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Hipkins’ concession speech reiterates the ideology that lost Labour the election

In brief
  • Chris Hipkins chose to list, as Labour’s “accomplishments”,  many policies that seem to have sunk them in the election. 
  • Working people, whom Labour purports to defend, rejected these policies at the polls amid failing the basics: education, healthcare, crime, living costs.  
  • It’s odd Hipkins is “incredibly proud” of co-governance policies, which he tried repeatedly to obfuscate, deny, and downplay. 

Hipkins reflects on Labour’s “accomplishments”

The concession speech by (soon to be former) Prime Minister Chris Hipkins listing Labour’s six years of “accomplishments” ironically illustrates what led to their resounding defeat in the general election.

“We moved towards better honouring of the Treaty and I am incredibly proud of that.”

“Honouring the Treaty” has been Labour’s euphemism for the anti-democratic co-governance agenda and stealthy insertion of the controversial Treaty “Principles” throughout Government. The result has been a more divided nation and policies favouring one race over another.

During the leader’s debate, Hipkins resorted to calling his opponents racists. Throughout his tenure, he tried repeatedly to ignore, distract and deny co-governance until late in the campaign when he and others in Cabinet admitted that they never explained their agenda “well enough” to voters.

It’s a strange view of democracy that Hipkins is “incredibly proud” of Labour’s efforts to transform the constitutional framework of the country in a duplicitous manner without a mandate.

The voters’ rejection of this Government’s interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi, which is perhaps this Government’s greatest mess to unwind, was made obvious in Labour’s crushing defeat.

“We rebuilt and increased police numbers. We increased the numbers of teachers, nurses and doctors and we increased their pay.”

Prime Minister-elect Christropher Luxon has described crime as “out of control”. Many would concur. It’s widely understood that Labour’s soft-on-crime policies have made streets less safe. Labour’s late-stage efforts to increase police numbers were offset by their policy of emptying prisons and courting the gang vote.

Educational achievement and school attendance is in free-fall under Labour.

Teachers only received pay raises after massive strikes took place.

There’s also unrest in the healthcare sector. NZ is suffering a drain as skilled healthcare workers head to Australia for better pay. Despite billions poured into programmes to fight COVID (not to mention splitting healthcare into two systems based on race), healthcare is in a state of crisis.

Chris Hipkins reflecting on Labour's election defeat
Labour may want to consider policies, which are of interest to traditional Labour supporters. Image: Labour Party

“We saved lives and recorded the lowest number of COVID deaths in the developed world.”

Hipkins is cherry picking data to spin the COVID narrative in order to make the claim of lives saved. Many think the Government’s COVID response was overplayed with considerable unnecessary cost to the economy, education and healthcare.

And that is not to mention the divisiveness.

No doubt Labour’s early response to COVID was popular and even effective. Just as clearly, not so much for the later aspects. An example is continuing with extensive mandates in the face of the much milder Omicron, with vaccines that were by then widely known to be ineffective.

“We reduced carbon emissions three years in a row, finally bending the curve on climate change.”

Is there any data that supports this? It could be true, at least when COVID was curtailing activity. In any event, Labour’s interest in world-leading green policies is disproportionate to the possible contribution NZ can make. New Zealand contributes only a sliver of global greenhouse emissions and so could only ever architect a symbolic rather than substantive change.

“We sought to bring people together. To unite, not divide.”

It is glaringly obvious that NZ is far more divided than six years ago. A lack of social cohesion has become a major problem under this Government. Playing the voters for fools with an unchallenging media contributed to the problem, and Hipkins’ concession speech was more of the same.

Hipkins vows to “keep fighting for working people”, but Labour may need to refocus their policies towards those that working people actually endorse.

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