Last week I became aware of another side to Jacinda Ardern, writes Alan Tristram.
During a visit to the Wellington City Mission, my wife Helen and I heard about the PM’s visit to the charity a few days earlier.
You’ll probably have seen TV shots of her in the ‘Social Supermarket,’ which is freely available for people in need of food, household items and sanitary products.
Usually a visit like this is constrained by time limits — a quick tour and photo opportunity for a busy leader.
But no, staffers told us, Jacinda and Carmel Sepuloni spent two hours at the MIssion, visiting every part of the complex.
‘Jacinda talked to everyone!” we were told.
The City Mission folks were transfixed. They told us Ardern focused totally on each person she was with, listening to their stories with real interest.
This isn’t just ‘Stardust.’
It’s something we haven’t seen in a New Zealand leader since Norman Kirk in the 1970’s and, going way back, Mickey Savage in the 1930’s —
charisma and compassion in action.