• The Good Ship Jacinda Ardern

    Has any New Zealand Prime Minister had to face as many challenges as the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” that Jacinda Ardern has had to confront?

    The coronavirus epidemic alone has presented a myriad of problems, impacting as it does on so many different people and groups of people, and in so many different and sometimes contrary ways.

    The point is made, neatly but no doubt inadvertently, in today’s Herald. They carry two pieces – one by Barry Soper, bemoaning the delay in opening Auckland’s borders, and another by Derek Cheng, expressing anxiety about an exodus of Aucklanders spreading the virus throughout the country. As with so many virus issues, she is “damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t.”

    Throughout this protracted crisis, Jacinda has dealt with problems and critics alike, with courtesy and good temper, and without complaint. Her critics, however, have become increasingly vitriolic, scarcely able to conceal their excitement and pleasure at the possibility that, as they put it, “her halo might be slipping”. For these critics, any concern they might feel on behalf of New Zealand as a whole is far outweighed by their partisan and slavering welcome for the possibility that our Prime Minister does not have all the answers at her finger tips.

    How disappointed they must be that, despite all the brickbats thrown at her by those who are in some way adversely affected by the virus – each brickbat faithfully reported and amplified by her political opponents in the media and in opposition parties – Jacinda Ardern remains by some margin the most popular political leader we have.

    For one who has had to weather the storms that have beset her, the good ship Jacinda Ardern is in remarkably good shape.


  1. Fern says: November 19, 2021 at 12:10 pmReply

    Talk about being tested in the fire. There is no other MP I can think of who could have done a better job.

  2. Bryan Gould says: November 19, 2021 at 12:38 pmReply

    Fern, I very much agree, Bryan

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