Surely that can’t be right? Grant Robertson rated ahead of Jacinda Ardern?
But there it is in black and white: Robertson scores 3.62 out of 5 while Ardern gets 3.3 in a poll of 150 CEO’s.
This is the result in the “Mood of the Boardroom”, an annual survey reported by the New Zealand Herald.
Yet earlier in the publication, a report states unequivocally: “PM Jacinda Ardern is seen by many CEOs as the standout performer in the Coalition government”.
Wait, then, till you get to page 10 of the survey. There it says:
“CEOs were asked: Does the Coalition Government have a co-ordinated plan of action focused on raising NZ’s economic performance? ‘No’. said two thirds (67%) of surveyed respondents. Just 7% said ‘Yes’: 26% were unsure”.
And presumably some of the CEOs surveyed were much too busy earning their very handsome salaries to fill in the questionnaire.
What about the issue of business confidence? That’s a conundrum, we are told. It’s at the heart of the Kiwi economy, for despite the highest level of quarterly growth seen in the past two years, business confidence continues to sink.
The chief concern is uncertainty, followed by skills and labour shortages, regulation, employment law changes, and transport infrastructure.
Air NZ’s CEO, Christopher Luxon, reckons there’s probably three reasons for it.
“One is the Coalition dynamics are new and they are leading at times into confusion over who’s actually in charge. For the business community, when they have been attacked personally in the way it has been through NZ First, who are Ministers in this government, it has been discombobulating.
“Because we’ve had 17 years under Helen Clark or John Key governments, which has given us a really great platform and a foundation in place. So the anti-business Trumpian politics is something we haven’t been used to. It just ends up undermining Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson.
“That needs to get sorted”.
So it’s a relief to turn to Fran O’Sullivan to find Jacinda Ardern’s “charismatic performance” on the international stage has won strong endorsement from chief executives. Seventy-six percent of respondents agreed she portrayed NZ appropriately offshore.
Her trip, says O’Sullivan, was a mixture of the serious and the sublime.
Presumably, that justified the strapline to the story: “CEOs agree Jacinda Ardern’s charisma has won over world leaders”.
l she has to do now is to get those business confidence levels back up there.