How coronavirus will exacerbate the personality politics election 2020 was always going to be fought on

How coronavirus will exacerbate the personality politics election 2020 was always going to be fought on
Jacinda Ardern

By Jenée Tibshraeny

Coronavirus has taken lives and sparked war time responses by global authorities.   

On the less crucial end of the ‘global disruption spectrum’ it has also thrown New Zealand political parties a curve ball, just as they were getting into election campaign mode.

There’s as much uncertainty over how coronavirus will affect the election, as there is uncertainty over the virus itself.

But from where we’re sitting now, it doesn't look great for anyone.

Bad news story to smother Labour's positivity

To start with Labour, coronavirus is giving the party’s greatest asset - Jacinda Ardern - a platform to demonstrate leadership - a skill she proved her mastery of in the aftermath of the March 15 mosque terror attacks.

Yet Ardern won’t be able to change a ghastly narrative into one of love, hope and global leadership, as she did after the attacks. The bad news around coronavirus will keep coming, day after day, until the thing is brought under control.

What’s more, Ardern won’t be able to pull her party through coronavirus on her own. The capabilities of her ministers will be very publicly put to the test.

Health Minister David Clark, who isn’t part of Labour’s ‘Kitchen Cabinet’, has been thrust into the limelight, as has Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

While Robertson has largely been a ‘control things from behind the scenes’ kind of a minister, he’ll be front and centre with Ardern.

Robertson’s approach to lay out three scenarios which government agencies are planning for is measured, as is his approach to target support to the industries and regions where it’s needed and let the automatic stabilisers (the welfare system, monetary policy, lower New Zealand dollar) work their magic.

The last thing New Zealand needs right now is a panicked finance minister further eroding confidence.

Robertson’s issue is that rather than spend the next six months unveiling the projects the $4 billion of unallocated infrastructure spend (worth $12 billion in total) will go towards, he’s going to have to provide assurance that all the negative data that’ll drip through is coronavirus-induced, not a result of his economic management.

The first drip or two will be bearable, but by the 11th or 12th drip, the public might start questioning whether there’s something wrong with the plumbing.

The May budget could not only deliver news of a wider than expected deficit forecast for the 2020 financial year, but also a deficit forecast for 2021.

Treasury in December forecast a small $900 million deficit in 2020, followed by a tiny $100 million surplus in 2021. Running deficits during downturns and in a low interest rate environment is arguably necessary, however not everyone will perceive the situation like this.

And to absolutely rub salt in the wound, June quarter gross domestic product (GDP) stats are due out two days before the September 19 election.

The bad news will be foreshadowed by Robertson. But still, bad news is even worse news two days before an election.

National in a tight spot

National will be able to dig right in with its tried and tested attack line that “the left” can’t manage the economy.

Its pre-coronavirus focus on supporting small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with fewer minimum wage rises and less red tape for example, will also get a platform, as SMEs risk being disproportionately affected by an economic downturn.

National on Thursday came out suggesting the Government gives coronavirus-affected SMEs wage subsidies like those it provided after the Canterbury and Kaikoura earthquakes.

After the Kaikoura quake for example, sole traders and SMEs who couldn’t operate or had to operate at a reduced capacity could receive up to $500 a week for full-time employees and $300 a week for part-timers for up to eight weeks.

Meanwhile ACT suggested the Government delays the April 1 minimum wage increase to ease pressure on employers.

National’s approach earlier in the week was to say the Government would be better placed to respond to coronavirus had it maintained higher rates of GDP growth - a flimsy argument.  

Its tactic seemed even more misguided when it said its proposed (but yet to be detailed) income tax cuts for middle income earners would stimulate the economy in the face of coronavirus, even though this wouldn’t be a direct fiscal emergency response and wouldn’t help those without an income - perhaps due to coronavirus.

The trouble National faces is that going to town, criticising the Government’s response to coronavirus, particularly on the health front, risks being perceived as unproductive and even destructive.

If it erodes public confidence in authorities to the point this creates panic (it has already been accused of encouraging panic shopping) it’ll be slammed for putting its political interests ahead of the country’s.

National needs the firing range to be cleared of coronavirus, so it can take clean shots at the Government for breaking key promises on KiwiBuild and Auckland light rail, and in some instances, letting ideology rather than evidence drive policy. Pre-coronavirus it was starting to gather momentum and do a good job of this.

Coronavirus is now giving some under-performing government ministers a 'get out of jail free' card. 

Greens and NZ First reined in

The Green Party and NZ First will struggle as much as National to get airtime to differentiate themselves from the Coalition Government to solidify their support bases.

With National polling strongly and NZ First below 5%, it's in Labour's interest for NZ First to reconnect with its voters.

But the view expressed in February that neither minor party can go so far as to making the Coalition Government look dysfunctional to the point it’s unelectable, rings even more true as the country needs a united government to lead us through an epidemic.

Election 2020 was always expected to follow the international trend and be fought on the personalities of party leaders. Coronavirus will only exacerbate this.

The more people tune in to Ardern delivering both bad news and messages of hope on their screens, the more they’ll be thinking, “Would I prefer to be looking at Simon Bridges right now?”

If preferred prime minister poll results are anything to go by, the answer in most cases will be, no.

Yet the pressure on Ardern is immense. She needs to embody a competent government during what will be a long six months of relentless negativity.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

88 Comments

It is of my opinion that the NZ political arena lacks acumen, regardless of which party or political colors you've hitched your wagon to. I don't blame the people (who have many talents of their own), but really the manner in which our ruling elite's institutions are structured. The negativity is a making of the ruling elite's own, particularly on the economic front. It has been quite obvious since as early as the mind-2000s that the economic profile of NZ has some serious issues. That all seems to be coming to a head now with externalities. The ruling elite, from politicians to central bankers to beauracrats and even to corporate leaders, have managed to sugar coat performance and deflect any real serious debate and action towards shortcomings. If you have read Sun Tzu's 'The Art of War', it should be no surprise that they're in this predicament. And unfortunately, the general public has been herded away from critical thought (thank you NewsTalk ZB, etc) so the ability to get any clarity of thought among them is seemingly impossible.

Quite true.

A technocratic approach to government (at all levels) is essentially about voter suppression and keeping the plebs and populists away from the levers of power. By controlling the narrative and reducing opportunities for debate, accountability and leadership is replaced with a managerial approach / rigidly defined systems and processes that prioritise protecting the politicians and technocrats over delivering the outcome (or rather, replacing the public outcome with a technocratic protection one). The same generally applies to NZ managerial approach to running businesses.

An obvious symptom of this is the ratio of journos to flacks in NZ, reportedly being 1-10.
Apparently PR is the highest growth area of government employment.
Sugar coating is new new productivity....

By controlling the narrative

Sums it up entirely. Despite the freedoms that the internet has given us for expression, it has also come with something more Orwellian in terms of how we're controlled. Case in point: How long ago were Australia and NZ labelled the 'rock star economies'? People suck up that self affirmation, however hollow it might be. Also notice how publications like Granny Herald publish rankings featuring NZ. This is also a tactic to convince the people how great everything is. Not to say it some of it isn't deserved and something to be proud of. But it's more about emotional gratifcation than anything else.

"People suck up that self affirmation, however hollow it might be.."

Back in the good old days, this used to be called agitprop.
Now it's called PR.

On balance, NZ has done pretty well so far at keeping the coronavirus under control with very few cases. Even sparsely populated and remote areas like Iceland have 34 cases. So it's worth taking a look at global update maps to get things in perspective and realize that we're going much better then most.

Link to Foreignpolicy's : Mapping the Coronavirus Outbreak. https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/03/04/mapping-coronavirus-outbreak-infogr...

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No they haven't done well, we're just lucky and expensive to get to.
This new case is really poor: its taken them two days to confirm the husband of case 2 is also infected and disclose he went to the Tool concert a week ago (anyone he infected will now likely be infectious). Ashley Bloomfield, our Director-General of Health, is doing minimal testing for some reason we can only speculate on. He refuses to test obvious cases despite having capacity to do so.
While the media will cover for Labour, I'm not sure they will be forgiven if they get the blame for any of these known cases becoming outbreaks in time for the election.

On balance at least they were able to find and test them here. Now compare that case to the US and Trumps bumblings. Trump has recently had to admit that they do not have enough test kits and the number of cases is rapidly escalating, so much so they've had to declare a state of emergency in some states. BBC article: Coronavirus: White House concedes US lacks enough test kits
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51761435

Case
Case case case
Cluster
Cluster
Boom

It's an exponential thing. Its early. We aren't testing widely. Give it another 3 weeks. Push 4 x 2 x 2 ... fourteen times on your calculator. That's 3 - 4 weeks unless the approach to management changes a lot.

I was in a room with 2 people today that had 2 degrees of separation from a confirmed case. I suggested we are all getting it since we aren't wuhan locked down yet and we just needed to be grateful we were not in the high risk age/health groups.

Sure but at least it won't cost a $1000 a pop to be tested if you don't have health insurance, like it currently does in the US. :)

Yesterday Dr B said nz can currently perform 550 per day.

I'll give you that there aren't many countries actually trying stop the coronavirus from becoming endemic (the USA is not on this list), as opposed to the doing minimum required to achieve plausible deniability that they did not chose their economies over public health.
But I'll argue that we have some of the the most defensible boarders for a pandemic and according to a poll there is broad public support for further restrictions so it would make sense to pull out all the stops like Singapore and South Korea have done. There is no point comparing your performance against the US and Europe who never tried to stop the spread.

Soymon's party will oppose anything good or bad..
It's the devil you know when it's time to vote!

Chances of Labour ministers stepping up to a bigger game when they failing in the good times.. basically zero.

And how about Gnats, who actively worked hard to ruin [edited] good times when they were in power?

That's how it works, screw stuff up you get voted out and the next biggest contender takes over.
Lets get back to here and now and that is Labour have very little to no chance of delivering.

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when you reach the election booth it will come down to ardern or bridges ,and much like the democratic US election where it came down to anybody but sanders,folks will choose accordingly.Simo is too Sino for a lot of us.

Time to roll Bridges. Maybe Collins who will rip Jacinda a new one daily.

Ah yes, because we don't need policies. We need to "rip Jacinda a new one daily". That's all that matters. Triggering lefties, amirite?

Maybe not the best choice of words, sorry about that. Calling a spade a spade though.
Tough times, call for a tough leader.
Come on, lets call it, she has been out of depth since the start and it has just got 10 times worse. Jacinda calls for calm, public reaction panic buying. Very few have any trust in her.

Let's call it though, Collins is too ethically compromised to even still be in parliament, let alone be leader.

The fact some people want her in power just illustrates an unfortunate lack of morals.

If I thought the Nats had a decent housing policy I might consider voting for them. Not with standing J Collin's being "ethically compromised" one is between a rock and a hard place as she is the housing spokesperson and a potential leader and won't be leaving parliament any time soon.

I find this comment bizarre. A mere two minutes before it you called the National party Gnats and said they ruined [edited]. Now you have a problem with partisanship?

They ruined [edited] everything with some of their policies. I call them Gnats because they're actively selling out the country to CCP. They're basically traitors. IF they at least showed the intent of doing something good for the country (not just their top 1% buddies), I'd show more respect.

This.

Good article, but not sure I agree with this:

'To start with Labour, coronavirus is giving the party’s greatest asset - Jacinda Ardern - a platform to demonstrate leadership - a skill she proved her mastery of in the aftermath of the March 15 mosque terror attacks.'

That proved her public leadership and empathy, certainly. But I still have plenty of misgivings about her general political leadership. The buck stops with her and her leadership, and the government has failed in many policy areas.

As the articial says, she's can't do it herself, she needs her ministers to step up. They didn't manage to get theor house in order when we were in the good times, so in the tough going.. no chance.
Helen Clark could handle being a one person Gov't, Jacinda is far from that standing.

6 months to go and the PM has got the ability to carry it, the campaign that is. To my my mind she is a sincere lady, a good person underneath it all. You need very thick armour to survive in the world of politics if you are of that ilk. Perhaps she will not stay on after the election, citing family and other values. Who could blame her. But the problem for Labour that will emerge is the possibility of a Labour & Greens only government, which the voting public of NZ will undoubtedly see as an alarming prospect; Labour itself too probably. For if a government is formed as such, and the Greens come full on out of left field, the nation will soon be in an uproar. Labour would bear the negativity and stigma of that for years to come.

I suspect she's also deftly lining herself up for a UN job.
That was the underlying context I got from her "not under my administration" CGT backtrack.

António Guterres' first term is up in 2023 - he'll likely go for a second but there's a strong case for a female SG next in these #metoo times.

She aint no José Mujica. Never was going to be.

She's not smart enough to operate at the level Helen Clark did. PR face for some large NGO more likely.

I quite like the idea of a Lab Green coalition. Maybe then shit will get done re. the environment and living standards for the middle class.

As more people realise that the right wing is driving inequality, eroding the kiwi egalitarian dream, and denying environmental issues to support their big business buddies, they will look to the left for leadership.

The Greens will be no where this year due to the important factor of $'s v the ecosystem. Food over the ecosystem.
Those young greenies who will not have work will walk when they can't find a job.

Hugs and headscarves aren't enough when real leadership is required. The worse the virus gets the poorer Labour's image will become. They have already fluffed the best chance we had of keeping it out. " Too little, too late " is their mantra.

Or we could see a brave media peering ahead at what New Zealand is inevitably going to traverse this next decade, and have a mature public discussion about what would be best, in that light.

Nah - why would we do that? Let's pretend that growth is forever, adding words like 'good' and 'solid' and 'normal' while pretending to be all-seeing. Then lets report public-opinion polls, having kept said public in the dark - a self-justifying Catch-22.

Jeanette Fitzsimons got the big picture - notice the nine-to-noon front Ryan, missing what Delahunty put so clearly under her nose? And Ryan isn't the only one to have stuff put clearly under her nose.........

Limits to Growth, placement along said trajectory and what to do about it. The only game in town. How long, how long (to mangle Kipling)

@PDK I agree , we need to undertake some serious scenario planning , for a future unknown , and to be honest we have been good at long -term planning in some areas .

Take Fibre-to-the-door for instance, what a stroke of brilliance

Or the National cycleway which some asked me about in the US when I was on holiday there

Kiwisaver ..good example of starting to wean us off the Nanny

We have not planned inward immigration well , we have not planned Auckland's growth well , and we have not spent enough on getting our roads up to 18th Century standards, but this all creates HUGE opportunity .

She makes you feel good, but she doesnt have a good feel for things.

Simple.

A very good female roll model for my young girls, she would be a by far better one if she could get stuff done.

@Masher , she does not make me feel good at all .............I cant stand her one bit , all sugary and smiley with a massive left-wing agenda .

And her Cabinet are a disaster

Twyford ...............Chief idiot and dreamer
Clark ....................Hopless smiling fool ............he should go on holiday again like he did during the Doctors strike
Peters ...................Lying cheating racist
Galloway ..............Asleep at the wheel , does not bother to read advisory notes and lets criminals get residence while in Jail
Nash ....................Another dozy fool , gang crime out of control under his watch
Hipkins .................Unable to control the radical elements in the Teacher Unions has led to trouble in education while he cowers like a beaten dog
Jones ...................Head of the Bottomless Pit Ministry, throwing endless money at run down provinces with no prospect of ever getting a return

The list is endless .

What on earth, Jenee, do you imagine 'love, hope and global leadership' mean in any political context? These - at least the first two - are religious values. And I seriously doubt the existence of the supposed third quality attributed to Ardern. Where, would you say, you see evidence of it? What redirection or new clarity of direction do you see on 'the globe' resulting from her perceived 'leadership'?

What New Zealand needs of its Prime Minister and government is not a set of admirable intangibles - things we may or may not feel - but the deliberate and measurable ability to deal with tangibles here and now. Yes, coronavirus is a very serious challenge, but it joins promises and failures in a host of areas: burst infrastructure, homelessness, poverty, an immigration shambles, taxation inequities, educational slippage, etc. Personality - and I'm no judge of Ardern's - doesn't come into it. We need to see achievement. And, so far as coronavirus is concerned, we need to see firm direction and achievement across multiple sectors of concern urgently.

Crises expose the weak and reveal the strong. Right now, I would say, we don't know which will be the certain, undeniable, actuality of this administration, when put under truly intense pressure.

Jenee, given events over past weeks, what are you looking for as great leadership, and of those elements you are looking for, what have been found/demonstrated so far?

We need to see achievement.

Which requires sacrifice. Not just on the part of politicians, but also by the public. NZ is not ready for that at a govt level.

Lol You must be living under a rock if you haven't seen or heard of any "Global Leadership". Here's one example 'The Christchurch Call' https://time.com/5589478/facebook-livestream-rules-new-zealand-christchu...
and here is another quote from Time Magazine "But Ardern’s deft and quietly revolutionary management of these crises, especially the Christchurch shootings, got noticed around the globe. Her gender and youth (she’s 39) were always going to make her stand out in a field dominated mainly by old gray men. Those attributes, however, are just the wrapping. Ardern’s real gift is her ability to articulate a form of leadership that embodies strength and sanity, while also pushing an agenda of compassion and community–or, as she would put it, “pragmatic idealism.” https://time.com/5787443/jacinda-ardern-christchurch-new-zealand-anniver...

Steve1, I've seen and read plenty of this kind of hagiography. It's journalism as wish-fulfillment. It leaves my questions unanswered. Where do you see evidence of such 'global leadership'? What redirection or new clarity of direction do you see on 'the globe' resulting from her 'leadership'? These claims are easy to make. I don't see anywhere on the globe that has been affected in any tangible sense by Ardern's supposed 'global leadership'. What has changed that you can attribute to Ardern? In Australia? the UK? EU? US? China? SE Asia? Africa? the UN? Where? Do people around the world 'feel' better? Fight less? Do things differently? Have higher motivations? Are they more empathetic? Less misogynistic? What? I don't dislike her. I wish her well. But I want to see some justification for such a vast abstraction as 'global leadership'. It's meaningless, a distraction from fact. More than this, I want to see action here in New Zealand.

Deft and adept sound-bite politics. That is what gets people to vote for a politician or a political party. Real policies and excellent management, well, sadly these do not win votes.

I especially like the headline of this article. Until the last few weeks of the prior election, Labour had a relentlessly negative campaign. Then the relentless badger Little got pushed aside and we had the "relentlessly positive" replacement. Substantive policy, who cares? We want pretty sound bit politics!

The economy, prior to the advent of COVID-19, was at a growth level of less than half of the assumed economic growth that Labour had used for their fiscal projections prior to their election. Nobody has ever called them on this... okay, maybe somebody did, but got catcalled off of the stage. Personally, I would rather plan for a sustainable economy rather than a growth economy, but using that as a plan is political suicide. Hence, the Labour PREFU plans assuming ~5% GDP growth per year after they were elected.

The election should be about policy and policy execution. Jenee is instead arguing that it should be about fluffy bunnies and sound bites. One day I hope to live in a country that votes in an informed manner about policy and competency to conduct policy...

Well said, Yankiwi. The greatest substantive choice I see here is between more, or less, CCP influence and interference in our politics. And on this choice hangs our environmental well-being; the value we place on our citizens/residents owning New Zealand's land, property, and other assets; the trust we can place in any politician or party; and - just perhaps - some vague attempt at a decently functioning society.

Workingman,

I look forward to seeing the birth of a party that espouses these concepts. At present, the two primary parties appear to have similar actions in regards to nationalism vs globalism. One may be a bit more transparent in regards to globalism, the other shows its real policy via action as compared to words. The environmental well-being idea, sadly we do not yet have a viable party that supports this concept. The green party could have been this party, but was co-opted long ago to become more of a socialist party rather than a sustainable environmentalist party. I have to laugh quite loudly about one of the two co-leaders on the green party having six tamariki, which is clear and convincing evidence that the green party has no desire to be anything close to supporting a sustainable environment.

Can you not see that 'The Christchurch Call' has made a global difference? 48 countries and 8 online service providers.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christchurch_Call_to_Action_Summit

So your best example of her global leadership is that she wants to censor social media, which she clearly does not understand in the slightest.

facepalm

Time Magazine also promoted Jim Anderton as a future leader". Time Magazine covers and cover pictures are localised, are specific to publication areas. Example, Oceania.
The economist re orders the magazine sections depending on country of copy sale.

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/document/49HansS_201...

This is the US Front page https://pocketmags.com/us/time-magazine

No.
This is the US front page.
This American man of colour does not look like current nz PM. Because it is Martin Luther King jr..

https://time.com/vault/year/2020/

https://time.com/5786713/martin-luther-king-jr-time-cover-story/

How could you not know this!
https://youtu.be/OPemyipJzAM

You are correct but it was Front Page of the Europe,Middle East & Africa Edition, the Asia Edition and the South Pacific edition.

You want to stop digging?

Time is not what it was.
77% of readership is in the USA.
Circulation is 2million or less.
You front page got to less than 460,000 sold copies out side of USA.
The effect of the cover on the digital edition is not known.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_(magazine)

Time has the world's largest circulation for a weekly news magazine. The print edition has a readership of 26 million, 20 million of whom are based in the United States. In mid-2012, its circulation was over 3 million,[1][4] which fell to 2 million by late 2017.[5]

Formerly published by Time Inc., since November 2018 Time has been published by TIME USA, LLC, owned by Marc Benioff who acquired it from Meredith Corporation two months earlier.[6]

Time, not what it was.

Maybe 81 000 readers in nz, it lost 19,000 readers from previous year here.

http://www.roymorgan.com/industries/media/readership/readership-new-zealand

Stevie, remember we are having this chatt regarding PM on a low read no read magazine cover in nz.

This the week of first virus case in nz.
Questions over testing capacity and contact tracing.
Where nurses are complaining about risk to them.
When people who want to tested are turned away.

The contrast is epic.

Hey this Jacinda looks great on paper, lets do some digging into what you actually got done...
OH very little. Dont call us, we'll call you.

True , achieved absolutely NOTHING , unable to make decisions .........just pass the buck onto a commission of enquiry .

Every election promise a big F for FAIL

And a motley bunch of fools , racist geriatrics , and looney Greens running our country

The incompetence displayed in all advanced democracies in dealing with the COVID-19 is something we need to ponder.

When facing a crisis like this, what is the most effective political form to deal with it, at least temporarily?

Yeah, HE didn't do shxt.. even refuse to shake hands

Xi and his politburo cronies created this crisis, and continue to make it worse by at first silencing the reports and then lying about the extent of spread. The world is foolishly making plans based on trusting China's lies and 10's of millions more will die as a result.

My prediction is that when the scale of lying is discovered by the world, the deaths will be blamed on China and they will become a pariah state - and probably lose most of their offshore assets to fines and that will be the end of the current politburo - they will be overthrown by underlings.

I doubt that it would ever come to such drastic measures. Politicians don't like change. They're trying to maintain the status quo, and they'll do everything in their power to "return to the norm" once the current crisis is behind us. Back to business as usual, reinflating the bubble even faster than previously.

Hard to stop a billion people marching into ypur house.

xmw in the last half of the 13th century a divine wind put paid to your ancestors catastrophically, and twice. You though seem to suffer from wind that is hardly divine. Never mind, some bicarbonate of soda and a good purge could do your bile wonders.

My hot take is that COVID19 could be hugely beneficial for the Govt.

An environment of irrational fear (or potentially rational depending on how things unfold) will see people hunker down, not want to rock the boat in terms of governance.

It will all depend on what responsibilities are given to muppets (Clark, Davis etc.) and what is given to credible operators (Robertson, Faafoi etc.) and what level of tolerance the population will have for measures that contravene the NZBORA (and for how long).

Lets call a spade a spade, Labours recent history shows that they can not deliver, that will be magnified under pressure. Cracks in the good times end up as bloody big holes in the tough times. Jacinda must deliver a massive shake up from now on to manage this as her actions to present have been down to luck.

"that will be magnified under pressure"

That depends.

S90(2) and S91(1) of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 is pretty broad (i.e. potential to temporarily requisition / direct private media entities under a state of emergency)

Can Jacinda make that call to push down her beloved followers. The popr will be on the knife edge of most of this.

The nurses don't think so

The nurses' union, New Zealand Nurses Organisation, said staff were becoming increasingly anxious about their safety and how well prepared district health boards were to handle the illness.

NZNO associate professional services manager Hilary Graham-Smith said the union had experienced an increase in concerns raised by nurses in recent days, including whether the equipment they had access to was "fit-for-purpose".

https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/health/120079557/coronavirus-nurses-raise...

There are still tools Ardern has to win the election.

Have another baby? Get married and have a huge profile wedding?

Lol

That was the plan, but who would want to come to a wedding during an epidemic, and who would be stupid enough to have a baby when hosptials are overwhelmed with people dying from wuflu

That was the plan, but who would want to come to a wedding during an epidemic, and who would be stupid enough to have a baby when hosptials are overwhelmed with people dying from wuflu

I dunno maybe someone desperate enough for another term? She is actually behaving like Helen did in 2005. Winston was out of control and Helen refused to condem him. She even passed a law and applied it retrospectively to get him off. I would not put it past Jacinda to use similar tactics.

This election is 100% down to how they manage this WuFlu. So far it's very looking bad.

Lol This is bad, In 2009 New Zealand had 3,175 cases and 19 deaths due to swine influenza.

Problem is the alternative PM is Ximon Bridges, who probably would never have limited travel from China in obsequience to his donors.

On the other hand, the opposition is actively and happily (with an idiotic smile, mind you) handing over control to the CCP. At least giving birth is something positive that doesn't harm anyone.

Agree

Simon will have the foreign buyer ban gone by lunchtime..

Why did she not just tell us she was pregnant ? ..................... she is as dishonest as the rest of them

In many countries voters tend to vote in more conservative governments when recessions start.

Thankfully

Wow this Coronavirus has created the perfect storm. The timing is almost perfect to decide the election outcome. Labour was guaranteed a win if they had kept it out by very strong and decisive action and they failed. The case numbers will now be on an exponential trajectory containing this is impossible so in a couple of months its going to go ballistic. Sorry but the COL get the blame for this and rightly so. Sorry Jacinta there was no time to form a working group and wait for an outcome on this one. We are an island along way from the epicenter it could have been kept out entirely or seriously delayed in time for a vaccine to be developed. If people start dying its game over for Labour.

relentless negativity really sums it up,pollies and department heads look like they have been dragged out of bed to attend press conferences,all low energy and uninspiring and you just know it isnt going to get any better as they wont act until they are sure it is too late.

"Yet the pressure on Ardern is immense. She needs to embody a competent government during what will be a long six months of relentless negativity."..Renee..I can tell that you are writing this article while at the same time laughing your head off..

True , there is absolutely NOTHING competent about the coalition Government .................its fractured , dysfunctional and a bloody disgrace that we ended up with the clowns taking over the circus .

We have to get rid of the tax- and -spend -Government before they wreak any more damage

The other choice is a government saying nothing to see here, Rockstar economy BS built on unsustainable property inflation, economy boost from Christchurch earthquake rebuild, everyone whats to come here because they are so great at propping the GDP, Friendly smiles and donations from the CCP revealed on regular basis almost at a level akin to treason and selling out of NZ sovereignty. The Last government certainly was no spend. Drove services into the ground, sold assets or in the case of Solid Energy used as a cash cow. Thankfully that govt no longer exists. BUT look at the ragtag idiots who are out there now who think they have some right to that corrupt legacy. The new generation of morally absence and able to be purchased for any price.

Amen to that..