New Zealand: Jacinda Ardern loses her shine

New Zealand: Jacinda Ardern loses her shine
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Islam News – According to the New York Times, Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand, is seen as a star abroad — a young progressive feminist who deftly steered her country through the pandemic and a tragic mass shooting. But at home, her star is fading.

With rising prices for food, fuel and rent, and an explosion of gang violence in New Zealand, Ardern’s center-left Labour Party is polling at its lowest level of support in five years. Many residents are expressing deepening doubts that she can deliver the “transformational” change she promised, as elections loom next year.

“New Zealanders who see this day to day are getting frustrated by a lack of change,” Morgan Godfery, a liberal writer and academic, said. “But if you look from overseas, you don’t see the lack of policy, you see the personality. And that’s where the mismatch comes in.”

Ms. Ardern’s pandemic success helped lift her party to an outright majority in Parliament during the last election, in October 2020. But with most of the virus restrictions lifted, her government has lost its unifying fight against the pandemic and, with it, much of its bipartisan support. What remains is soaring inflation and little progress on issues that have bedeviled New Zealand for decades.

Details: Ms. Ardern’s government announced a payment of 350 New Zealand dollars ($220) to middle- and low-income New Zealanders to help alleviate increases in the cost of living. Many, however, see the government’s responses as inadequate and are dissatisfied by overseas comparisons

Source: The New York Times

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