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Kiwi PM and mom damned if she did, damned if she didn’t take extra flight

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern as effectively been forced to defend a decision to request an additional flight, in order to spend more time with her daughter.


Ardern gave birth earlier this year – and has since juggled motherhood with political and other commitments to her country pretty well.

She is still breastfeeding – and understandably wants as much time with young Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford as possible.

The plane that dropped deputy prime minister Winston Peters in Nauru for the Pacific Islands Forum this week was sent back to New Zealand to pick Ardern up.

The round trip is estimated to cost taxpayers about NZ$80,000 (£41,173).

“I weighed this up. I even went to the extent of checking whether or not I could hitch a ride with Australia. We checked multiple options to try to find alternate ways for me to get there,” she told the NZ Herald.

“The option was go for a short time or not go at all. If I didn’t go, I imagine there would have been equal criticism – damned if I did and damned if I didn’t.”

Ardern said she had been told that the Air Force plane couldn’t stay In Nauru anyway. It would have had to park at the Marshall Islands, an hour away.

Her baby, too, is too young to receive the vaccinations required to visit Nauru.

Had she not attended the Pacific Island Forum, she would have been the first New Zealand prime minister in almost 50 years not to do so outside an election cycle.



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