While it can sometimes feel like we know a lot about public figures, turns out until yesterday we didn’t know Jacinda Ardern was a serious thrifter.
During a Facebook Live video yesterday the New Zealand Prime Minister began the live stream by introducing us to her dining room, which she said was “pretty stock standard, really” despite the fact she lives at Premier House, the PM’s official residence.
“It’s just a table with some of the features that usually you find in a family home – chalkboard,” Ms Ardern said, gesturing to a chalkboard behind her that had some scrawlings from (we assume) her two-year-old daughter Neve.
However Ms Ardern pointed out there was an “unusual” feature in her dining room, revealing her chairs had a fairly swanky previous life.
“Probably the one unusual piece of furniture that is here, I’ll share this with you,” she explained, gesturing to the red leather chairs.
“These are the old Cabinet chairs from back in the day.
“We of course make sure that nothing goes to waste so they’ve been recycled and they’re now our dining room chairs.”
Ms Ardern was quick to admit the chairs weren’t the most comfy, which is probably why she had added a cushion.
“Not always the most comfortable,” she said, “which perhaps back in the day may have kept Cabinet meetings short.”
Ms Ardern appeared on Facebook to discuss the latest coronavirus developments for New Zealand.
The NZ PM is fond of the platform and was praised in March for making a down-to-earth Facebook appearance in a jumper, apologising for her “casual attire” as she did the video to “check in with everyone”.
“It can be a messy business putting toddlers to bed so I’m not in my work clothes,” Ms Ardern said.
Like Australia, New Zealand was successful at flattening the curve of coronavirus cases early on but has faced challenges as restrictions lifted.
While she had previously declared New Zealand coronavirus-free, a recent spate of cases thanks to travellers has seen her under increased pressure to keep the country’s borders closed.
“Any suggestion of borders opening at this point, frankly, is dangerous and I don’t think we should put New Zealand in that position,” she said.
However Ms Ardern was open to the idea of travel between New Zealand and COVID-19-free Australian states, but it would be a matter for Australia when it opened its borders to international travel.
“Ultimately, it’s up to Australia to decide whether or not they’ll go for a whole country approach or a state-by-state approach,” she said.
“Obviously, where there is community outbreak, that is a no-go for New Zealand.
“Where they have border controls in place and where they’ve had no community transmissions for sustained periods of time … that may be a different scenario.”