Coming election shows up in a week of political manoeuvring

EDITORIAL

The elevation of Jacinda Ardern to deputy Labour Party leader was the main development of a week in politics with quite a few twists and turns, as September’s election starts to have an effect.

Bill English may have made a slip with his comment that young New Zealanders could not get work because they were failing drug tests. There is truth in it, but it seems this is not something people want to hear.

English also raised eyebrows with an announcement there would be a review of the superannuation scheme, something that is long overdue but again will not garner popularity.

There was a slight to the Greens with Winston Peters being given a place on the Parliamentary intelligence sub-committee. Some have seen that as a sign the Government may need to be nice to him as a potential kingmaker.

The Government would get some brownie points with its move to tighten up against multinationals avoiding tax, an issue that does rankle with the public.

Offshore there was a glorious muck-up in the Oscars presentation and former All Black Ali Williams was arrested in Paris over an alleged cocaine deal. Neither are particularly significant in the scheme of things, but both attracted more public interest than Ardern’s promotion.

The handling of that situation was not good. On Monday Andrew Little said there was no vacancy for the deputy leader position, by Wednesday Annette King had stood aside and Ardern was in. It seemed a poor way to treat someone who has been an effective parliamentarian for decades, and a calming presence in a party that has been prone to fractures in the past.

But with the promotion of Ardern, Little has his game team for the coming election. Her main task will be to appeal to the missing million, the huge group of young New Zealanders who have been turned off politics.

Labour needs them if it is to get the minimum 5 percent rise in the polls that would give it credibility as a governing coalition leader. As they say, no problems then Jacinda.

The elevation of Jacinda Ardern to deputy Labour Party leader was the main development of a week in politics with quite a few twists and turns, as September’s election starts to have an effect.

Bill English may have made a slip with his comment that young New Zealanders could not get work because they were failing drug tests. There is truth in it, but it seems this is not something people want to hear.

English also raised eyebrows with an announcement there would be a review of the superannuation scheme, something that is long overdue but again will not garner popularity.

There was a slight to the Greens with Winston Peters being given a place on the Parliamentary intelligence sub-committee. Some have seen that as a sign the Government may need to be nice to him as a potential kingmaker.

The Government would get some brownie points with its move to tighten up against multinationals avoiding tax, an issue that does rankle with the public.

Offshore there was a glorious muck-up in the Oscars presentation and former All Black Ali Williams was arrested in Paris over an alleged cocaine deal. Neither are particularly significant in the scheme of things, but both attracted more public interest than Ardern’s promotion.

The handling of that situation was not good. On Monday Andrew Little said there was no vacancy for the deputy leader position, by Wednesday Annette King had stood aside and Ardern was in. It seemed a poor way to treat someone who has been an effective parliamentarian for decades, and a calming presence in a party that has been prone to fractures in the past.

But with the promotion of Ardern, Little has his game team for the coming election. Her main task will be to appeal to the missing million, the huge group of young New Zealanders who have been turned off politics.

Labour needs them if it is to get the minimum 5 percent rise in the polls that would give it credibility as a governing coalition leader. As they say, no problems then Jacinda.

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