Mood of the Boardroom: More than 100 chief executives rate Government ministers Vibesbullet

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Business leaders have marked down their performance reviews of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson. Photo / Mark Mitchell

click to watch the full video

Mood of the Boardroom editor Fran O’Sullivan will present key findings from this year’s CEOs survey via a live stream from 7.30am.

Labour’s top two ministers have taken a pummelling in the Herald’s Mood of the Boardroom survey out today.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson have lost significant ground in the survey, which asks business chief executives to rank Cabinet ministers on their performance.

Ardern has been ejected from the Cabinet “top 10”, coming in at 12th place with a ranking of 2.3 out of 5 – down from 3.03 last year and 3.91 in 2020.

• Click here to access the full report

Robertson, who has been replaced as top Cabinet performer this year by Climate Change Minister James Shaw, scored 2.98/5, down from 4.18 in 2020 when he scored well for his initial fiscal management of Covid.

More than 100 CEOs and directors participated in the survey, which also canvases economic conditions and business confidence. The rankings for ministers are based on a scale where 1 equals “not impressive” and 5 equals “very impressive”.

While Ardern scored well on things like leveraging her personal brand for NZ businesses internationally, she was marked down in areas such as child poverty reduction, delivery of transformative change and building confidence with the business community.

New Zealand chief executives were less impressed with Robertson than they have been in the past, particularly when it came to issues like public spending and productivity.

Asked if they had confidence in Robertson’s management of the economy, 46 per cent of the respondents said they haven’t, 38 per cent said they have and 16 per cent were unsure.

An important issue for chief executives was a failure by the Government to appropriately deliver on electoral promises.

“Delivering impactful and positive change is much harder than aspiring to do so,” said Deloitte chairman Thomas Pippos.

Mainfreight group managing director Don Braid said a major issue facing the nation was the cost of bureaucracy.

“There is a lack of direction and sure-footed policy to combat the failings around health, education, housing and crime. Stop the political posturing and interference. Focus on the core fundamentals and then get out of the way.”

CEOs were divided on the issue of increased co-governance.

About 37 per cent of survey respondents said that increased co-governance between Government and Māori was “right for the times”, although many included caveats in their support.

“Co-governance seems a sensible solution for resolving claims in relation to taonga/property — especially where only a 21st-century solution is possible,” says New Zealand Initiative chair Roger Partridge. “However, co-governance of the national provision of services is not consistent with the principles of our liberal democracy.”

Meanwhile, confidence in the domestic economy has fallen from this time last year.
The top domestic issues of concern are linked to the ongoing shortage of workers, while the Covid pandemic has faded from view.

That said, while the border is now fully open, CEOs consider New Zealand’s relative lateness in reconnecting and “moving on” from Covid has contributed to the confidence knock.

To access the full Mood of the Boardroom special report online visit this page ,

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