3 out of 10.
For all the bluster and praise the media have lavished on the new Government, our summation of the 100 days is it deserves 3 out of 10.
Yes, it is just the start of their first term in Government after 9 years in opposition, and no one is denying the fantastic impact Jacinda’s emergence has had on politics in our country. But, and this is a big but, all we are focusing on is policy and it seems in this new age of tabloid media, policy takes a back seat to smiles and barbeques. John Key was Mister Relatable, Teflon john, and now Jacinda Ardern has given a spark to young and old alike, a gut-felt optimism that progress is imminent. But when we dig beneath the surface, at the gears that drive these bold promises that Labour have made, there is a disconnect. The policy simply does not match up with the ideals.
For every step forward the new Government has made, there is too much treading water or even walking backwards. We saw hope in the Zero Carbon Act and the wider climate change policies, but these do not offset backtracking on saving our waterways, broken promises on cannabis reform, or the farce that is the tax working group. Again, their approach to mental health and child poverty falls short – in part related to an inability to address overly-generous superannuation or confront the drivers of the housing crisis.
Our 100-day plan discusses in detail each of the 17 policies released, and how it compares to best practice, evidenced-based policies. Our assessment is strictly about whether the policies announced are substantive, will likely deliver what their promotors assert, and will progress the state of well-being of New Zealanders. It’s important to differentiate policy substance from any popular public appeal that a policy, a policy announcement or indeed the mana of the messenger – might engender.
In response to the 100 day plan, TOP’s interim leader Dr Gareth Morgan says “ the rationale for post-election optimism was ephemeral, flimsy. We are so content, fat, comfortable and complacent that we don’t give a rat’s ass about inequality, let alone productivity and an economy that is both resilient and fulfils its potential”