In praise of Jacinda Ardern | The Jackal

23 Apr 2020

In praise of Jacinda Ardern

Well I must say that Jacinda Ardern has been a breath of fresh air when it comes to Prime Ministers. She has all the makings of a great leader, including, but not limited to, an inherent ability to see through people’s bullshit! This is perhaps a quality she attained from her policeman father.

But let’s be entirely honest here, Jacinda Ardern is simply doing her job. It might seem that she's some sort of miracle worker, however that appearance is partly due to the fact that the majority of other world leaders are entirely hopeless and in some cases downright corrupt!

So when a caring and professional politician like Jacinda Ardern comes along and has the political willpower to legislate for positive social change and actually endeavours to lead New Zealand through these trying times, then it can appear as if she’s some sort of superhero. However I can assure readers that Ardern is still a human being, albeit one that always undertakes her responsibilities in an exemplary manner.

Jacinda Ardern - Prime Minister of New Zealand

That’s why it's great to see some of the international high praise she has recently received, praise I might add that the Prime Minister has hardly had any time to acknowledge. Even John Key has put his political proclivities aside to commend Ardern’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, which has entirely deflated the current National Party leader, Simon Bridges, and his unwarranted criticism of the Governments timely and well-planned response to the pandemic.

On 27 March, MSN reported:

'Faultless': Former PM Sir John Key praises Jacinda Ardern's COVID-19 communication 

Former Prime Minister Sir John Key has praised Jacinda Ardern's communication skills amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. 
"I think she's an outstanding communicator," Key told MagicTalk host Ryan Bridge on Friday. 
He said her address to the nation on Saturday announcing the alert levels for the coronavirus pandemic was "faultless".

On April 8, Newstalk ZB reported:

Top US newspaper praises NZ: 'It isn't just flattening the curve, it's squashing it' 

New Zealand's cautious optimism over its battle against coronavirus is now front and centre of the world, with the influential Washington Post reporting "a triumph of science and leadership". 
Under the headline, "New Zealand isn't just flattening the curve. It's squashing it", Post journalist and Kiwi Anna Fifield has outlined the political, social and health measures taken by the Government over the past month - including the level 4 lockdown and the early success indicators.

On 10 April, Newshub reported:

Coronavirus: CNN praises Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand COVID-19 response 

US news giant CNN continues to pile praise on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and New Zealand's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying Aotearoa is setting an "ambitious goal". 
During a segment with the banner "Lessons in leadership: New Zealand's virus response", CNN's senior international correspondent Ivan Watson said New Zealand is "setting a very ambitious goal, trying to eliminate the disease completely from its shores". He called border closures introduced in mid-March a "dramatic move for an island nation whose economy depends on tourism".

It seems that many countries are copying New Zealand’s approach. Even Donald Trump belatedly announced a wage subsidy scheme, which is but one example showing that the President is out of his depth. His complete lack of empathy is also in stark contrast to the leadership of Jacinda Ardern, who some have likened to the new leader of the free world.

On Saturday, MSN reported:

Piers Morgan heaps praise on Jacinda Ardern for taking a pay cut during the coronavirus pandemic - and slams other politicians for not doing the same

Piers Morgan has praised New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for taking a pay cut during the coronavirus crisis while criticising his own ministers for not following her lead. 
Politicians in the UK and Australia have doubled down on their refusal to reduce their pay packets since Ms Ardern said she and her top staff would slash their salaries by 20 per cent.

On Sunday, The Atlantic reported:

New Zealand’s Prime Minister May Be the Most Effective Leader on the Planet 

Jacinda Ardern’s leadership style, focused on empathy, isn’t just resonating with her people; it’s putting the country on track for success against the coronavirus. 
Jacinda Ardern, the 39-year-old prime minister of New Zealand, is forging a path of her own. Her leadership style is one of empathy in a crisis that tempts people to fend for themselves. Her messages are clear, consistent, and somehow simultaneously sobering and soothing. And her approach isn’t just resonating with her people on an emotional level. It is also working remarkably well. 
People feel that Ardern “doesn’t preach at them; she’s standing with them,” Helen Clark, New Zealand’s prime minister from 1999 to 2008, told me. (Ardern, a fellow member of the Labour Party, got her start in politics working for Clark during her premiership.) “They may even think, Well, I don’t quite understand why [the government] did that, but I know she’s got our back. There’s a high level of trust and confidence in her because of that empathy.”

Also on Sunday, 1 News reported:

'Empathy in a crisis' - Jacinda Ardern's Covid-19 leadership praised by international media

Meanwhile, a Financial Times opinion piece titled "Arise Saint Jacinda, a leader for our troubled times", said Ms Ardern offered lessons in leadership. 
“Ms Ardern has been a model of compassionate leadership in this crisis,” wrote Pilita Clark.

This is only a small sample of the many published international accolades Jacinda Ardern has been receiving for her excellent leadership skills, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis.

However it’s important to remind ourselves that New Zealand isn’t out of the woods just yet. We still have a long way to go to ensure COVID-19 doesn’t get a second chance and a huge marathon to run in order to rebuild our economy through supporting local businesses.

We can however thank our lucky stars that Jacinda Ardern is the Prime Minister in charge. It’s only through her hard work and scientifically based decision making that New Zealand has almost no community spread and one of the lowest rates of COVID-19 leading to death in the entire world.

I'm sure you'll agree that we should do everything in our power to help her ensure that New Zealand can become 100% COVID-19 Free in the not too distant future.