This week has reminded me that when things do not quite go to plan, you just make do and get on with it. A headache followed by a positive COVID-19 test also reminded me not to be complacent.
In a week of ups and downs, the words of former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have stuck with me. Her valedictory speech to Parliament on Wednesday afternoon was woven with that trademark openness and warmth that made her such a popular leader. Regardless of your political stripes, she left with some important messages for us all. One that stood out to me is that our work is never done.
Since Ardern’s departure from office at the end of January, there has been much commentary about her achievements, or in some camps, lack of. But as she so graciously reminded us in her poroporoaki, the key issues she championed will not be solved overnight.
Child poverty, reducing inequities, climate change – these are not issues that have a quick fix or should even be part of a political equation. These are issues that all of us must continue to place at the forefront and work together to solve. A change in leadership or a change in Government should not be a reason to take a step backwards.
Ms Ardern has left a long list of legacies and on Wednesday she reminded us that any one of us can be a leader. I agree, and that is because I see it every day within our Whānau Ora partners and entities, who are doing just that, leading within their communities, and creating legacies. Change does not just happen in the House of Representatives or due to the efforts of those who step up to positions of leadership. It happens because, at a community level we care, and we just get on with it and make it happen.