Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

What’s wrong with some Kiwis??


In a recent Colmar Brunton poll conducted for TVNZ’s One News, 18% of the population believe that our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s ability to govern the country will be negatively impacted by the birth of her first child in June. That means almost one in five Kiwis believe motherhood is incompatible with running a country! I thought we were beyond that sort of thinking.

There have been several PMs (Prime Ministers) in the past who have had children while in office, but I can not find a single poll that queried the nation’s opinion and about whether or not the upcoming birth would have a negative impact.

The difference? The other PMs were male. Strangely, although the number of comments by the public in the media are few, there does not seem to be a significant difference of opinion by gender in how becoming a parent might affect her ability to run the country.

Most comments have been around the fact that due to the many sleepless nights ahead, the PM will not be in a condition to make wise decisions. For goodness sake! This is Aotearoa New Zealand. Most Kiwi fathers will have just as many sleepless nights as their partners, and during the night might even change the baby’s nappy (nappy = diaper) more often than his partner, leaving her to perform the one task he is incapable of: breast feeding. The odds are that previous PMs have also been just as sleep deprived as Jacinda will be.

Why did One News think up the idea that a poll on her ability to govern was even newsworthy? This has me somewhat baffled. Perhaps they thought it might be more controversial that it turned out to be? There’s no doubt in my mind that news media are just as capable of creating news as they are of reporting it.

Perhaps they wanted to show how progressive we as a nation are. If so, that fact that one in five of us think that motherhood is incompatible with a major role outside the home reveals we are not as progressive as we like to imagine.

On the other hand, if the intent was to create controversy by illustrating how conservative and traditional we are in contrast to our image of ourselves as being progressive and liberal, especially regarding gender roles, the result must be disappointing. The response from the public has been much along the lines of “(Yawn) So? (Yawn)”.

For those who missed the results in the clip above, the results of the poll How do you think becoming a parent will affect Jacinda Ardern’s performance as Prime Minister? are:
59% No difference
18% worse than now
15% better than now
6%  don’t know
1%  refused to answer

Thank goodness, no one has conducted a poll regarding the appropriateness of the PM being in a relationship that is not formalised in the manner of a marriage or civil union. I can be reasonably confident that the reason for there being no such poll is because (a) more than 90% of the population would consider it irrelevant, and (b) it would bring out the very worst of the very small number religious fundamentalists who like nothing better than to vilify anyone who doesn’t conform to their ideas of morality. While controversy might be good for business, being seen as vehicle for hatred and bigotry is not. Perhaps this is just a “Kiwi thing” that extreme views are not encouraged.

When I think about the fact the the leaders of the two political parties that make up the current government (Jacinda Ardern of Labour and Winston Peters of New Zealand First and who are also Prime Minister and deputy Prime Minister respectively) are not married to their partners, yet no one here thinks anything of it (the few religious fundamentalists excluded), or considers it in any way remarkable, perhaps we are somewhat progressive in our thinking after all.

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and discovered I am autistic at the age of sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

8 thoughts on “What’s wrong with some Kiwis??

  1. Consider yourself lucky that only 18% of New Zealand’s population are Neanderthals. Here in America, that figure would be more than doubled.

    • Bob you don’t paint a very good picture of the land of milk and honey. But it must have something to do with evangelicals

      • Evangelicals, idiocy, and a bunch of other unfortunate trends in America.

        • It’s particularly unfortunate because they spread their bad manners everywhere they go

          • That’s so true. They are still only a tiny minority here, but they are the only branch of Christianity that is growing.

            • The problem with such a minority is they tend to make so much noise. You would think they are the majority

            • Our tendency towards inclusiveness and the difficulty of creating social bubbles means that it’s more difficult to form extreme groups here than elsewhere. What I find worrying is the high level of religiosity of the fundamentalist kind we see in many immigrants. One in four residents here are immigrants, and the numbers who are religious is around twice the rate of native born. Moreover the proportion who are fundamentalist and/or evangeligal Christian is significantly higher. Immigrants from other traditions such as Hindu and Sikh seem to be more tolerant and in fact those two traditions are the fastest growing.

              I don’t know what the answer is. The state approving some traditions while banning others is a slippery slope I would utterly oppose, but on the other hand I don’t want to see a decline in inclusiveness, acceptance and tolerance that is one of our better characteristics.

            • I don’t even know if there is a solution. Christianity and Islam are religions that actively seek to convert. And fundamentalists, I think work so hard to get a following and make a lot of noise. It may change the landscape to something you will not recognize

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