Positive differences for many in South

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern takes a selfie with Waitaki Boys' High School pupils during a visit to the school in 2018. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern takes a selfie with Waitaki Boys' High School pupils during a visit to the school in 2018. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reflects on two years in Government, and outlines what has been achieved in the South.

It's been almost two years since my Government came to office. Every day I'm thankful for the chance to serve our community as Prime Minister.

I'm humbled by the trust you've placed in me and the team, and I work each day to repay that trust with action.

That's why I'm so proud that, over the past two years, we've made real progress on the long-term challenges facing New Zealand.

These challenges didn't develop overnight and getting thing back on track takes time, but we've made a good start.

In the letters and emails I receive from people here in Otago, I've heard about how the Government's actions are making a positive difference for your community, whether that's higher wages, extra support with heating through winter, or extended paid parental leave.

Because of the big, long-term challenges we're facing - like climate change, and the legacies of the housing crisis and child poverty - it can sometimes be easy to forget how far we've come.

But, two years on from the election, I want to take this opportunity to take stock.

Two years ago, we set ourselves an ambitious goal: to make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child. Since then, we've started taking steps to get there - like building hundreds of classrooms across the country to ensure Kiwi kids get the best possible start in life.

In Otago, we're building one new school, upgrading another, and we're building a further 17 classrooms over four schools. This means more children will be learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms.

We're making big investments in mental health, and we're delivering better cancer care through increased access to new treatment equipment and drugs.

We've funded two new air ambulances for the southern region, and we've fast-tracked the redevelopment of Dunedin Hospital, because people in Otago have waited too long for access to 21st-century health facilities.

We're investing record amounts in road safety and public transport.

We're helping more Kiwis save on fuel costs and to cut their emissions by giving low-emission transport a huge boost. In Dunedin, we're expanding the EV charging network, providing free public charging at more locations.

We've also banned overseas speculators to help get more first-home buyers into homes. We've stopped the sell-off of state houses, and we've already built more than 2000 new state homes. We're working hard to ensure everyone has a warm, dry home.

We're working with business on our plan to build an economy that works for everyone, not just a few.

And, together with our hard-working rural community, we're ensuring we have thriving, sustainable regions.

In Otago and Southland, we've made a significant investment to provide a bright future for agricultural trainees, and we're supporting farmers to reach record high exports, while also making sure New Zealand is the most sustainable food producer in the world.

All of this work is getting us further down the path towards a more equitable and sustainable future, and we'll see all of these investment pay off for generations to come.

While there's still plenty more to do, I'm incredibly proud of the progress we've already made for New Zealanders.


Well she has certainly made an impact, but realising selfie opportunities, seems to be the pinnacle of her achievements.

In a sense are they trying to tell us that we stink when it comes to running our lives without state intervention?

This year was the year of the delivery we are still waiting / we need a government../ next year I hope we get one ../

Local journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Otago Daily Times reporters and photographers continue to bring you the stories that matter. For more than 158 years our journalists have provided readers with local news you can trust. This is more important now than ever.

As advertising drops off during the pandemic, support from our readers is crucial. You can help us continue to bring you news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter