July 16th, 2021.
In my career, I have spent many years working in a variety of countries, ranging from third world despotic regimes, dictatorships, autocracies and just plain corrupt governments. I never thought that this experience would allow me an insight into the current governance of New Zealand.
In my letters from the North, I have always resisted the desire to comment on affairs back home in New Zealand as media reporting on New Zealand in the UK is a little skewed and it is hard to build an accurate picture of what is going on. The BFD of course is a help in putting things in perspective. I can resist the temptation no longer, and in a departure from my normal comments on life and politics in the UK, I give my opinions on New Zealand as seen from afar. (I have been away for nearly three years).
It is becoming apparent that Jacinda Ardern’s style and policies are being heavily influenced by her time spent working as a policy advisor (one of 80 staff in the policy unit) in Tony Blair’s office in the UK. Ardern learnt the policy of division from Blair, and it shows in her stewardship of the country.
Tony Blair is the person who led the move to devolution in the UK, which, instead of easing demands for independence by giving limited increased authority to devolved parliaments, has fuelled the move to complete independence. It is responsible for the divisions now widening in UK society. Ardern also was influenced by her time as a researcher in Helen Clark’s office.
It is easy to draw parallels between Blair’s policies and Ardern’s policies towards Treaty issues and Maori rights and representation. In the UK, in the limited reports we see, it is apparent that instead of creating inclusivity and cohesion her policies will fuel divisions and artificial envy between different social structures in NZ.
For her early years as Prime Minister of New Zealand she was viewed as almost godlike and a role model for all left-leaning progressives in the UK. However the gloss is beginning to fade and she is now viewed as a show pony.
I have heard her referred to in strong English terms as “fur coat and no knickers”. The MSM is beginning to comment on her non-implementation of policies and promises, with underachievement in housing being the main focal point.
New Zealand at the Centre of the World.
Jacinda Ardern regards herself as at the centre of New Zealand, with the world and New Zealand revolving around her. Eat your heart out Galileo.
She has massively overpromised and underdelivered.
Given my limited in-depth knowledge of New Zealand at the moment my views may be wildly out, but I think that inflation will hit 5% next year, unemployment will increase, house prices will still go up (28% was the last annual increase I saw) and the base rate from the Reserve Bank will increase.
The impact from Covid-19 will be greater than forecast with economic decline becoming clearer. Her policy of putting social engineering and rebuilding the structure of NZ society ahead of fixing the problems of the economy will cripple the country for years to come.
There will be pushback (eventually, given the laissez-faire attitudes of the electorate) and society will be full of conflict and resentment. Given the destruction of the economy, the country will be short of the means to fix the ruin of society.
After the Christchurch attack, she was quoted as saying “Very little of what I have done has been deliberate. It’s intuitive”. And gosh, does it show.
That seems to sum up her tenure. Where’s the planning? What are her government’s objectives?
On a personal note, I am stuck in the UK, double vaccinated and can’t get home to New Zealand. The MIQ seems to be permanently fully booked. The whole quarantine system seems to have been mismanaged.
Whenever we see Ardern on the TV in the UK, she always seems on the verge of breaking out into a tantrum. Even the left-wing commentators up here have picked up on this and point out that the kindness has left her.
On the foreign relationship front, whilst not losing friends and allies, she is losing their trust and they are suspicious of what her policies (if any) are developing into. I worry for the future of New Zealand and for the direction of the society and the economic wellbeing of the country.
If you enjoyed this article please share it so others can discover The BFD.