New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern was challenged by her team to finish the list in two minutes.
In a video uploaded online, PM Ardern said, “This week is the two year anniversary of the creation of this government and the team has decided to set me a little challenge, to see whether or not I can run through the last two years in two minutes. So here’s some key headline achievements, not everything.”
She started out her list strong, “We’ve created 92,000 jobs. We’ve built more than 2,200 state houses. We’ve banned offshore speculators. We’ve planted 140 million trees. We’ve got better cancer care through radiation machines, pharmac funding and created a central cancer agency. We’ve delivered cheaper doctor visits for over half a million people.”
“We’re taking mental health seriously with mental health advisers in GPs and doctors clinics across the country. We’ve increased minimum wage to $17.70. We’ve hired 2000 more doctors and nurses. We’re building more classrooms in schools for 100,000 students. We’ve brought unemployment to the lowest rate in eleven years,” she continued.
She added, “We’ve got the highest increase in wages in a decade. We’ve helped one million Kiwis pay their bills with the winter energy payment. We’ve boosted incomes for 384,000 families through the family package. We’ve increased school funding so parents don’t have to pay school donations and NCEA fees. We’re breaking the cycle of family and sexual violence with massive boosts in funding.”
“We’ve deployed 1607 new police officers. We’ve made state highways safer. We’ve banned single use plastic bags. We’ve started the cleanup job on our rivers and lakes through planting trees and fencing waterways. We’ve supported young people into training and apprenticeships. We’ve introduced a free-lunches-in-schools program. We’ve provided more funding for addiction treatment beds and services,” she added.
“We’re paying teachers, nurses and police officers more. We’ve resumed contributions to the super-fund. We’ve set standards for rental homes. We’ve extended paid parental leave. We’ve ramped up the research, development and tax incentives. We’re helping homeless individuals into homes through housing first. We’ve banned military style semi-automatic and assault rifles.”
“We’ve introduced the zero carbon bill. We’ve started fixing run down hospitals. We’ve invested in public transport, extended nurses in schools to cover decile four and five secondary schools for almost 30,000 extra students. We’ve passed the child poverty reduction act and have lifted between 50 and 70,000 children out of poverty. We’ve provided the first funding increase in ten years to early childhood education.”
The New Zealand PM went over her two minute limit but kept going. She said, “We’ve banned smoking cars in children. We began the royal commission of inquiry into historical abuse in state care and in care of faith-based institutions. We’ve set up a suicide prevention office and developed a suicide prevention strategy. We’ve created mana and ake, putting mental health support in every primary and intermediate school in Christchurch, in Kaikoura.”
“We gave families an extra $3000 a year for the first year of a child’s life. We’ve boosted funding for ambulances. We’ve lifted the cap on gender reassignment surgery. We banned micro-beads. We’ve boosted funding for Kiwirail. We’ve reduced the prison population for the first time in a decade. We established Te Arawhiti, the office for Maori Crown Relations to make the crown a better treaty partner,” she added.
“We increased New Zealand’s refugee quota. We’re leading on the Christchurch call to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online. And we’re making sure New Zealand history is taught in all schools and kura,” she concluded.
After finishing, she looked at the clock and winced. “Two minutes 50 secs. But a great list,” she said.
Jacinda Ardern is New Zealand’s youngest Prime Minister ever.
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