Momentum with new PM after positive five days at Waitangi

EDITORIAL

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took her historic Waitangi Day speech a step further, putting down what will be seen as a blueprint for her Government in what proved to be a public relations triumph.

While she alluded to it on the campaign trial, her message is really one of generational change and hope for the future. And in setting high expectations, she has also set herself and the Government a huge challenge.

Helped by the wise move to the Upper Marae instead of the much more fractious Te Tii, Ardern was able to take full advantage of a whole new atmosphere at Waitangi.

The embarrassments heaped on other, mainly National, politicians in the past were absent apart from one minor protest.

A lot of this could be put down to Ardern’s decision to spend five days in the north, and also the strong personal skills she exhibits which are already at the level of those previously shown by John Key.

Her presence contrasted with the decision of Opposition leader Bill English to be as far away as geographically possible in Bluff, leaving Steven Joyce to lead the National team.

It was a plus that all the politicians came on to the marae together, increasing the atmosphere of reconciliation and togetherness which the Treaty is supposed to engender.

The Treaty and its observance will continue to be the subject of major debate in the future, which Ardern to an extent acknowledged. While most big settlements have been concluded, with the notable exception of the hosts Ngapuhi, many issues remain to be resolved.

The continued support of Maori is considered to be essential if Labour is to head the government again after the 2020 election. Maori have put all their eggs in the Labour basket, and will expect rewards.

But all that is for the future. Jacinda Ardern has set down the goals for her government and also added that she will come back to Waitangi and wants to be held accountable. At the moment, the momentum is all hers.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took her historic Waitangi Day speech a step further, putting down what will be seen as a blueprint for her Government in what proved to be a public relations triumph.

While she alluded to it on the campaign trial, her message is really one of generational change and hope for the future. And in setting high expectations, she has also set herself and the Government a huge challenge.

Helped by the wise move to the Upper Marae instead of the much more fractious Te Tii, Ardern was able to take full advantage of a whole new atmosphere at Waitangi.

The embarrassments heaped on other, mainly National, politicians in the past were absent apart from one minor protest.

A lot of this could be put down to Ardern’s decision to spend five days in the north, and also the strong personal skills she exhibits which are already at the level of those previously shown by John Key.

Her presence contrasted with the decision of Opposition leader Bill English to be as far away as geographically possible in Bluff, leaving Steven Joyce to lead the National team.

It was a plus that all the politicians came on to the marae together, increasing the atmosphere of reconciliation and togetherness which the Treaty is supposed to engender.

The Treaty and its observance will continue to be the subject of major debate in the future, which Ardern to an extent acknowledged. While most big settlements have been concluded, with the notable exception of the hosts Ngapuhi, many issues remain to be resolved.

The continued support of Maori is considered to be essential if Labour is to head the government again after the 2020 election. Maori have put all their eggs in the Labour basket, and will expect rewards.

But all that is for the future. Jacinda Ardern has set down the goals for her government and also added that she will come back to Waitangi and wants to be held accountable. At the moment, the momentum is all hers.

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G R Webb - 1 year ago
Ngapuhi members, when they recover from the euphoria of their Waitangi party and a hangover, might be a little less subdued. Signs are emerging that the newly-elected Government is a lot less enthusiastic than its predecessor about the Warkworth Whangarei motorway, with our Prime Minister suggesting that neglected regional roads would be better candidates for funding. Then ask the parents of students at the now unsupported charter schools how they feel about support.

Bob Hughes - 1 year ago
I thank G.R. for alerting readers to Prime Minister Ardern's suggested . . . "neglected regional roads would be better candidates for funding".
The Warkworth to Whangarei motorway is a separate matter altogether.

GR Webb - 1 year ago
So apart from hype, a new BBQ chef and a reconciliation with the Harawirias, what will Northland Maori get out of Waitangi day?

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