The National Party smelled an opportunity after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this weekend released a video in which she listed 50 of her Government's achievements.
National took it upon itself to list a number of what it considered to be the Government's biggest failures in response.
The Herald fact-checked Ardern's viral video – so in the spirit of fairness, political reporter Jason Walls takes a closer look at the claims made by National in its video.
• Dumped KiwiBuild 1000 target:
True: As part of the KiwiBuild reset, the Government scrapped all of its targets, including having 1000 KiwiBuild homes built by July this year.
• Broke 'no new taxes' promise:
True: In September, while in opposition, Grant Robertson said: "There will be no new taxes or levies introduced in our first term of Government beyond those we have already announced."
But, the Government has introduced new taxes in its first term, including a tax on multinational companies, and the Auckland fuel tax.
• Dumped KiwiBuild 5000 target:
True: See 'Dumped KiwiBuild 1000 target'
• Dumped KiwiBuild 100,000 target:
True: See 'Dumped KiwiBuild 1000 target' and 'Dumped KiwiBuild 5000 target'
• Record low business confidence:
False: Business confidence is low – in fact it's at the lowest level since 2009. But it has been lower; according to ANZ it was lower than it is today back in the depths of the recession.
• Broke 1800 new police promise:
Misleading: The most recent numbers show that 1745 new police officers have been deployed since the Government took over. But this ignores the kerfuffle over the Coalition Government's "1800 new police" target, which Police Minister Stuart Nash said for two years included staff turnover, but Ardern last month declared that it only applied to new police recruits.
Although it's true to say the goal posts have been shifted, the promise was 1800 new police over three years – the Government still has time to get to the target.
• Dumped KiwiBuild criteria:
True: See 'Dumped KiwiBuild 1000 target' and 'Dumped KiwiBuild 5000 target' and Dumped KiwiBuild 100,000 target.
• Gang numbers up 26 per cent:
True: Between October 2017 and August 2019, there has been an overall increase of 1386 patched gang members, according to police data. That's a 26 per cent increase.
• Introduced Regional Fuel Tax:
True: The Government implemented a 10c per litre regional fuel tax midway through last year.
• Failed to deliver light rail:
False: There is no doubt that the Auckland Light Rail project has hit many snags and looks like the physical, shovel-in-the-ground work won't start until after the 2020 election. But it's still very much on the cards and saying the Government has "failed to deliver" is not correct.
• 22,000 more people on the dole:
True: In September 2017, there were 277,220 working-age people on the main benefit – the most recent figures from this year shows that number has jumped to 299,472 – a 22,252 increase.
• Hiked petrol taxes:
True: See "Introduced Regional Fuel Tax".
• Rents up $50 a week:
Misleading: According to MBIE, in some regions – such as Wellington – rents have increased by $50 a week compared to last year. But as a National average, rents have increased by $30 a week compared to last year.
• Broke promise to deliver 100 per cent qualified ECE teachers:
True: In Labour's pre-election fiscal plan it made this promise, but the Education Minister Chris Hipkins has since said his funding pitches for this have been knocked back.
• Proposed a Car Tax that will hardly reduce emissions:
True: According to Treasury, the Government's proposed feebate scheme, whereby it plans to slash the price of imported electric and hybrid vehicles by up to $8000 but slap a $3000 tax on the import of the highest greenhouse gas emitting cars, would not have a significant impact on emissions in New Zealand.
• Tripled the number of people living in motels:
Not quite true: In September 2017, there were 2900 people living in motels – that figure from this year was 6600 – not quite triple.
• Gave residency to a drug smuggler:
True: National is referring to Czech drug smuggler Karel Sroubek who was, indeed, granted residency by the Government.
• Broke promise to deliver a surgical mesh register:
Misleading … but: In opposition, Labour called on the Government to: "urgently launch a Ministerial inquiry into surgical mesh". But there is no sign of Labour promising to deliver on surgical mesh.
• Broke promise to strengthen the OIA:
False: In the speech from the throne, the Government promised to "strengthen transparency around official information". But Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced a review of the official information act, part of which would be looking into strengthening the legislation.
• Embarrassed into action on cancer by National:
False: This is a long bow to draw from the Nats. Simon Bridges did announce an action plan and called the Government out for not having one, despite promising to implement one. A couple of weeks after National's announcement, the Government said it would be creating a Cancer Control Agency.
Sure, critics say it took the Government too long to deliver, but it was one of Labour's pre-election promises so National's claim it "embarrassed" the Government into action is not correct.
• Failed to increase age of breast screening to 74:
True … but: The Labour/NZ First coalition agreement, the Government promised to: "Progressively increase the age for free breast screening to 74". This has not yet been done, but there are still a few months left until the next election so there is still time.
• Delivered fewer students through fees-free:
True: Despite the first year of university being free for students, the number of people attending tertiary education in 2018 was down slightly compared with the year prior, when the policy was not in effect.
• Failed to reduce the gender pay gap:
True: According to Stats NZ, the gender pay gap was 9.3 per cent in the June quarter of this year – it was 9.4 when this Government came into power in 2017.
• Cancelled tax cuts:
True: The previous National-led government did legislate for tax cuts in 2018. But the new Labour-led Government scrapped that, meaning the tax cuts didn't come into effect.
• Job growth more than halved:
True and then some: Looks like National have undercooked this one. Between September 2015 and September 2017, job growth was 9.6 per cent (or 224,000). Between September 2017 and September 2019, job growth was 3.2 per cent (82,000) people.
• Failed to reduce teacher/child ratios in early learning:
Cannot be proved: National say this was promised in Labour's 2017 Education Manifesto. A spokeswoman for the party said they are "sourcing info that shows this has not happened".
• Established 300 working groups:
Yes ... But misleading: Yes, National have pulled together a list of more than 300 "working groups". However it's dubious to call some of these, "working groups".
For example, National classes the "bid to host the International Working Group on Women in Sport" as a working group, as it does the Just Transitions Summit and the family violence joint venture.
• Massive DHB deficits:
True: The District Health Board deficit has jumped to $1 billion – almost all of that deficit under this Government.
• Refused to #releasetheletter:
True, but misleading: Yes, both Transport Minister Phil Twyford and associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter refused to release a letter about the Let's Get Wellington Moving plan when asked by National.
But the Ombudsman ruled that the Ministers were well within their rights to not make the letter public.
• Census disaster:
True: The census had one of the lowest turnouts in New Zealand's history; so bad was its delivery that the head of Stats NZ resigned.
• Oil and gas ban will increase emissions:
True: According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Government's offshore oil and gas ban would likely increase overall total global emissions.
This is because the methanol which would have been produced in New Zealand would now, most likely, be produced in China which is far less emission friendly.
• Botched Budget:
Misleading: It looks like National is referencing the fact that parts of this year's Budget was made public ahead of when it was officially published.
Yes, that was a bad look but the whole budget was not botched – just one element of it, albeit quite an important part.
• State Housing waitlist through the roof:
True: The state housing waitlist is at 12,600 – which is a record high.
• Doubled food hardship grants:
True: The amount of money distributed through the food hardship grant was $26.5 million as of September this year – a 55 per cent increase on last year's $14.6 million.
• Measles epidemic:
False: There was a measles outbreak, mostly in Auckland, but using the technical definition of the word it was never an "epidemic".
• Broke immigration promises:
True and false … just: This one is a bit hard to check, as it's quite a vague claim. Labour made good on its promises to limit student visa and work visa change to put "kiwis first". Labour said all of these changes would amount to a reduction of 20,000-30,000 migrants.
Before the last election, net migration was 72,000 people a year – the most recent data shows net migration was 54,000 which is 18,000, just under Labour's estimates.
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• Almost no progress on Treaty settlements:
False: Since October 2017 there have been one mandate recognised, seven agreements in principle signed, three deeds of settlement initialled, three deeds of settlement signed, two treaty legislations interdicted and seven pieces of treaty legislations enacted.
That's a total of 23 – definitely not "almost no progress".
• No new roads:
False: Over the past two years, roads have been built. For example, projects such as Loop Road, Opononi and Dome Valley just to name a few.