Seemingly all political commenters and not just those of the right, are now condemning Jacinda Ardern as an absentee Prime Minister, hiding behind her Ministers when major issues arise. It’s probably a fair cop.

But here’s another perspective; does it matter?

The thing about Jacinda is she’s genuinely nice without a mean bone in her body. I suspect the public sense this and warm to her; her presence making them feel good and if so, politics aside, that’s a good thing. What’s important is that in the shadows at least one Senior Minister is holding the reins. That’s doubtless occurring, probably with Finance Minister Grant Robertson filling that key role.

We’ve been there before, back in the 1980s.

David Lange was bored witless by the minutia of government and much preferred clowning about and active involvement with the more enjoyable aspects of the job and he left his Ministers to get on with things.

But make no mistake, with his government’s wonderful radical economic reforms he was devastating during the first term in lucidly explaining them on television to an understandably confused public watching everything being turned on its head, and thank God for that. Lange was fortunate as behind the scenes he had a domineering workhorse in his Deputy Geoff Palmer who did the real management work of government.

To critics Palmer was a ringmaster and Lange the clown; to his supporters and I certainly count myself as one, he was the ideal leader, highly intelligent, trusting in his underlings and only stepping up to the plate for major issues.

When New Zealand eventually grows up and sheds the ludicrous monarchy, this is the way things will hopefully be, with a popular elected President, overseeing the token constitutional procedures but otherwise emulating Jacinda in his or her daily role.

If that’s the de facto current situation, then good and it’s nothing to be alarmed about.


I think we see ‘nice’ Jacinda on all those School visits but if she’s getting put on the spot during Question Time in Parliament then we see ‘snarly face’ angry Jacinda. She can be quite nasty.
I’m not sure she’s good at handling pressure.
Oh well. I guess that’s why they have 332 Working Groups helping out.

Sorry, I don’t come to the same conclusion. We have a Government going in three different directions, they can’t handle a simple thing like building houses that people can actually afford. Their promises are worthless. They speak of wellness in the community and yet our youth suicide continues to climb under their government.
There is no comparison between this Government and the Lange one. Lange was a talented leader surrounded by very capable people. This Government ticks none of those boxes.
Winston made a big mistake making Labour the Government. 64% of NZ voters did not want a Labour led Government. NZ First will pay for that mistake come next election. National had set the country up financially and just needed someone to keep them honest. Winston would have been ideal.
During the build up to the last election a top ranking Labour commitee member confided to me “Labour has a great saleswoman but no product “

But we don’t currently have an effective constitution. In the current system there’s no effective separation of the legislature and executive. The Prime Minister and government have far too much power (which led to the Muldoon disaster). Comrade Taxcinduh constantly engaging in virtue-signalling feel-good politics rather than responsible and intelligent governance (which she’s incapable of anyway) makes us all drastically worse off. You should get to be the limited leader of a country by way of being elected by the people, not clawing your way up the ranks of a party of losers and then being anointed by Winston Peters.

    Well said Nick all blow and no substance and look at her ministers credentials not a business brain among them just trough surfers

She’s a red card carrying socialist and doggedly sticks to their doctrine. Every promise is worthless, every agenda questionable. Where marxists had the wealthy, national socialists the other races, this government targets farmers and gun owners. Chasing only the things that make her appear warm is just a sales pitch. Let’s see her gone and an adult at the wheel.

To compare Ardern with David Lange and favourably to boot is a gross misjudgement.
David Lange had an ability to literally mesmerise his audience with his wit and sharp mind.
He was a powerful leader, Ardern is none of these.

Yeah..nice only goes so far and more, much more, meat on the bones preferred for this voter.

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