Jacinda Ardern partly blames New Zealand public for housing crisis, Chlöe Swarbrick reacts with scathing emoji

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is receiving backlash online after saying the public is partly to blame for failure to tackle the housing crisis.

Last week Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr told media the issue wasn't identifying the problem, it was that politicians lacked "appetites for accepting policy recommendations".

But this week Ardern shifted blame for fixing the problem to Kiwis.

"I would say that actually the appetite for some of these policies also needs to come from the public," she told TVNZ on Monday.

"We've tried three times now to do things that specifically sit in that taxation category and there hasn't been wide support for that."

Ardern ruled out a capital gains tax under her leadership in April 2019 after Labour and the Greens were unable to reach a consensus with New Zealand First. 

The Prime Minister felt she did not have the support of New Zealanders, despite all members of the Government's Tax Working Group (TWG) led by Sir Michael Cullen recommending a CGT on the sale of residential rental properties. 

Ardern's comments drew a raised eye from Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick, who reacted with a scathing emoji.

"The right thing isn't always popular, but when it comes to more progressive taxation - including on capital - in NZ, it's more popular than not," she tweeted.

Swarbrick pointed to a 2019 Horizon Research poll showing 44 percent of Kiwis supported a CGT. Meanwhile, 35 percent opposed it, 16 percent were neutral and 6 percent did not know.

She also shared a screenshot of a Newshub article showing half of New Zealanders supported taxing our biggest earners at a higher rate.

Ardern's comments drew a barrage of other criticism online, with one person tweeting: "Not long ago Jacinda Ardern was like 'we're in this together, team of 5 million!' and now she's blaming us for the housing crisis. Life comes at you fast."

Former National staffer and commentator Ben Thomas said it was a shift in tone for Ardern.

"On the one hand, voters making bank off their property would hate any taxation on it whatever they say in the Stuff comments, but on the other, blaming the public (and esp her base!) is very out of character for Ardern and cuts across her brand."

Ardern's decision to rule out a CGT has left her open to attacks from her left. She's criticised by Swarbrick's fellow Green Party MP Julie Anne Genter earlier in November.

"I don't think anyone can seriously claim that the 'New Zealand people' ruled it out for as long as Jacinda is PM," Genter said on Twitter.

In the comment section someone wrote: "Right? I was like, um, did I miss a referendum or something?"

Genter replied: "Exactly."

Even Young Labour and the union movements turned on Labour after Ardern ditched the tax.

"It was a let-down. We thought this was an opportunity to make our tax system fairer, for everyone to pay their fair share," Richard Wagstaff from the Council of Trade Unions said in the 2019 aftermath.

"We have lost that chance now and, of course, we are really disappointed."