'Still the pragmatic idealist': PM denies popularity will move Labour to the centre

Author
The Country,
Publish Date
Wed, 9 Dec 2020, 4:55PM
Jacinda Ardern. (Photo / NZ Herald)

'Still the pragmatic idealist': PM denies popularity will move Labour to the centre

Author
The Country,
Publish Date
Wed, 9 Dec 2020, 4:55PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says that she has never let polls guide her decision-making.

Joining The Country's Jamie Mackay for the final time in 2020, Ardern reflected on the highs and lows of the year.

Mackay asked if her electoral success in October meant that her wings had been clipped, Ardern says that Labour is sticking to what they campaigned for during the election campaign. 

She did not agree that the huge swing towards Labour means she will have to remain in the centre. 

"The things I talk about now are the things I talked about in 2017. I haven't changed the agenda that we have, and that's because the problems that New Zealand faces haven't changed either." 

Ardern says that she remains pretty consistent in her views.

"I'm still the pragmatic idealist that I've always been."

Asked if she would miss her previous Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, Ardern told Mackay it would be "totally revisionist" to critique their "decent relationship".

"It was tough. We didn't always agree, that would be agiven. But we did have a good working relationship."

She says there is "a simplicity" to the relationship they have now. 

Ardern also discusses the impact of Covid-19 on the country, water reforms for farmers, and the climate emergency.

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