Jacinda Ardern Is standing down

The resignation of Jacinda Ardern sent shockwaves through Aotearoa, even the world. 

Jacinda will probably be remembered for all the bad things associated with Covid, Christchurch terror attack, Whakaari but that simply goes with the job of Prime Minister. I also believe that we as a country need to simply say thank you for the sacrifice she made to her whanau and the commitment she gave to our country. 

Having said that, I now want to briefly turn to the likely candidates who could be appointed as Prime Minister and my brief thoughts on each of them. 

Grant Robertson. Has twice stood for labour leadership and failed. An interesting politician who does genuinely care about middle Aotearoa, proving this with minimum wage increases and the support shown to Aotearoa during the pandemic crisis. Again, likeable but not someone who would lead labour to success in the coming election. 

Kelvin Davis. Currently the deputy leader of the labour party, but clearly very unpopular with his own people. Both Oranga Tamariki and Corrections have failed terribly under his guidance, and with failures like this and showing such a lack of leadership, election to Prime Minister would simply, in my opinion, not happen.  

Kiri Allan. A relatively new face in politics making her debut in 2017 when she ran for Labour in the East Coast electorate. Very popular within the party ranks and also has been successful in the eyes of the public with the various ministerial portfolios she has held. A likely contender who could very well be the first Maori Prime Minister.  

Chris Hipkins. A seasoned politician who is also well liked within the labour party and generally well respected throughout Aotearoa. Also successful in the various minister roles he has held although this remains to be seen in his role as police minister. A capable leader who also is clearly in the running. 

With all of the above said, I honestly think the job for any new Prime Minister is going to be extremely hard, given the failing popularity of the labour party in the polls and I will also say in the advocacy for vulnerable people arena, national and Act are certainly not going to be our friends,  so for me the question remains “is there any light at the end of the tunnel”. 

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Jackie Foster is the CEO of Social Justice Aotearoa


  1. Unless Labour “announce” a new leader they are doomed. Any sort of contest will show division in the ranks. The new leader has to come with new ideas and achieve real results for the people in the next 6 months. They have to turn aside from covid, even as it continues to assault us. We have to be shown that there is hope and a way forward with a refreshed Labour government. The most important people in this process are those low listed MPs who will almost certainly lose their jobs and the Maori caucus. These 2 groups will have to swallow some dead rats in 2023 and smile while they do so.

  2. The class war has claimed its first political scalp of 2023

    Austerity or Kindness. Which direction will Labour in government now take?

    The importance of Labour’s new leader can not be overstated. It will be an indication of what direction this government will be taking in the coming recession.
    The two front runners are Chris Hipkins and Michael Wood.
    The Trade Union movement, and the Left generally, would prefer Michael Wood, over Chris Hipkins.
    But the Left and the Trade unions preference will be ignored. it looks like against our will, working people and beneficiaries will be dragged by the hair across the LINO. (for the good of the economy, of course).

    GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – 2023 The Year of Class War


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