The Ardern Legacy

Appointed as New Zealand’s Prime Minister in 2017, Jacinda Ardern has been described as an iron fist in a velvet glove. She wooed the world with talk of kindness and […]
Published on February 17, 2023

Appointed as New Zealand’s Prime Minister in 2017, Jacinda Ardern has been described as an iron fist in a velvet glove. She wooed the world with talk of kindness and compassion, while at home ruling like a dictator. No friend of free speech, she had  little regard for public opinion and no respect for those with a contrary view.

Using her unmandated ‘Captain’s Calls’, she has destroyed lives, undermined our democracy, and deeply divided our society.

From the time Jacinda Ardern was first elected leader of Labour, the relentless fawning by the mainstream media became known as “Jacindamania”. As a result, she was rarely held to account for her actions, nor subjected to the critical scrutiny usually applied to Prime Ministers.

This cushioning by the media meant that the public remained largely unaware that our new Prime Minister was such a hard core socialist that not only was she the president of a communist youth movement when she was elected to Parliament in 2008, but she continued to hold that position for a further 15 months.

In an article written just before Jacinda Ardern resigned, this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, former Judge and law lecturer Anthony Willy, assesses just how far down the Marxist path she has taken the country:

“At the time of her election Ms Ardern was the World President of the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) which owes its origins to the ‘Young Communist International’ founded in 1907 with Lenin’s blessing. As social circumstances changed so this Communist inspiration bred a plethora of socialist youth groups one of which is the IUSY. The central philosophy of this movement remains the same: to discard the existing social norms and usher in the new all the while paying lip service to promoting a ‘type’ of democracy.

“To become the ‘world President’ of any organisation, particularly one as extensive and revolutionary as this requires absolute belief in its principles and methods. It also requires considerable personal talents in persuading the members that you are the person to lead them to the new Nirvana. This requires eschewing all ‘petty bourgeois feelings’  and the ‘ideologies of a past age.’ In New Zealand in 2008 those feelings embraced Parliamentary democracy, our personal freedoms, and the market economy.

Clearly Ms Ardern had all of the necessary qualities of personality and conviction to seek to impose those aims on our society – aptly demonstrated as they are on the video of her Presidential address to a 2009 IUSY meeting in Hungary. It is an impressive performance – none of the simpering kindness which we have become so used to over the past few years in dealing with the Wuhan flu and the Mosque attack. It is a stirring address which brings the members to their feet on a number of occasions, referring to them throughout as ‘Comrades’ – a term routinely in use in Communist dictatorships.”

Supported by an army of spin doctors, Jacinda Ardern used her considerable PR skills to such an effect that without critical analysis by the media, many New Zealanders were oblivious to the authoritarian manner in which she was ruling the country.

Her record speaks for itself.

Just months into her first term of Parliament, without any prior consultation or even Cabinet sign-off, she announced an end to new deep sea oil drilling – so she could boast about her decisiveness over climate change at a meeting of world leaders she was about to attend.

Anyone well informed could have told her that her actions would not only lead to the collapse of the oil and gas industry, but, by threatening the viability of the Marsden Point Oil Refinery, would render New Zealand totally dependent on imported fuels and by-products like bitumen.

Driven by a seemingly insatiable desire for international recognition, she used the tragedy of the Christchurch Mosque attacks to crack down on the rights of law-abiding Kiwi firearm owners, introducing excessive restrictions and a new registration system that is already failing.

As a globalist, she entrenched the United Nation’s radical Agenda 30 into our regulatory and administrative framework – without telling New Zealanders what she was doing.

She championed wide new powers for the World Health Organisation, informing the UN late last year, that New Zealand supports efforts “to develop a new global health legal instrument, strengthened international health regulations and a strong and empowered World Health Organisation.”

As a graduate of Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum, she began implementing their ‘great reset’ ideas, including the introduction of ‘wellbeing’ budgets.

Throughout her time in office, she honed her socialist technique of using fear to gain control of the public and force acceptance of her agenda – from climate change, where the implication was that the planet would be destroyed unless we sacrifice the farming sector and our economy, to Covid, where we were told that hers was the only truth and that unless we followed her instructions, up to 80,000 New Zealanders could die.

The lockdowns she imposed were the harshest in the world and the cruelty she displayed towards fellow New Zealanders – including those trapped overseas who were prevented from coming home – was unprecedented.

She lied about mandates – promising not to make vaccines compulsory before the 2020 election, only to impose them once elected, forcing people out of jobs and turning the unvaccinated into second-class citizens. She then exacerbated her wrongdoing by misleading the public about the reasoning.

But her deception was exposed by the High Court’s Justice Cook, who, in his determination that the mandates on the Police and Armed Forces were illegal, revealed that the Ministry of Health had opposed mandates because they didn’t stop the spread of the virus. Furthermore, he also rejected the Vaccine Order that claimed their introduction was essential to maintain public services, since only a relative handful of employees had refused vaccination.

In effect, the mandates were imposed as a weapon of coercion to force greater uptake of the vaccine – so our “Covid Queen” Prime Minister could boast on the world stage that New Zealand was one of the most vaccinated countries on earth.

It was the lies and deceit that led to the three-week long tent-village protest at Parliament. But instead of meeting with protesters and showing compassion for the fact that many of these nurses, doctors, police, defence workers and hundreds of others had lost their livelihoods, homes, and families, the PM looked down from her 9th floor Beehive office and allowed her Ministers to mock them.

In choosing that course of action, she set the scene for a conflict with Police that will remain an enduring stain on her legacy.

Throughout her premiership, in the best Marxist tradition, Jacinda Ardern heavily promoted identity politics, establishing appeasement processes for virtually every minority grievance. That, of course, included those pushing for Maori supremacy – a cause she embraced.

Using the excuse of preparing a plan to enact the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a radical blueprint to replace democracy with tribal rule by 2040 was developed. Called He Puapua, this ‘subversive’ document was delivered to the Government in late 2019 but kept secret from Labour’s coalition partner New Zealand First and the public until after the 2020 election.

Having gained an absolute majority in Parliament, He Puapua and co-governance were progressed at breath-taking speed, with the 15-strong Maori Caucus seemingly calling the shots. This transfer of democratic power to the tribal elite – who run multi-million-dollar business development corporations – was carried out with the PM’s blessing, and represents the undermining of one of the world’s longest standing and most successful democracies.

New Zealanders’ right to challenge the introduction of race-based wards in local authorities was stripped away under Parliamentary urgency. In the middle of the pandemic, our community-based health system was abolished and centralised, giving a new Maori Health Authority such power that health prioritisation is now no longer based on clinical need but on race.

And, against the will of the public, local authority water infrastructure and services are now being confiscated and centralised into four mega agencies controlled by Maori.

With the Maori Caucus seemingly in some sort of co-governance arrangement with Jacinda Ardern, the three-waters reforms were expanded to cover all water in New Zealand – including the sea – without the knowledge or authorisation of the Prime Minister or Cabinet.

Such was her obsession with ushering in Maori supremacy, that Jacinda Ardern appears to have passed over her ultimate decision-making power to Labour’s Maori MPs to implement totalitarian tribal rule.

But thanks to New Zealand’s independent media and information channels, the government propaganda being promoted by State funded media began to be challenged and Kiwis started recognising the damage Jacinda Ardern’s toxic agenda was causing the country.

Just before Christmas the Australian Roy Morgan poll painted a devastating picture of a collapsing Labour vote – down from 50 percent at the 2020 election to just 25.5 percent, barely above the 24 percent polling that forced former Labour leader Andrew Little to step aside in 2017.

The polling company’s in-depth breakdown of voter support showed that not only men had deserted Labour, but women were starting to follow suit.

With polls showing her personal popularity also on the decline, Jacinda Ardern had become the most polarising Prime Minister in New Zealand’s history.

For a Labour Party trying to win an election, the so-called hero of the left was turning from a major asset into a liability.

In her resignation speech, she claimed “I have given my absolute all to being Prime Minister but it has also taken a lot out of me. You cannot and should not do the job unless you have a full tank, plus a bit in reserve for those unplanned and unexpected challenges that inevitably come along. Having reflected over summer I know I no longer have that bit extra in the tank to do the job justice.”

It was reminiscent of (former PM) John Key’s resignation speech in 2016, when he said, “Being leader of both the party and the country has been an incredible experience… Throughout these years I have given everything I could to this job that I cherish, and this country that I love… I gave it everything I had. I have left nothing in the tank.”

The circumstances were very different. John Key was not a career politician, and he stepped down well ahead of election year, with the economy booming and the party riding high in the polls.

Jacinda Ardern is a career politician yet has bailed out with the party polling at historic lows, the country facing a recession, and just months before an election she seemed destined to lose.

Was her decision to resign now aimed at protecting her international reputation from being tarred with losing an election?

Much has been written about Jacinda Ardern having to deal with the Christchurch terror attack, the White Island eruption and the Covid-19 pandemic. It is worth remembering that dealing with crises and disasters is part and parcel of being a Prime Minister. During his time in office, John Key had to deal with the Global Financial Crisis, two Christchurch earthquakes, the Pike River Mine disaster, and the Swine Flu pandemic.

But he could also point to his government’s significant record of achievement in managing the country from recession to a “rock star” economy – by reducing government spending, lowering the debt, freeing up the labour markets, and reforming welfare to support more long-term beneficiaries out of dependency and into work.

And that’s the problem for Jacinda Ardern. When she looks at her legacy, what has she achieved?

She claims to have improved child poverty, but the record shows otherwise. She claims to have built houses, but 1,500 is not the 100,000 promised.

Instead, tens of thousands of families are living in motels, crime is rampant, immigration failure has created a nation-wide shortage of workers, union control has removed flexibility from the labour market, the welfare system has again become a trap for long-term beneficiaries, and the inclusion of employment and house prices in the Reserve Bank’s mandate has taken the focus off inflation, leading to the serious cost of living crisis that is now enveloping the country.

This is the reality that Chris Hipkins, New Zealand’s new Prime Minister, is facing. The MP for Remutaka, who was leader of the House and Minister of the Public Service, Police, and Education – the latter two amongst the worst performing of all portfolio areas – has just a short window of opportunity to make the necessary changes to turn around Labour’s fortunes.

Whether that will lead to him putting a hold on Three Waters and the anti-democratic He Puapua rollout, remains to be seen.

With his more down-to-earth style, Chris Hipkins is likely to attract back Labour supporters who had deserted the party because they couldn’t stomach the ‘Queen of Woke’. As a result, for National and ACT, the election has just become more of a contest.

A lot has been said about Jacinda Ardern’s wonderfulness in breaking through Parliament’s ‘glass ceiling’. Yet, when I was first an MP back in 1996, the glass ceiling had already gone. Thanks to Members who had come before, changes had been made to ensure women MPs had the same opportunity as men.

And as for the dangers and difficulties of the job, it has always been a tough role with death threats and the like. As the former Labour Minister and ACT leader Richard Prebble wrote in an article very critical of Jacinda Ardern’s decision to bail out: “It is nonsense to blame social media and claim things are different today. I attended some of Muldoon’s meetings. To say they were hostile is to fail to convey the atmosphere. Muldoon gave what he got back with vigour. I have had to walk through picket lines of seamen and wharfies to reach public meetings that were stacked with hostile voters. Yes, I received many threats including death threats. I had a Doberman and a huge German Shepard for a reason.”

The writing was already on the wall for Jacinda Ardern in late 2021.

We wrote, “You are leading a government that is stomping on the basic human rights of New Zealanders. This is not the Kiwi way – and it is not what voters thought they were getting when they gave you the responsibility of leading our country for the benefit of all. You have betrayed us, and we have lost trust in you and your Government. That’s why we don’t love you anymore, Jacinda – and why we want you to resign.”

It took 445 days for her to heed our call!

 

Dr Muriel Newman established the New Zealand Centre for Political Research as a public policy think tank in 2005 after nine years as a Member of Parliament. A former Chamber of Commerce President, her background is in business and education.

Featured News

MORE NEWS

City Office Space Is Tanking

City Office Space Is Tanking

Sometimes economics can be boring. That happens when you know for sure that something is coming and nothing can stop it. And yet mainstream opinion is utterly in denial, continually shocked by the unfolding of the inevitable. That’s when it gets frustrating. After...

Groupthink on School Boards is Not Inclusive

Groupthink on School Boards is Not Inclusive

The recent by-election in the Louis Riel School Division (LRSD) attracted a lot of media attention, much more than usual. That’s because this was the seat vacated last November by former Ward 1 trustee Francine Champagne. To say that her short tenure was controversial...