Jacinda ardern

How the National party toppled Labour in New Zealand

Just three years on from Jacinda Ardern’s phenomenal outright victory, New Zealand’s Labour government has collapsed, slumping to half its vote from 2020. It is on the verge of losing some of its safest seats and languishing behind in most of the Māori electorates. The centre-right National party has won, with Labour prime minister Chris Hipkins calling Christopher Luxon to concede defeat. The National party and its libertarian coalition party, ACT, are in a strong position to form a government, with Luxon, a relative newcomer to politics, becoming the country’s next prime minister. With more than three-quarters of the vote counted, Labour’s vote was a shade higher than 26 per cent

Jacinda Ardern was the queen of coercive kindness

Jacinda Ardern has resigned as Prime Minister of New Zealand. After a period of reflection over the summer break, she concluded that she no longer had ‘enough left in the tank’ to do the job justice. Fakery wasn’t the problem with Ardern. Sincerity was Cynics claim she is jumping ship before the electoral defeat that opinion polls suggest she and her Labour party will suffer in October’s general election. That’s an unkind thing to say. It must disappoint Ardern that, after almost six years at the helm, New Zealand still contains such unpleasant people. If there is one thing that Ardern is all about, and to which she has dedicated

Kate Andrews

Why did Jacinda Ardern resign?

24 min listen

Kate Andrews talks to Fraser Nelson and the New Zealand based journalist and author Andrea Vance about the surprise announcement from Jacinda Ardern that she will be leaving the world stage next month.

The shine comes off Saint Jacinda’s halo

Cast your mind back to 2020. Back then, in the dark days of Covid, a ray of light was apparently offered in the form of New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern. Here, we were told, was the shining beacon of hope, the solution to all our ails. A ‘zero Covid’ approach and a total national lockdown; closed borders and open hearts. Across the country Guardianistas gushed praise and oozed platitudes: here, at last, was the ideal model of a sensible, liberal, centrist leader. Fast forward two years and all that has now changed. First Ardern managed to irritate both right and left with her clampdown on immigration and complacency on China. Then she was forced to admit what

In Fortress New Zealand, faith in Saint Jacinda is starting to fade

Wellington Jacinda Ardern recently told an American television host that she finds it ‘slightly offensive’ when outsiders assume every other New Zealander starred in Lord of the Rings. Quite so. New Zealand has only one real film star in 2022, and that’s the Prime Minister herself. But the way things are heading, she might best suit an adaptation of Lord of the Flies. The place has gone mad. Many countries, even nearby Australia, have responded to the arrival of the Omicron variant by drastically easing many of their formerly draconian measures in response to Covid, in particular the widespread use of lockdowns, or what some might prefer to describe as

Saint Jacinda’s war on fags

It is a curious irony that the West’s leading progressive icon is probably the most authoritarian leader in the free world today. Since sweeping to power in 2017, the New Zealand prime minister has been repeatedly lauded by the London intelligentsia as the ideal model of a liberal, centrist premier. This is despite the blessed Jacinda’s stock response to every public policy crisis being to restrict or ban the offending phenomena in question. After Christchurch it was guns; for Covid it was lockdowns, with bans on the unvaccinated. Now Ardern has stumbled onto the solution to smoking: why not simply ban cigarettes? Today her government has announced that it will outlaw smoking for the next

Saint Jacinda backs a two-tier society

For many so-called liberals, Jacinda Ardern seemed to be the perfect premier. Warm, empathetic, progressive, above all – moderate – the New Zealand Prime Minister was lionised by the London intelligentsia as the ideal model of a liberal, centrist leader who saved her country by locking down during the pandemic.  But now the shine is coming off the blessed Jacinda as some in the West start to see her all-too human failings. Having managed to irritate both right and left with her clamp down on immigration and complacency on China, Ardern has now admitted what many others have been scared to admit: that her Covid restrictions will mean the emergence of a de-facto

New Zealand’s worrying battle over transgender rights

Last year, the equalities minister Liz Truss set aside laws which would have allowed people to self-identity as the legal gender of their choice. For those worried about the effect self-ID could have on women-only spaces, Truss’ move was a welcome relief. But campaigners for women’s rights should not be too complacent. As recent developments across the world in New Zealand show, it only takes a general election to trigger a massive move in policy in a matter of months. Two years ago, the New Zealand campaign group Speak Up for Women thought that self-ID had been taken off the table when Tracey Martin, the New Zealand minister for internal

Has the shine come off Saint Jacinda?

For a short time it seemed as if Jacinda Ardern, the popular premier of New Zealand, could do no wrong in the eyes of the British political establishment. The New Zealand PM was held up as the Platonic ideal of a liberal, centrist leader who had saved her country by locking down during the pandemic. The praise of Ardern reached fever pitch in October last year, when she romped home in the New Zealand elections. Labour MPs gushed over Jacinda’s ‘real leadership’ and suggested that: ‘Jacinda shows what a competent, moderate, progressive, emotionally intelligent, immensely likeable & unifying Labour leader can achieve.’ Meanwhile, the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon,

Why is Jacinda Ardern still so popular?

Every time I read another excitable media article about New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern, I am reminded of an old quip: ‘Viewed from a distance, everything is beautiful.’ That was Publius Cornelius Tacitus (AD 58-120). Were this Roman intellectual and historian alive today, he would make a great New York Times columnist. His tactic was to spin political and historical analogies so they could influence public affairs back home. Tacitus’s Germania, for example, was about framing the Germanic tribes as a noble culture so that his Roman compatriots would recognize their own society as corrupt and decadent in contrast. The only problem was that Tacitus had never crossed the