On Jacinda Being “Missing In Action” Apparently


It occurs that Judith Collins’ attack on Jacinda for being “missing in action” yesterday due to not being inside the Beehive Theatrette at 13:00 … could use some punctuation. Specifically, a comma. Should read “Missing, In Action” – or perhaps even a dash: “Missing – In Action”.

Because instead of dropping everything to front a press conference several hundred KM away, the PM was continuing her sustained effort at bolstering vaccination rates on the East Coast. In areas that have been underserved by previous health investment, and which have been worrisomely under-covered by the vaccine rollout thus far.

Some might suggest it’s a PR move. And to that I can only say an enthusiastic “Yes.” It is literally a PR move. Public Relations. Going out there and engaging with a swathe of the public, in a bid to facilitate their engagement with a particular policy. That being the public health policy which is absolutely vital for them and us.

If it’s a “PR move” then it is the best kind of PR move – one which is actually done for the public, in public, and both for and in the public interest rather than being purely theater (Beehive -erette variety, or otherwise).

I have been – I feel rather understandably – critical of the Government’s communications this past week, and some of their apparent decision-making as well.

Yet as an exercise in comms, and something which is seemingly irreducibly Kiwi – having the actual Prime Minister turn up to personally do the Government Communication, in your street, neighbourhood, and community … well, the only time I could see Judith Collins even attempting to do something like this and actually being ‘on-theme’ would be on October 31st after dark at your doorstep.


  1. Regardless of whether you like Jacinda or not, she is still very popular and her trips into the provincial areas meeting the people is something that will surely help the vaccination targets.
    Jacinda is good amongst the people, like John Key, she mixes well with people in many different situations and most people appreciate a PM who is prepared to come to their neck of the woods.

    • Correct.

      That said there is a building perception that the ‘hard’ days are left to Hipkins and Robertson. The old adage still holds that perception becomes reality over time.

      • What utter crap. We were coincidentally on holiday in Gizzy when J A came through. Most people v happy to see her. In answer to your comment, JA will always front for the steel decisions.

        • N Spur. Yes. Utter crap. Couldn’t have said it better. Crap like,’there is a building perception…’ (in FtTs head anyway). And ,’perception becomes reality…'(in FtTs head fantasy).
          Wonderwoman (in my head) is doing a great job.

          • Frank – you keep constantly pushing that view to the point that you become an obvious troll, like certain others here who constantly rush to warmly agree with any lefties who critcise the current govt in any way.
            Not productive, just silly. I prefer the lefties’ genuine criticisms to the righties’ concern trolling.

  2. Great photo. Not that many politicians can look that natural in the sorts of streets you will find in many provincial towns

  3. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen real good leadership. This is what it looks like. Both a great tactical move and a real benefit to the vaccine rollout. It is no wonder so many people like the PM. She’s a smart lady.
    Tough week in Govt, bit messy, let the troops take some load off her and go and help lift moral in the regions.
    Just like a good General would do a in war, show that she cares about the troops.

  4. As one of this Govt’s trenchant critics over housing, WINZ/MSD, not taking on the Torys at top of public service etc. etc. I still am impressed with the PM’s touch. She personally persuaded, and assisted a number of people on the weekend to get vaccinated, to the point of being physically next to one of them when it was done.

    Nashnull are such dicks really, “Jacinda gets too much face time with the nation”, next minute “Where is Jacinda, the nation needs to know…”

    Not much more could be expected from her really in the COVID situation.

  5. N Spur. Yes. Utter crap. Couldn’t have said it better. Crap like,’there is a building perception…’ (in FtTs head anyway). And ,’perception becomes reality…'(in FtTs head fantasy).
    Wonderwoman (in my head) is doing a great job.

  6. “PR move.”

    I guess this is the first gig the newly established department of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment appointed to the DPMC!

    I guess that their will many more of these feeble amateur theatrics before the pending election as well.

    Not in dairy. Must do better. 1 out of 5.

  7. She’s somewhere doing something (presumably) but out of immediate sight of the media? She’s hiding.

    She’s having a press conference, it’s just a PR exercise. There’s something happening somewhere (there always is of course) and she doesn’t have a press conference, she’s hiding.

    She’s in the provinces meeting real people, she should be in Wellington.
    She’s in Wellington when there are issues (there always are of course), she should be out facing up to issues.

    Something serious like a wild fire happens and she goes on site, she’s hijacking it for political purposes.

    Something serious like a wild fire happens and she doesn’t go on site, she doesn’t care and she’s snubbing and undervaluing the victims and the fire services.

    Let’s highlight and criticise Ardern for the real terrible thing she did, the most heinous. The crux of it is that she had the temerity to get to be Prime Minister in the first place. And as a youngish woman. That is totally unacceptable.

    • Oh you are so right , exactly my thoughts, Winston picked Labour but boy did they have to pay for his choice every miserable choice and step of his way. He seriously underestimated her strength though throughout her being PM. The old white farmers could not stand it , the rednecks cried out in pain that a young woman could possibly be PM. Then shock horror she had the temerity to have a baby fancy that a young woman PM. pregnant with her first child. These men have never got over that, as you can see who now doesn’t votes for her. The worst offenders in all this are the female shock jocks just have a read of their personal remarks they show absolutely no respect along with their male colleagues. There is no support from them in times of crisis, they all think they can do better, maybe they should all walk a day in her shoes then they might all have some respect for this strong woman who we should all be proud of as our leader.

        • No maybe about it. The many on here lining up to.crucify her says that’s exactly who she is.
          And Never Was Labour is the new Judas.

      • Peter – spot on and Gillian – perfect response. These men, generally older white men cannot handle a younger woman achieving what Jacinda has achieved. They cannot handle younger people generally achieving great things.

        I always remember the ghastly ogre of an individual who, in a comment on TDB some time ago said Jacinda was useless because she has prominent teeth, although he did not use the word ‘prominent’. As I’ve said before, how do these men treat their own daughters and wives? Probably with ill-disguised contempt.

        These individuals, with cameo guest appearances from Key and Joyce, probably at the behest of big business, criticise Jacinda for the way she has handled the COVID crisis, yet I would like to see them do better. There was no template or recipe for handling the crisis but you get these people like the older white male from the National Party (I can’t remember his name – he is so forgettable) saying on the TVNZ News last night that the Government should stop these lock-downs. Like – duh.

  8. Seem to recall Her Nastiness was regularly missing in action over one controversial matter after another – Orivida, resignation, nasty tweets, Dirty Politics, more nasty tweets.

  9. I agree with you entirely.
    A leader should be with their people in a crisis, and in this case the PM has the celebrity and popularity to make a real difference to the vaccine effort.
    Her trip was entirely justified – more than that, it was a much better use of her time and talents than being holed up in Wellington.
    More legitimate criticism of her is that she hasn’t done more of this!

  10. Yeah I’m pedantic, but she should bloody practise what she preaches and stay 2m away from anyone. The other day on TV she was grouped with other pollies, 3 within 1m, on not wearing masks. Nice!


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