Culture

How New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern inspired hope amidst conflict

Leading the way with empathy

In the wake of the Christchurch mosque attack, New Zealand's PM Jacinda Ardern displayed commendable leadership, and emerged as a symbol of hope and unity. From her statements addressed to the grieving Muslim community to her official public address, she's displayed empathy and reiterated values of compassion and diversity. She's also walked the talk. "I can tell you right now that our gun laws will change," she had stated within 24 hours of the shooting. And shortly after, the government announced that all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines will be banned in New Zealand.

Here are some of the powerful things the world's youngest female head of government said following the Christchurch mosque attack: 

"This is not New Zealand. The only part of the incident we have seen over the past 24 to 36 hours that is New Zealand is the support that you are seeing now. "

"On behalf of all New Zealanders, we grieve together. We are one. They are us." 

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"Our thoughts and our prayers are with those who have been impacted today. Christchurch was the home of these victims. For many, this may not have been the place they were born. In fact, for many, New Zealand was their choice."

"Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home. The place they actively came to, and committed themselves to. The place they were raising their families, where they were part of communities who they loved and who loved them. It was a place that many came to for its safety. A place where they were free to practice their culture and their religion."

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"And secondly, the strongest possible condemnation of the ideology of the people who did this. You may have chosen us — but we utterly reject and condemn you."


"He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless."

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"People have remarked upon the way we’ve responded, but to me there was no question. You need to remove some of the politics sometimes and just think about humanity. That’s all.

Photographs: Getty Images

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