An interview with Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern01 March 2020
You are the youngest Prime Minister in New Zealand's history and one of the youngest in world history. You're also a mum of a little one. How do you manage it all?
I’m not the first woman to juggle work and being a mother – and like almost every parent, I have become very practised at multitasking! I’m really lucky that I have a lot of supportive people around me, both at work and at home, to help out. It can be difficult at times, and I don’t think I’ll ever find the right balance. I know lots of people who feel exactly the same. All we can do is our very best.
What is your aspiration for the New Zealand of tomorrow?
Over the past two years, we’ve made good progress on the big, long-term issues facing New Zealand – things like child poverty, the state of our rivers and waterways, and rebuilding our health system – and I want to continue to work on these during my time as Prime Minister. My hope is that, in the future, New Zealand is a country where every child can get a great start in life, where everyone can get a good education, access quality healthcare, and has a warm, dry home, and where we can be proud of how we care for our precious environment.
How does the Government seek to support its senior citizens?
Older New Zealanders contribute a huge amount to our communities. We’re supporting our seniors in a range of ways, such as by making it easier to get a rates rebate, by revamping the SuperGold card to help with the cost of living, and through initiatives like the Winter Energy Payment, which provides people with a little extra to help with heating costs through the colder months. We’re also working on the long-term challenges, like rebuilding our neglected health system, which will make a real difference for the wellbeing of our senior citizens.
What do you consider to be some of the key priorities for Christchurch to flourish?
Canterbury has had an incredibly tough time recently, and we know the impacts of the earthquakes and recovery are still felt by many. Despite this, Christchurch is a really vibrant city, and our job as a Government is to support the city to continue to thrive. Some of the key priorities going forward will be continuing to tackle long-term challenges like water quality and housing, and planning for climate change.
What is your favourite thing to do? Outside of being a mum and Prime Minister!
I don’t have a lot of free time, but I do enjoy reading – especially books about Antarctic exploration – and, of course, spending time with Neve.