NZ: Chris Hipkins’ bonfire of Ardern’s policies proof ‘perfectly competent’ is the new black

NZ: Chris Hipkins’ bonfire of Ardern’s policies proof ‘perfectly competent’ is the new black. By Matthew Hooton.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkin’s “policy bonfire” on Wednesday was [a clear] repudiation of what remains of his predecessor Jacinda Ardern’s agenda. …

Ardern’s hate-speech legislation, promised after the 2019 terrorist attack, has been kicked into touch.

Plans to merge the state-owned TV and radio networks to create a mega state broadcaster — think the ABC, but worse — have been abandoned entirely.

So too Ardern’s biofuels mandate, a key part of her “nuclear-free moment” climate-change policy. As recently as November, Labour savaged National for expressing doubts about its efficacy. Now Labour seems to agree it would raise petrol prices by 10c a litre, do nothing to reduce New Zealand’s greenhouse emissions, increase global ones, and reduce food production.

A compulsory unemployment insurance scheme costing households NZ$3.5 billion (AUD3.17bn) annually is also dead …

Ardern’s plan to nationalise New Zealand’s freshwater, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure — currently owned by local councils — and give Māori half the seats on board-appointments committees is set to be first into the second bonfire, expected in weeks.


Not so fast…


Ardern’s personal passion of a tram from Auckland’s CBD to the airport is also doomed. Meant to be half finished by now but still un-started, its cost ballooned to NZ$30 billion (AUD$27bn). Even the public-transport advocates who convinced Ardern to champion it are now opposed.

Major reforms to New Zealand’s resource management regime, particularly the degree of Māori influence over planning and consents, are being questioned.

World-first in the age of woke: a left party abandons the radical, moves back to the middle, and lauds competence instead.

For Labour supporters, this is quite depressing, with Hipkins removing all the policy differences between his party and National. Already more popular than National’s Christopher Luxon, Hipkins bets he can win an election about nothing more than who will mind the shop.

Glad to see that NZ is backing off their racist changes. A narrow escape. I wonder if Australia will be as fortunate with The Voice?


hat-tip Stephen Harper