Prime Minister and Labour leader Jacinda Ardern hasn't yet set a date for the general election but she says her party has time before then to improve the polling deficits between National and Labour and herself versus National leader Christopher Luxon.
Ardern was talking to teaomaori.news today following a shocking Newshub Reid Research poll results showing Labour at 32%, down six points, its lowest in this poll since she became leader, while National was up slightly to 40%. National and ACT would have the seats to govern on these numbers.
Ardern is still the preferred leader at just under 30%, dropping 6.5 points while Luxon is dropped a few points to 21.5%.
“Labour has come back from more difficult positions than before and I am confident that we can do it again but it will, of course, take us continuing to focus on the No. 1 concern for New Zealanders, which is the cost of living right now.”
The Labour Party conference was held last weekend. with the Maōri caucus sessions behind closed doors, and suggestions that deputy leader Kelvin Davis wasn't being allowed to speak in an open session. Concern was expressed that the Māori perspective on Three Waters reforms and co-governance was less visible.
But Ardern said the party had always had the Māori open sector day on the Friday of the conference, which she attended. “There are some things that we welcome people into, everyone including the media and there are other parts where we will have members speaking and they don’t always want to be on camera.” She said Davis did speak in an open session.
Arden was also asked about Gumboot Friday, an organisation raising funds to help mentally ill rangatahi in need to connect with counsellors or therapists. Its leader Mike King has pleaded to the nation to support the organisation but says the government is apprehensive to aid the cause.
Ardern said the government had been supporting the Gumboot Friday charity but was separately trying to fix what she said was the main issue, the lack of access to help and support for young people and improving those outcomes.
“Over two years we have supported Gumboot Friday through the trust that works through Gumboot Friday to help with their operational and administrative cost so they can focus on what they’re doing but, at the same time, I think they would also like to be focused on fixing the system.”
'Pack the stadium'
King recently said that "if you put your faith in the system, there's a better than even chance that your child will die because no one is coming" but Ardern said she and king didn't agree on everything though they had the same aspiration of wanting children to be healthy and well.
Meanwhile on the Black Ferns due to play the Women's Rugby World Cup final against northern hemisphere rival and top-ranked team England, Ardern said she recognisesd the Black Ferns as an incredible team and exceptional role model.
“To watch what they have been doing for the game and for our young people has been such a privilege; I want to thank them for what they are doing for us, it’s more than a game and in my mind, we should pay tribute to them by packing out the stadium, that’s the least we can do.”