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Jacinda Ardern (The Project)
Jacinda Ardern (The Project)

New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern opens up: ‘I’ve always been a person inclined to feel things quite deeply’

By WITW Staff on March 25, 2019

In an 8-minute interview with Australian news program The Project, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern opened up about how the recent attack in Christchurch has affected her personally, why she decided to wear a black hajib when visiting with mourners after the shooting, and why she thinks New Zealand was able to respond to the crisis with such compassion and understanding.

Speaking with journalist Waleed Aly, Ardern admitted that one of the things that concerns her most is the sense that New Zealanders may no longer feel secure in their own country. “My job is to make people feel safe. The idea that people currently do not, I find deeply distressing,” she said. But she also said that the fact that the suspect is from another country may help New Zealanders “process what has happened here.”

“I think New Zealanders are reflecting on the fact that it was not one of us,” she said, while being sure to add, “but they do not point it out in an attempt to blame. That is not the reason that it’s raised.”

She also said that being a new parent has almost certainly changed her own reaction to the crisis, making her even more empathetic when visiting with those who lost loved ones. “I feel it deeply,” she said, “but I’ve always been a person inclined to feel things quite deeply.”

Hear more at The Project.


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