Monday 18th of January 2021

world optimism starts in new zealand with a breath of fresh air...

optimism starts in NZ...

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has been rewarded by voters with a landslide win — delivering her power in her own right, and an absolute drubbing to the National Party.

Labour has almost 50 per cent of the vote — the most any party has achieved under MMP and easily enough to govern without relying on another party, meaning it will get more than the 61 seats needed for a parliamentary majority.

However, the night is an absolute bloodbath for Judith Collins' National Party — and Labour's former coalition partner NZ First was kicked out of Parliament. It came in well under 30 per cent — a result that would give it about 35 seats. That is 20 fewer than the last election.

Walking out her front gate in Sandringham tonight, bound for Labour HQ, the Prime Minister was greeted by raucous cheers as the crowd gathered close in to greet her.

Ardern arrived at the Auckland Town Hall to scenes of jubilation and was joined on the stage by her partner Clarke Gayford and fellow Labour MPs.

"Tonight New Zealand has shown the Labour Party its greatest support in at least 50 years," she told supporters.

She acknowledged voters who had switched allegiances from National.

"For those amongst you who may not have supported Labour before... to you I say thank you. We will not take your support for granted."

She said Labour would be a party which works for "every New Zealander".

Labour was committed to key infrastructure, 100 per cent renewal electricity, the environment and supporting those at risk.

"Over the next three years there is much work to do. We will build back better from the Covid crisis; better stronger with the answers to the [things] New Zealand already faces."

The Green Party is on track to get about 8 per cent of the vote, and MP Chloe Swarbrick is well-placed to win the Auckland Central electorate.

Ardern would not say whether or not she still intended to invite the Green Party to be part of the Government, or what role they might have. She said many voters who had never voted for Labour before had done so to give the party the ability to move quickly to address the issues Covid-19 had left it with.

"They have done that because they want us to crack on with it, they want us to move with haste and speed on the recovery. They don't want too much complexity so I'll be keeping all that in mind in the work we do going forward."

Green co-leader Marama Davidson congratulated Ardern for "an extraordinary win" and said the Greens were hoping to be part of a "strong, truly progressive government".


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See Jacinda Ardern's victory speech starting with Maori:



a correspondence at the AAAS community...

As we all know, New Zealand has proclaimed victory over Covid. As a result of their diligent efforts and the complete destruction of their economy, they now have no cases but no immunity what so ever, and will have to maintain marshal law level vigilance "forever" over anybody and everybody who comes from the unwashed (ie. the US, UK, all of Africa, South America, Russia, etc). Since we now seemingly know that the antibodies stimulated by Covid or any Vaccine are rapidly diminished over time, and I am fairly certain that their isolated Island country can not live on its own "forever", it would appear to be that they are in a pickle. of the Unwashed

Alfred Holzheu


Solvang CA


Alfred -

You seem upset that New Zealand was successful in fighting CoV-19.  I don't understand why.

It is true their economy contracted by 12% in the June quarter...

...but it is also true that as a result of their action New Zealand currently ranks 174th in deaths per million citizens (with 25 CoV-19 deaths total!).  If their death rate were the same as the current US rate, there would have been 3,500 deaths.  Not a bad trade-off.  In comparison, the US economy contracted by 9.1 % in the period April-June 2020, not much better than what was seen in New Zealand...

...but with 200,000+ deaths.  So which country responded better to the coronavirus?  The economy will recover -  but the 200,000+ dead will remain dead.

And when you have a low rate of infection, actions such as contact tracing become that much easier to carry out.  Imagine the effort needed to contact trace the 75,000 new cases seen in the US every day.

If this represents a "pickle" then so be it.

J A Joens

Miami FL




Note: The AAAS (Science magazine) is the best scientific journal on the planet. The AAAS "Community" allows open discussions about many subjects in which (often unscientifically verified) "opinions" are exchanged in order to stimulate ideas. 

minister's tattoo...

A New Zealand author's book has been pulled from an online store after she criticised the foreign affairs minister's traditional Maori tattoo.

Olivia Pierson had tweeted that facial tattoos on a female diplomat was "ugly and uncivilised".

Nanaia Mahuta is the first female MP in New Zealand to have a Maori facial tattoo. She was appointed as minister in a recent cabinet reshuffle. 

Ms Pierson's tweet sparked anger and calls for her book to be pulled.

In response, prominent online retailer Mighty Ape said it had withdrawn her book and "would not be making it available again".

Some New Zealanders with Maori heritage wear tattoos, known as moko, to mark their genealogy and heritage.

Men's moko tend to cover their entire face, while women's moko cover their chin.

Ms Pierson had on Monday posted a tweet linking to a story about Ms Mahuta's appointment.

"Really? The face of NZ's new Foreign Minister? Facial tattoos are not exactly a polished civilised presentation for a foreign diplomat in the 21st century," she said.

She later said facial tattoos "especially on a female diplomat, is the height of ugly, uncivilised wokedom".

Many Twitter users criticised her comments as racially and culturally insensitive, pointing out that moko is part of indigenous culture. 

Ms Pierson told New Zealand news outlet Stuff that she stood by her comments, saying facial tattoos were ugly on "anybody, white, brown or black".

PM Jacinda Ardern had earlier described her new cabinet - which also includes the country's first openly gay minister - as "incredibly diverse".

Reaction to the new cabinet has been largely positive, with many praising the move. 

Ms Ardern had earlier last month led her Labour Party to a landslide victory in New Zealand's general elections.



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