What diversity means
Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, continues her striking leadership by appointing two Opposition Party Members as Ministers in her new government. She also has a Maori as Foreign Minister and many gays in prominent jobs. While we have all been talking about diversity, Ms Ardern has done it. I congratulate her and those colleagues who have supported this keen, determined politician to do what she believes.
There will be some who find the pace too quick – some even in New Zealand, I shouldn’t wonder. But Governance is not a strawberry patch. You cannot pick and choose nearly as much as most people think. When you are moving fast – which, by any standards, Ms Ardern is – you have to have logic and vision in both eyes, not just one. The great world leaders have always been people who set the trend rather than followed it.
There is something very refreshing about a great leader appearing in New Zealand’s green and pleasant land. Situated at the tip of the world, her climate is likely to remain habitable for longer than most other places except, perhaps, Greenland and right now there’s no great demand to live there except from Mr Trump. And very shortly he may have to. For what a contrast the leader of the world’s richest country provides to Ms Ardern.
The recent polls have shown her success. Those in the US will soon show his. They are the exact opposite of each other, Trump and Ardern. Where she sees collaboration and unity, he sees combat and disruption. Leaders always have to be tough at times but the world has changed its attitude to the concept of leadership, very dramatically most recently. It wants to see the possibility of tough most of the time and the execution of it quite rarely. Actually, I think it was always like that but people were taught from young not to put their hand up and say so.
So we congratulate Jacinda Ardern once again.
You are doing what it says in the book. The difference is you are doing it. When courage grows and extends like yours we cheer your success and hope it will last a long time. One thing is sure. New Zealand has leapt forward in a way no other country has yet dared to. It is a shining example to the rest of the world. You will have the blessings of all the people, everywhere, whose lives you are changing for the better.
You have our blessings, too.
Ko te pae tawhiti whaia kia tata,
Ko te pae tata whakamaua kia tina.
The two lines of Maori say “Seek out distant horizons and cherish those you attain”.
I’ll leave you to guess the other bit of Maori.