Why Does Jacinda Want to Keep Her Holiday a Secret? * UPDATED

*The rumours about the 757 were not true

Something weird is going on. Politicians take holidays all the time, and no one bats an eyelid. Everyone is entitled to take time out with their families. July is a common time for politicians to take a break. It is the middle of the year, parliament is in recess and it is also school holidays. If Jacinda wants to go on holiday now, no one should care.

But why does she want to keep it a secret?

Under normal circumstances where the Prime Minister goes on holiday should be of little interest to anyone, although our leaders have in the past been quite open about where they’re off to.
Helen Clark was forever off to the Andes to climb some mountain or other, or scaling the Southern Alps with her hubby Peter Davis.
John Key made no secret of his many jaunts to his holiday house in Hawaii when he was leading the country and few raised an eyebrow.

Jacinda Ardern climbed on a plane at the beginning of this week but no one was saying where this Prime Minister, who promised to be the most transparent in the history of the world, was going.
The only thing we were told was that Winston Peters was the acting Prime Minister and even he claims he didn’t know where she was off to. Inquiries to the Prime Minister’s office were met with a “we’re not saying where she’s going”.

Whyever not? All this celebrity status has gone to her head. The media that she courts so slavishly, the photo opportunities that she so avidly seeks… all are left behind as she takes a holiday in Rarotonga and refuses to tell anyone where she is, or why.

She is behaving like Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, who courts the media when it suits her and then demands privacy when it does not.

While the ninth floor of the Beehive remained mum to the media here, Ardern was appearing on the front page of the Cook Islands News being snapped arriving in Rarotonga with fiance Gayford and baby Neve who was photographed in the arms of that country’s Prime Minister’s wife.
From the Cooks’ capital she flew the best part of an hour to what’s been described as the jewel in the Pacific, the island of Aitutaki which means a little paradise.

This just shows how silly it all is. It didn’t take much to find out what she was up to, and appearing on the front of Cook Islands News made that job easy for even the most inexperienced journalist.

Ironically it was the place the late David Lange used to brag about. He said it was the most picturesque place on the globe, and would go there whenever an opportunity presented itself.

In many ways Lange and Ardern are quite similar characters, although the current incumbent is much more popular with her colleagues. But they’re both populists with an enthusiastic following, even if Lange was much more humorous and quick witted.

And they clearly have Aitutaki in common, even if Ardern likes to keep it a secret.

A Newspaper.

Some think Jacinda is planning a secret wedding at Aitutaki. Maybe. If so, there was no need to keep the destination secret. No one needed to know what she was doing, and once she had told everyone she was going on holiday, the amount of interest in her movements would have fallen away dramatically.

Also, running away and marrying in secret is not Jacinda’s style. Knowing that her government is failing on just about all of its policies, a very public, much anticipated wedding a few months before the next election would make much more sense, being the ‘style over substance’ prime minister that she is.

No. My money is on the fact that she has taken an RNZAF 757 on a private jaunt and does not want anyone to know.

Her justification for this might well be the fact that she cannot get a first class seat on a flight to Rarotonga, and so has decided to charter a whole plane instead.

She has form. She did this last year, also to travel to the Pacific, because she couldn’t leave baby Neve for more than a day because of breastfeeding. The idea of sending someone else in her place, such as the Foreign Affairs minister, never seemed to enter her head on that occasion.

Bad as that particular trip was, however, at least it was an official visit. This time, it is a private trip, and what is more, they chose Rarotonga because Clarke is shooting an episode of his Fish of the Day series there.

If this is what has happened (and we still do not know the full story) then I call this for what it looks like. It looks like corruption.

Have we all forgotten the fuss made last year over Simon Bridges’ travel expenses when he went up and down the country in government vehicles on official business?

It is time the media called out the actions of the prime minister, as she behaves like all the other tin pot dictators in the world… or all the other divas.

But they won’t… because the media in this country are complicit with the prime minister and her government. It doesn’t matter what she does, they will back her to the hilt.