Why Jacinda Ardern is adding to the appeal of New Zealand

09 May 2019 Why Jacinda Ardern is adding to the appeal of New Zealand

I don’t watch the television, rarely listen to the radio, and never buy a newspaper, and with Australia’s federal election coming up my reasons for this are more for self-preservation. You don’t have to be looking too hard to start wondering why it ended up this way, politically?

And then I look to New Zealand, a beautiful, green, clean country with Jacinda Arden as PM. At 38 years old with a 9 month old baby at home this women is an absolute legend and the politician we are all dying for in Australia.

More on that shortly.

Back in Australia while watching a YouTube video you’re bombarded with Clive Palmer ads, his thumbs up on massive billboards and annoying text messages, seriously? How this guy can stand there and honestly say he is representative of the people, must take some serious arrogance?

There is Pauline Hanson, still running a platform solely comprised of hate and paranoia. 

One can only hope the Greens will gather enough seats to counter the idiot brigade mentioned above to provide some sensible balance.

A current “Prime Minister” (in adverted comas because there isn’t anything “Prime” about this guy – dictionary, “of the best quality”) and what a team he has behind him? Dutton, Joyce, Abbott, enough said. 

Often it is said that Labor and Liberal are of similar quality though I would argue, not this time. You don’t have to be real amazing to be better than the current government. Although Labor still haven’t ruled out Adani! They are at least committing to some action on climate change with 50% of the country’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2030 compared to no change and the sound of crickets with the current government. Labor have also promised a Federal ICAC (Independent Commision Against Corruption), which is much needed. 

Australia's energy generation www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au

Then there is Jacinda and New Zealand.

A small country with a small population, their emissions target is for net zero emissions by 2050. (Australia’s target is 26% redution by 2030. Reality is that at the current rate projected to stagnate at just 11% by 2030 with the Department of Energy and Water suggesting the end result could be as low as a 7% reduction with emissions actually on the rise). 

After the Christchurch massacre Jacinda’s government with agreement of the conservative opposition party, enacted immediate and sweeping changes to the country’s gun laws, banning assault rifles and military-style semi-automatics. Its also no secret that the way she handled this was with humility and honour on all fronts. 

Badge Badge

Her government has banned single-use plastic with a very short time frame and very little stalling, because the people asked for it.

In general, what makes her great is her ability to say “I underestimated how important this is to New Zealanders” or “children tell me this is important to them”. She listens, and in 2019 actually has the ability to put herself in someone else’s shoes and say “I think about how I would like to be treated” or “how I would like my mother to be treated”. Something certainly missing from Australia's out of touch government.

She comes across as real, a relatable person and is able to get things done because of this, avoiding a lot of the name calling and bickering that is now politics in Australia

She recently said her government wanted to break tradition and talk about ideas. With so many Australian's still more concerned about how addressing climate change, extinctions and deforestation might affect their bank accounts. It is ideas, innovation and invention that creates investment, jobs and the opportunity for a prosperous country. Young people, the next generation are taking to the streets for the future as they understand without the planet a bank account doesn't have a lot of meaning. We have to start working together and that goes for politicians as well, talking about our ideas as if we are going to deal with the challenges ahead we must start now.

Stop reading the Daily Telegraph, and perhaps stop watching the news. If you read something you don't like look for other sources of the same story and see how much it changes. Think of your children and the world they will have, its easy to take things for granted if you live on the beautiul East Coast of Australia but the issue is bigger than that and there is no harm in wanting clean air, clean water and a healthy natural environment. If we clean up our act and innovate, we can have both and in fact we don't have a choice.

Look to New Zealand and Jacinda, they are certainly giving it a go.

Paul Hellier - Founder

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