Waatea News Column: If Jacinda wants to win a second term, she needs to tell us her new 100 day vision

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Pihopa Kingi

Last election, Andrew Little looked at the slumping polls 3 moths out from the 2017 ballot and said, ‘I can’t lead this Party to victory’, and in the most unselfish, most progressive political move in NZ history, stood aside to allow Jacinda Ardern to become leader.

Talk about putting your privilege aside.

Jacinda exploded onto the political stage with an energy and excitement that propelled her into a position to form a Government, but we also need to acknowledge that Labour’s energy was spent on winning and with little executive oversight, with no plans to reform the neoliberal public service who stymied any direct application of services and an inexperienced front bench, Jacinda has not been able to be transformative in the way her rhetoric was.

If Jacinda wants to win a second term, she needs to articulate her vision of the first 100 days of a next Government. She now knows what is possible and what isn’t, she now sees the hopelessness of public services that are management heavy and service lite. She has the room to sideline underperforming Ministers.

With those ingredients she must now be able to construct her vision of what needs to be done and what she can promise.

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The Budget Responsibility straight jacket Grant Robertson signed her Government into must be dumped for a wholesale mass investment into transformative infrastructure, a mass state housing build and real work to get peoples wages higher while giving business huge tax rebates into R&D.

Jacinda has to sell us a vision and give us the time scale of the first 100 days to create the perception of momentum.

She has to be bold, confident and authentically credible in providing hope to NZers that there can be a better way forward. She must do something that makes life directly better each week for her electorate. From a sizeable increase in welfare payments; to the first $20 000 being tax free; to GST being removed from fresh fruit and vegetables – she has to implement an idea that people can feel in their pocket each week.

If she cannot sell us her vision in the first 100 days, voters she warmed with the power of hope in 2017 will turn away cold in 2020 like frost in winter.

The humiliation of a one term Government or the roots of a political legacy that entrenched the politics of kindness into the foundations of our culture.

Those are the only two options going into election 2020 for her and Labour.

First published on Waatea News.

26 COMMENTS

  1. Hear hear.
    So far (helped by NZ’s extreme right wing propaganda media) this Labour Government have seemed more like a National Lite without the extreme on-screen gloating and lies of the last TraitorKey Government.
    Come on Jacinda be a Labour party and not a TraitorKey do little (to nothing) just so you can have the baubles of power.
    Bring back a Labour party from the era of the 1960’6 and 70’s in the UK. Sorry I wasn’t here in NZ then, so I’ve no idea what the NZ version was like.
    That era gets a bad rap (from right wing propaganda media) but they made the country more egalitarian, had lower debt and less Government department with ingrained CRUELITY (e.g. MSD/WINZ etc) than modern day UK/NZ.
    Had North Sea oil arrived a couple of years earlier, the UK would have been a far better place than it is today. See Norway for what could have been done if a right wing Government hadn’t given most of it’s gains away to the rich and ruined the oil wells to get the oil out as quick as possible to stay in power.

  2. The key suggestions in article are spot on…
    –Dump the “me too”–try hard ’Fiscal Responsibility’ or Fiscal Cap, and spend up large
    –Tax Free first $20 grand of income
    –Massive State House build, along with non degree quick course trades training
    –GST off fresh fruit and veg
    –Benefit Increases and introduce the rest of the Experts Working Group recommendations

    …and I would add…
    –introduce Fair Pay Agreements, which would lift the wage floor for people in the provinces and small workplaces
    –Introduce income splitting for all Govt Depts–WINZ, MSD, IRD, ACC etc so relationships do not negatively affect assistance people seek
    –Write off WINZ/MSD debts and overpayments, and no more debts established for emergency housing or food

    …and, promise during the 2nd term to…
    –Make senior public servants reapply for their jobs, and not rehire too many of them!
    –Look seriously at UBI type payments and the total disestablishment of WINZ/MSD
    –Repeal the Neo Liberal legislative base; Reserve Bank Act, State Sector Act etc.
    –Restore power generation and supply to full public ownership
    –Restore the Refining NZ (Marsden Pt Consortium) to public ownership

    And be prepared to seek active working class support for those types of policies

    • Talk in the worst suburbs if you can repair their desperation.

      The rule of the people requires our dominance, lesson of the last 40 years, and with the wave of climate change coming, socialism as vital as the world wars.

  3. A 100 day plan would be like The Year of Delivery.
    And Kiwibuild.
    And Light Rail to the airport.

    Promises are easy to make, and her government doesn’t have a good track-record.

    • Ada,

      Let’s face it, the anti Government brigade have been ridiculing and undermining from day 1. The good being achieved is either totally ignored or the Nats have tried to take credit for it. The not so good has been grossly exaggerated as a vital part of the water on a stone campaign run by National who see that as the key component to them getting back in. It’s divisive and incredibly negative. The Nats produce absolutely nothing positive. They just stand on the sideline throwing stones and mud all day every day hoping some of that mud will stick. If you listen to them you would have wagered any sum on the coalition not lasting 6 months and the sky falling in at any moment.

      Intelligent people learn from what they get wrong or party wrong. This Government does that. The previous National Government either didn’t recall any of all of their enormous blunders that hurt so many kiwis, or they denied them or they just flat out couldn’t possibly care less.

      Politicians make promises before all elections. Some of those promises come to fruition in the time frame spoken of. Some don’t. The word “promise” should be replaced with commitment or more appropriately “target”.

      It’ important to not be hypercritical with such matters. Was the previous National Government a “half decent” Government? Safe to assume that John Key promised not to increase GST because it would hurt New Zealanders and everyone knew that….nek minute.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3311679/Key-no-GST-rise-video-emerges.

      For almost the entire time Labour were in opposition after Helen Clark they were a chocolate fireguard. Phil Goff was light years away from being inspiring. David Cunliffe seems a nice bloke but was a totally ineffective leader. Same can be said about Andrew Little who should have stepped down a year before he finally did. National could have stood Charles Manson in some seats and still won easily. If Labour had been a good opposition with good numbers they would have been effective. National gave them so much ammunition. That all changed when Jacinda was made leader and the Nats have absolutely hated the political landscape ever since. No longer can the entitled Nats rule and they haven’t stopped bleating since. They have now set a world record for the longest tantrum in history. The more Ardern is a threat to their ambitions, the more likely she will be ridiculed, undermined and misrepresented. Under those circumstances they are far more likely to resort to the scaremongering and dirty politics now so closely associated with the National Party.

      • Kiwibuild is the Nat’s fault?
        Announcing the ‘Year of Delivery’ is a cunning right-wing corporate media plot!
        And Light Rail not starting construction until 2021 is due to the Nats having a tantrum?

        It is the Opposition’s job to point out the Government’s failings. The COL gives Simon Bridges all the material he needs to do his job.

        Elections are about the future. What will that party do if in government? So non-delivery in your first term makes your promises about your second term not credible.

        • @ Ada – I draw to your attention Professor Sir David Skegg’s, ‘Health of the People,’ published in OU’s Oct 2019 Magazine.

          Should you take time to read it, and if you are able to apply to it the suggestions which you have conjured up as indicative of the success or otherwise of a political party, you may find that you are in error, because applying them to Prof Skegg’s analysis of the NZ health system, were you correct, the National Govt would simply not have held the whips of power as long as it did.

          You may also find respected epidemiologist Skegg’s report an enlightening read about the real world out here.

        • Ada,

          Kiwibuild is not National’s fault. Never said it was. What is Nationals fault however was their policies that encouraged the housing crisis, their indifference toward so many NZ families being hugely disadvantaged and suffering through the crisis and of course their denials that there even was a housing crisis.

          I would much rather have a Government with an ambitious plan to address the crisis even if the plan needs adjusting than National’s denials and indifference. It’s not lost on big numbers of kiwi’s the irony and hypocrisy for National and their cheerleaders to be the ones making most noise about the housing crisis now being addressed.

      • BG,

        National Party cheerleaders have been bleating on about working groups since the new Government took office.

        You do know the previous National Government also used many many working groups. Dame Paula Rebstock was their go to person… 🙁

        Rather than rubbish working groups don’t you think you should better understand why we have them? It’s madness to have politicians with only basic knowledge be making huge blunders when you have specialists in the topic looking on from the sidelines. It’s not a weakness to let experts make sure the correct decisions are made…..or would you just prefer politicians be arrogant and believe they couldn’t possibly get it wrong?

    • Ada – After the fantastic Green tsunami in Switzerland, anything could happen here:

      “Support for the Greens has surged in Switzerland’s election, moving politics to the left and putting environmentalists in the mix for a seat in the broad coalition that has governed the country for decades.

      The far-right Swiss People’s Party (SVP) remains in first place, according to projections after the parliamentary election on Sunday.

      However like other big parties the SVP lost ground as environmentalist parties seized on voters’ concerns about climate change to shake up the political establishment.”

      • @Applewood, sadly our Green Party has been kidnapped by Labour Lite and identity woke, and they left a bunch of newbies worrying about their cunts, giving more free water to the Chinese, carbon neutral in 2050 when the planet when it is too late, more plastic pollution including the bottled water they just green lighted free from NZ, getting more aged migrant parents in to support, the Real Housewives of Tehran /Keeping up with the Ghahramans and so forth. Worrying about a fan in the bathroom when people are homeless and 300,000 people immigrated to NZ last year but only 23000 state houses built, happy the government is paying a fortune to mostly OZ companies that don’t seem to report to the tenancy tribunal, share a bathroom and kitchen social housing, (pretty much a big step down in living standards) bodies seem to be lying undiscovered by the so called outsourced support services, no worries about universities shutting down specialist libraries and the plethora of fake degrees/diplomas in NZ…

        The only good thing they did was ban single use bags and sort of kind of still disagreed with TPPA, but they could have and should have gone a lot further which they are happy to do on trivial or issues for identity groups.

        Since the current Greens are allowing bottled water to be exported which is apparently made up of 1/4 of the bottle of oil used to make the plastic is that really an environmental win for the coalition? https://mightynest.com/articles/making-a-plastic-water-bottle

        • saveNZ – The NZ Greens have blotted their copy book with me; the purpose of my comment to Ada, “After the fantastic Green tsunami in Switzerland, anything could happen here” was a possibly too subtle reference to climate change, which I don’t think Ada believes is happening, but the civilized Swiss do.

          The fact that this is Switzerland was serendipity, as I think that Ada wants everything in NZ decided by Swiss-type referenda, and it concerns me that next she’ll want us to start watch-making – which China does cheaper – and to yodel along the Southern Alps – which is cultural appropriation, culturally insensitive, and may trigger avalanches.

    • too right Ada , also promises are cheap .and dreams are free .

      seems to me if you say you are going to do a job you do it .

      shes got a year to go she had better get cracking and get on with it . thats what we pay her for.

      not for excuses .and not just to keep the natz out . her not doing what she said she would do is guaranteed to have them back in .

      its as this article says .she has two choices and thats all .

  4. Not sure how Labour, Greens and NZ First and the wokies expect to get wages up unless they lower immigration and stop all the visa recruitment scams blooming here…. They can increase minimum wages but there is a huge black economy outside of that with it becoming normal for people to be paid less than the minimum wages through various means. Meanwhile it is undermining the other businesses who are paying higher wages for labour.

    Also so many ‘self employed’ that used to be employed aka Chorus workers but now get less than the minimum wages or are on zero hour contracts. So the the whole wages debate is skewed, like thinking working one hour a week is employment.

    At least they are trying to crack down on some of the scams, but maybe too little, too late and the penalties like home detention, are hardly a deterrent. As well as that, it’s the little guys being caught and prosecuted, not the fat cats who require a lot more expertise and effort.

  5. If I were blind I’d probably have more vision than this government. What I do see if more corporate catering with the CP-TPP which Labour made a lot of noise about opposing pre election plus a lot of other measures that have not met their promises pre election.

    No, if we want change we need new parties. Labour was given a chance even by non supporters like myself who urged a coalition with them out of preference to one with National only to see them behave in a very similar manner to the Nats.

    Suffice to say I personally refuse to vote for more of the same. End of story.

    • @Sean, agree wholeheartedly with “What I do see if more corporate catering with the CP-TPP which Labour made a lot of noise about opposing pre election plus a lot of other measures that have not met their promises pre election.”

      But what is the alternative?

      Not voting tends to get the Natz in by default.

      Labour are Nat Lite, NZ First missing in action, Greens turned bueaucratic woke, but Nat Lite is better than full Natz which has created most of the worst crisis in NZ such as mass immigration numbers, mass scams, frauds and crims coming here while encouraging more local crims with Meth everywhere, 0% tax havens to encourage tax non payers to NZ, terrible pollution, more corporate welfare to sunset industries, assets sell offs, major housing, school and health crisis from turning a blind eye to the above!

      Anyone already struggling or concerned at the planet now who doesn’t vote, will be worse off with Natz in charge taking from the 99% to give to the 1%.

  6. Remove GST from fresh fruit and vegetables? That’s “bold” ? The anti working class GST, initially brought in by Labour needs chucking, now, in its entirety.

  7. I expect when the poll numbers drop from disillusioned Labour voters not intending to vote, they will misinterpret and move more to the right. The light rail debacle pretty much does it for me. Not going with a spade ready design in order to evaluate another option which will cost six times more over its lifespan as a PPP, just to avoid going over the self imposed fiscal cap really shows the lack of intellectual capacity in this government.

    Many of the issues we have now, such as the shortage of social housing stem from the time of Aunty Helen’s third way government. Announcements of state house building were met by the winter of discontent and a quick shelving of the project. This then enabled the Key government to continue the sell off when they got in. I was hoping we had got over the third way triangulation politics as Labour have in the UK. That could also show how hard it is to evict the Neolibs in the party that have been entrenched so long.

  8. I see a few problems here Martyn:

    Firstly it’s all very well having ‘visions’ but there needs to be some substance behind them. We’ve seen from their inability to deliver these last two years that neither Jacinda nor her team are capable of assembling the details to deliver on a vision. Stardust isn’t going to work a second time around.

    Secondly, while you’re right that she has the room for a reshuffle of the cabinet, exactly who has she got that’s worth promoting? I suspect the only reason she’s hung on to Twyford is because she doesn’t have much in the way of options on the back benches. Blame Clark for this. She was the ‘Minister of Everything’ who didn’t bring in new talent.

  9. Good analysis of a nitwit. And of her 2nd chance! I hope she reads this.

    I hate her Woman’s Weekly self myself. Shallowness seems to be her cresting strength. Makes clear the superiority of a NZ Corbyn or Sanders. I certainly feel superior to her and her fellows, and I’m losing money. Or, because I’m losing money?

  10. Not a talker among these sh-ouse ‘Labour-ites’. As much the definition as anything of Labour. So many players of the waves, no poles above them.

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