Barry Soper writes:
Jacinda Ardern’s press conferences are on a whole new level, she’s had more practice at them than any other leader in recent history.
But for her, it’s all about control, to cut off a line of questioning before something difficult takes hold. If it runs the risk of taking hold, she’ll over talk the questioner through the power of the podium microphone and move on.
With the flick of a hand, she’ll switch to another questioner. She’s trained the media to raise their hands which allows her to rattle off the order in which the questions are to be asked.
If you’re working to a deadline, which if you have to go on-air in radio is constant, it’s of no consequence to Ardern, television takes precedence.
Admittedly the question she flicked away on her latest outing was probably one she wasn’t too keen on taking – was she going to do more than a token visit to Auckland this Thursday?
The current crop has all been media trained like no other occupants in the Beehive. The same modus operandi has been adopted by Ardern’s fellow preachers from the pulpit – Grant Robertson and Chris Hipkins.
It’s called media control but asking questions is called democracy and accountability.
NZ political press conferences are absolutely tame compared to Australian ones.