New Zealand, Babies, PMs and Trailblazing

New Zealand, Babies, PMs and Trailblazing June 22, 2018

I am unashamedly a Kiwi-phile. I lived in New Zealand for a year after university, backpacking about, holidayed there as a child (when we lived in Hong Kong), have many good friends there, and one of my sisters lives there (married to a Commonwealth Gold Medalist, no less). I’ve always been a big fan of their sports and culture (yes, their music and movies).

Which is why I am excited for the country of only some four million inhabitants to continue to be trailblazers in politics. They were the first country to give women the vote and now their female Prime Minister is the first in the Western world to have given birth whilst in office:

Ardern, 37, became New Zealand’s youngest prime minister since 1856 when she took office through a coalition deal last year after an inconclusive election, and now becomes the first woman in the country’s history to give birth while in office.

In 1990, Benazir Bhutto gave birth to a daughter while serving as Pakistan’s prime minister, a first for an elected world leader.

But, in typical fashion, it was delightfully underplayed:

Commentator Morgan Godfrey lauded the baby’s understated arrival.

“Jacinda Ardern arrived at hospital in her own car, with Clarke driving,” he wrote on Twitter. “No Crown limo or special ambulance. Her baby was delivered in a public hospital alongside everyone else’s. No private hospital. No extra special attention. New Zealand, remain your understated self.”

I just wanted to give them props.

As I will for Nandor Tanczos, for his Rastafarian dreads as an MP:

I absolutely love his valedictory speech. This is soooooooo worth a watch (“I came to Parliament thinking you’re all a bunch of bastards”).

He did a good job on resigning, the end of that speech including:

The Green Party politician, who says he smokes marijuana “for religious reasons”, claimed the first thing he had done when he entered Parliament in 1999 was buy a watch and he had been “cuffed” to it ever since.

“So today I remove that shackle, because when I look at the state of our rivers, our atmosphere and our people I don’t need a watch to tell me what time it is,” the dread-locked lawmaker said before smashing his watch with a hammer.

Tanczos announced earlier this year that he intended to quit politics because it had changed his life.

I digress. Anyway, something different for you. Keep it up, NZ!


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