Sir John Key's National Government ran 'a lot more competently' than Jacinda Ardern's Labour - Patrick Gower

  • 05/04/2023

Newshub's Patrick Gower says the Labour Government led by Jacinda Ardern wasn't as competent as the previous National administration.

Ardern resigned as Prime Minister earlier this year, saying she didn't have "enough in the tank" to continue leading New Zealand. 

She will deliver her final speech at Parliament on Wednesday evening.

Ardern also reflected on her time as Prime Minister in an interview with Newshub's Samantha Hayes, which aired on Tuesday. 

Discussing Ardern's departure, Gower, Newshub's former political editor, said she wasn't good at managing her Government.

"This is a political fact that, even now, the Government is still really shambolic when it comes to the basics.

"We've got someone sitting next to us who was in a Government who ran for nine years and it ran, in my opinion, a lot more competently - even in that last term," Gower said, appearing on AM's panel alongside Paula Bennett - who was a senior minister in the previous National Government.

Before her resignation, Ardern's popularity had significantly declined from the numbers she registered amid the height of the COVID-19 pandemic - during which time she received global praise for her leadership.

Gower said Ardern would bow out of politics with a "mixed record".

"My analysis of Jacinda Ardern is she was a political phenomenon - and that doesn't mean she was a phenomenal person or leader or anything like that - but… like any phenomenon, she blazed her way into leadership, knocked these guys out of Parliament and that beginning was incredible," he said, referring to Bennett's National Government. "But, like any phenomenon as well, she crashed and she burned and then there was a last little splurt with this amazing exit and that's, to me, what she was - a phenomenon who blazed, crashed and burned."

Bennett also thought Ardern's legacy as Prime Minister was mixed.

"I think she's going to try and write her history in her valedictory speech because it is up and down - lots of promises, lots of rhetoric… and then some great moments that we know," Bennett said. "I think we all, personally, just wish her absolutely the best."

Watch the full video for more.