The conservative National Party has emerged as the big winner in New Zealand’s election, roundly beating Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party in what’s being interpreted as a rejection of the Net Zero policies which were harming the country’s farmers, as well as revenge for the draconian lockdowns Ardern imposed. The Telegraph has more.
New Zealanders resoundingly elected a new conservative Government on Saturday, as incumbent Prime Minister Chris Hipkins conceded that Labour’s six years in power were over.
The National Party’s Christopher Luxon said New Zealanders had “reached for hope and voted for change” after a campaign dominated by an increasingly difficult economic situation and a backlash against the Labour party’s environmental policies among farmers.
“It’s a weight off our shoulders,” said sheep and beef farmer Joe Lloyd, watching election coverage on TV from his living room in the Waikato region. Mr. Lloyd had been hoping for a National-ACT coalition, and put his vote behind the minority party due to its staunch stance on standing up for rural communities.
Alastair Reeves, another Waikato-based sheep and beef farmer, said he was “thrilled” about the new government. “Labour pitted urban New Zealand against rural New Zealand, and undermined our businesses by painting us as the polluters of the planet. We’ve been bombarded by regulations. They did everything they could to knock farmers’ confidence,” he said.
Saturday’s result was a dramatic contrast to Labour’s landslide victory under Jacinda Ardern’s leadership in 2020.
Mr Hipkins bowed out of the contest with just 85% of the votes counted. The National Party and its coalition partner were projected to win 61 seats – enough to secure a majority in New Zealand’s 120-seat parliament.
Formerly the CEO of Air New Zealand, Mr. Luxon campaigned to “get our country back on track”.
The message resonated with a population suffering under a cost-of-living crisis and worried about unprecedented spates of violent crime. …
Many New Zealanders also hadn’t forgiven Ms. Ardern for how she handled the COVID-19 pandemic.
Policies like barring overseas New Zealanders from returning home, enforcing harsh lockdowns, mandating the vaccine and refusing to face up to mandate protestors camped outside parliament, all contributed to her declining popularity before her resignation.
While her policies helped New Zealand maintain its impressively low death rate, the country’s High Court went on to deem some of the government’s pandemic policies as “unjustifiable” in a functioning democracy.
The agriculture industry had it particularly tough under Labour’s six years in power. It weathered an onslaught of green initiatives that were cricised by farmers and opposition parties as unnecessary at best, harmful to the country at worst.
Had Labour remained in power, one of these would have been the world’s first tax on methane belched and farted by livestock – by 2026. A bitter pill to swallow, New Zealand farmers felt, given they are some of the most greenhouse gas-efficient food producers in the world.
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