A few questions for Jacinda Ardern...

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Prime Minister, a few moments of your time please.

Why, when you told New Zealand that your government was a "new beginning" and that in this Parliament you'd "like to do things differently" does your government act in exactly the same way as previous governments have done, as you deny the amendment making shared paid parental leave possible?

Why, when you've said you want to lead a government focused on the future, do you instead focus on what hasn't been done in the past, replaying the same lines we've seen from previous governments? Yes, it is National's fault that they didn't think of the policy of shared paid parental leave earlier, but you're now the person who can do something about it. Why won't you?

Why, when you made a commitment in front of New Zealand that you would "be a champion for good ideas" even if they came from the opposition benches, will you not allow the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill to be referred back to Select Committee so that the amendment can be incorporated?

Why, when you have admitted that allowing parents to share paid parental leave is an idea with merit, will you not save time in the House, and that there is clearly time for the bill to progress through the House before paid parental leave would increase to 22 weeks, will you not allow the New Zealand public to have their input into this legislation?

Why did you mislead the House when you said that the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill had already been through a Select Committee? Previous bills on this topic may have been, but this is a new bill, and it has not been through Select Committee, which would allow the new idea of shared paid parental leave, which was only brought into the policy debate during the 2017 election, to be properly discussed and implemented?

Why, when your campaign slogan was "Let's do this", is one of the first actions of your government to say "Don't do this," to an idea that's won broad support from across the country?

Why, when you remarked to Bill English during one of the election debates that you didn't want to look like bickering politicians, are you doing just that in the opening weeks of your government?

Why, when you promised to be different, when you committed to champion good ideas, when you agree it is a good idea, when your entire campaign was about "Let's do this", why don't you just get on with making shared paid parental leave a reality, instead of wasting the valuable time of the House, and New Zealanders, by playing politics?

Why, when you've promised to be a different kind of leader, is that leadership stumbling at its first test? New Zealand's families deserve better.

Why, Prime Minister? Why?


If you believe shared paid parental leave should be a priority for this government, I encourage you to sign and share my petition. It may be small, but hopefully it'll send an important message.