International interest in controversy

Jacinda Ardern. Photo: File
Jacinda Ardern. Photo: File

Jacinda Ardern says international interest in the controversy over media asking her about wanting to have children shows the wider issue is ‘‘live beyond New Zealand’s borders’’.

‘‘I have had contact from international media outlets over that discussion. I think it just demonstrates that it is a live issue beyond New Zealand’s borders,’’ Ms Ardern said yesterday.

‘‘As long as we can keep challenging views that are antiquated and have no place in New Zealand or anywhere else, perhaps there will be something positive to come out of the discussion."

Ms Ardern faced media yesterday, her third as party leader, shortly after announcing a minor portfolio reshuffle.

She kept one of her first promises, giving her predecessor a senior role in her shadow cabinet.

Andrew Little has been ranked seventh in the party’s caucus and will take on the justice, small business and ACC portfolios, in addition to his new economy role.

Despite her other responsibilities growing, Ms Ardern has taken on the security and intelligence portfolio from Mr Little and has held on to the children and arts, culture and heritage roles.

Ms Ardern will be helped in the portfolios she has retained by Carmel Sepuloni and Grant Robertson as associates.

New deputy leader Kelvin Davis has swapped places with Mr Little in the caucus line-up, jumping from seven to two.

After taking over as leader on Tuesday, Ms Ardern pledged to scrap Labour’s ‘‘a fresh approach’’ campaign slogan, and to revise some policy, but said she wanted 72 hours to consider those moves.

‘‘We will say a little bit more on that tomorrow — once my 72 hours is up. I’m taking the full number,’’ Ms Ardern said.

‘‘You will not see me standing up with a full policy agenda.

‘‘We have got seven weeks to talk about our ideas, so there is going to be a little patience that will need to be exercised.

‘‘And, also, it is not just policy I’ve had to review. It is an entire campaign plan.’

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