Back to Parliament, back to business for Ardern

Jacinda Ardern took back control as Prime Minister last week after six weeks maternity leave, and returned to Parliament yesterday. After a few days of media fawning and puff pieces it was finally back to business.

Tracey Watkins: It’s a business as usual return for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

It hasn’t exactly been business as usual with all the baby distractions, but Ardern needs to get back to business quickly.

If plummeting business confidence was the thorn in Labour’s side before Ardern went on leave, it’s now a knife that keeps being twisted a little deeper each day.

Treasury is the latest to feel the knife’s edge. Its latest report on the economy admits rosy growth forecasts in the May budget might have to be revised downward due to the drop in business confidence and a cooling housing market. But Treasury is arriving at this party late. Nearly every bank economist has already come to the same conclusion that falling business confidence may have some very concrete effects.

Ardern’s return offered an opportunity for a reset – a gesture to business that the the Government has been listening and is willing to try and meet them, if not halfway, then some of the way.

But there was no olive branch from Ardern – just push back on the disconnect between business confidence and New Zealand’s economic performance.

So a challenging time for Ardern.

And she is being challenged. Barry Soper: ‘Trade for All’ agenda another announcement without substance

It’s a bit like putting the produce-laden cart before the lumbering Clydesdale as the Government tries to bring the public on board with free trade deals and what they’re calling a ‘Trade for All’ agenda.

This soft sell to the public was Jacinda Ardern’s first big announcement after putting her feet under the Beehive’s Cabinet table yesterday.

And just like all Government announcements without substance they’re setting up a board to advise on how to woo the great unwashed when it comes to trade. And as usual they’ve appointed the chair with the boardroom chairs to be filled later, or as the blurb said “in due course”.

Their blurb was stating the bleedingly obvious, they want trade benefits to flow to all New Zealanders, they want them to be felt throughout the country, not just in the major cities. Like the last Government did, trying unsuccessfully to sell the Trans-Pacific Partnership, they’ll be holding meetings and hui around the country over the next couple of months.

It’s a government’s job to govern and those who run this trading nation from the Beehive should get on with the business rather than engaging focus groups and crowd sourcing to make everyone happy about what is after all New Zealand’s bread and butter and always has been.

It seems to be a kick the can down the advisory board government.

Ardern has had a break. She now needs to step up and show that she can lead the Government and lead the country, more so than she has done so far.

And business is a big issue for her to deal with – as soon as possible, not waiting for the results of an inquiry.

 

37 Comments

  1. Businesses also have to be viable or they won’t employ people.

    • Blazer

       /  August 7, 2018

      I think thats stating the obvious.
      Big business are the constant whingers.Profit comes first.

      Look at all the building firms pulling the pin…its allthe gummints fault.

      • They’re not ‘pulling the pin’, they’re going broke. That’s not good for employment, nor for the Government.

        • Blazer

           /  August 7, 2018

          ‘going broke’…in an orderly…fashion.

          Can’t be paying the ‘going market rate’…for management..talent!

          • High Flying Duck

             /  August 7, 2018

            It’s always the highly regulated markets that suffer first.
            Regulatory holdups plus wage inflation has knocked many companies over.
            This Govt. Wants to share the same fate with every one else buy the sounds of it.

    • David

       /  August 7, 2018

      She should try and explain why paying an 18 year old school leaver with no skills or experience who still lives with Mum and Dad needs 800 bucks a week. Probably gives them more disposable income than a 40 year old on 150k a year but also prices them out of the market.

      • An obvious point and a good one as the obvious often is….good luck trying to get an answer.

        All that would happen is that prices would rise, too, so people would be no better off and those on fixed incomes would be a lot worse off.

  2. David

     /  August 7, 2018

    The economy seems to be ticking along OK so yet to see business confidence surveys become reality. The crash in the dollar since Ardern has been helpful, wife is in export area.
    I think her return announcement of yet another working group will further dent business confidence. I think it will cement opinion that she is vacuous, lightweight and not up to the job…but very articulate with a winning smile which she believes substitutes for any substance, much like her new working group.

    • Blazer

       /  August 7, 2018

      some ‘crash’…former Nats hero wanted it at 65-66c/$U.S.

    • Blazer

       /  August 7, 2018

      so your wife has to work and iron your shirts!!…she got a sister for…

    • Blazer

       /  August 7, 2018

      stop repeating yourself..are you on the single malt you vacuous ..prat.

    • PDB

       /  August 7, 2018

      Ah, Baby Neve…..like Captain America’s shield but even more effective.

      “When Garner queried whether that included being involved in the building process, Ardern said that she had done “absolutely nothing” on the deck but “had I not been caring for Neve…”

      • Blazer

         /  August 7, 2018

        thanks :(…I avoid dross like that when possible.

        • PDB

           /  August 7, 2018

          Don’t worry Blazer, I’m sure this is just the precursor to the real story that Gayford will be building all the Kiwibuild houses himself.

          • Blazer

             /  August 7, 2018

            if he needs a hammer hand he could just call….you know!Bol.

            • As so many people build decks (it’s not something that requires much skill) I can’t see why this is news, except that he is such a cipher that it’s an attempt to make him seem interesting.

  3. Zedd

     /  August 7, 2018

    I listened to Jacinda being interviewed by G Espiner on RNZ this a.m.; Im guessing she was not welcoming the constant talking over her & the ongoing attack about ‘lack of business confidence’ (from the Tory business commentators)..

    “give her a break man”, she has only just walked back in the door ! 😦

    • Gezza

       /  August 7, 2018

      Well either you can hsve a baby and run the country or you can’t.
      She’s ended up to everyone’s surprise running the country & says you can do both.
      It’s up to her to do it. That’s all there is to it.
      The baby’s a factor for her to take into account, not anyone else.

      • Zedd

         /  August 7, 2018

        tautoko gezza

        I was just saying Espiner; needed to just ‘take a deep breath’ between making comments

        • Gezza

           /  August 7, 2018

          Fair enuf, Zedd. I’m fed up with interviewers needlessly interrupting their guests too. It’s ok if the guest is interminably rambling on or constantly obfuscating or diverting the conversation, but more & more of them have got into the habit of doing it before their guest has even just simply finished answering.

          If it’s time pressure, that’s the interviewer’s fault. Often it’s just big-noting, being the self-appointed “star of the show”.

          • Zedd

             /  August 7, 2018

            I would prefer that interviewers ask questions & give interviewees more than a couple of seconds to respond.. before jumping in or talking over them.. as Espiner & others do often !

            btw; 8 downticks.. gee thx 😀

  4. David

     /  August 7, 2018

    She has a point on business confidence and I think she recognizes it could become self fulfilling but I do worry she has so little understanding of business she is incapable of righting things.
    Her comments on the minimum wage were quite silly, a 35% increase to it should be of benefit to business as there will be more money being spent is about as stupid a comment as she has ever made. Perhaps she has never had opportunity cost explained to her, she claimed she wants to improve productivity which means investment and if its all gone from wages there is nothing left for training, staff development, technology and in reality business wont expand because there is no margin in it.

    • Blazer

       /  August 7, 2018

      its not a silly comment at all.More money in the average debt hamsters hands does get spent…thats the reality.
      A tad less profits for the greedy is the net result.

      • David

         /  August 7, 2018

        So they buy a new Iphone, skinny jeans and a pair of Beats instead of the business investing in training, equipment or expanding.
        After listening to you crapping on about lack of productivity growth for years you seem to have absolutely no understanding of how its achieved. Our already high minimum wage is hardly a pressing issue.

        • Blazer

           /  August 7, 2018

          they can buy whatever they like…
          National scrapped apprentice training schemes years ago.

          Your industry ..property inflation and also immigration have been the main drivers of GDP for years.

          • Ray

             /  August 7, 2018

            “National scrapped apprentice training”
            And how many years have we had of a Labour lead Government since then?
            Ten years and nothing done.

            • Blazer

               /  August 7, 2018

              yes Ray..its the usual….National neglect issues ,pander to the rich and leave a clusterfuck for Labour to…address…same old.

      • PDB

         /  August 7, 2018

        No – the ‘net result’ is that additional business costs will be either passed onto the consumer or savings are made by reducing staff/staff hours. School leavers will be especially affected as they will find it harder to get into the workforce. Odds on the unemployment rate will rise at a cost to the taxpayer.

        • Blazer

           /  August 7, 2018

          so reducing wages will have the opposite effect??…ludicrous,meathead logic.

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  August 7, 2018

    Jacinda’s utter cluelessness means if she gets through her term without causing major economic damage it will be a miracle.

    • Blazer

       /  August 7, 2018

      just your general opinion then…nothing of substance to reinforce your view.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  August 7, 2018

        Jacinda is precisely “nothing of substance”.

        • PDB

           /  August 7, 2018

          Absolutely!

          • You are absolutely right.

            She says the a-word in three out of the four sentences in one speech. Buy the girl a thesaurus, someone.