Near universal criticism of Ardern

Three more columns lamenting the lack of leadership. First Barry Soper:

Politics is a tough business but if you answer questions honestly and in good faith you generally survive relatively unscathed.

And that brings us to the Prime Minister. In answer to a question on Friday morning, whether she was considering cutting ties with Curran, or fire her, said no, she believed the minister had paid the price.

Yeah well the night before she’d accepted her resignation and the perception left from her comment was that Curran was safe.

That doesn’t reflect well on what was clearly obfuscation by Ardern – nor does this whole saga reflect well on her leadership. Curran committed what were two significant strikes, meeting secretly with people who sought to gain from her role in Government, she should have been fired after the first and after the second it was a no-brainer.


Her bumbling confession about her use of her private emails to conduct government business simply added to her unsuitability to hold ministerial warrants.

Amazingly Ardern still insists that she had confidence in Curran to continue as a Minister.

Then Mike Hosking:

I assume no one is missing the irony that poor old Clare Curran could see what needed to be done, but her boss once again couldn’t.

And because of that it raises once again the question as to just what, in Ardern’s mind, you have to do to get sacked.

Bash up your press secretary maybe?

Now, in her mind Ardern might well still be sitting there this morning having convinced herself she is right, and we are all wrong. And that some sort of touchy-feely approach to discipline is the modern way.

But it doesn’t add up. You can’t, on one hand, stand there talking about the high standards you expect of your ministers, while on the other hand defending a serial offender and refusing to sack them and offering up excuses about having a bad day at the office.

The two don’t gel.

And Audrey Young joins in:

Jacinda Ardern is as much to blame as Winston Peters for the debacle last week over refugee numbers.

Both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister should be admitting to their colleagues at tomorrow’s cabinet that they were equally culpable for creating a perception of Coalition chaos, and they should be looking for way to avoid it.

Peters was largely blamed for contradicting Ardern last week over a commitment to double the refugee quota.

In fact, she contradicted him – although that is a minor point.

He was interviewed first by reporters in Nauru and when the reporter substituted “Labour policy” for “Government policy” as though they were the same thing, like Pavlov’s dog he went into aggressive denial.

That reaction was then misinterpreted as Peters insisting there was no way he would ever in a million years ever agree to a refugee quota of 1500.

And the aggression to a television viewer appeared aimed at Ardern, rather than the press pack he was addressing.

A short time after Peters’ interview, Ardern was asked in Wellington if the Government was committed to doubling the refugee quota to which she foolishly said yes.

They were both unwittingly complicit in setting a trap for the other.

Maybe they should you know talk to each other, as they are meant to be PM and Deputy PM.

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