% seems fairly standard, especially for an isolated nation susceptible to high shipping costs

Russell Clarke
Russell Clarke
2 months ago
Reply to  Arkadian X