Matthew Hooton gets it spot on

Hooton has had a ribbing on here from time to time but he is spot on with this latest piece shared on Kiwiblog.

Ardern stated in her maiden speech that she wanted to be held to account on her reason for entering politics, the reason was claimed to be to reduce child poverty.

To cement this claim, she made herself child poverty reduction minister.

Hooton expands on just how badly she is doing at this task.

Of course I’m sure she will “totally reject that,” like she does with all inconvenient facts presented to her..

Seems the, “I believe it is possible to not lie” comment was true in the fact it is possible, but not for her as she started in her Maiden Speech.

Listen to the her first words.

If you can stand to watch and listen here is the transcript with her kindness highlighted

JACINDA ARDERN (Labour) : Mr Assistant Speaker, I am honoured to stand in this House today, and I join my colleagues who have gone before me in congratulating you on your election as Assistant Speaker. Maiden statements are a bit like words spoken in a heated argument; like it or not, they will come back to haunt one. Today I will share with members the words that I wish to haunt me: my values and beliefs, and the things that have brought me here. I do so in the hope that should I ever abandon them, I will have the good grace to leave. But I cannot begin without first paying tribute to the previous leader of the Labour Party, Helen Clark. There are many reasons why I joined the Labour Party, but it was Helen who made me proud to be a member. My generation grew up under Helen’s leadership and many do not know how good they had it. I have no doubt that her leadership will leave a legacy well beyond my own generation.

I cannot pinpoint exactly when my interest in politics began, but I know it began when I was young. I was born in Hamilton, but in the 1980s my family relocated to Murupara, where my father took up the role of the local police sergeant. My memories of that place are vivid. I knew that a lot of people had lost their jobs, but I did not understand that it was due to the privatisation of the forestry industry and to a complete lack of central government support. I knew that there were suicides, and that the girl who used to babysit my sister and me one day turned yellow from hepatitis and could not visit us any more. But I did not understand the linkages between these things and the poverty of the community I was living in.

My passion for social justice came from what I saw; my love of politics came when I realised that it was the key to changing what I saw. And there is much to change.

The fifth Labour Government made good progress on what I believe must continue to be our focus—reducing poverty in this country. Labour has ensured that no elderly person lives below the poverty line, but that does not mean that many do not still live a very hard life.

Labour lifted 130,000 children out of poverty through Working for Families, but that does not mean that many do not remain there still. I will not pretend that the response is simple; it is not. The majority of children living in poverty now are dependants in families where the main means of support is a Government benefit. But if we believe that our welfare State is a necessary safety net and a support for those unable to support themselves—as I do—then the children living in these circumstances should not be living in poverty. These children are not part of an underclass, as I have heard them called; they are part of our community, and we have a responsibility to continue the momentum of the previous Labour Government and to finally rid ourselves of poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand. This is our collective challenge.

Murupara and the wonderful people who live there, and who continue to work hard to rejuvenate their community, formed just one of the many lessons I have learnt. Demonstrating my parent’s absolute love of big cities, my family relocated to Morrinsville. I have very good memories of growing up in this small rural Waikato town. It is a key productive region of New Zealand, and is the region of my family. My grandfather dug the drains there, my other grandfather farmed there, and I had the privilege of campaigning there in the last election. It is a place that keeps me grounded.

I attended Morrinsville College, which is a fantastic school and an example of why we should be proud of our public education system and the teachers working within it. I only wish that my education could have extended to the universal teaching of te reo Māori, so that more of my generation could converse in our national language rather than in the more common offering of German, French, and Japanese. Education in language builds understanding. I join colleagues who have gone before me in calling for the universal and compulsory teaching of te reo in our schools, and for all of the necessary resource that goes with it.

Morrinsville College was also the place where I experienced my first election, campaigning on the weighty electoral issue that girls should be allowed to wear trousers to school. I was elected to the Morrinsville College board of trustees and was subsequently appointed to the suspension committee as the student representative. It was tough. I sat face to face with my peers who were facing removal from the education system. Although I had no qualms about handing down punishment to those students who were bullies in our school, I also saw many come before us who quite clearly had no emotional or financial support from their families, from their caregivers, or from their community.

So much lies in our beginnings. Research tells us that young people who find themselves in front of the criminal justice system have also experienced instability in their homes. They have witnessed violence, and three out of four are likely to have grown up in families that did not have enough to get by. We will never find durable solutions that genuinely prevent issues like disengagement in education right through to entry into the criminal justice system if we continue to look at the shallow end of the problem.

Morrinsville brought with it other experiences. When I was 14 I got my first job, at a fish and chip shop, and eventually I ended up at a grocery store, as a number of my colleagues have done. It was the 1990s. I earned roughly $5 an hour, I joined a union that struggled to support us under the realities of the Employment Contracts Act, and I saw the real consequences of working for a hostile management team.

I saw the importance of unions again in 2005 when, on a whim, I packed my bags and moved to New York. While I struggled to find work I volunteered in a soup kitchen and on a campaign for home-care workers who had been without an employment contract for over a decade. I busied myself as a campaign assistant—coming up with chants that sounded fine in a Kiwi accent, but never sounded quite right when belted out by Americans—and I organised the workers. Their very presence on that picket line threatened their livelihood. It was an experience that deepened my commitment to having a balance in employment relationships—a balance that I was shocked to see so severely disrupted in my very first week in this House.

I have never given up on finding new ways to change what was going on around me, but I am the first to concede that I am not a normal young person. At this election young people made up 50 percent of those who did not bother to enrol. They are in the age group that is least likely to vote but is most likely to be affected by the decisions we make here.

I have the privilege of holding the youth affairs portfolio. There are many issues within this role—health, education, justice. However, it cannot be just about speaking on behalf of young people but also about giving them the opportunity and reason to speak for themselves. Like many who have gone before me, I too believe that civic education plays a massive role in doing this. But so does the simple impact of our example. We all have the responsibility to help restore a little faith in our political processes, to continually show the relevance of politics to young people and the wider community, and to find new and better ways of listening and responding. Some may call this participatory democracy; I just call it our job.

One of my first opportunities to see all sides of a member of Parliament’s role was when I took a job in Phil Goff’s office. It was an honour to work for Phil. I saw at first hand just how hard he is prepared to work for New Zealanders and his commitment to them, and I am very honoured to work with him once more.

Like so many Kiwis, I also took the opportunity to travel abroad. I studied at Arizona State University for a semester. Midway through my time there two planes flew into the World Trade Center and everything around me changed. I have watched as international politics has continued to change while serving as the president of the International Union of Socialist Youth—an umbrella organisation of over 150 progressive youth movements from around the world. This role has sent me to some far-flung places around the globe, from Bhutanese refugee camps to the people of Western Sahara, to Lebanon, and to Jerusalem and the West Bank and the wall that divides the two.

Some people have asked me whether I am a radical. My answer to that question is very simple: “I am from Morrinsville.” Where I come from a radical is someone who chooses to drive a Toyota rather than a Holden or a Ford. I am, though, a social democrat. I believe in what I believe strongly—the values of human rights, social justice, equality, and democracy, and the role of communities—and I believe we have a role to play in defending these principles abroad. Anyone who has moved abroad will know what it is like to reflect on one’s home from afar, and I have always done so with pride; not just for our position on foreign affairs but also for our thriving music and film industry, our culture and our heritage, and our country’s beauty. But these things do not merely exist. They must be fostered and must be protected, and with more than empty rhetoric.

I fear that our pride in New Zealand’s clean, green reputation is already misplaced. It is shameful enough that we are about to lose New Zealand’s most proactive legislation in response to the impacts of climate change that we have seen to date. It is unspeakable that, in addition, we now have a parliamentary select committee to question the science of climate change itself. We had the potential to be a world leader. National told us we should be fast followers, but now all I see are the many, many losers—the future generations whom some people in this House do not yet believe they have a responsibility to. Well, I do.

There are other things that time spent working in an international environment can teach you. I spent 3 years in the United Kingdom working as a public servant—a career I have a great amount of respect for. This role took me from the UK Cabinet Office to the Department for Business and Enterprise, where I was an assistant director working on regulatory issues. I spent most of my time—this is probably a shock to members on the other side of the House—talking to small businesses, local authorities, and even police officers, trying to understand the delicate balancing act between creating a regulatory environment that protects citizens whilst also allowing business and public services to flourish. I am very mindful of the importance and the need for both. With a strong economy comes the chance to further strengthen public services and create a fairer society for everyone.

But personal experiences are only a very small part of the thing that brings you to a place, and I have to acknowledge the role of my family. My parents have always challenged me and supported me. They have shown me that the world is not black and white, nor is it rose-tinted, and I honour them. I honour my mother, who gave up everything for her girls in an era where choices were made between family and career. I honour my father for his dedication to his family and to the New Zealand Police for the past 35 years. He has seen the most horrific side of human nature, but has always shown compassion and a commitment to building communities in New Zealand and now in Niue. And to my dear sister, Louise, I say that nothing bores her more than politics, which is why her support has meant so very much to me.

But apart from my dear Auntie Ann, it was my nana who was the true political beast in my family. Gladys was staunch Labour. Sadly, I never had the opportunity to ask her what made her so passionate that she would switch off the TV if Muldoon ever came on, and would leave it off for at least 10 minutes to make sure he was not polluting her screen any longer. I know that I can do no better than to make Gladys, Harry, and Annie proud.

To my Waikato campaign team, including my wonderful grandparents, who fought hard alongside me in a seat that has been held by National for the past 40 years, I say that next time we will take it on the specials. To all my friends and to the new and existing Labour team; to Darren, for all the leave that I know he will grant me and for dispensing the kind of advice that proves he was born middle-aged but also that he was born wise; to Marian Hobbs, the old conscience of this House; and to Michael—I am proud to be the youngest member of this Parliament but even prouder to serve here with him as the father of this House—I thank them all.

So there it is: the answer to that golden question. It is the things I have seen, the lessons I have learnt, and the people of New Zealand whom I wish to serve that have brought me to this place. These are the very things that I wish to haunt me for as long as I have the privilege of serving here. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

Doesn’t she sound so Kind, just like a wolf in sheep clothing

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