Jacinda Ardern, who will take office in November as one of New Zealand’s youngest leaders, cited homelessness and child hunger as evidence of “the market [having] failed” the nation in a blistering indictment of capitalism. Ardern’s assessment of the system’s failings came during her first full interview as the 37-year-old Labour Party head prepares to take the nation’s reins with a center-left coalition government.

Below are some excerpts of Ardern’s comments during the interview:

“If you have hundreds of thousands of children living in homes without enough to survive, that’s a blatant failure. What else could you describe it as? …

“When you have a market economy, it all comes down to whether or not you acknowledge where the market has failed and where intervention is required. Has it failed our people in recent times? Yes.

“How can you claim you’ve been successful when you have growth roughly three per cent, but you’ve got the worst homelessness in the developed world? …

“The measures [such as GDP] for us have to change. We need to make sure we are looking at people’s ability to actually have a meaningful life, an enjoyable life, where their work is enough to survive and support their families.”

Ardern’s government already has plans to raise the national minimum wage and codify child poverty reduction targets in her first 100 days in power. Below is another video of Ardern speaking after her party succeeded in forming a coalition.

— Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata


If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.