Jacinda betrayed

Jacinda Ardern Is standing down
I can understand why Jacinda feels she has no gas in the tank. She has not fixed so many difficult foundational problems; but she is just the face and voice.  It’s not just about one person; her team has largely failed her. 
The worst failure was her great friend and most skilled politician Grant Robertson. A better politician than a Minister of Finance. Grant seemed stuck in a 1990s approach of fiscal restraint to build economic credibility for Labour in order to reduce political exposure to pressure. But times are different; the whole free market capitalist approach to the economy is a farce and fraud. The ‘sacred’ and much touted market forces simply have not worked to provide affordable housing, nor have they dealt with climate change. Market forces fail, fail, fail, everywhere. 
Mr Robertson should have very early on given generous wage settlements to teachers. It would help keep quality people in the profession and attract quality people to it. Instead he stiffed them for economic credibility and they have not forgotten because they live with the consequences. Same with nurses and doctors. Yes, he has increased the health budget by 40% but this was after a National decade of gross underfunding. And he touted that he was proud of this investment forgetting  that it’s not the percentage that counts but the outcomes. These are bread and butter issues for Labour voters but he sacrificed them for politics. By contrast Mr Key and Mr English bragged about $15B of tax cuts, bread and butter for their voters. Grant can still fix these.
Megan Woods is a very active and hard working person but on affordable housing she has no Labour strategy and vision. Without a strategic foundation she was easy prey for the Property Council and developers who blamed affordable housing problems on local communities protecting themselves from poorly designed housing developments by using the RMA. Megan has therefore sanctioned a wholesale attack on local democracy, and heritage buildings, (part of our identity as New Zealanders). She has protected and promoted the interests of largely National voting private developers who will gladly cement our youth into expensive ‘rent for life’ vulnerability. Reducing the chances of young people to accumulate wealth and being able to pass on wealth to future generations. Reducing the ability of ordinary people to fund future business initiatives, damaging our long term economy.  She previously back tracked on Kiwibuild so she has the guts to back track on slashing local democracy and destroying heritage.  
And as bad; the strategic intellectual vacuum in the Greens failed Jacinda; on every front. The worst example is the affordable housing crisis where they helped create a sense the crisis is being created by baby booming NIMBY’s. A total misguided, misdirected fantasy insight promoted by private developers, when developers helped created the crisis. Where is the Greens economic insight or analysis? Where is the recognition and action on the excessive demand that is using our housing for AirBNB to house our huge tourism sector or our huge overseas students industries? These excessive demands are a critical part of fixing affordable housing, and private enterprise is feeding these problems not fixing them. 
Housing affordability is central to so many problems, mental and physical health, educational attainment, low demand in the domestic retail sector, investment in exports. , etc. All fixable with adjustments to existing expectations. But this government seems without vision, without a journey. They don’t even have well known simple step changes. The government is just pumping up and responding to the existing players and structures.  
But at least Jacinda moving on opens up the introduction of capital gains taxes. Even in Davos some of the wealthy have called for wealth taxes. The best approach to such a tax is to write a legislative definition of ‘income’ that includes gains in capital as income. It just needs to say it. Disallow all expenses including losses on assets. The government is only taxing the gain (no loss is allowed) as the losses are the private responsibility of the risk taker, the entrepreneur. 
Yes, there will be arguments about the size of gains, about valuations; but what is in the accounts should be the value used if that is the value that is used to fund finance. 
Jacinda was betrayed by an across the board lack of vision and progressive values. And we, the left voters, are being betrayed by the same.  Labour and the Greens need to try being socialists again. John Maynard Keynes described himself as a socialist, (i.e., control more of the economy to direct it to the needs of the people).


  1. Kindness has not prevailed.
    Going into a recession Kindness would have had its biggest test yet.
    Powerful Reserve Bank Governor, Adrian Orr has made it very clear that the poor and working people will be the ones who will be made to pay for the recession.
    Orr has already acted to increase unemployment and increase mortgage and housing costs. This vicious class warrior was twice appointed Reserve Bank Governor by Grant Robertson. No doubt Orr will retain his position under a National led administration, to continue with even more vicious attacks. The National governments planned tax cuts for the rich will fit well with Orr’s demand for the government to cut spending.
    Kindness is dead, austerity is the new mantra.

    • Ada Forget about hunts, that’s just more diversion. Time to focus on New Zealand for New Zealanders, all New Zealanders, that funny little thing called, democracy.

      • I’m not going on any ‘hunts’….it’s a comment about how the left will rear itself apart finding someone to blame.

        • Ada. I did not suggest that you were going on any hunts. Words now being bandied around – but not perhaps by you- like ‘ traitor’ ‘ betray’ etc etc are a time-wasting illustration of the puerile level at which New Zealand functions politically and play directly into hands of the divide and rule dynamic to which Labour has contributed but which the right is in no position to play Pontus Pilate about.

        • The ‘real’ left have never ever been a fan of Jacinda ‘transformative change’ she promised it it never happened. Except in fair pay agreements, but it took 5 years to do that.

          • ” ‘transformative change’ she promised it it never happened. Except in fair pay agreements, but it took 5 years to do that ”

            YES ! and the FPA was still only a mild step towards providing essential protections for workers destroyed by the ECA in 1991 followed by the total capitulation of the union movement.

            FPA could have had more teeth but the fact that Wood put it through in its current form is a relief.

            These FPA’s will be gone after October for probably the next decade so enjoy them while you can.

    • Agree Ada Jacinda Ardern was set up by people in her Cabinet but even though I think we all know who we dare not say it.

  2. Quite right: Labour are mostly controlled by their corporate political donors.

    One lie these same Wall Street oligarchs tell us is that tourism and education are “huge industries”.

    These non-industrial sectors cannot be the basis of becoming a great power; industrialisation is how an economy becomes more advanced.

    Rather, total reliance on these sectors (and agriculture) actually demonstrates a weak economy!

    The very poor state of the housing stock also shows economic weakness. Many old buildings of low value, too many small buildings, poor architectural quality, falling build quality. Far too few new builds, no large ‘mortgage belt’ estates, slow construction pace.

  3. Quite right: Labour are mostly controlled by their corporate political donors.

    One lie these same Wall Street oligarchs tell us is that tourism and education are “huge industries”.

    These non-industrial sectors cannot be the basis of becoming a great power; industrialisation is how an economy becomes more advanced.

    Rather, total reliance on these sectors (and agriculture) actually demonstrates a weak economy!

    The very poor state of the housing stock also shows economic weakness. Many old buildings of low value, too many small buildings, poor architectural quality, falling build quality. Far too few new builds, no large ‘mortgage belt’ estates, slow construction pace.

  4. Stephen – not sure about ‘stab in the back’, more like the ‘stab in the front’, once she, and her team, worked out she was leading Labour to defeat….

    • “In a civilization which prioritizes the generation of wealth over the solving of problems, the option which generates wealth will always win out over the option which solves the problem. War profiteers, prison profiteers, big pharma, ecocidal industrialists — they all know this.

      Under the current status quo, military aggression will always win out over peace whenever military aggression is more profitable. Keeping people sick to provide ongoing treatment will always win out over curing or preventing sickness wherever doing so is more profitable. Keeping a technological innovation secret until it can be maximally profited from will always win out over making it public and sharing the information for the advancement of science and the common good. Workers will be exploited to the furthest extent possible to maximize profit.

      Old growth forests and whale populations were wiped out because leaving them alone generated no profit. Insect populations are plummeting because industrial pesticides are profitable and wild habitats are not. Our oceans are choking on plastic because it’s profitable not to prevent this from happening.

      Nobody’s going to become a billionaire by ending homelessness or making sure the elderly and the handicapped get everything they need. Nobody’s going to become a billionaire by making sure mothers get everything they need to raise physically and psychologically healthy children.

      A status quo system wherein large-scale human behavior is driven by profit-seeking cannot and will not ever have any good answers for problems like poverty, crime, sickness, war, ecocide, injustice and exploitation, because solving those problems will never be profitable. When solving those problems is never profitable, but causing or exacerbating them frequently is, those problems will necessarily live on. Not until this dynamic is reversed can we be free of them.” https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2023/01/18/there-are-no-innocent-americans-notes-from-the-edge-of-the-narrative-matrix/

      • To a some extent I agree B Awakesky but having lived in Communist and Socialist societies I can assure you those in power pursue wealth at the expense of everyone else.

      • Unfortunately that’s not how nature works. There has to be losers, there has to be poor people. Thinking everyone can have equal amounts of everything is a myth. Harsh I know. But it’s reality.

  5. Quite right: Labour are mostly controlled by their corporate political donors.

    And National aren’t???

    National receive far more from their donors than any other party – so tis rich coming from the right.

  6. Good summary Stephen.
    The problem has been the topic of many an article on TDB. The lack of a strong left-leaning visionary in either Labour or the Greens. Once in ministerial positions, they fold and do what their ministerial advisors & experts tell them to do. Hence the persistence of many of our problems.
    I was relieved Grant R. didn’t put his hand up for leadership – he should join National instead based on his economic beliefs.

    For folk who value people over profit, the voting choices are non-existent for this years election.
    That frustration & anger will need a release. Bread & circuses no longer work as things start to bite with climate/pandemic disruption & the ongoing collapse of western capitalism.
    The class war may finally move from the keyboards & onto the streets.
    Interesting times ahead.

    • “I was relieved Grant R. didn’t put his hand up for leadership – he should join National instead based on his economic beliefs.”
      Me too. A little bit distressed to know a couple of good friends think he’s the cat’s whisker.
      He certainly has his cheerleaders (usually the already comfortably off, or those in with the in-crowd covering one or two demographics – such as millionaire supermarket troughers and bar owners).
      He is though a child or the neoliberal economic orthodoxy, and like many of the current Labour crop, he’s grown up knowing or experiencing anything else. It’s kind of where Labour is at, and it’s probably going to take a crowbar, OR another few years of crazy hard right shit to set off the wake-up alarm. By which time there’ll be nothing left of the commons’ assets to commodify or exploit.
      He might/could make an OK PM – just as long as he isn’t allowed to go anywhere near Finance.
      Neoliberalism/3rdwayism is antithetical to sustainable egalitarian anything and everything. You’d think after nearly 4 decades, the Labour Party would have obtained some learnings in this space, going forward.
      Christ! – even David Lange started to get the message that it was probably a load of shite

  7. Mr Minto
    ALL political leaders leave (or get rolled) when their polling takes a dive…some stay on to taste defeat then retire from politics (Clark)

    Why everyone is sooooo upset at Arden stepping down has everything to do with the dismal polling of last 3-4months and most of the Labour back bench out of the highest paying job they will ever likely to have.

    What is scaring the left is the fact that Arden WAS Labour and without her at the helm defeat at election is almost assured….and there is no obvious ‘leader in waiting’ that wants her job.

    She has run away when the country slides into recession and hard times are facing us all, gutless…..
    I can guarantee if Labour was polling mid 40s she would have plenty in the tank.
    But an electoral defeat doesn’t sit too well on a CV when going to UN or WEF!

  8. Stephen – she was the leader yet she failed to lead.

    Helen Clark was a leader who led and delivered significant reforms across 9 years of multiparty governments

  9. The end of interest deductability (not yet fully implemented) reduces the chances of future CG on residential property. The establishment of a 2, then 5 and now 10 year brightline already enables GCT on historic CG.

    The priority should be adopting the Greens wealth tax.

  10. Too be honest I was surprised how much I agreed with this article – in particular the economic mistakes from Grant Robertson and co, (I would say giving the banks so much money created a lot of the problems), the Greens pathetic NIMBY hate campaign that the developers and right wingers have capitalised on by destroying zoning and local planning democracy and the stupidity of not paying doctors/teachers/nurses properly in the middle of skill shortages and covid when Air NZ got nearly a billion in a loan while firing people.

    I don’t believe any more capital gains taxes will help, (quite the opposite), pretty much always catches the middle class while the wealthy and global citizens pay nothing aka

    Tony and Cherie Blair did not have to pay £312,000 in stamp duty when buying a £6.45m London townhouse, leaked documents show.

    This then leads to a hollowing of middle class (aka the teachers and nurses) who are forced to pay more and more taxes on anything they do while the super rich avoid them.

    Funny enough those who are the most righteous about helping poverty seem to be contributing to the problem from Tony Blair to those running charities (mostly for themselves)!

    Fear not though, Jacinda will be absolutely fine, she will find herself a nice, cushy job/jobs, have huge taxpayer benefits from being the PM and like the good millennial (Prince Harry) spend a lot of time complaining about their poor lot in life, mental health, hardships, boomers and problems.

    You know like any other working woman had a husband that looked after the kids, large salary and entourage of helpers!

  11. Good Post @ JM but you, like all others here, miss the target. ( In my humble opinion.)
    We only need to ask ourselves this one solemn, serious, sobering question. Who, fucked us? I know, I know, a fuck word. Ooooo, so sue me.
    Who fucked us? Who did it? Who threw us overboard into a heaving, logical fallacy, ocean? Who lead us, as a Post colonial population of people taking baby steps into an unknowable future, to then push us all overboard just to get their hands on our money which was being earned via agrarian primary exports?
    “On 13 May 1936 The party was named the New Zealand National Party to signal a clean break with United and Reform, which had been discredited by their handling of the Depression. Adam Hamilton was elected as its first leader in October 1936.”
    There you go. There’s your answer. The new urban political elite, the dreaded natzo’s, in their shiny bumb’d trousers wouldn’t have believed their luck. They had people working tirelessly to produce export edibles and wearables and all they had to do was sit back and puff on cigars and the money just came rolling in, in annual tidal waves.
    Jacinda Adern, for no doubt many reasons, never, ever, ever, broached the subject of the relatively simple crimes of the few of a new national party who could [smell the money] coming off beef, wool, lamb and dairy. In current politics and global economics everything’s about the money and the power it affords the otherwise powerless. And Jacinda Adern was our last hope at starting up an age of inquiry. Martyn Bradbury bemoans that people were unkind, no doubt to say the least, to Jacinda Adern but what was Jacinda Adern to us? Careless comes to mind. She had an opportunity to crack open the ramparts built around a deeply institutionalised crime wave of National Party greed, corruption and fraud and instead, as it certainly appears to me, she hugged her way into an early retirement after pulling down $471,049.00 a year. I know a retired fellow who’s laboured his entire working life. His knees and hips are fucked and the volatile costs of living meant he barely saved a cent. He receives about $25K a year as an old age pension, so he’s fucked. That’s an 18th of what he helped pay PM Jacinda Adern during her tenure as our Prime Minister of a small yet hugely resource rich country.
    The Natzo’s AKA The National Party? “We’re back motherfuckers!” will be their war cry as they buy yet another Aston Marton to drive by the homeless in.
    Seymour will be ironing his twerk panties for a night out on the town.
    Royal Commission of Inquiry immediately. We desperately and urgently need an inquiry because you and you and you are too dull minded and unimaginative to work it out for yourselves.
    Jacinda Adern? Off home for a nice cup of Earl Grey? Feet up? Ruffle the curtains with a sigh of relief?
    The building horror once the natzo’s mate with ACT is on you. At least Lange went down scrapping as roger stabbed his way down Lange’s back.

  12. The fact is – and the only fact that matters – Jacinda resigned for the good of her country as she felt she was not the person to lead. She sacrificed herself for New Zealand. Now, I am a lady and rarely use that awful, horrid word but I am beginning to think that the majority of New Zealand males can be crowned with that ghastly four letter noun.

  13. Jacinda’s nuclear free moment on climate change is as authentic as the UAE oil boss chairing climate talks.

    ‘Ridiculous’: Greta Thunberg blasts decision to let UAE oil boss chair climate talks
    Climate activist at Davos says lobbyists have been influencing conferences ‘since forever’

    I don’t hate Jacinda and voted for her each time and also feel she has been the victim of a hate campaign run by shadowy sources, BUT seriously if you really wanted to help the planet – BIG FAIL!.

    She did as little as the current Green Party, but it’s more of a betrayal from those who said they would do something and recognised it was a crisis but then made it worse.

  14. The Left should feel betrayed, because she has forsaken us in our time of need. Make no bones about it, I am no fan of hers, but the other mob – no!

    Given the rise of Luxon and the Right, she should have been invigorated by the this impending challenge, but she’s walked away, which tells me that local politics and the Left holds little interest to her.

    Thus, the world awaits, and I expect her to be a heavy hitter on the world governance scene in the not to distant future….

  15. ” Stuff political editor Luke Malpass says that Hipkins is the obvious pick, not just because of his political skills and high profile but because he’s more rightwing: “He is also a centrist politician and further to the right of the Labour Party, putting him in a strong position to re-orient Labour to take on the economic challenges it will face this year.”

    ” The Herald’s Audrey Young is also sure that Hipkins is the right person to lead ”

    Well those endorsement’s say it all. When you have the right wing press advancing a possible LINO leader you know instinctively that it will be more of the same New Labour right wing social policy and not what LINO and Adern asked its poorest supporters to vote for …twice under the guise of transformation.

    The right and its media sycophants have the gall to be debating a snap election when this government was elected to a three year term regardless who the figurehead is.

    We really do live in what the NZ Herald declared in 2015 as a one party state.


    • Agree,when the MSM (right wing press) start beating the drum for Hipkins you know the vested interests think he is on their side even though the hate what he stands for.
      He is the off course substitute just in case the unthinkable happens!

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