Jacinda’s vast business experience

Photoshopped image credit: Rick H

You may remember that, while discussing CGT, Jacinda implied to Mike Hosking that she had some considerable business experience, including running an NGO. This was news to most of us, who had believed that she had never worked outside of the public sector, except for a few after-school jobs.

A reader on Kiwiblog decided to find out and made an OIA request. Here is the result. quote.

The Prime Minister on Mike Hosking?s show said:

?Again, well again I would speak to my? you know, to my own experience. Yes, I haven?t been an owner/operator I have um? I have run a small NGO, um? I have worked in small businesses and I have been a small business spokesperson, I even worked in a small business in the UK.?

One of my readers sent the following OIA to the PM?s Office:

1. What was the business you have claimed to run that was not an NGO?
2. What were the small businesses you worked in?
3. What was the business you were a spokesperson for?
4. What was the small business you worked in while in the UK? end quote.

All perfectly reasonable questions. I would have thought that, if Jacinda really did have some real business experience, we would already know about it. Perhaps we have all missed something important?

It seems not. quote.

The response has to be seen to be believed:

1. The Prime Minister was the President of international political youth organisation IUSY.

So yes the Prime Minister told Mike Hosking she understood small business due to her having been the president of the International Union of Socialist Youth!!! end quote.

Yes. That, unfortunately, is what we thought she might have meant. Nothing new there then. quote.

2. The small businesses the Prime Minister worked at were a fish and chip shop in Morrinsville and a gift shop. She has also worked at a supermarket.

Oh dear. Your experience in small business is limited to your after-school jobs 20 years ago. end quote.

After-school jobs count as small business experience? She was not managing the cash, paying the wages, working out how to pay the bills, coping with purchase orders and with staff who didn’t turn up for work, paying the GST… she just served fish and chips to customers. quote.

3. The Prime Minister was referring to the fact that in Opposition she was Labour?s spokesperson for Small Business from 2014-2017.

A spokesperson for small business who has never worked in one, apart from after school jobs. end quote.

Being a spokesperson for small business is not being a small business owner. She has no idea what it is like being a small business owner. quote.

4. In the UK the Prime Minister was an assistant director in the Department for Business and Enterprise which involved working with small businesses.

With respect, working for our equivalent of MBIE is not the same as actual business experience.

Kiwiblog end quote.


No. It is just a public sector role. One of the criticisms we often have about civil servants is that they have no relevant business experience. We are always saying this about IRD staff.

Jacinda is a career politician and, while I prefer politicians who have had a bit of world experience, she is certainly not the first. Helen Clark was a career politician too, and had a very successful career. What is totally wrong here is her trying to make herself out to be something that she is not. She does not have business experience in any shape or form. Being the president of an international youth organisation doesn’t count for anything, nor does serving fish and chips, or stacking shelves in a supermarket. It is an insult to those who lie awake at night wondering how to pay the bills or deal with difficult staff issues to imply anything else.

If Jacinda really thinks, with a CV like that, that she has business experience, then I don’t know what to say. All it does is to demonstrate that she really has no idea about anything at all. But we know that already.

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