Ardern resigns as PM, saying "I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice,"; General Election to be on October 14; Labour caucus to elect new leader to be PM on Sunday; Robertson not standing
I wonder how much did hate & threats of violence on Social Media & Telegram, along with the inevitable resulting warnings from NZ intelligence officials regarding Ardern's & her family's personal security, played on the stress Ardern was put under & resulting decision to resign?
A good piece on Jacinda - and I completely agree with your comments about all the things she ruled out and how they constrained her ability to address the big issues (housing, for instance, and child poverty). But it is a shock. Grant Robertson ruling himself out is also a shock, given that he would be a steadying influence in the absence of the charismatic Jacinda, with the ability to lead the party to a successful election. Without both of them, their chances look poor. Chippy? Competent but not a vote winner, I’d have thought.
For me the clue is in David Mohring’s comment above, echoing what you have said for months. If there’s enough opprobrium from a noisy few, even the most gracious and resilient leader is bound to ask themselves why they continue.
I guess we can be grateful to her for providing a role model for a generation of young women. All those people who thought she was ‘too young’ (too female) for the job - take that.
I’m gutted, but I also understand what a toll it must have taken on her and her whānau - especially since the Parliament protests. I agree with your assessment that she wasn’t a transformative leader, despite being unparalleled in her crisis management & international stature. She did make us proud to be Kiwis, and she saved many lives thanks to her early COVID measures.
But it is an utter tragedy that her massive mandate from the last election got wasted - especially on climate, housing, transport & poverty policies. I don’t know who can take Labour to victory, if Grant doesn’t stand - and I believe he also doesn’t have enough in the tank to take on this massive role - I kinda hope it’ll be Kiri Allan. It’s time for a wahine toa to take leadership of Aotearoa, although I’m not sure if the misogynistic, racist half of us can stomach it.
NAct will be a nightmare on all issues I care about - even tho I’ll personally profit as a landowner, developer & farmer. Kia kaha Jacinda. You did your country proud
A lovely tribute Bernard. Thank you! The right person at the right time for NZ. I despair for our future though.
Taken out by her man or gossip about his behaviour which if just gossip is truly vicious. Good ole NZ. If it’s true she should run from that as well. So intolerable position given as you say Bernard neither party really cut the mustard given the multiple very real crisis, inequality and poor Governance and investment we’ve all been put through for decades. Jacinda was ultimately a competent foil for all the incompetence. But in the end it’s all hard to stomach isn’t it? I wish her well she was always up against it.
Sadly Greens Policy is horrible for most people and the country. They want more from us all and to erase women and will enable Corporates by monetising pollution. So no future (literally)there either. “They know not what they do…”. Another mess. Chloe is too young and idealistic to see how corrupt it all has become and get too core issues Bernard raises as the most vulnerable (and all of us really) are far worse off now and can’t afford any of them and their fantastical realities and demands on citizens individually destroying everything we do and have built anymore. Horrid. All concerned about engineering and exploiting us rather than doing a competent regulatory job which doesn’t invade our lives and ignore our rights. They work against most of us and stand on ridiculous minority interests as a distraction.
Kiri Allen for PM I reckon. However, don't see any of them brave enough to make the fundamental changes you suggest over and over to allow growth Bernard. That is, raising the debt limit, investing in infrastructure, expanding building and lowering land values. The current generation of politicians want to help the majority when they arrive, but are slowly worn down to only help those who are already ok - the current landowners who benefit from lack of investment. Sigh.
Manufacturing consent? The powerful money class (anxious to get their tax cuts back), the black shirt conspiracy theorists, the cattle industry and a major portion of the media attacked Jacinda daily and relentlessly - usually without merit (and almost never without the right to respond). They chiseled away at her support from the beginning of this term. For a one month challange, I meticulously collated all political op ed's syndicated by the Herald (in our local paper) for one month. The attacks against the government were 2:1 to those who supported the government (with 4 op-eds from Act alone.) I could see this coming for months. She was too scared at pushback and poll numbers to do what she needed to do with taxation and social spending, as you so eloquently state. not to mention the Bannon influenced black shirt conspiracy crowd whose harassment and death threats could cower anyone.
Mean while back in the ‘Blue clowns tea party’ they have been turning back the clock and rolling out the same ol same ol promoting Judith C and Todd Muller. I can’t believe what is happening in politics in this country...it’s like watching a car crash in slow motion as the saying go’s.
Well when even our PM has to give birth in a hospital with shit in the walls she must have known it was truly a shut show from the outset. Certainly would give me the screaming and ab dabs. Sadly Labour just stole Greens best policies as they like National have no intention of working effectively for NZ citizens and are controlled by forces stronger than democratic or equal positive progressive forces. Monied interests.
Well said Bernard. To have a young woman as, PM in NZ was something my younger
last century self could not have envisaged.
What an icon for young women, yes we are competent, we can make a positive difference in NZ. The mysogonists & entitled you are on notice.
Totally expected and logical decision. She ran out of steam and checked out mid-last year. Hasn’t been in control of some strong parts of the caucus. I picked her going early this year way back last year on your The Hoon Q&A. She’s really only there cos of Winnie, Covid and a couple of disasters. Suffered from a lack of much other talent amongst her Ministers. When things got tough and she realised she wasn’t universal loved, it was time to bail. And why not? What more is there for her to achieve. And she’s not cut out to be a Leader of the Opposition. I actually wish her well. She deserves to break away from a life in NZ politics. I’m picking more established Labour MP’s will also now bail. Chris Hipkins & Kiri Allen are the best option for Labour going forward but that won’t save a lot of current first-time MP’s from seeing the door in October. Her rhetoric about her team and their chances at election time is noble, but more spin.
Of course, National are completely capable of stuffing things up and dragging themselves down 🤣😁, just like they did in the last election.
I think she had the right kind of aspiration and humanity to be the kind of leader we should want. Her conservatism (around wealth taxes, cannabis etc) certainly felt like own-goals in her quest to be transformative - which was a shame - but she showed more resilience and empathy than I think many of us could honestly admit to having.
Regardless, it's hard to not blame her for quitting, rather than passively descending from her fresh-air-family-summer and back into the muck and shit the vocal minority have piled on her in the past 18 months.
There will very likely come a time where she is leading high-profile work overseas for some globalisation-factory, and we will all clamber over ourselves to claim her as 'just one of us Kiwi's' but, right now, I am feeling really sad that a small perpetually-online portion of our citizenry felt so small and inadequate that they've broken someone who was, perhaps, the most relatable and human PM we've ever had.
She was infected by covid mid 2022, I wonder if her comment about having not enough left in the tank for the election in 2023, was due in part to the lack of energy that she might have suffered like many, in the aftermath of a covid 19 infection. For saying this, I don’t want to discount the aweful effects of the hate and the threats she had the endure as well. It's pretty sad.
I think of Jacinda Ardern the same way I think of Barack Obama. So sharp, such ability and skilled communication. And yet, in the end, unable to go as far and cover as much as we might have liked.
I am heartened that we manage to discover (and elect!) such extraordinary humans. Godspeed.
They are out there. May we continue to encourage and support them.