Labour launch Jacinda/Covid campaign

Labour launched their election campaign yesterday. For obvious reasons Jacinda Ardern was prominent. A lot of confidence was on display – there were comments that they looked like they were celebrating already.

RNZ: Labour launches re-election campaign with $300m plan to create thousands of new jobs

The Labour Party has launched its re-election campaign today with a promise to invest $311 million to help unemployed New Zealanders into jobs.

The government’s existing Flexi-wage scheme – a wage subsidy to help employers hire those on a benefit at risk of long-term unemployment – would be revamped and expanded under a re-elected Labour Party, with the average amount a business can access to hire a worker more than doubling.

The party believes scaling up the scheme could enable 40,000 people to be employed.

Jacinda Ardern, speaking at the launch today, said $30 million will also be ring-fenced to help unemployed people start a business through an expanded Flexi-wage self employment programme, which will provide the equivalent of the minimum wage for up to 30 hours a week.

Trying too address things that the Government has been trying to address for the last few months. Unemployment could be a big issue as the campaign progresses and the wage subsidies run out.

A lot of us would prefer not to become unemployed in the first place.

Martyn Bradbury: Labour Party Campaign Launch tone deaf

So the Labour 2020 Election Campaign Launch was a tad disappointing.

We have just endured the worst pandemic for a century, there is fear and there is genuine worry about what happens as early as September and what was the tone Labour struck with their launch?

A slam poem that came across as a religious sermon mixed with an arts festival variety show which is not what worried NZers are wanting right now.

They are wanting to know how the bloody hell we get out of this mess.

Singing and dancing can be done once we’ve won folks, but the pandemic has reset everyones reality and the immediate future in a way not seen outside of World War 2.

Labour’s variety show came across as tone deaf and smug.

Labour are celebrating before they’ve won.

Labour’s lack of major policies and lack of ambition (except their ambition to win) is being noted.

Henry Cooke (Stuff): Labour launch an extremely centrist campaign

This was Labour’s campaign launch and first real policy release. Finally, after three years of only promoting things that could pass the Winston Peters’ test, Ardern had a chance to release some properly Labour Party Labour policy, the kind of “transformation” stuff she had been itching to do all term but couldn’t get away with.

Instead, she launched a hiring subsidy so centrist that the National Party already built it in 2012, albeit in a different form. And it isn’t even new spending: The whole $311m package comes from left-over money unspent by the extension to the wage subsidy.

The hiring subsidy may well be good public policy.

But what it isn’t is particularly Labour. BusinessNZ were effusive in their praise for it, and even Judith Collins was only able to muster a “we did it first”. This was Ardern’s first chance in a long while to set out what her party stood for, outside of the binds of Winston Peters, and she released a policy that you would probably get 119 votes for in Parliament. Indeed, it’s hard to see why the Government wouldn’t just do this policy before the election, if it was such a good idea and the money is just lying around unspent.

It makes total sense for Labour to campaign from the centre. Centrism is probably the route to keeping that huge swath of voters Ardern won over during lockdown on their side through September 19. The party’s base loves Ardern and hates Collins enough that they would probably be out door-knocking if Ardern announced a business tax cut next.

But voters do deserve a contest of ideas, and not just one fought between the Green Party and ACT, who have put out policies that really tap into the ideologies of each party.

There is no doubt that Ardern is a very good image marketing politician.

But she seems very unambitious when it comes to delivering on transformation, progressiveness, reform, anything much apart from promoting a popularity contest.

Even The Standard did little to promote Labour’s launch. A few hours afterwards a post appeared: Jacinda’s speech to the Labour campaign launch

And comments there were generally fairly muted and mixed. Maybe they believe they can coast to victory.

Perhaps Muttonbird summed things up:

Except apparently Jesus actually did a bunch of stuff for the poor.

Ardern: “When people ask, is this a COVID election, my answer is yes, it is,” 

Campaigning a lot on what they have done (recently), and little on any plan or vision for the future.

For Labour this election is all about three things – Jacinda, Jacinda, Jacinda.

Leave a comment


  1. John J Harrison

     /  9th August 2020

    Cannot believe on this wonderful sunny morning that I agree with the radical left Bradbury.
    Labour are totally bereft of policy except for adopting National’s policy of last term and of course their favorite “ borrow and hope.”
    Utterly hopeless.
    It would be to everyone’s benefit if they stuck to poetry reading which was the highlight of their launch and left the heavy lifting to Act and National who are the only ones capable of getting us out of the depression the socialists have created.

    • Corky

       /  9th August 2020

      Hear, hear. We need solutions…not the second coming.

    • Blazer

       /  9th August 2020

      ‘Borrow and hope’….a hallmark of the previous admin.

      Nationals breathtaking policy….build more ROADS…..!Hopeless.

      • John J Harrison

         /  9th August 2020

        Blazer, be kind !

      • artcroft

         /  9th August 2020

        You’re forgetting that Nation borrowed but paid enough back to get us into a surplus, which Labour managed to fritter away on 150 Kiwi build homes and Shane’s slush fund (which is going so badly he’s reduced to running from anyone that looks like a reporter)

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  9th August 2020

        Not building more roads was hopeless and why we have fewer km of motorway per capita than almost any other developed country. We have hired social workers instead of road builders and created poverty instead of wealth.

  2. Tom Hunter

     /  9th August 2020

    Excellent news and Labour campaign. If I can’t get a right-wing government in NZ – and I had little expectation of that even in 2008 as so many people went gaga over John Key – then the next best thing is to have an utterly useless shower of Left-wing incompetents who can’t build anything.

    If this crowd were capable of building 21st century equivalents to the institutions of the First Labour government then I’d be worried. Instead I can sit back and watch them fumble the next three years. Perhaps it’s simply a matter of government having reached size limits; having done what they did in 1935-46 there’s simply not much left to extend into?

    What will be left will be variations on “NO”, which is why they did well with the gun ban and the Covid lockdown. They’ll be more such “NO”, in the form of endless regulations around housing, employment, environment (esp AGW), together with increased costs to wear it all and “persuade” people to do the right thing. But I think I can live with that since I know people will wear down under the endless stress and strain of complying.

    The only real problem will be the National plonkers who’ll take over in 2023 and “manage” all that crap for a few years rather than winding it back. Oh well.

  3. lurcher1948

     /  9th August 2020

    The rights heads when PM saint Jacinda Ardern is re,elected…

    • Corky

       /  9th August 2020

      The dirty left. Nothing is off the table. From faking terminal illness, to mocking the disabled.

  4. That is footage of people being killed and horribly injured, buildings being flattened and people left homeless.

    It’s very poor taste to use it for scoring cheap points. How many people died appalling deaths because of this explosion ? How many thousands were injured ?


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