Ardern on Tauranga by-election, Covid-19 & the flu

Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is downplaying the suggestion the Tauranga by-election was a drubbing for the Labour Party, saying it is hard to read anything into the result.

National's Sam Uffindell won by more than 6000 votes, well ahead of Labour's Jan Tinetti and ACT's Cameron Luxton.

But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says Tinetti received one of the better results the party has seen in Tauranga in a number of decades.

"I think actually for by-elections, it's very hard to read into them as someone who's run in a by-election myself because it's just simply not the same as in general elections, you don't often have every party represented, so I'm not quick to read into individual outcomes."

Tinetti came in with a very similar proportion of the vote to what Labour did in Tauranga when it became government in 2017, Ardern says.

But it's difficult to extrapolate too many lessons from by-elections, she says.

"Of course hearing from Jan and what she was hearing and experiencing, we listen to that in the same way as what we hear and experience with all of our MPs and every Tuesday we reflect on that in our caucus meeting."

Ardern acknowledges that it's tough for many people at the moment.

"People do see the government taking every effort we can to try and ease those pressures on people and Jan heard that out on the streets as well."

People were likely look to the international environment and see that New Zealand was not the only country currently dealing with significant inflation and energy issues, says Ardern.

"It is our job to ease the impact of that and that's what our Budget initiatives were all about."

Covid-19 traffic light settings

Flu is now a greater cause of respiratory hospitalisation in some Auckland hospitals than Covid-19, Ardern says when asked if the government is considering raising the Covid traffic light setting back to red.

"When you think about back when we changed to the orange settings, then we were looking at roughly a rolling average of 10,000 cases, we had over 500 hospitalisations, you know close to 30 in ICU.

"Our rolling average now is under 5000 cases, we've got about, what did we have yesterday - about 350 in hospital and five in ICU."

Some hospitals, particularly Counties Manukau, are currently experiencing significant pressure but it is not just Covid-19 but also flu and winter illnesses, says Ardern.

"Here I have an ask for the public, please get your flu vaccine, please wear your mask, it's not only helpful for Covid it's helpful for flu and please if your issues are non-acute but you do need medical attention, do also make use of Healthline."


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Tom Ranger

Posted on 20-06-2022 09:55 | By Tom Ranger

I'll read into it for you. People said get owt. I didn't even bother voting and I bet most of us didn't because we knew it was safe aaaaazzz.


Posted on 20-06-2022 10:27 | By Let's get real

I wonder what the truth would be if all eligible voters had turned out. Less than half of the Tauranga electorate could be bothered and presumably that indicates that even one-eyed Labour and Green supporters couldn't bring themselves to vote for this dysfunctional coalition.

spin master

Posted on 20-06-2022 11:11 | By Slim Shady

in a nosedive. spinning out of control. fake smile. fake as


Posted on 20-06-2022 12:32 | By Hugh Janis

This woman is, hands down, the worst thing to ever happen to New Zealand.

@Tom Ranger

Posted on 20-06-2022 13:14 | By morepork

While I respect your right to do what you want to, Tom, it really does not help if people don't vote. The point about your vote is that it sends a message. If turnout is low, the Government can excuse a bad result for them by saying: "Well, our candidate's percentage of the votes was pretty much what we expected, and the same as when we came to power." It was for this very reason that, when I remembered late in the cold, wet, afternoon, I made a point of going out and casting my vote. My message to this Government is: "Everybody's had enough. It's time for you to go." The number of votes cast, has a bearing on how emphatically this message gets across. Every non-Government vote underlines the percentage NOT in favour of the Government. I hope you'll reconsider when it comes to General Elections.

Hard to read into?

Posted on 20-06-2022 13:26 | By First Responder

Well, it won't be hard to read into next year's general election. You'll get the message loud and clear. We've had enough. All spin, no action. Back to your fish and chip shop.

Really . . .

Posted on 20-06-2022 16:17 | By Yadick

This group just have no idea what's going on. I hope the PM made a better difference with all her wisdom and knowledge in America than what she's made here. What a mess and they're on a hollow downward spiral but refuse to acknowledge it. Give the deck a reshuffle, change the hand that deals the cards and she'll be right. Well unfortunately, 'she'll be right' doesn't manage a country. Sam being the new boy on the block doesn't make it a given that National will hold the city yet Labour's Jan Tenetti gave up the race before it had even begun. Labour's out. The bandaids haven't stuck. It's time for them to go before the wounds fester more.

Jacinda Ardern

Posted on 21-06-2022 13:31 | By morepork

Despite the Labour Coalition causing untold damage to our country, I disagree with some of the comments here about the PM. She is far from the "worst thing" to ever hit NZ. She has shown herself to be intelligent, caring, and capable. But she is too weak to withstand the lobbying of the coalition and is quite OK with demolishing Democracy and reverting to tribal tikanga. Because she engages with people, she sees co-governance as a soft option that is placatory. She misses the big picture about our form of government, and she is easily manipulated by the vested interests whose support she needs to stay in power. Nevertheless, as a person, she deserves our respect and she gets it from me. I don't like her actions and I want her gone, but I still recognize the qualities she has.

@ morepork

Posted on 21-06-2022 21:51 | By groutby

....I tend to agree with your rational comments... and to say she is the 'worst thing to happen to New Zealand' quite harsh, although often understandable (IMO). I do agree that if you rise to a position of 'power' or authority via democratic means, then the position itself should be respected, as for the person that however for me may well differ..........

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