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  • Writer's pictureGuy Hatchard

How Jacinda Ardern Stole New Zealand’s Cultural Heritage

How NZ will look if we don't act now!

Our island nation has a remarkable history of both tolerance and morality. We are far away from most of the world with a natural need for self-reliance and self-sufficiency. Like survivors cast away on a desert island, our safety and progress depends on our capacity to cooperate and assist one another—all of us are in the same waka. In 1893 for example NZ became the first nation to grant votes to women. Until recently, successive governments have sought to maintain equality before the law. We were early adopters of a universal national health policy. Our accident compensation insurance scheme is a no-fault system that acts as a safety net for everyone. In a nation prizing self-reliance, home ownership at 74% in 1991 was among the highest in the world. We have stood up to nuclear proliferation and sought to contribute to global initiatives in favour of peace keeping and fairness. We believe we are independent thinkers. As a trading nation we expect to be well informed about global trends. Our government’s draconian response to Covid-19 has come as a huge shock to many of us. We are asking ourselves “Why and how did this happen to us?”. Our situation has a history. We certainly underestimated the effects of globalisation and the national vulnerabilities it has created.

In 2009/10 Jacinda Ardern, a newly elected MP, gave a Q & A session at Auckland University Law School, my daughter asked her ‘How does she manage if she disagreed with her party on an issue?’. Ardern replied that it is unimaginable that such a situation would arise. Every single thing my party thinks, I think. I couldn’t entertain a different opinion than my party. No surprise then that Ardern expects absolute obedience under her leadership. She micromanages her government and MPs. No surprise also that having formed opinions, Ardern does not feel a need to reconsider them.

An end to open government

Ardern’s legacy in NZ is the closure of open government. The Ministry of Health (MoH) is busy hiding outcome statistics. OIA requests are treated in a cavalier fashion as Andrea Vance at Stuff reports

The Broadcasting Standards and Advertising Standards Authorities have both ruled that their supposed watchdog role is subservient to MoH policies—no need to look beyond government advice. The courts have summarily dismissed suits against mandates and ruled that the NZ Bill of Rights can be circumvented. The MoH has denied requests for mandatory reporting of vaccine injuries, thereby hiding their extent (which is 30 times greater than any prior vaccine). Children 12-18 can be vaccinated at school WITHOUT their parents permission, government advertising encourages them to do so. Given the constant slick saturation advertising which we sit through every day and night on YouTube, television and radio telling us that the Covid Pfizer vaccination including the booster is safe, desirable, essential, and protective against all variants, it is no surprise that this has split NZ down the middle. Footage of teens concluding ‘sweet as’ and ‘safe for summer’ only encourage scapegoating of the unvaccinated. Children are offered free food and treats to present for vaccination. Unvaccinated children have been denied access to school activities as a further incentive to ignore their parent’s wishes. Doctors asking questions are deregistered or prevented from consulting, one was recently for ‘too vigorously promoting the concept of informed choice’.

A hermit kingdom

Our borders have remained all but closed for two years, cutting off one million Kiwis living overseas from their families and roots. Ardern has hinted that there will be a permanent quarantine arrangement to enter NZ. If you read international reports you are asking why is our policy so out of step with other countries like Sweden, UK, and Denmark? If you follow the government’s advice and limit your sources of information to official announcements, you are fearful of a killer illness, outraged that not everyone has vaccinated, and disturbed that our government may not be able to afford a fourth booster for everyone. Families, including mine, have been split down the middle and ceased talking. Most remarkably New Zealand has all but given up keeping track of the implications of Covid science publishing for government policy. MoH websites display discredited information eight months out of date and stoke fear of the dreaded Omicron.

Our doors open to billionaires

It doesn’t stop there. During the last year house prices have risen by 30% as commercial money seeks safe havens. What is the government’s response—strict new lending rules which have denied housing loans to people who do even one of the following: subscribe to a streaming service, eat takeaways twice a week, attend therapy, have a gym membership, or buy one coffee a day. The length of paid maternity leave is curtailed from nine months to three months if you want to qualify for a mortgage. To police this, banks have been required to troll through minutia of their customer’s spending, intruding on formerly private personal information, and they are liable for a $200,000 government fine if they make a lenient assessment. Our home ownership rate has fallen to its lowest level in 70 years. Our tourist industry formerly worth $38 billion a year has disappeared along with the solvency of our hospitality assets. The Government’s response is that they now wish to go up market and designate NZ as an exclusive destination for the rich. Accordingly, billionaires like Peter Thiel are welcome to buy property and settle here to prep for the apocalypse.

A bad case of inflexibility

There is a famous psychological experiment known as the anomalous card experiment. Subjects are presented with playing cards quite rapidly and asked to identify them. But the pack being used contains a few false cards like a black ten of hearts of a red seven of spades. Subjects start by identifying all cards as real. They will comfortably assert that the red seven is in fact a spade with no sense of ambiguity. This reaction is known as dominance. As the pace of presentation of cards is slowed a period of confusion can result, subjects might say I am damned if I know what that one is. This gets resolved when the subject realises that there are such things as incongruous cards that you would not find in a normal playing deck. Some subjects however have great difficulty reaching this experience of resolution. Their dominant reaction may continue. You already know where I am going with this. Ardern has a dominant personality. She has now reached a stage where the obvious deficiencies in Covid policy and the changed data landscape evident in journal publications are not going to change the course she has already set.

Don’t get me wrong here, Chris Luxon, leader of the opposition, could have an even more severe case of dominance than Ardern. He has given interviews in which he asserts that mothers with unvaccinated children should be denied government support. His just released 10 point policy calls for accelerated incentives for Covid vaccination. His policy does not suggest mandates will be relaxed.

Where do Ardern’s policies originate?

Ardern’s Covid policies have enjoyed the uncritical support of NZ legacy media. Large cash grants to mainstream media outlets have cemented their support. This has been ably propped up by the quaint Ardern directive that the government should be your only source of information, all other sources are mere grains of salt. But where does the government get its information from? We are told that Ardern begins her day with a cup of coffee and a phone call with Helen Clarke (a former NZ PM and Ardern mentor). Clarke is recognised as a vocal supporter of WHO and advocate of tighter controls on social media content. My own experience is illustrative. In December, I put up a ten minute video of slides entitled 2021 Covid Stats For Kiwis. It solely contained official NZ government statistics about the pandemic and our economy. It registered 20,000 views in a week, but was then taken down by YouTube on the advice of the Ministry of Health. Under Ardern, if government statistics are an embarrassment, they are hidden from the public. This allows government policy and propaganda to be formulated detached from reality.