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Ardern’s NZ Legacy: Part One

[Image © CUNY Academic Commons]

The political, social and economic landscape in New Zealand today is almost unrecognisable from that of two years ago, to anyone who cares to look with an open mind. But how much of the reshaping of our country is really due to a virus and how much is due to the personalities of those we put in charge?


Our island nation has a remarkable history of both tolerance and morality. We are far away from most of the world with a natural need for self-reliance and self-sufficiency. Like survivors cast away on a desert island, our safety and progress depend on our capacity to cooperate and assist one another—all of us are in the same waka.

In 1893 for example New Zealand became the first nation to grant votes to women. Until recently, successive governments have sought to maintain equality before the law. We were early adopters of a universal national health policy. Our accident compensation insurance scheme is a no-fault system that acts as a safety net for everyone.

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