Jacinda Ardern is once again showing the world what leadership looks like in a crisis

Moya Lothian-McLean@moya_lm
Monday 23 March 2020 16:15
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As the coronavirus spreads to every continent, bar Antarctica (at the time of writing), it’s been a real test of world leaders.

Some have been praised for their quick responses and measures to protect their citizens.

Others have drawn criticism and questions regarding their approach to slowing the spread of disease (looking at you, BoJo).

But one leader is winning global praise for the way she is tackling an unprecedented pandemic.

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, is no stranger to showing incredible statesmanship during terrible hardships.

Just 12 months ago, she attracted plaudits for her response to the Christchurch Mosque shootings, refusing to allow the politics of hatred to spread and refusing to even mention the perpetrator’s name.

Her decision-making when it comes to Covid-19 has been similarly impressive, according to onlookers.

Announcing a month-long lockdown today, after known NZ cases rose to 102, she clearly outlined that the general public would be expected to stay home, apart from those in “essential services”.

“The worst-case scenario is simply intolerable, it would represent the greatest loss of New Zealanders’ lives in our history and I will not take that chance,” she said.

I say to all New Zealanders: the government will do all it can to protect you. Now I’m asking you to do everything you can to protect all of us. Kiwis – go home.

Her direct approach has impressed.

Some spoke of how inspiring she was for women the world over.

Others said her decisive action had probably saved many lives.

Some said it showed her compassion.

New Zealanders even offered to loan her out.

But if we can't get a Jacinda of our own, perhaps we would all do well to remember something she said in a speech delivered last week instead.

“Be strong but be kind,” the NZ PM declared.

“We will be ok”.

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