Peters: No dysfunction junction
Coalition in show of unity, with NZ First leader denying he’s the tail wagging dog
Ppolitics rime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Greens co-leader James Shaw presented a united front at an event in which Ardern outlined the next steps in the Government’s plans.
With the first anniversary of the formation of the coalition Government next month, and with some public division recently on policy, Ardern delivered what, she said, was the “Cabinet-mandated, coalition Government work plan”.
“This plan represents our shared vision and priorities; Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens,” Ardern told an audience at the AUT campus in Auckland yesterday afternoon.
Peters made opening remarks before Ardern’s speech, and the trio appeared at a media conference later.
Ardern outlined 12 priority areas in the economy, wellbeing and government leadership. She said they reflected contributions from each party and reiterated the commitments set out in documents such as the coalition and confidence in supply agreements.
“This plan represents our shared vision and priorities . . . It establishes the foundation for the Government’s work and includes issues of particular importance to each of the parties which are supported by all of them.”
Through the 12 priority areas, New Zealanders could clearly see what the Government was doing and what its priorities were, and provided certainty on its direction. The plan will be reviewed every six months.
Ardern addressed recent differences of opinion in the coalition.
“It should come as no surprise . . . that as three distinct parties, we will have different opinions and ideas.”
Peters put it more bluntly at the press conference later: “This is not dysfunction junction, like the previous administration. We know what we’re doing.”
He denied he was the tail wagging the dog — “I’m not a tail. None of us is a tail” — and said he was “extraordinarily happy” with the coalition.
Ardern said the three parties “genuinely” worked together.
National and Act wrote off yesterday’s speech as a “TEDx Talk” of little substance. National leader Simon Bridges said Ardern was “desperate to show a united Government after the shambles of the past few weeks”.
Act leader David Seymour called it “underwhelming”.
HFor video go to nzherald.co.nz
New Zealand First’s Winston Peters, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and James Shaw from the Greens outline the next steps in the Government’s plans for New Zealand.