NEW ZEALAND POLITICS: Jacinda Ardern Biography

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By Politicoscope August 20, 2017 12:35
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Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern (born 26 July 1980) is a New Zealand politician who has been the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition since 1 August 2017. Ardern grew up in Morrinsville and Murupara, where her father, Ross Ardern, worked as a police officer.

“I believe in an Auckland and a New Zealand that owns its future, and its assets, that is smart and grows the economy by investing in Research and Development, clean technology and supporting it’s small businesses.” – Jacinda Ardern

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NEW ZEALAND POLITICS: Jacinda Ardern Biography

Why I’m in politics
Politics is not an easy place to be – but I believe New Zealand has the potential to be even better than it is, and Parliament is one place where I can help make that happen When I was pretty young I lived briefly in a small town called Murupara, a place that was forgotten during the economic reforms of the 1980s, and which lost its main source of employment when the forestry industry was privatised. I saw then the level of poverty that exists in some parts of our country; I saw the impact of a lack of work and hope, and what happens when we don’t invest in our kids.

That’s why I’m in politics.

I believe in an Auckland and a New Zealand that owns its future, and its assets, that is smart and grows the economy by investing in Research and Development, clean technology and supporting it’s small businesses. One that has a world class public transport system that we can be proud of, invests in children, and is genuinely a world leader on environmental issues.

My experience
One of the most frequent questions I get asked is “what did you do before this?” Like many Kiwis, I was getting experience overseas. I worked as an Assistant Director in the Department for Business and Enterprise in London, trying to improve the way they regulated small businesses. I also worked on a review of Policing in England and Wales. I lived in New York, making meatballs at a soup kitchen, and before that, I was at home in New Zealand, working for Helen Clark. For many years I was also the President of an international political organisation with consultative status with the United Nations – it took me around the world from Beirut to Geneva, but also taught me how to manage an international Board – and that home was where I wanted to be. For more details, visit my LinkedIn page

Why Mt Albert
Mt Albert is my home. The first place I ever lived in Auckland, is now part of the Mt Albert seat. It welcomed me, showed me the tight knit communities that exist here, and is a place I would feel privileged to represent in Parliament. But like many parts of Auckland, Mt Albert would be even better with stronger policies at central government level on housing (including rental policy) and transport issues. We have low home ownership rates, congestion issues, and a need for strong integrated planning to make our suburbs even better. These are just some of the issues I am keen to talk about this election, but you’ll have ones you’re interested in too.

Jacinda Ardern Full Biography
Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern (born 26 July 1980) is a New Zealand politician who has been the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition since 1 August 2017. Ardern grew up in Morrinsville and Murupara, where her father, Ross Ardern, worked as a police officer. She attended the University of Waikato, graduating in 2001 with a Bachelor of Communication Studies (BCS) in politics and public relations.

She joined the Labour Party at a young age, and became a senior figure in the Young Labour branch of the party. After graduating from university, she spent time working in the offices of Phil Goff and of Helen Clark as a researcher. She later spent time in London, working as a senior policy advisor to Tony Blair. She was also seconded to the Home Office to help with a review of policing in England and Wales. In early 2008 she won election as the President of the International Union of Socialist Youth, a role which saw her spend time in countries such as Jordan, Israel, Algeria and China.

Member of Parliament
After a high placement on Labour’s party list for the 2008 election (her ranking at number 20 virtually guaranteed a seat in parliament), Ardern returned from London to campaign full-time. She also became Labour’s candidate for the Waikato electorate. Ardern was unsuccessful in the electorate vote, but was elected as a List MP. Upon election, she became the youngest sitting MP in Parliament, succeeding fellow Labour MP Darren Hughes, and remained the youngest MP until the election of Gareth Hughes on 11 February 2010.

Labour Parliamentary leader Phil Goff appointed Ardern as Labour’s spokesperson for Youth Affairs and as associate spokesperson for Justice (Youth Affairs).

Jacinda Ardern has featured as a panel guest on the TVNZ show Back Benches. The episode’s panel comprised young members of various political parties. On 19 November 2008, shortly after the 2008 general election, Ardern featured for the first time on this show. She featured again on Wednesday 23 June 2010.

She has also made regular appearances on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme as part of the “Young Guns” feature, in which she appeared alongside National MP Simon Bridges.

Ardern contested the high-profile Auckland Central seat for Labour in the 2011 general election, standing against incumbent National MP Nikki Kaye for National and Greens candidate Denise Roche. Despite targeting Green voters to vote strategically for her, she did not succeed in her bid to unseat Kaye, losing by 717 votes. However, she returned to Parliament via the party list. She maintained an office within the electorate while a listed MP based in Auckland Central.

After Goff resigned from the Party leadership following his defeat at the 2011 election, Ardern supported David Shearer over David Cunliffe. She was elevated to the fourth-ranking position in the Shadow Cabinet on 19 December 2011, becoming spokesperson for social development under new leader David Shearer.

Ardern stood again in Auckland Central at the 2014 general election. She again finished second though increased her own vote and reduced Kaye’s majority from 717 to 600. Ranked 5th on Labour’s list Ardern was still returned to Parliament where she became Shadow Minister of Justice, Children, Small Business and Arts & Culture under new leader Andrew Little.

Mount Albert by-election
Ardern announced that she intended to put forward her name for the Labour nomination for the Mount Albert by-election, to be held in February 2017. When nominations for the Labour Party closed on 12 January 2017, Ardern was the only nominee and was selected unopposed. She was confirmed as Labour’s candidate at a meeting on 22 January. Ardern won a landslide victory, gaining 77 percent of votes cast in the preliminary results.

Following her win in the by-election, Ardern was unanimously elected as deputy leader of the Labour Party on 7 March 2017, following the resignation of Annette King who was intending to retire at the next election. Ardern’s now vacant list seat was taken by Raymond Huo.

Leader of the Opposition
On 1 August 2017, just seven weeks before the 2017 general election, she assumed the office of Leader of the Opposition and leader of the New Zealand Labour Party following the resignation of Andrew Little, and was unanimously confirmed in an election to choose a new leader at a caucus meeting the same day. At 37, Ardern became the youngest leader of the Labour Party in its history. She is also the second female leader of the party after Helen Clark.

At her first press conference following her election as leader, she said that the forthcoming election campaign would be one of “relentless positivity”. Ardern’s election was followed by a spate of positive coverage from many sections of the media, with commentators referring to a ‘Jacinda effect’ and ‘Jacindamania’.

Political Views
Ardern has described herself as a social democrat, a progressive and a feminist. She has cited Helen Clark as a political hero. In her parliamentary maiden speech in 2008 Ardern affirmed her support for the welfare state as “a necessary safety net, and a support for those who are unable to support themselves”, and has spoken in support of trade unions. In 2017 she opposed the National Party’s plans for income tax cuts for high-income earners.

Ardern voted in favour of the Marriage Equality Bill, a bill which allowed same-sex couples to legally marry in New Zealand and in 2004, she paid $20 to have her name included in a “full page ad in a major New Zealand newspaper supporting the Civil Union Bill.”

Ardern supports the liberalization of abortion laws and advocates removing abortion from the Crimes Act of 1961. Ardern supports student loans being kept interest-free and has also expressed interest in the area of mental health. Ardern also took strong objection to the idea that women should have to tell their employer about their plans to take maternity leave in the future.

Ardern believes that the retention or abolishment of Māori electorates should be decided by Māori, stating “[Māori] have not raised the need for those seats to go, so why would we ask the question?”. She supports compulsory teaching of the Māori language in schools.

In August 2017 Ardern advocated a lower rate of immigration to New Zealand, suggesting a drop of around 20,000–30,000. Calling it an “infrastructure issue”, she has argued “there hasn’t been enough planning about population growth, we haven’t necessarily targeted our skill shortages properly…”.

Ardern accepts global warming. She has called for carbon emission reduction targets to be enshrined in New Zealand law.

Personal Life
Her boyfriend is media personality Clarke Gayford. Ardern was raised a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) but left the church in 2005 because it conflicted with her personal views, in particular her support for gay rights. She is not religious and in January 2017 said she was an agnostic.

– Jacinda Ardern Biography (Up Close/Jacinda Ardern)



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By Politicoscope August 20, 2017 12:35
Since You’re Here, We Would Like to ask You for Help
There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
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