Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was issued a "wee challenge" by her staff over the weekend.
They wanted to see if she could run through the last two years of her Government's achievements in two minutes.
She failed – she took just under three.
Nevertheless, the video went viral. With 50,000 likes, 44,000 shares on Facebook and almost two million views, the video is one of Ardern's most popular.
So popular in fact, the National Party replied with its own rebuttal video, pointing out the Prime Minister failed to mention things such as the failed KiwiBuild target and the Government's failure to deliver on its light rail promises.
A lot of what Ardern said was true. For example, the Government has, in fact, banned military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles.
But some of what she said was a bit misleading – the claim the Government has banned microbeads is problematic as much of the legislative heavy lifting was done by the former National government.
To mark two years in Government, I was issued a wee challenge...Posted by Jacinda Ardern on Friday, 1 November 2019
And some of what she said was just wrong. "We've reduced the prison population for the first time in a decade" – that's not true.
In three minutes, the Prime Minister made 50 claims – the Herald has fact-checked them all.
We have created 92,000 jobs:
FALSE: Since September 2017, the number of people employed has risen from 2.561 million to 2.635 million – a 74,000 jump. And claiming "we" (as in the Government) created 92,000 jobs is misleading. Many of those jobs would have been created by businesses and would have had nothing to do with Government policies, though governments say they create an environment that leads to jobs.
We have built 2200 state houses:
MISLEADING: Yes, between November 1, 2017 and August 31 this year roughly 2200 state houses have been built, but roughly 30 per cent of those were already under construction when this Government took over and 16 per cent were already contracted by November 1, 2017. The waitlist is also at a record-high - 13,966 households at the end of September.
We've banned off-shore speculators:
MOSTLY TRUE: Soon after being sworn in, the Government introduced legislation to ban foreigners, apart from people from Australia and Singapore from buying homes in New Zealand.
We have planted 140 million trees:
FALSE: As of late October, just under 150 million trees have been planted in New Zealand, but the number of trees planted as a direct result of the Government's funding is 25 million.
We have got better cancer care through radiation machines, Pharmac funding and created an essential cancer agency:
TRUE: Yes, in August the Government did announce it would spend an extra $25 million on new radiation machines and promised to establish a National Cancer Agency.
We've delivered cheaper doctor's visits for over half a million people:
TRUE: In the 2018 Budget, the Government said it would spend $360 million on making doctor's visits up to $20-$30 cheaper for people with Community Service Cards – roughly 500,000 people.
We're taking mental health seriously with mental health advisers in GPs in doctors' clinics across the country:
TRUE: This was part of the Government's $1.9 billion mental health package announced at this year's Budget.
We've increased the minimum wage to $17.70:
TRUE: On April 1 this year, the Government increased the minimum wage to $17.70. It has promised to increase it to $20 an hour by 2021.
We've helped one million Kiwis pay their bills with winter energy payment:
TRUE ... BUT: The Winter Energy Payment has been received by 799,000 New Zealanders – but the number of people supported by the payment (Ie, the children of those who have received the payment) is closer to 1.3 million.
We've hired 2000 more doctors and nurses:
TRUE: Between September 2017 and June 2019, there has been an increase of 1458 nurses across hospitals in New Zealand and 582 doctors.
We're building more classrooms in schools for 100,000 students:
TRUE: The Government has promised to spend $1.2 billion to "build new schools and classrooms for up to 100,000 children by 2030".
We've brought unemployment to the lowest rate in eleven years:
TRUE: The unemployment rate is 3.9 per cent – the last time it was this low was in June, 2008.
We've got the highest increase in wages in a decade:
TRUE: According to the latest data, on average wages rose annually by 2.1 per cent – the last time this figure was this high was in 2009.
• We have boosted incomes for 384,000 families through the families' package:
MISLEADING: The Government has said once the Families' Package is fully rolled out by 2021, 384,000 families will be better off by roughly $75 a week – it's not 2021 yet.
• We have increased school funding so parents don't have to pay school donations and NCEA fees:
NOT QUITE 100 PER CENT TRUE: The Government said it would spend $75 million to pay $150 per child in decile 1-7 schools if they agree not to ask for a donation – decile 7-10 schools don't have that option.
Roughly a third of decile 1-7 schools have opted into the scheme so far, and some have said opting in would see them worse off and put services such as school camps under threat.
It is true that the Government has scrapped NCEA fees.
• We're breaking the cycle of sexual violence with massive boosts in funding:
TRUE: In May, the Government committed $320 million to tackle family and sexual violence.
We've deployed 1607 new police officers:
TRUE ... BUT: 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.
We've made State Highways safer:
PROBABLY TRUE: The Government has spent a lot of money on making state highways safer – for example installing new barriers on State Highway 3 – but time will tell how much of any impact the investment will have on the number of deaths on New Zealand's roads.
We've banned single-use plastic bags:
TRUE: On July 1 this year, the Government banned single-use plastic bags less than 70 microns thick.
We've started the clean-up job on our rivers and lakes through planting trees and fencing waterways:
TRUE: The Government announced this clean-up programme in September.
We've supported young people into training and apprenticeships:
TRUE: The Government has announced a range of programmes, such as Mana in Mahi, to get more young people into trades.
But 30 per cent of the young people in that course have dropped out.
We've introduced free lunches in schools programme:
TRUE ... BUT: The Government did introduce a free lunch in schools programme, but only to 5000 kids in one part of the country for now. It's expected that when the policy is fully implemented, by 2021, roughly 21,000 kids will be fed by the programme.
We've provided more funding for addiction treatment, beds and services:
TRUE: The Government did provide more money for this in the Budget.
We're paying teachers, nurses and police officers more:
TRUE ... BUT: Both nurses and teachers did agree to a new pay agreement, but neither of them got as much as they were wanting. There were country-wide strikes from both nurses and teachers while pay negotiations were ongoing – they eventually settled.
After rejecting the Government's first pay offer of 2 per cent, the police agreed to a 3 per cent pay increase over the next three years.
We've resumed contributions to the Super Fund:
TRUE: In December 2017, the Government promised to put an extra $9 billion into the NZ Super Fund by 2024. As of July this year, the Government had given the Fund $1.6 billion, meaning $7.4 billion left to give by 2022.
We've set standards for rental homes:
TRUE: From 2021, it will be a requirement for every rental home in New Zealand to have a heater in the living room and an extractor fan in the kitchen and bathroom.
We've extended paid parental leave:
TRUE: Paid parental leave will be increased to 26 weeks from July 1 next year. It increased from 18 to 22 weeks last year.
We've ramped up the research, development and tax incentives:
TRUE: Earlier this year, the Government unveiled a policy which means companies that have yet to make a profit would be eligible for an R&D grant; they have also unveiled tax credit changes.
We're helping homeless individuals into homes through Housing First:
TRUE ... BUT: This one is a bit vague and it's hard to check the numbers. The Government is running a Housing First programme, but it was set up by the previous Government in August 2017.
We've banned military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles:
TRUE: After the March 15 terror attacks in Christchurch, Parliament almost unanimously voted to pass legislation banning these types of guns, as well as large-capacity magazines - with some narrow exceptions
We've introduced the Zero Carbon Bill:
TRUE: This bill was introduced in May this year, but it was meant to be introduced to Parliament in October last year and to have passed in April
We've started fixing run-down hospitals:
TRUE ... BUT: Yes, the Government has invested millions more dollars into hospitals, including Middlemore, since it took over in 2017. But "run-down" is pretty subjective.
We've invested in public transport:
TRUE ... BUT: Under the Government's watch millions of dollars of extra public transport funding has been signed off. But some key projects, such as Auckland Light Rail, have faced delays.
We've passed the Child Poverty Reduction Act and have lifted between 50,000 and 70,000 children out of poverty:
TRUE AND FALSE: Yes, the Government has passed the Child Poverty Reduction Act. But 50,000 to 70,000 children have not been lifted out of poverty, that's the target by 2021.
We've provided the first funding increase in 10 years to early childhood education:
FALSE: The amount of money the Government spent on early childhood education was $1.17 billion in 2010, then $1.33 billion in 2011 and $1.60 billion in 2016.
We've banned smoking in cars with children:
TRUE: At the end of this year, the law will be changed so no one can smoke in a car carrying kids under 18 years old.
We've begun the Royal Commission of inquiry into historical abuse in state care and in care of faith-based institutions:
TRUE ... BUT: The Government did launch this inquiry, but it has received its fair share of controversy. The former head of the inquiry, Sir Anand Satyanand, has resigned and it recently emerged that a child sex offender attended some meetings as a support person.
We've set up a suicide prevention office and developed a suicide prevention strategy:
TRUE: Both the office and the strategy were launched in September this year.
We fixed the PM's video for her. pic.twitter.com/okASBaN0x6— NZ National Party (@NZNationalParty) November 4, 2019
We've created Mana and Ake, putting mental health support in every primary and intermediate school in Christchurch and Kaikoura:
TRUE: Mana and Ake was set up in April this year.
We gave families an extra $3000 a year for the first year of a child's life:
MISLEADING: Some families may be eligible for $3000 from the Government, but they would have to be eligible for most, if not all, of the six initiatives in the Families Package.
We've boosted funding for air ambulances:
TRUE: In the 2018 Budget, $83 million over four years was made available to strengthen New Zealand's air ambulance fleet.
We've lifted the cap on gender re-assignment surgery:
TRUE: There had been a cap of three male-to-female surgeries and one female-to-male surgeries every two years – the Government changed that to make those the minimum number of surgeries every two years.
We've banned microbeads:
MISLEADING: This Government did put the ban on microbeads – such as the ones found in soaps for exfoliation purposes – but much of the heavy lifting was done by the former National government.
We've boosted funding for KiwiRail:
TRUE: The Government said it would spend an extra $1 billion on KiwiRail in this year's Budget – it will be spent on new regional lines, ferries and new trains.
We've reduced the prison population for the first time in a decade:
FALSE: Since 2009, the prison population has jumped around – falling and raising a number of times. But it has fallen since the peak at 10,820 in March last year.
We established Te Arawhiti, the office for Maori-Crown relations to make the crown a better treaty partner:
TRUE: This was launched in December last year.
We increased New Zealand's refugee quota:
TRUE: In September last year, the Government announced it would increase the refugee quota from 1000 to 1500.
We're leading on the Christchurch call to eliminate terrorist and violent extremists content online:
TRUE: After the March 15 terror attack, Jacinda Ardern led the Christchurch call – a global agreement between major tech companies and Governments to stamp out extremist content online.
We're making sure New Zealand history is taught in all schools and kura:
TRUE: From 2022, the Government will make it compulsory for New Zealand history to be taught in all schools and kura across the country