Ardern 'like Trump on immigration,' Wall Street Journal says

New Zealand politics crosses the ditch, and the Pacific Ocean.

Once upon a time, NBR compared (then) Labour leader Andrew Little to Donald Trump, based on their shared hostility to the TPP.

Now the Wall Street Journal has drawn a line between Labour’s new leader and the US president, though this time on a different topic.

“Meet New Zealand's Justin Trudeau – except she's more like Trump on immigration,” the paper tweeted overnight, linking to a Jacinda Ardern profile that’s running in its print and online editions.

It notes “Ms Ardern wants to cut the annual net migration figure by up to 30,000 people a year to help more New Zealanders find work and own homes as well as to take the pressure off infrastructure — especially in the commercial capital Auckland, which is often clogged with traffic.”

The article does not canvass the complications of skills and labour shortages in construction, the health sector, agriculture and other sectors, though it does include a quote from Bill English that choking immigration would risk a slowdown.

Elsewhere in the US, The New York Times has a Labour leader wrapup titled New Zealand’s Election Had Been Predictable. Then ‘Jacindamania’ Hit. It includes the line from Ms Ardern (and what is it about muesli bars and this election?): “I can tell you a number of times where I’ve been standing in the aisle looking at rows of muesli bar boxes and people have come up to give me their opinion or to ask for help. And that’s just the way it is here.”

Even Fox News has run a snippet saying "Few doubt the impact of the 37-year-old, who most people are now referring to simply as "Jacinda."

And then there's this immortal effort by CNN, which uses a tweet by yours truly to illustrate Jacindamaia in the NZ Herald.

Amusingly, CNN did not include a counter-attack tweet by Shayne Currie after the Herald editor painstakingly went through the latest print edition of NBR to count the number of Jacinda references (the answer wasn't pretty, so I won't link to it).

Meanwhile, across the ditch
The new Labour leader’s rise has also raised the profile of New Zealand politics across the Tasman, where it’s so often simply ignored.

“A 37-year-old former DJ who has never held public office is within striking distance of becoming prime minister,” offers The Australian.

And the Sydney Morning Herald recently ran a piece that begins “Something amazing has been happening in New Zealand … Ardern is already earning comparisons to Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron and Barack Obama … Superficial analyses of the new leader's success may focus on the fact that she is 37, a part-time DJ, likes a whisky and is telegenic. Compared with Prime Minister Bill English – dutifully in Parliament since 1990 – she is a rock star. You only have to hear the new Labour leader speak to understand her appeal.”


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