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Jacinda Ardern: My Actions Were 'Intuitive'

New Zealand prime minister reflects on her handling of mosque shootings
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2019 7:36 AM CDT
In this image made from video, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, center, hugs and consoles a woman as she visited Kilbirnie Mosque to lay flowers among tributes to Christchurch attack victims,...   (TVNZ via AP)
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(Newser) – New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has been praised for her handling of the aftermath of the mosque massacres in her nation. The Dalai Lama, for instance, called her "wonderful" because "she really tried to tackle this problem through nonviolence, through compassion and through mutual respect," per Newshub. Now, in an interview with the Guardian, Ardern reflects on her handling of the tragedy. "Very little of what I have done has been deliberate," she says. "It’s intuitive." With little time to think, "you just do what feels right." Other snippets:

  • The notes: Ardern has been praised for her first press conference after the shootings, but she says her comments that day were based on a few terse notes. She finds the paper. They read: "One person custody may be other offndr. Act of exraordnry violence. It has no place in NZ. They are us."
  • A headscarf: Ardern donned a headscarf when meeting members of the Muslim community, a move seen as a symbol of solidarity. "It was just a mark of respect," she says. "It was naturally what you would do. So, no, I didn’t really think about that, either."
  • No name: Regarding her decision to not utter the shooter's name publicly: "It just seemed obvious to me."
Click for the full, wide-ranging interview, in which Ardern talks about being seen as a "game changer" for women. (Read more Jacinda Ardern stories.)

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