On the issue of whether we should be praising Ardern for "taking a stance", given her (government's) own role in same:
NZ First, which only received 7.2 percent of the votes, was given unprecedented power by Ardern. Its leader Winston Peters was made foreign minister and deputy prime minister. NZ First’s Ron Mark became the defence minister.
The Ardern government significantly strengthened the alliance with the US. Its 2018 defence policy statement adopted the Trump administration’s description of Russia and China as the main “threats” to global stability. Peters has called on the US to increase its military presence in the Pacific to push back against China, while supporting a media-led witch-hunt against Chinese “influence” in New Zealand.
Peters told the media on Tuesday that the Christchurch atrocity was “committed by a person who is not a New Zealander, is utterly contrary to our core beliefs.” On the same day, however, he refused to retract his past anti-Muslim statements, including a 2005 speech in which he said “New Zealand has never been a nation of Islamic immigrants,” and accused moderate Muslims of working “hand and glove” with “militants” who threatened “the Christian faith.” Labour and the Greens made no criticism of Peters’ stance.
In June 2016, after Peters delivered another chauvinist rant accusing the Islamic community of harbouring “extremists,” Green and Labour MPs hypocritically denounced his statements as “shameful” and “disgraceful.” At the same time, however, Greens leader James Shaw told TVNZ: “I feel very comfortable with the idea that we may end up working with NZ First” in government.
The climate of anti-Muslim racism which helped produce the fascist attack in Christchurch has been deliberately created to justify the US-led “war on terror,” which successive Australian and New Zealand governments have supported over the past two decades. The Ardern government has kept soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they have been implicated in massacres of civilians. More than a million people have died in these brutal imperialist wars.
The Labour Party has always used nationalism and anti-immigrant policies to divide the working class. Following the 2008 financial crash, Labour supported the then-National Party government’s austerity measures, which led to soaring social inequality, and repeatedly sought to divert blame onto immigrants.