Thursday, September 27, 2018

NZ Prime Minister on US television

The video above is of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. She does a really good job. She showed the typical self-deprecating Kiwi humour, while also remaining diplomatic and even talking about tariffs. She even got in a plug for Air New Zealand’s direct flights from Chicago to Auckland, which start in November.

Among other things, Jacinda gave an idea, often subtly, of what life is like in New Zealand. For example, at the end, Colbert asked about what people call her, and she said most people call her Jacinda, and that she's had conversations in stores. This is absolutely true: Kiwis think nothing of addressing their politicians by their first names—even the Prime Minister—and will chat to them pretty much anywhere. That's partly because of how informal Kiwis are, and also because we don't stand on formality—we're all pretty much equal, and while she IS Prime Minister, she's also Jacinda. It's one of the things I most like about New Zealand's society and politics.

It’s nice to see a leader of country who makes actual jokes, and when people laugh, it’s a good thing. It’s also nice to have a leader who’s nice, and who’s also not an embarrassment. Or, so I’ve heard.


rogerogreen said...

Can we keep her? She's already here. We'll send you - how about Paul Ryan? He'll be unemployed soon.

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...