New Zealand has been through a lot over the past few years. The Christchurch Mosque attacks, the Whakaari White Island eruption, and Covid-19 have all tested the resolve of our country. This year in particular has been challenging. Covid-19 is the most dangerous pandemic the world has seen in over one hundred years, and it is the biggest shock to the world economy since the Great Depression of the 1920s.

At times like these, leadership matters. You want to know that the people making life and death decisions are calm and strategic, that they take advice and consider it carefully, that they are making decisions that prioritise human life and wellbeing, that they are stable and reliable, and that they have a plan.

Jacinda Ardern has displayed all of these attributes and is the leader who has successfully steered us through the momentous events of the past few years. During Covid-19 she has shown her true qualities. She made the decision to go hard and go early against Covid-19. At the time of the Level 4 lockdown she was criticised by many, but it was the right call. The decisive action of the government saved lives and has resulted in New Zealand having one of the lowest infection and death rates in the world. Because of this, we are now more open that most other economies.

Throughout this period, Jacinda Ardern and Labour have put clear plans and strategies in place. We implemented the world leading alert level system so that the public had a clear understanding of how we would combat Covid. We constantly assessed our border controls and made improvements where necessary. Now that we are moving into recovery mode we have a clear plan focussed on protecting and growing jobs. The Wage Subsidy saved hundreds of thousands of jobs and we are now rolling out a strong plan that includes measures such as:

  • Interest-free loans for small businesses
  • The flexi-wage scheme to support businesses taking on new employees and supporting people on benefits to start a small business
  • Free trades training and apprenticeships for young people
  • A record investment in infrastructure to create jobs and the infrastructure of the future

In contrast, National is negative and divided. They have gone through three leaders in one year, offer nothing but criticism, and have no new ideas. Their recent budget proposals have been riddled with billions of dollars in errors. They are chaotic and unpredictable and would be a risk to our health and the recovery.

Today, Covid-19 continues to rage around the world and many countries are having to go into repeat lockdowns. Jacinda Ardern and Labour have led a decisive health response in New Zealand that has kept us safe and moved us towards recovery. Now is not the time to put that at risk and that is why your Party vote for Labour is so important this election.

Michael Wood, Member of Parliament for Mt Roskill and Chief Government Whip