Why is New Zealand so Progressive?

She wasn’t the only mother checking in with their whānau that evening. But this woman was Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, and the one who had decided – on expert advice – to “go hard and go early”, mandating one of the world’s earliest and toughest bans on international and internal travel and locking down her country for roughly a month from midnight on 25 March, Ewan McDonald reports for BBC Travel.

While travelling is on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak, the broadcaster says, BBC Travel will “continue to inform and inspire” their readers “who want to learn about the world as much as they want to travel there, offering stories that celebrate the people, places and cultures that make this world so wonderfully diverse and amazing.”

One of those places is New Zealand, and one of the people? Ardern.

In three years, the 39-year-old has risen from a minor player in the low-polling opposition Labour Party to a global figure on Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people, McDonald writes. The New York Times described her as “the progressive antithesis to right-wing strongmen like Trump, Orban and Modi”.

Her compassionate approach to politics – where “success is measured not only by the nation’s GDP but by better lives lived by its people” – has caused many to see New Zealand as a bastion of progressive government.

But how did such a remote country come to have such apparently progressive politics? McDonald investigates.

Original article by Ewan McDonald, BBC, May 19, 2020.

Photo by Sulthan Auliya.

Tags: BBC  coronavirus  Jacinda Ardern  New York Times (The)  TIME  

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