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Heather du Plessis-Allan: Chris Hipkins is doing an excellent job

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 16 Feb 2023, 7:49PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Chris Hipkins is doing an excellent job

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 16 Feb 2023, 7:49PM

Chris Hipkins is impressive.

Come on, admit it, he’s doing an excellent job.

Hipkins has not put a foot wrong, he’s where he’s supposed to be and doing what he’s supposed to be doing.

He was in Auckland when it was thought that Auckland was going to bear the brunt of the cyclone, by contrast, Chris Luxon was in Wellington.

As soon as it was clear that Auckland only copped a bit of it and other regions were harder hit, he was back in Wellington in the Beehive Bunker to oversee the national response.

And now he’s flown in to the region around Gisborne, he’s giving money to damaged areas, he’s pledging support to those affected, he’s talking about moving roads, and he’s promising to sort out the slash issue.

It’s very tempting to think it’s not that hard to manage a crisis like this. But actually, a lot of leaders stuff it up.

ScoMo went on holiday while parts of country burned in bushfires, then justified it by saying “I don’t hold a hose, mate”. That will be some of what people remember about him.

George Bush never recovered from his decision to only fly over New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, rather than touch down and just be with the affected people.

Back to Hipkins, you could almost forget he’s only been in the job 3 weeks, and yet he’s already dealt with the worst weather event the country’s ever faced, and separately, the worst weather event Auckland’s ever faced.

I’m sorry to do this, because it almost seems inappropriate-

But, Jacinda who? 

I mean, this is the stuff Jacinda was good at, responding to crises. Yet Hipkins is doing a perfectly good job of it too.

Not only is he good at the stuff Jacinda was good at, but he’s good at the stuff Jacinda wasn’t good at too, like brutally nuking unpopular policies, winning the middle voter over and resurrecting Labour’s polls.

Early days absolutely, but Prime Minister Hipkins is making it very easy to forget Prime Minister Ardern.

And making very easy to forget he’s only 22 days into the job. 

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