An Open Letter to Jacinda Ardern

Dear Jacinda,

Marty Duda here at The 13th Floor. We know each other slightly and several years ago you graciously visited The 13th Floor and hosted a radio show featuring your favourite songs and sharing some of your stories.

With your recent re-election and subsequent cabinet re-shuffle and the US Presidential election about to happen, this seems like a good time to ask you please don’t make the same mistakes some previous US Presidents made after being given a “mandate”.

Most recently, President Barack Obama, after his history-making election in 2008, seemed to forget why he had been elected and by whom, and spent the beginning of his term bailing out fat-cat bankers who were “too big to fail”.

Typically, left-leaning US Presidents seem to feel the need to show how tough they are and how they too are “concerned about the economy” which is code for taking care of billionaire businessmen who are always going to be just fine.

I urge you to reject that mind set and remember that we elected you because we respect you as a leader and you are who we need right now!

I believe the three biggest issues that need the most urgent attention, in no particular order, are:

  1. Cannabis law reform
  2. Housing the homeless and addressing affordable housing first-time home buyers
  3. Addressing income inequality and distribution of wealth

There are plenty of other major issues that require your attention, most notably Covid-19, but I believe that if you make these priorities, it will benefit all New Zealanders.

Cannabis reform isn’t simply about wanting to get high without getting busted (although that’s not a bad thing.) It’s decriminalising what we all know is common behaviour. Let’s give the police a break and let them concentrate on actual crimes. Let’s stop making criminals out of ordinary citizens. I realise the referendum has probably failed, but this needs to be fixed and you are in the unique position to do something about it. Basic law reform will put an end to this foolishness.

The solution for housing the homeless is equally important and equally simple. It has been proved that the best solution to solving the homeless problem is to give them some place to live. It’s that simple. We’ve got plenty of empty space here and only 5 million people. Let’s get building!

Finally, there is no reason on God’s green earth why anyone needs billions of dollars. The trend of an elite few accumulating obscene amounts of wealth at the expense of the rest of us must stop. This is a far more difficult problem. But ignoring it will only continue to foster an increasingly toxic social structure. This is what 9 years of John Key’s National government supported and encouraged. He and his friends got richer during his “rock star” economy while the rest of us struggled.


Don’t worry about appealing to the middle/right or the far/left or whatever. Do what you know is right. The whole world is watching (no pressure).

Thank you,

Marty Duda
13th Floor

Marty Duda
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  1. Sorry this is way too narrow. You missed the single biggest issue that this Government needs to deal with URGENTLY and that is the environment (which includes pollution, freshwater, food security, climate change etc).

  2. I agree with Louise. Even though I agree with the sentiment and the opinions in this post, I come to these outlets to escape the constant barrage of online opinions that we’re increasingly faced with in this weird little world of ours.

  3. Nice. If there is any PM who can “Do This”, it’s Jacinda. I also think an emphasis on creating a more effective arts funding and patronage model (not necessarily taxed based) would help.

  4. Ditto – succinctly & perfectly stated, Marty. Got to agree with Louise though – this should remain a music forum.

    • Don’t worry there’s is plenty of MusicTalk coming, but every once in a while you’ve gotta speak your mind. And…Liz Gunn’s political interviews that we posted in October were the most viewed posts of the month so someone is interested.

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