This Government is six months old and you might have seen a piece or two about the place marking them.

Various ministers have been given scores - the weirdest one I saw was Chris Hipkins, who received a good score with the explanation that he'd launched a review into education.

But launching a review isn't a skill and, ironically, if you're looking at the performance of this Government so far this is what they'll be remembered for.

For an alternative view, here's Simon Wilson's take on the Government's first six months


No one launches reviews like them. We have more reviews than they actually have MPs.

I'm not going to give them a score by the way, it's a bit simplistic, but that to me is the overarching view I have of this Government after half a year in power. They're out of their depth. They had nine years looking on in opposition and nine years to formulate a plan.

Three terms to build up a portfolio of ideas and, yet when it came to it, nothing, no confidence to get on with it, just myriad reviews. Some of which are kicked out as long as their entire first term.

Naivety is also in the stuff they've either backed down on, or misled us on, from new taxes (of which the excise is unquestionably one), the GST on online overseas purchases yesterday (which is arguably one), to the doctor visits which aren't happening as promised.

There has been an air of: "Whoops, didn't see that coming. Oh dear, that was more expensive than we thought." And with it has come a grandiose series of explanations and excuses as to why it's all perfectly justifiable.

Let's be honest, you can mark ministers until you're blue in the face but elections and governments rise and fall on leadership. And of the four we are dealing with, all have struggled to a degree.

Green co-leader James Shaw has been very solid. His gas exploration win is a major for his party and movement and, importantly, he's kept his nose clean. Marama Davidson got the co-leadership role and has since literally vanished.

Winston Peters has almost vanished, so in that sense hasn't done a lot wrong. But you get the sense that by vanishing he doesn't have to be around to explain why the hell he chose the scenario we now have running the country. His party's regional fund, as run by Shane Jones, could well be the thing that saves them - but so far it's been mired in mess and nepotism charges.


Not to mention the contrast of on one hand being a champion of the regions, while gutting Taranaki on the oil deal. It makes no sense. And standing there saying "that's MMP" isn't going to win you any votes.

So that leaves us with Jacinda Ardern, the last poll with the five-point drop is the tale of her first six months. That spectacular rise, the good will, the belief that something new and big was happening.

Quickly followed by the cold, hard reality that this really is a Government made up of very, very inexperienced operators.

Mad promises, from houses to coal mines that will haunt them in the end. And a genuine sense that even if driven by goodwill, they really have an L plate on the window. The advantage being they have time - two-and-a-half years and a solid economy, for now - to help.

Also they've held together: there were no shortage of critics saying this three-header was doomed. But so far, no real sign.

But look at the data, from business confidence to consumer confidence to growth forecasts: these six months have been the good days. The hard work hasn't even begun, and the numbers are ominous.

They'll go the three years, but Lord knows what sort of shape they'll be in come election time.