I made the most of an opportunity to catch up with the Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of NZ at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast this morning.
I also met her in person last Sunday at our Free Hug event, as she and her partner Clarke walked by on the Wellington waterfront, it had taken me by surprise to see her but I quickly regained my composure, and asked her if she wanted a Hug and she said 'SURE', and I gave her one of my best hugs.
It seems unreal that our Prime Minister, possibly one of the only PM's in the world who still makes time to enjoy a walk on the waterfront and who mingles with the people without much fanfare. Yes she had security with her but it was all very understated.
With the elections are coming up in a few months, my vote will certainly be pointed towards Jacinda Ardern and the green party led by James Shaw. I had always voted National, but this year I am already tired of hearing the screeching coming from the seemingly dis-organised National party.
I have also taken some time to reflect on the effect of the Covid-19 outbreak that affected us in New Zealand but much less so than many countries, and on just how lucky we were to escape the worst of it.
During our isolation, which seems like forever ago now, listening to the daily updates from our compassionate and articulate Prime Minister and her team, I am reminded of how incredibly versatile and resilient we are, and how for most of us here in NZ, life is largely back to normal. Of course there are exceptions with zero international travel and some job losses across the country, we have been incredibly lucky to only a have a small number of deaths from Covid-19. We have so much to be grateful for.
I ponder on why that was - my conclusion is that in part it was the way that Jacinda Ardern and her team including Dr Bloomfield managed the news coverage to our nation. For NZ the message was clear and simple "Stay Home and Be Kind" and this was a hugely different neuro-linguistic message to what is being expressed by many leaders in other countries, where from a neuro-linguistic standpoint, the messaging been primarily focused on fear, death and isolation. Maybe the world truly has something to learn from New Zealand.
Nicole Wijngaarden, Relationship | Mental Health & Wellbeing Coach Wellington, New Zealand