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'What I said last night was dumb.' Steve Price just showed Australia exactly how to apologise.

This story was initially published on January 15 and has been updated.

Steve Price returned to The Project on Wednesday night to apologise for his remarks about New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern.

On Tuesday night’s episode of The Project, Price attacked Ardern for her recent visit to Australia, comparing her holiday to Scott Morrison’s trip to Hawaii amid the bushfires.

“What I said was disrespectful to her as a woman and importantly it was also disrespectful of the office of the Prime Minister of New Zealand, our closest ally.

“She has got every right to be here in Australia and what I said last night was dumb,” Price said.

“I got home last night, watched myself and thought back and I thought I was wrong to do it. If I make a mistake I own it. I made a mistake last night, a dumb one, and I’m here to say sorry.”

The New Zealand Prime Minister, who has been a huge support to Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the wake of the bushfire crisis, recently travelled to Australia for a family holiday.

The trip, which included visits to a number of businesses at Tamborine Mountain and Kingscliff, is expected to help boost post-bushfire tourism.

But responding to a story about Ardern’s trip on The Project, radio broadcaster and journalist Steve Price was quick to compare Ardern’s holiday to Scott Morrison’s controversial Hawaii trip.

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Mamamia’s daily news podcast, The Quicky, shares the story of one of the youngest world leaders, Jacinda Ardern. Post continues below.

“Why is she not holidaying in New Zealand?” the journalist questioned.

“If you can criticise Scott Morrison going to Hawaii, why is she not in Hamilton or Canterbury? What is she doing hanging around Australia?” he continued.

“She should be in her own country and spend money in her own place. Typical virtue-signalling from Ardern. I get sick and tired of that woman.”

As expected, the other hosts on the panel were… baffled.

“Nobody is saying that prime ministers can’t travel overseas,” co-host Peter Helliar responded.

“Hang on, if you are going to criticise Morrison going to Hawaii instead of going to the southern coast of New South Wales, why not criticise her?” Price shot back.

“Her country is not on fire, mate,” Helliar responded. “They’re allowed to leave the country.”

Jacinda Ardern is officially ALL OF US. Post continues below.

“She should be in New Zealand spending money there,” Price continued.

“I’m getting tired of Jacinda Ardern doing no wrong,” he added.

As Price’s The Project co-hosts attempted to point out, Price entirely missed the point.

After all, the nation’s uproar with Scott Morrison’s Hawaii holiday wasn’t about the holiday itself.

It was about the timing and as Lisa Wilkinson said, “The fact that he hid it from the public”.

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As the ABC pointed out, Ardern’s decision to spend her family holiday in Australia sends a strong international message that these areas are now open to visitors.

“An important part of recovery after a major event is letting people know that destinations are open to visit,” Griffith Institute for Tourism director Sarah Gardiner said.

“This is really important in terms of the rebuilding and getting people coming back to Australia again.”

In late 2019, the New Zealand Prime Minister shared that she likes to travel around Australia because she can often fly under the radar.

“It’s not to escape or anything like that because in Gisborne, we have a wonderful time,” she told AAP.

“It’s just that we don’t have to take our security. We can be by ourselves. It’s really nice. We can be a bit more spontaneous.”

But while Ardern likes the opportunity to become slightly more anonymous in Australia, she has used her time in the country to draw attention to herself and the bushfire affected areas around the country.

Not only did Ardern potentially help boost tourism, she also provided a much-needed morale boost for businesses and residents alike struggling with drought and the bushfire season.

And if that’s not something to celebrate, we don’t know what is.

Feature Image: Channel 10.

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