Jacinda’s Year of Delivery

Matthew Hooton nails it once again.

For those still committed to reality-based politics, Ardern’s “year of delivery” is as credible as her earlier promise to be “transformational”.
KiwiBuild, the Billion Trees programme and the Provincial Growth Fund handing out only 3 per cent of the money Shane Jones has paraded are the most risible.
More seriously, Ardern appointed herself Minister for Child Poverty Reduction and declared it the reason she entered politics, yet by some measures it has worsened.

Beneficiary numbers and state-house waiting lists are up, with just 656 new state houses completed in 2018/19, compared with 1043, 466 and 732 over the previous three years.
The promise to deliver a Wellbeing Budget based on the Treasury’s Living Standards Framework turned out to be a hoax, with Grant Robertson putting his Budget together in exactly the same way as his predecessors. His decision to increase the Government’s debt limit by $16 billion suggests Steven Joyce was right, pre-election, to talk about a $12b fiscal hole.

That is a stunning list of non delivered items, don’t you think?

Immigration from countries other than Australia is as high as ever, still above 100,000 a year, a massive number for a country of just 5 million people with already failing infrastructure.
At least in Auckland, there is no bold programme to address that infrastructure deficit, with vast bureaucratic effort going into analysing vanity projects like the airport tram rather than radically expanding the existing rail system and optimising the roading network.

On climate change — which Ardern called her generation’s “nuclear-free moment” — spin continues to trump substance, with agriculture potentially going into the Emissions Trading Scheme but with 95 per cent subsidies. Who knew Ardern’s climate “emergency” could be solved by dairy farmers paying just 1c per kilogram of milk solids?
As yet, no decisions have been made on reforming water allocation rights and cleaning up lakes and rivers. Plans for a water tax have gone the same way as Michael Cullen’s capital gains tax.

Well, for once, I am glad about something this government has done… or technically not done, as it looked like they were was going to trash our economy completely by strangling the agricultural sector. Now it might take them 2 terms to wreck the economy instead of just one.

In contrast to Chris Finlayson’s cracking pace, Andrew Little has signed just three Treaty of Waitangi deeds of settlement and made no progress with Ngapuhi. No human remains will ever be recovered from Pike River, whatever Little tells the families.

This was always a lie of outrageous proportions, with the Pike River families being used as political footballs all the way through the ordeal. The West Coast gets what it deserves though… these guys always, always vote Labour.

On ethical issues such as complying with the Official Information Act, answering parliamentary questions and managing conflicts of interest, the Ardern ministry has complied with the maxim that each Government is worse than the one before.

No, Matthew, they are the most open and transparent government of all time… and also the most skillful with a black felt pen…

Ardern may cultivate a brand of almost naive sincerity but those around her are at least as cynical as those around John Key.
They know it will be enough for Ardern to take to social media to declare the year of delivery a triumph and to thank New Zealanders for making it happen. “The Government didn’t do this alone!” the Prime Minister will gush. “We all did this together!”
It will be amplified by those in the traditional media for whom challenging Ardern’s narrative remains verboten. Those who break the taboo will be criticised for not embracing the vibe. Such negativity, her cheerleaders will tell us, is not who we are now.

For those who criticise National and their inability to tear the government to shreds, the next paragraph gives us an inkling into how tough it can be.

In the post-truth era, the Opposition pointing out the sheer emptiness of the Prime Minister’s utterances will achieve no more than the Washington Post frantically fact-checking Trump’s. If Simon Bridges challenges the Prime Minister’s account, he will be ridiculed for looking angry.

A Newspaper.

That is happening already, with National being accused of heresy for questioning the value of declaring ‘climate emergencies’. These guys cannot win in the current environment.

Good on Matthew Hooton for calling out the government’s woeful performance to date, but he is a lone voice. Over on Stuff, on the same day, we have the inevitable puff piece from Tracy Watkins…

Baby Neve Te Aroha Gayford is crawling around the floor of her parents’ Sandringham bungalow when she discovers the big fluffy microphone in our video operator’s bag. She grabs it before her famous mum can stop her and starts making “woof woof” noises.

“There are obvious limitations to what I’m able to do as a first time mum. And that’s something that actually I just had to accept. There’s no point dwelling on that too much.”
The limitations Ardern refers to are “just not being around” for Neve as much as she would like.
“Some days I’ll only see Neve once (a day). Sometimes I won’t see her at all. Sometimes I won’t see her for a couple of days.


Personally, I am sick to death of a sycophantic media trying to keep the worst-performing prime minister in living memory in her job by constantly writing these pathetic articles to bolster her public appeal.

Doesn’t it strike you as worrying that, apart from Matthew Hooton, the rest of the media doesn’t even try to defend the prime minster’s dreadful job performance, but concentrates solely on the fact that she is a first-time mother instead?

What does that tell you about the quality of our government?