The infuriating comment New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern copped from an Aussie interviewer.

jacinda ardern

Jacinda Ardern is the world’s youngest female head of government. At age 37, she was appointed Prime Minister of New Zealand, it’s an honour she’s earnt and worked for several times over in her career.

But her success was somewhat diminished during a 60 Minutes interview aired on Channel Nine last night, in which reporter Charles Wooley praised her “attractiveness” and said he was “smitten” with the Hamilton-born politician.

Watch part of Jacinda Ardern’s exchange on 60 Minutes in the video below.

“I’ve met a lot of prime ministers in my time, but none too young and not so many so smart, and never one so attractive”, Wooley said during his introduction on 60 Minutes.

His interview has been criticised by viewers, who were fast to point out the patronising gender-bias Wooley showed in interviewing Ardern.

His comments were sexist and demeaning. He seemed fixated on her pregnancy (Ardern announced in January she is expecting her first child). And his line of questioning at times made you cringe.

“One really important political question that I want to ask you, and that is, what exactly is the date that the baby’s due?” he said at one point.

Ardern answered with the due date of June 17, to which Wooley replied: “It’s interesting how much people have been counting back to the conception date”.

His point (when he got there) was to ask whether the baby was conceived during the 2017 election campaign.

Ardern and her partner, ‎Clarke Gayford – who Wooley refers to as the “first bloke” – laughed uncomfortably and answered: The baby was conceived once the election was over.

The reasoning for the question is unclear. It’s almost impossible to imagine a male politician being asked the same thing.

 

There are oh, so many things Wooley could have asked Ardern about.

Ardern’s whirlwind career speaks to her popularity in policy-making and her skill as a politician.

She worked as a researcher for former Prime Minister Helen Clark after graduating university in 2001. During a stint in the UK, she served as a policy advisor to British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In 2008, she became the youngest sitting MP in New Zealand Parliament.

She was unanimously elected as Deputy Leader of the NZ Labour Party in March 2017. Months later, she was appointed leader of the party after her predecessor Andrew Little resigned. After the election in September last year, Ardern was appointed Prime Minister.

She wants to reduce the rate of homelessness in New Zealand.

She supports compulsory teaching of the Māori language in schools.

She believes abortion should be removed from the crime act.

She supports the decriminalisation of cannabis.

And earlier this year, she became the nation’s first Prime Minister to march in a gay pride parade.

All these are issues Wooley could have asked Ardern about, and they have nothing to do with her “attractiveness” and when she chose to have sex with her partner.

LISTEN: Jacinda Ardern is pregnant. And yes, it’s a big deal.

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