Jacinda Ardern lays out vision for 2030 at Labour rally in Wellington

Derek Cheng, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 11 Oct 2020, 1:27PM
(Photo / Getty)
(Photo / Getty)

Jacinda Ardern lays out vision for 2030 at Labour rally in Wellington

Derek Cheng, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 11 Oct 2020, 1:27PM

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern wants the state housing waiting list to be empty by 2030 and child poverty to have halved.

With six days until polling day, Ardern laid out her 2030 vision in a speech to a Labour Party rally in Wellington today.

The state house waiting list is currently about 20,000, up from about 6000 when the current Government took power. It has built about 4000 new state houses but that has not kept up with demand.

And halving child poverty by 2030 is actually less ambitious than the Government's 10-year targets, announced in January 2018, to do just that by 2027/28.

Ardern's 2030 vision also included a New Zealand with no health inequalities based on race, wealth or geographical location, with swimmable rivers, and with farmers selling IP to the world on how to reduce emissions.

She also use her speech to take a shot at the National Party.

"The alternative is an opposition party that is focused on itself, that has lost its focus on economic responsibility and produced a plan with an $8 billion dollar hole.

"Mistakes like that cannot be laughed away, they threaten our economic recovery and put health and education at risk."

National has admitted to a $4 billion mistake but says it doesn't amount to much because it moves its 2034 net debt-to-GDP target from 35 per cent to 36 per cent.

Ardern highlighted the country's record on Covid-19.

"What started as a summertime conversation this year has led to more than 30 million cases and 1 million deaths, and it's not over yet.

"Here at home we have lost 25 loved ones and managed 1864 cases.

"As we've travelled around the country campaigning this election with only limited restrictions, it hasn't been lost on me how lucky that makes us."

But the disease hadn't changed the issues that were facing New Zealand before the pandemic, she said.

"Covid didn't end child poverty. Covid didn't end the housing crisis. Covid didn't make climate change disappear. In fact, it has the potential to make each so much worse.

"If there's one thing I've learned over the last three years though, it's what you do when the unexpected hits that count.

"We can all campaign on long lists of policies and ideas, but you truly get to know your government when disasters strike."

She did not announce any new policy, but spoke of several that have already been announced.

"Over the past three years we have had success, we have had tragedy, we have had it all," she said.

"But through it all we made the decisions that I absolutely believe are the right ones for New Zealand."

The crowd was greeted by MC Oscar Kightley.

"Talofa - I'm Samoan, I can say that," he said, a reference to Judith Collins' use of the term when answering a questions from Aorere College head girl Aigagalefili Fepulea'i Tapua'i in the first leaders' debate.

"My husband is Samoan so, talofa," Collins said at the start of her answer.

The crowd were treated to a singing performance from Deva Mahal, and then Kightley introduced the "Stardust Orchestra", saying dryly their appearance at a similar rally in 2017 had clearly powered Labour to victory.

Ardern is expected to speak to media after the rally at about 2pm.

Yesterday she spent the day with supporters at the Otara markets, where she urged people to vote early.

Ardern is attending the Bledisloe Cup game in Wellington later tonight.

Today, National Party leader Judith Collins is meeting with campaign teams across Auckland in what she is calling the "Stop The Wealth Tax Day".

It's a reference to the Green Party's tax proposal, which Labour has repeatedly ruled it out should Labour be able to form the next government.