There are times when as a politician you have to bite your tongue which is a little difficult when the cameras are rolling and the microphones are waiting for the reply.

But the question was simple enough: What parts of Donald Trump's speech did you agree with?

The tongue must have been aching, the time that elapsed said it all, not that there was much to say in reply anyway.


Jacinda Ardern clearly didn't agree with much of what the American President said in his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

His urging of leaders to embrace patriotism over socialism must have made her cringe given that it was just ten years ago that she was elected President of the International Union of Socialist Youth.

But that wouldn't have been all that she disagreed with, and even though she wouldn't say it directly, it was his blistering attack on Iran and how its leaders, sitting in the audience, had ripped off the country's treasury, lining their own pockets while getting the terrorists to fight the wars in the Middle East that must have given her pause for thought.

The Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran's been scrapped by Trump who told his audience that it shouldn't be allowed to have dangerous weapons capable of striking every city on earth, like much of what Trump says, something of an overstatement.

But while Ardern wouldn't directly take issue with Trump's assertion, she did say in New Zealand's view the deal is that it had actually been working to control the proliferation of nukes, a view shared by other countries in Europe.

Certainly with the President's speech you weren't left guessing about what he didn't like, whether it was the World Trade Organisation, which he said had thrown the rulebook out, allowing countries to do everything to disadvantage America, to oil rich countries who they defend for nothing and are then ripped off with rising petrol prices.

And he's tired of being the "biggest giver of foreign aid in the world by far" with few giving anything back to them and has indicated that money in the future may only go to those countries who have America's interests at heart.

Now that's certainly how to buy friends and influence no-one. It's obviously hard to be an American.


Ardern was careful not to criticize the President directly but she didn't need to.

Her view is diametrically opposed to his, said simply after her long pause in front of the cameras.

We benefit by predictability, by the rulebook, by world order.

We'll keep moving away from tit for tat trade wars, away from anything that takes us away from that predictability that we rely on so heavily.

Don't fret, we don't get aid money from the United States.

All the way to the USA with our National carrier Air New Zealand, this is Barry Soper