Looking forward to holiday stretch

EDITORIAL

An attractive holiday period approaches with first the four-day Easter break followed only two days later by Anzac Day, setting the scene for five days of holidays in a seven-day period.

In fact, taking the Friday after Easter off gives an enticing second four-day break in succession and a good way to start the traditional winter season.

All Kiwis will be looking forward to these holidays, including the leaders of the two largest political parties — but Labour’s Jacinda Ardern and National’s Simon Bridges will have differing reasons.

Ardern continues to attract the glow of international recognition, with television superstar Oprah Winfrey the latest to add her voice to the plaudits showered on Ardern for her handling of the response to the Christchurch mosque shootings.

Parliament has also managed to get the much-needed legislation banning automatic weapons through quickly, although it is surprising that illegal guns are not included in the buyback programme expected to cost as much as $300 million.

The logic of that decision is hard to follow, considering that these are the guns the Government should be most eager to take out of circulation.

None of that, however, will have any effect on what Bill English accurately described as the “stardust” effect during her rise to power.

Yes, there are some tricky hurdles ahead for Ardern, but in general things could not be much better.

By contrast, Bridges could be excused for looking forward to a break in which to refresh and regroup.

For an intelligent man with a prosecutorial eye, Bridges seems to have a penchant for what could be described as own goals.

The latest is the issue of the removal of a petition against the UN Immigration Pact from National’s website. Bridges attributed this to the emotional reaction of a “junior staffer”, only for the media to find out the person involved was far from junior. It has led to reports of discontent among the National caucus, although these have been going on for so long they are becoming repetitive.

Nevertheless, Simon Bridges will be looking forward to Friday.

An attractive holiday period approaches with first the four-day Easter break followed only two days later by Anzac Day, setting the scene for five days of holidays in a seven-day period.

In fact, taking the Friday after Easter off gives an enticing second four-day break in succession and a good way to start the traditional winter season.

All Kiwis will be looking forward to these holidays, including the leaders of the two largest political parties — but Labour’s Jacinda Ardern and National’s Simon Bridges will have differing reasons.

Ardern continues to attract the glow of international recognition, with television superstar Oprah Winfrey the latest to add her voice to the plaudits showered on Ardern for her handling of the response to the Christchurch mosque shootings.

Parliament has also managed to get the much-needed legislation banning automatic weapons through quickly, although it is surprising that illegal guns are not included in the buyback programme expected to cost as much as $300 million.

The logic of that decision is hard to follow, considering that these are the guns the Government should be most eager to take out of circulation.

None of that, however, will have any effect on what Bill English accurately described as the “stardust” effect during her rise to power.

Yes, there are some tricky hurdles ahead for Ardern, but in general things could not be much better.

By contrast, Bridges could be excused for looking forward to a break in which to refresh and regroup.

For an intelligent man with a prosecutorial eye, Bridges seems to have a penchant for what could be described as own goals.

The latest is the issue of the removal of a petition against the UN Immigration Pact from National’s website. Bridges attributed this to the emotional reaction of a “junior staffer”, only for the media to find out the person involved was far from junior. It has led to reports of discontent among the National caucus, although these have been going on for so long they are becoming repetitive.

Nevertheless, Simon Bridges will be looking forward to Friday.

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