Six months into its second term of government with enough of a majority to govern alone, Labour is struggling to get a breakthrough in housing, the homeless and, to some extent is wearying of having to deal with Covid-19.
Since Parliament returned this year, the Prime Minister, in my view, seems to have lost her edge and become defensive to the extent that she is now choosing carefully who will be allowed to interview her amongst media.
Mike Hosking, a radio host of some profile, used to interview Ardern weekly on his show.
This has now been stopped, apparently at the request of the Prime Minister.
Hosking does ask searching and, perhaps at times, uncomfortable questions.
The Prime Minister has had years of media coaching so should be able to front any media personality with confidence and aplomb.
Considering Hosking's audience cover and Ardern's recent drop in the Colmar Brunton polls from 58 per cent in December 2020 to 43 per cent in March 2021, walking away from difficult media spots may not be a good idea long term.
Covid-19 has been Labour's biggest challenge while in office.
Labour were well-rewarded at the polls last year for their proactive and overall effective strategy that has kept New Zealand safer than most other places on the planet.
The pandemic is now into its second year and we are, at last, opening up to the wider world, well, our closest neighbours Australia at least.
Plans should also be under way to open up to the Pacific countries with a few exceptions, Taiwan and Singapore soon.
Sadly, despite the vaccination programme slowly ramping up here, open travel between Europe, the USA and New Zealand is still many months away due to the ongoing appalling infection rates in those places.
Labour has unfettered reins of power with an opposition on the ropes.
It is hoped that Labour has decided not to cruise while New Zealanders are still coping with Covid-19, still homeless, many unable to obtain affordable and decent rental accommodation let alone dream of buying their own first home.
It seems Labour is quite comfortable spending just under one billion dollars quarterly on motel accommodation costs for people unable to find decent accommodation, people who are in low-paid work or on a benefit, including street-people if they are of a mind to live in a settled environment.
This is not the fault of these people at all, it is the fault of successive governments, Labour included, who have allowed this to happen, and who have really not put real fire into a much-needed huge drive for housing infrastructure.
At least Labour has not sold or demolished state houses, leaving empty green spaces as National did.
Those spaces are now, at last, being filled with social housing thankfully but not at the rate that is needed.
When a government is forced to spend around four billion dollars of taxpayers' money annually on accommodation for the less-advantaged of our society rather than building them decent, warm and modern social housing on a scale last seen in the 1950s in New Zealand, Labour is not being kind.
It is showing that it simply does not have a plan in place to get tens of thousands of decent Kiwis into some form of secure place to live. It all sounds very patchy and panicky.
Labour does have some heavy hitters amongst its ranks, but one gets the impression there are simply not enough people of the calibre needed to get all the work done.
Dr Megan Woods, one of Labour's hardest-working and most competent Ministers, is simply trying to do too much as Minister of Housing, Energy and Resources, Research, Science and Innovation.
She should be allowed to just hold the Housing portfolio, this being one of the country's biggest challenges at present.
Let her focus her undoubtedly highly intelligent and competent mind on this one issue. Energy and Resources nowadays is a huge responsibility for any Minister, give it to someone else.
Ardern probably knows she is in danger of over-working one or two of her competent ministers.
Time flies in politics, evidenced by the 15-point drop in the Prime Ministers poll rating in just three months.
Ardern is safe in the knowledge that the Leader of the Opposition, Judith Collins, has huge problems of her own to deal with, an emerging new leader Christopher Luxon, perhaps a return attempt by previous leader Simon Bridges, a 4 per cent drop in her own polling to 8 per cent in March 2021 and a failure to show New Zealand what a National government would look like to all of us in terms of housing and opening us up to the world again.
Labour may quietly be struggling. Could this be why our prime minister is declining interviews with some media?