Why New Zealand should boot Jacinda Ardern

Via Bloomie:

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern could be facing a tough battle to win re-election this year, with her opponents holding a small lead seven months out from the vote, a new poll shows.

The opposition National Party is steady on 46% support, retaining its position as the country’s most popular political party, the Colmar Brunton/One News poll shows. Ardern’s Labour Party has 41% support and its ally the Greens has 5%, meaning the center-left bloc is neck-and-neck with National. However, the poll shows National could form a government together with the small ACT Party, which has 2% support.

In the lead-up to the September 2017 election, Labour announced an excellent housing platform that promised to address both supply and demand distortions via negative gearing reform, banning foreign buyers of existing homes, tighter capital gains taxes, removal of urban growth boundaries, plus bond financing for infrastructure.

Labour also promised to reduce immigration by around a third, which would have helped to relieve chronic housing and infrastructure pressures (especially around Auckland), as well as promised to build 100,000 public houses over a decade (named ‘KiwiBuild’).

Sadly, on all almost key areas, Labour has either abandoned these reforms or failed miserably, proving that it is not serious about addressing housing affordability.

For instance, Labour’s promised ‘KiwiBuild’ program to build 100,000 public houses has descended into a farce, with the government abandoning its building target and instead announcing a bunch of demand-side measures that will inflate prices.

Labour abandoned capital gains tax reforms and has back-slid on its promise to abolish Auckland’s urban growth boundary and reform infrastructure financing.

Labour has also abandoned its promised immigration cuts, instead opening the visa sluice gates.

Accordingly, New Zealand house prices have surged to an all-time high and the home ownership rate has cratered to a 70-year low.

It’s clear Ardern betrayed her most central election commitments.

NZ is better off fighting the wolf than it is the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

David Llewellyn-Smith

Comments

    • SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

      yeah that should offer a challenge she can sink those teeth into

      she can hug the coronavirus, that’ll teach it

    • +1 yest another reason to not elect her pandering to a segment of the population that expressly want to get rid of liberal democracy and various rights based system (women, religious ….)

    • rob barrattMEMBER

      Yes well, she dressed up as a Muslim after a lone psychopath attacked a Christchurch mosque, but I didn’t see her appearing as a bishop after a highly organized group of Muslims blew up three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka a month later. I suppose Sri Lankans are cheaper than Kiwis…

        • rob barrattMEMBER

          I would have thought the principle would have been the same everywhere. Unless of course you’re trying to make progress on another front.

      • Straight after appearing in the head scarf she was off to a Beijing to take orders from her Masters. And I’m sure she didn’t say anything to them about organ harvesting or Muslim concentration camps. Total hypocrite…

  1. I admired your optimism at her election, but I always just thought “another self-aggrandising, lying politician”.

    She needs to go to Wuhan and start hugging people. That would show what a great person she is.

  2. If you hire someone and it turns out that they’ve bullsh1tted you in their application and interview and can’t actually do the job then you have redress. You can terminate their employment easily during their probation period, or not so easily afterwards. One way or another you can get rid of them.

    With a lying politician (but I repeat myself) there’s no option. You’re stuck with them until election time, where your alternative is to elect the original liar, or most probably, another liar.

    Without any way to hold lying politicians to account we are fcuked. I imagine that is how the people who designed the system and work in it intended it to be, of course.

    • Jumping jack flash

      All politicians are the same, all political parties are the same – they all operate in the same political landscape which has severely limited the power and responsibility of government. They like it that way. It gives them more time to focus on the important jobs.

      The illusion of choice is complete. We can elect either Party A, or Party B. Both parties are comprised of people who only look out for themselves and setting up their “life after politics”. Both parties have exactly the same power envelope and operate within the same legal, economic and social constraints.

      How can it be much different?

      • MountainGuinMEMBER

        If all seats were more marginal there would be more pressure on the incumbent not to lie. A few great local independent candidates helps too.

  3. I reckon she’s done pretty well, considering she’s running a minority government. She’s got to contend with opposition members in her cabinet ffs.
    She didn’t want to abandon things like tax reform, but had to, as it was her National counterparts that twisted her arm.

    • Even StevenMEMBER

      You are kidding. She didn’t just abandon things. She abandoned EVERYTHING she stood for.

      She has done so more completely than Malcolm Turnbull ever did.

  4. Here was NZ Labour’s full-on, written, public, election promise to cut migration 30-40%, and it stood for absolutely nothing, right from the get-go. Ardern was just flat out lying because she could.

    It bodes very ill for our ever getting rid of stupid Big Australia, which is beloved of every possible interest group in the country, except for the only two that have no power or influence – the electorate and the environment.

  5. Jumping jack flash

    Sadly, any politician who foolishly mentions addressing housing “affordability” (rather, debt availability) or addressing the symptoms of the New Economy which include the necessity for massive 3rd-world immigration [to facilitate the wage theft to enable business owners to raise their own incomes to be able to obtain the debt they need], is destined for failure on these promises.

    Perhaps she could say they weren’t a core promise?

    The trick to addressing “housing affordability” is to create some new mechanism to allow those who have been “priced out” of the housing market to obtain the debt they need to be able to buy a house. Its really very simple.

    I mean there’s other things, like tiny homes, building vertical slums, and what have you, but these all have their own set of problems. Certainly the easiest by far is to simply get the required amounts of debt into the hands of the people who can’t get enough of it to be able to buy a house, for whatever reason.

    The quicker governments everywhere realise this, the sooner we will experience our next golden age of debt, and prosperity for all with instant riches from someone else’s debt.

  6. Don’t disagree with the analysis above, and I’m not up on the vibe with the NZ Opposition. My concern would be that, if the Opposition gained government later this year, it would re-run the Scott Morrison model even more strongly than is currently the case in NZ – for example pulling back on RBNZ’s regulation of the banks. NZ has a proper electoral system not the idiotic preferential system gamed by Clive P, so less chance of a non-democratic outcome (Greens getting a fraction of the seats of the Nats for a similar voter share). If NZ First and the Green’s get just one seat each, all those votes are allocated proportionately so in combination become significant. ACT may only get one seat if doesn’t get across the 5pct threshold – so the 2% needs to be read with care.

  7. greedypuppyMEMBER

    The polls strongly indicated National would retain power at the last election. Adern leads a coalition and is hugely popular in contrast to simple Simon. National has no policy to address housing affordability so its not like voters angry on that front will go there. The MMP system unlike the opinion polls will favour consensus and that will keep Jacinda in the sweet spot. She has made personal inroads with the Maori and rural vote. And if there is strong support for referendums decriminalising weed and euthanasia -Labour will maintain its numbers.

    • You’re kidding right?

      Jacinda is popular still, but not like last year and it’s fading, but this government has never been “hugely popular” – and I voted Labour (for the reasons outlined above). The government has never had a spell where it’s popularity outweighed National-Act.

  8. All true, but…..
    Ardern took on the premiership with one big impediment – her coalition partners – NZ First.
    They hold the power to enact any and all changes to promises made.
    If NZ First don’t want a Capital Gains Tax ( they are the party supported by the elderly, in the main) then CGT won’t happen. NZ First would vote against Labour if need be to get their way.
    So Ardern had two things going against her:
    (1) She never imagined Labour would ‘get in’ and took over the leadership of a sinking ship 8 weeks before the election, and against all odds, won! and,
    (2) She shackled herself and her Government/promises to NZ First in a valiant attempt at getting the reform bandwagon going. This she did, but it can only go as fast as NZ First will allow it to.
    So, yes, a disappointment but with the opposition National declaring it wants no part of NZ First as a partner no matter who wins this time ( Why would they! Look at what they’ve done to Labour!) we might just get a Labour majority this time, regardless of the current polls.
    If so, then Ardern might get her programme going again. If we end up with another NZ First lead coalition, that would the the worst of all alternatives. Frankly, New Zealand is too small for MMP to work, if it indeed does in a larger country like Germany.

    • Thanks for the update, Janet. MMP is problematic, yes, but is far better than the old FPP and Australian preferential voting. I recall NZgov has already got rid of negative gearing. Housing is a huge issue and is really hurting one of my younger family members in Auckland right now. Prices in NZ are stupid when you look at the earning power and NZ banks seem to be more profitable than their Australian parents. We also noticed NZ (South Island) is very expensive compared with Sydney (eastern suburbs) and it’s not just the 15% GST. It seems to be some sort of noxious combination of low density causing low productivity and low competition. Also a lot of outdated IT equipment dumped from other markets and sold at premium prices in the likes of Voda and the Warehouse.

    • Isn’t New Zealand firsts main policy position all about decreasing immigration. I struggle to see how this stopped labour from carrying through their commitment to reducing migration. Also while MMP is not perfect it is way better than FPP. What NZ really needs though is direct democracy.

  9. Some delusional feminist leftie last week was telling me how Jacinda is about to win an ‘outright majority’ in this year’s election and what a great woman she is.

    All I can say is I hope Jacinda is booted out on her butt.

  10. Any government, left right, state federal, that breaks key promises should be thrown out. No matter what.

    There’s nothing wrong with Australia’s or NZs democracies. The problem lies with the foolish voters.

    • Then no government will survive. Will they get the picture eventually? Sure, but it might take a few decades.

      • They’d get it fast. Do as you promised, or you’re out. That’s how it should be.

        That it’s not how it is, is our fault. Not theirs.

      • It can only be a conga line while we put up with it.

        Humans are lazy and collectively dumb, but we absolutely don’t need to be disorganised especially in the age of social media.

        All we need is a plan. In electorate XYZ, we’re voting the incumbent last, and voting for independent ABC.

        I’m always hearing about our broken democracy. Other than the stupid voters, there’s nothing wrong with it.

        • It’s not that simple. Our house of reps system basically makes it impossible for anyone but the 2 majors to have any meaningful power. Just as an industry dominated by a duopoly gives consumers limited power, so does our electoral system with the electorate.

          • Not really. If enough voters leave LNP and Labor last, they’re both gone in any given seat.

            It’s happened, and there’s zero reason it can’t keep happening in more and more seats.

            All it is, is a complete absence of commitment by voters.

            Same as a company. I remember decades ago when petrol went up to $0.85. There was an email getting around encouraging everyone to boycott petrol station XYZ until they dropped their prices to $0.70.

            Good plan huh? As soon as they were 2 cents lower than the others, drivers lined up to fill up.

            People are collectively dumb. We are the problem. Not politicians.

          • Rich4: to use your historical analogy, if there were only 2 brands of petrol station, and they both sold petrol for 85 cents, then people would have little say on this. Of course it’s not an exact analogy, because people can vote for other parties in the house of reps — but given our preferencing system it’ll pretty much end up with nearly all the seats being held by one of the majors, except in the most extreme of cases.

          • I think most Australians want change from LNP and Labor, but in the end go into the polling booth and either;

            1. as per “how to vote” from their least hated major party

            2. have an attempt to vote for their favourite sounding independent. That vote doesn’t have enough weight and flows to FW party A or B.

            Surely it can’t be that hard to come up with a plan that targets a single independent (or alternative party) in each seat. There’s not that many of them. Imagine if a high profile Australian put to the candidates in Australia….”run your platform by us and if we like you, we’ll endorse you”?

            All we need is a plan, the right person/people to push the plan, dissemination of the plan, and enough people to enact the plan.

            My key point is; vote for ten different independents in a seat and the votes end up with LNP or Labor. Vote for one independent can result in a very different outcome.

            IMO enough people want to see the end on LNP and Labor. They’re killing us.

  11. greedypuppyMEMBER

    Given the choice between Adern and Scomo I know who I’d be backing. Best sort out Australian politics first before tearing into NZs. Oh and there’s a lot of sorting out to do.

  12. 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll: National and ACT hold the numbers to form a government … TVNZ

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/1-news-colmar-brunton-poll-national-and-act-hold-numbers-form-government

    … and New Zealand has the worst housing affordability in the Anglosphere at 7.0 median multiple / household earnings … according to the 2020 16th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey released 20 January …

    New survey ranks NZ’s most and least affordable cities … Anne Gibson … New Zealand Herald

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12301144

  13. reusachtigeMEMBER

    I love how youse always source the best angle shots of the peeps you disparage. Much respect.

  14. – Here “Houses & Holes” shows his confirmation bias.
    – There is no housing shortage in NZ. It’s a matter of affordability. Houses in NZ are too expensive for the average citizen.
    – The “Kiwi-builds” are also too expensive for the average citizen of NZ.

      • – Taxpayers here in NZ are in for a rude awakening as well. They will find out – when they prepare their taxreturn – that a thing called “Negative Gearing” has been abolished in the fiscal year 2019 (april 2019 – march 2020). These “specufestors” will have to pay more than they did last year. “FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS” !!!

  15. As you say, labour has failed to fulfil its electoral promises. Orr has deeply politicised the RBNZ – a shocking display this week – and they have singularly failed to make any meaningful connection to business. After trashing National’s Roads of National Significance, they are now claiming them as their own in their new fiscal stimulus. They’re forcing environmental and compliance policies onto business with little to no consultation.

    They deserve to lose…

    Problem is, National is the Party of the People Republic of China and the Communist Party. Simon Bridges is an utter loser and is quite prepared to kowtow to his Chinese masters while abandoning his allies. He’s a damn disgrace.

    So as a Kiwi, what do we do? Honestly, I don’t know. Both are lying dirtbags.

    • – Taxpayers here in NZ are in for a rude awakening as well. They will find out – when they prepare their taxreturn – that a thing called “Negative Gearing” has been abolished in the fiscal year 2019 (april 2019 – march 2020). These “specufestors” will have to pay more than they did last year. “FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS” !!!

  16. NEW ZEALAND … Auckland dwelling completions up 24% to 13,197 yoy ..

    … When can we expect to see the re – emergence (like Australia and the United States) of a much lower cost production industry (as we used to have in this country before the politicians and planners screwed it up) ? …

    The number of new homes being built in Auckland has increased by 63% over the last two years … Greg Ninness … Interest Co NZ
    ( note ‘The 4th Estate’ production building comment about 2 down on thread )

    https://www.interest.co.nz/property/103644/number-new-homes-being-built-auckland-has-increased-63-over-last-two-years

    More than 13,000 new homes were added to Auckland’s housing stock last year and the rate of new home building shows no sign of slowing down.

    Auckland Council issued 13,197 Code Compliance Certificates for new dwellings in 2019, up 24% compared to 2018 and up 63% compared to 2017 (see graph below)…. Read more via hyperlink above …
    .
    .
    … What Kevin Atkinson CEO of Generation Homes said mid 2018 …

    Opinion: Let the builders build … Kevin Atkinson … Stuff New Zealand

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/property/104213530/opinion-let-the-builders-build

    … extract …

    … So they buy 10 lots here, five there, depending on what deals they can get.

    The net result is that in a city like Auckland, builders and subcontractors are running all over town to different jobs and they’re wasting an hour every time they do it.

    To get real efficiency and to be able to build affordable houses, building companies need to be building 50 to 100 houses or more in one development. … read more via hyperlink above …

  17. NEW ZEALAND … Jacinda Arderns government in trouble …

    The political costs of failing to deliver … as promised …

    ‘I’m over it’: will disillusioned voters spell trouble for Jacinda Ardern? … Eleanor Ainge Roy … The Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/15/jacinda-ardern-new-zealand-election-vote-disillusioned

    With seven months to go, the internationally acclaimed PM must tackle queries over whether she has done enough at home … read more via hyperlink above …