Will these words come back to haunt the Prime Minister?:
“When we look back on this period in our country’s history, I don’t want us just to reflect on how we weathered the storm of a pandemic, but what we built after”.
Furthermore, she told Parliament yesterday:
“Our economy cannot afford to return to business as usual, because the status quo is unsustainable”.
And she concluded her Prime Ministerial statement with this ringing commitment:
“New Zealand has entrusted the government with the responsibility of bringing this country through our current crisis, and we will continue to do that. But we will do more than that. We’ll provide stability, a united team, and a singular focus on a recovery that, even after a crisis, leaves New Zealand better than we found it”.
It’s a task made all the harder by the burdens the government has inflicted on the nation, either because of the pandemic or its own fallibility: rising inflation, deepening poverty, growing inequality, surging house prices.
There was little mention of those issues in the Ardern speech. As Opposition leader Christopher Luxon said:
“Under Labour, people are working harder but going backwards”.
Sometimes it’s almost as if Ardern is on another planet. Here she is on climate change:
“Tackling climate change will be a core part of our economic strategy….
“Climate change must not overwhelm us. In fact, it is our greatest opportunity for new jobs and higher wages. For a country already earning a premium from our clean, green, and innovative image, there is an opportunity to use that natural advantage to create new jobs in new industries. It will also reduce New Zealand’s reliance on global energy prices. Other countries are moving to compete and seize the opportunities, and New Zealand cannot afford to be left behind; not economically, and not morally either. Not when the future of our exports will be built on a credible plan to bend our emissions curve and meet our targets.
“That’s why this year our first emission reduction plan will put innovation and clean technology at the heart of our economic transition. We’ll continue to support businesses reduce their energy costs through the government investment in Decarbonising Industry Fund, which already has reduced lifetime emissions by 6.6 million tonnes. We’ll continue to transition our transport fleet, and already the clean car discount, which came into effect, has seen the number of new electric vehicles being bought each month triple. Alongside the clean car discount, and clean car standards, the low emission transport fund will begin supporting business to pilot new emission transport technology.
“We’ll continue with the green investment fund, which has quadrupled the amount of investment in low carbon technologies. We’ll continue the work of He Waka Eke Noa and in our partnership supporting more farmers to adopt existing measures and technologies to reduce on-farm emissions.
“The Opposition claim they share our climate ambition. Why, then, have they opposed almost every initiative that would bring our emissions profile down? Climate change is a challenge we cannot postpone, just like child poverty, just like housing, just like mental health”.
Ardern claimed the country had weathered the storm of COVID better than many of its key trading partners. Our economy, she said, grew 4.9% over the last year, outperforming much of the OECD.
Reminding New Zealanders her government had been elected to address the challenges that have held too many back for too long, she said that as the border opens, NZ exporters will be able to reconnect face to face.
“We’ll build on that with a proactive programme of re-engaging with high priority international markets. NZ will sign a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom. We’ll continue to work towards concluding a free trade agreement with the European Union, and I will lead trade delegations, and trade-supporting visits to key markets in Europe, the United States, Australia, and Asia this year.”
Ardern noted historical under-investment has been a handbrake on the economy.
“It’s why we’re planning for the next 30 years instead of electoral cycles. It’s why we’re investing $57.3bn in infrastructure over the next five years alone. It’s why we’re modernising our schools. It’s why we continue to rebuild our health system with 24 construction projects. It’s why we’re enabling more housing, providing New Zealanders with greater choices in tackling congestion in the transport system, rolling out telecommunications and energy infrastructure, preparing the economy for the future. It’s also why we’ll fix the issue of persistent under-investment in our water services”.
Great, you say?
But if $20bn goes into Auckland’s light rail system, and as much again into a second harbour crossing — how much will be left for the rest of the country?
And does anyone believe there are boom times ahead thanks to the Ardern government?
One thought on “The nation that Jacinda aims to rebuild – and the economy that can’t return to business as normal”
Sounds like Great Reset psychobabble. Ardern is after all an alumna of the globalist WEF young leaders’ program. As for infrastructure this government has amply demonstrated it couldn’t deliver a pizza.