Ardern – General Debate #1

Here is Jacinda Ardern’s first speech as Labour leader in Parliament’s General Debate.

GENERAL DEBATE

JACINDA ARDERN (Leader of the Opposition): I move, That the House take note of miscellaneous business. They say a week is a long time in politics. I can tell you that just 24 hours can feel like a very long time in politics too. Imagine then what can be done, what can be changed, what can be achieved in just over 50 days.

I did not come into politics to be an Opposition member of Parliament. In fact, every single person sitting behind me, sitting beside me, did not campaign to be in Opposition. We are here because of our inherent belief that New Zealand can be better than this. Every single one of our Labour team will have a story to tell about when they realised this simple fact—in fact, they will have many stories to tell, and daily reminders of that simple fact.

I have often spoken about my very short time living in a small forestry town plagued by unemployment and plagued by poverty. But when you are a child you do not see politics. You see unfairness. When you are searching for your first home or facing an increase in your rent, you probably do not see politics. You just see a lack of hope. When your bills outstrip your income again and again, and you are looking for ways to bridge the gap, you probably do not see politics. You just see the next countdown to another pay day.

And yet all of these challenges can be different. No one is asking politicians to provide a silver bullet, but they are asking for ideas that give them hope and that give them change. Our vision is for a better, fairer future for New Zealand—a place where everyone, no matter where they live or what their income, has the best education and the opportunity to flourish. That concept is as true now as it was when Peter Fraser stood and said that “all persons, whatever their level of ability, whether they live in town or country, have a right as citizens to a free education of the kind for which they are best fitted and to the fullest extent of their powers.”

Our education policy does this, and I am proud of the work that our education spokesperson, Chris Hipkins, has done on it. It is a policy that stops treating schools like factories and children like products that need to be standardised, tested, and despatched. It acknowledges that a child’s creativity peaks at 7 and fosters that creativity.

Our vision is for a place where everyone who has the ability has access to decent work, and not just for the work that presents itself now, but for the jobs of tomorrow. That means investing in lifelong learning, starting with giving work and hope to every one of the more than 70,000 young people not in education, training, or employment; a country that calls a home a right; that does not sell State houses, but builds them; that recognises market failure and steps in to build the stock we need; that sees homeownership falling and that the next generation risk even greater inequality, as those who have become those who inherit, and does something about it.

It is a place where small to medium enterprises thrive. They are our job creators, our innovators, and whether it is our R & D tax credit, our plans to incentivise investment, our focus on building the talent they need, or just our belief that they deserve a level playing field and for multinationals to pay their fair share of tax just like they do, small and medium sized enterprises are key to New Zealand’s future. Our future is for a better, fairer future for New Zealand.

Finally, we are the people’s party, and the people of New Zealand have an inherent connection to the land in which they live. Governments have been latecomers to something Māori have always known. We can be world leaders on environmental challenges of tomorrow. Let us not just legislate our climate targets; let us use them to innovate to our advantage. We are young, we are smart, we are a beautiful country. It is time, though, to make it even better. It is time for Labour.

33 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  August 2, 2017

    Ardern speaks well and is not fazed in debating anyone National has…to offer.

    • Conspiratoor

       /  August 2, 2017

      Agreed blazer, i thought she was devastating. Bill didn’t know whether to laugh or cry

    • PDB

       /  August 2, 2017

      Labour: Same old dribble, just a different mouth.

    • Gezza

       /  August 2, 2017

      Andy could somehow never manage to pull of sounding passionate about anything.
      Jacinda might manage that. She’s getting a real push by 1ewes at 6, but it was tempered bt Corn with commentary that the initial rush of blood to supporters’ heads & pocketbooks hasn’t really been tested yet.

      She is making a major, very determined play for the 18-30 vote – and that’s good strategy.
      Bill might have to do a rethink on how he handles her because solid & unflappable in the news clips didn’t get as much airplay as her stirring battle cry of the republic stuff.

      I dunno if Joyce’s smarminess is such a good idea. I find it irritating @ the best of times. He should probably be careful not to overdo that. In fact probably best not to do smarmy at all.

      I tell you what though, they showed a lot of clips of her I was struck by how gaunt she looks.

      • Gezza

         /  August 2, 2017

        🙄 *tempered by Corin with commentary … etc (sheesh!)

      • Gezza

         /  August 2, 2017

        This changeover to new leader & deputy was unusually quick & slick for Labour so I imagine the work had all been before Andy even had a clue what was up & learned he was out on his ear. The new slogans & billboards will be interesting.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  August 2, 2017

          I wonder if it was his idea to say he had thought about standing down or if it was planned for him by “his” strategy team?

          • It’s been reported that he kept his decision making to himself, but the replacement strategy team seemed well organised just in case.

          • Gezza

             /  August 2, 2017

            It’s hard to say. Looking back, I think he was surprised to be told a vote was coming up & he got got caught in that interview just after hearing the news there’d been a discussion & vote was to be held. Remember he tried to play it that he was still in charge the next day but then it looks like he got told, sorry – we have the numbers & there was nothing for it but to stand down.

            I think he maybe suddenly added up a lot of little ‘whispering incidents’ & put 2 & 2 together just before the vote.

            I think we can assume Jacinda’s ‘innocence’ is somewhat less than genuine – she seems well-prepared to go straight into the role. The CB poll was probably the clincher & Plan B already prepared unkbown to him was instigated.

            • Gezza

               /  August 2, 2017

              * Plan B already prepared unbeknown to him was implemented.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 2, 2017

              You think the interview question was just coincidence? Or primed?

            • Gezza

               /  August 2, 2017

              I hadn’t thought about it – but now that you’ve asked me, I think it was primed.

              What I’m not sure of yet is whether Jacinda is intended to be the final leader. Kelvin’s very keen I reckon.

            • Gezza

               /  August 2, 2017

              It’s not a caucus I’d turn my back on in the leader’s job, Al.

              How’d they pull this off without the usual consultations with the membership!

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 2, 2017

              Yep, I think it was primed too. The caucus finally got him where they wanted him. Was it Robertson or Davis leading them?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 2, 2017

              I think I read there is something in the party rules about proximity to election that allows a quick change.

            • Gezza

               /  August 2, 2017

              Watching him yesterday & today – I think Kelvin, definitely Kelvin. This is a big gamble, but worth taking for them – that’s a clever, steely-looking, decisive combination – & I may have underestimated them both.

            • Gezza

               /  August 2, 2017

              Oops, sorry see comment under Corky’s below Alan.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 2, 2017

              Well, if it was Davis he managed to get Robertson to nominate him. Who’s playing who?

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  August 2, 2017

            According to a copy of the rules the NZ Council can suspend the extended voting process if an election has been called. Presumably that happened.

            • Gezza

               /  August 2, 2017

              Yes. That may have been planned for some time back even. Andy’s lack of traction has been evident for months. What we now need to see is whether Jacinda has the hardened gonads. I didn’t expect Kelvin in the mix – and he HAS.

    • Corky

       /  August 2, 2017

      I bet before the election Cindy has a makeover to add more empahasis to her personality and gravitas in paliment.

      1- Her hair will needing cutting and given body.
      2- More power dressing will be required.
      3- Maybe even glasses.

      • Gezza

         /  August 2, 2017

        1, yes – hair looked lank & greasy.
        2. maybe, might be better not to power dress, will be interesting to observe.
        3. does she wear them? I’d say no, don’t. Would look too swotty.

        • Gezza

           /  August 2, 2017

          Hairstyle needs to address that gaunt look. I’m not being nasty, she looked like death warmed up in a couple of vid clips on tv tonite. She’s naturally lean & the right vpcut would help that. Perfect counter to Paula who’s, you know .. the .. um .. opposite.

  2. Gezza

     /  August 2, 2017

    I dunno if they’ve got much time to put it together but I think we’ll get more coherence & focus on a few key policies under these two. Something Blazer’s correctly been saying for some time has been needed.

    • Gezza

       /  August 2, 2017

      Well, if it was Davis he managed to get Robertson to nominate him. Who’s playing who?

      @Al. My opinion? Kelvin is doing the playing. And he’s not playing. He’s serious.

        • Gezza

           /  August 2, 2017

          Kelvin Davis says he had no idea that he’d have a new job just 24 hours ago, but you get the feeling he’s been getting ready for a while.

          Well, you know, you have to be, I ecpect. Jacinda didn’t to be the leader either.
          Kelvin’s ideally placed. If Jacinda works out, he’s a good choice for deputy, tpresring that article, for numerous reasons, & if she doesn’t he’ll likely be elevated into the top job.

          People intending to manipulate these two, if they did intend that – might find them less malleable than they thought. J & K could be a mutually self-reinforcing act.

          • Gezza

             /  August 2, 2017

            * tpresring 😳 = reading, I think 🙈

          • Gezza

             /  August 2, 2017

            If I were them, I’d have another big gamble ready in my back pocket Al.
            I’d stand ready to say they were prepared to go into coalition with National.

          • Gezza

             /  August 3, 2017

            Ok it’s gone midnight.
            So that means I win again.
            You know the rules.

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