The National party has countered Jacinda Ardern’s viral video.

In addition to the bitch slap from National A Newspaper also put the boot in by fact-checking Ardern’s claims and pointing out that the following claims were FALSE or misleading:

  • She made the misleading claim that the Government has banned microbeads, but most of the legislative heavy lifting was done by National when they were in government.
  • She claimed that “We’ve reduced the prison population for the first time in a decade.” They haven’t. That claim was completely FALSE. “Since 2009, the prison population has jumped around – falling and raising a number of times. But it has fallen since the peak at 10,820 in March last year.”
  • She claimed that they have boosted incomes for 384,000 families through the families’ package, which is misleading, as “The Government has said once the Families’ Package is fully rolled out by 2021, 384,000 families will be better off by roughly $75 a week – it’s not 2021 yet.”
  • She claimed that they have built 2200 State houses, which is misleading.

[…] Yes, between November 1, 2017 and August 31 this year roughly 2200 state houses have been built, but roughly 30 per cent of those were already under construction when this Government took over and 16 per cent were already contracted by November 1, 2017. The waitlist is also at a record-high – 13,966 households at the end of September.

Another misleading claim was that they have increased school funding so that parents don’t have to pay school donations and NCEA fees. The reality is that

The Government said it would spend $75 million to pay $150 per child in decile 1-7 schools if they agree not to ask for a donation – decile 7-10 schools don’t have that option.

Roughly a third of decile 1-7 schools have opted into the scheme so far, and some have said opting in would see them worse off and put services such as school camps under threat.

The Newspaper article said that it was true that the government is breaking the cycle of sexual violence with massive boosts in funding. In writing that, the journalist is conveniently assigning to the memory hole the sexual assaults that happened on Labour’s watch TWICE; which no amount of funding could have prevented due to a culture of silence.

Photoshopped image credit: Luke

Ardern’s claim that they have deployed 1,607 new police officers is misleading as it may not take into account how many have left the force over the past two years. They may simply be replacing officers rather than genuinely increasing the number in the police force. The government’s stated target was 1,800 new police. Added confusion came from the fact that “Police Minister Stuart Nash said for two years that the target number included staff turnover, but Ardern last month declared that it only applied to new police recruits.” So which is it?

The claim that they have introduced a free lunches in schools programme is misleading as it has only been trialled on 5,000 kids in one part of the country and, even if it is fully implemented by 2021, only “roughly 21,000 kids will be fed by the programme.”

The claim that they have passed the Child Poverty Reduction Act and have lifted between 50,000 and 70,000 children out of poverty is misleading as the Government has passed the Child Poverty Reduction Act and set a target to lift children out of poverty by 2021. BUT 50,000 to 70,000 children have not been lifted out of poverty YET.

The claim that her government has provided the first funding increase in 10 years to early childhood education is completely FALSE.
The Government spent $1.17 million in 2010, $1.33 million in 2011 and $1.60 million on early childhood education in 2016.

Another misleading claim was that her government gave families an extra $3,000 a year for the first year of a child’s life:

Some families may be eligible for $3000 from the Government, but they would have to be eligible for most, if not all, of the six initiatives in the Families Package.

A Newspaper