The Prime Minister is desperate to show a united Government after the shambles of the past few weeks but it will take more than a reheated speech to convince Kiwis her dysfunctional coalition is up to the job, National Party leader Simon Bridges says.
“It is easy to give a rah-rah speech. What is in question is her judgment, her ability to lead a competent Government and whether her administration has a plan for dealing with the real issues facing New Zealand.
“They think that a photo op 10 months in is a substitute for a plan and an ability to improve the lives of New Zealanders. It’s not. They’re adrift while they wait for their 170 working groups to report back with instructions and New Zealand is stalling while we wait.
“Business confidence is tumbling, the economy is losing momentum and the Government is driving up the cost of living, which is hurting families.
“This was a lost opportunity for Ms Ardern to admit her mistakes, acknowledge the cracks in her coalition and focus on policies that will genuinely benefit New Zealand. Instead we’ve been given a show designed to distract from her weak leadership and lack of new ideas.
“It is barely 10 months since the Speech from the Throne, which along with the coalition agreements was meant to be the riding instructions for this Government. They weren't prepared for Government and are barely any further ahead now than they were a year ago.
“Today's speech is like a TED Talk and shows a Trump-like attempt to avoid tough questions with a stage-managed pep rally and carefully vetted questions. This is a Government in damage control trying desperately to get itself together.
“They’re spending more time on this than doing anything to improve the lives of New Zealanders. They’re governing for the coalition, not for the country. New Zealanders expect and deserve better than what this Labour-led Government is giving them.”