Jacinda Ardern vs Bill English: Relentless dissatisfaction vs bloody-minded positivity

abour leader Jacinda Ardern is bloody minded, while National leader Bill English is a disciple of “relentless dissatisfaction” as a key performance indicator for the role of PM.

Fronting up to a panel journalists for the NZ Herald’s Job Interview they were grilled on why they wanted the job of Prime Minister and what they could offer.

In a way, the challenge for both Ardern and English was to prove they had each other’s strengths.

Ardern has stood accused of lacking breadth and depth on the economy. English’s millstone is the perception he is boring

The difference is that one of those things can be taught, the other cannot – and in that respect English was the underdog.

The interrogators were NZME journalists Audrey Young, Heather du Plessis-Allan, Liam Dann and Toby Manhire.

Both were given a hard ride – English on National’s record in Government and Ardern on what Labour might do in Government, and whether the voters should know about it before it was done.

Ardern’s most challenging moments came in questioning over her intentions for income tax and Capital Gains Tax – Ardern has left open the option of introducing those in her first term rather than campaigning on them in a future election before doing so.

Ardern took the only path available of sticking to her guns on the issue, saying it was the job of a Government to make hard decisions that might not be popular but would make a difference.

Her “bloody minded” declaration came when she was asked if Labour would seriously pull out of the Trans Pacific Partnership for the sake of one Labour Party policy on foreign buyers.


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