Tag Archives: Jacinda

4 things to know about Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's prime minister

4 things to know about Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's prime ministerPrime Minister Jacinda Ardern is the youngest New Zealand leader in more than a century.



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'Our Darkest of Days.' New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Reflects on How The Country Can Move Forward

'Our Darkest of Days.' New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Reflects on How The Country Can Move ForwardNew Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has garnered international praise for her empathetic but defiant response in the wake of the terror attacks on two…



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New Zealand shooting: Jacinda Ardern to announce gun law reforms within 10 days

New Zealand shooting: Jacinda Ardern to announce gun law reforms within 10 daysJacinda Ardern, New Zealand's prime minister, said on Monday gun law reforms would be announced in 10 days, after meeting her cabinet for the first time since the massacre in Christchurch. The shock of the attacks, in which 50  people were killed and dozens wounded at two mosques, has led to calls for an immediate tightening of laws to restrict access to some firearms, particularly semi-automatic weapons. Ms Ardern said on Monday that her cabinet had made in principle decisions around the reform of gun laws following the mass shooting in Christchurch "I intend to give further details of these decisions to the media and the public before cabinet meets again next Monday," she said at a press conference. "This ultimately means that within 10 days of this horrific act of terrorism we will have announced reforms which will, I believe, make our community safer." Terror in New Zealand | Read more She said an inquiry would look at the lead up to attack and what might have been done differently. The owner of a New Zealand gun store said on Monday the man charged with murder in Christchurch's mass shooting had bought firearms and ammunition online from the store, but it did not sell him the high-powered weapon used in the mosque shootings. Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday. Tarrant was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5 where police said he was likely to face more charges. Gun City owner David Tipple said the alleged gunman bought four weapons and ammunition between December 2017 and March 2018. "The MSSA, military-style automatic, reportedly used by the alleged gunman was not purchased from Gun City. Gun City did not sell him an MSSA, only A-category firearms," Mr Tipple told a news conference in Christchurch. Gun City owner David Tipple gestures during a press conference in Christchurch Credit: AP Under New Zealand gun laws, A-category weapons can be semi-automatic but limited to seven shots. Video of a gunman in one mosque showed a semi-automatic with a large magazine round. Mr Tipple said the online purchases followed a police-verified online mail-order process and A-category firearms were bought in three or four purchases. "We detected nothing extraordinary about the licence holder. He was a brand new purchaser, with a brand new licence," he said. Tightening New Zealand's gun laws was at the top of Ms Ardern's agenda for the Cabinet meeting on Monday. "What the public rightly are asking right now is why is it and how is it that you are currently able to buy military style semi-automatic weapons in New Zealand, and that's the right question to ask," Ms Ardern told TVNZ earlier on Monday. "There are ways we can bring in effective regulation of firearms that actually target those we need to target and that is our focus." Mr Tipple said he supported Ardern's call for gun law reforms as the Christchurch shootings had raised legitimate concerns. New Zealand, a country of only 5 million people, has an estimated 1.5 million firearms. The minimum age for a gun license is 16, and 18 to own a semi-automatic weapon. A Radio New Zealand report, based on police data secured through an Official Information Act request, said more than 99 percent of people who applied for a firearms licence in 2017 were successful. A New Zealand standard A-category firearm licence is issued after a police and background check. No licence is required to buy a large round magazine, which can be illegally modified for use in such a weapon. Only firearm owners are licensed, not weapons, so there is no monitoring of how many weapons a person may possess. The plans for gun control measures came as Tarrant's court-appointed lawyer said the suspect intended to represent himself.  Duty lawyer Richard Peters, who represented Tarrant during the preliminary court hearing, told AFP the 28-year-old "indicated he does not want a lawyer". "He wants to be self-represented in this case," said Mr Peters, who played down suggestions that Tarrant may not be fit for trial. "The way he presented was rational and someone who was not suffering any mental disability. That's how he appeared. He seemed to understand what was going on," Mr Peters said. New Zealand mosque massacre – In pictures Ms Ardern was the first signatory of a national condolence book for the country's worst mass killing that she opened in the capital Wellington on Monday. "On behalf of all New Zealanders, we grieve together. We are one. They are us," she wrote in the book. Frustration was building among the families of victims as under Islam it is custom to conduct burials within 24 hours, but bodies will not be released until post mortems are carried out. Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha said the first body was approved for release on Sunday night, but the family was yet to take the body because another relative was also killed and they wanted to collect them together. He said there would be no burials on Monday. "We’ve been working fairly hard through the night to ensure the process of returning the deceased to their loved ones is taking place expediently," he said. The burial process, which usually involves washing with three kinds of water, salving wounds and scrubbing skin, would be complicated, volunteers in Christchurch said. Muslims embrace after overseeing the excavating of graves at a Muslim cemetery in Christchurch, New Zealand Credit: AP Mo, a volunteer who had flown in from Brisbane to wash the bodies, said the people who died in the mosques were classified as martyrs. That meant there were different views as to whether they would be washed or not because he said Islamic jurisprudence said martyrs are not to be washed as their blood was witness to their martyrdom. "But some people have said because it was not a battlefield it is okay to wash the body. But it is at the discretion of the family," said Mo. He asked to be identified by just one name. The two mosques involved in the shootings have been closed since the massacre, but are expected to reopen by Friday prayers after cleansing blessings were carried out, said Haumaha. "This morning we conducted two important blessings at the Deans Avenue mosques and the Linwood mosque," he said. "This blessing this morning gave them (the Muslim community) huge confidence…We hope to have those premises in place by the end of the week to allow our Muslim community to go back and undertake prayer." Sign up for your essential, twice-daily briefing from The Telegraph with our free Front Page newsletter.



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New Zealand mosque shooter 'acted alone'; sent manifesto to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand mosque shooter 'acted alone'; sent manifesto to Prime Minister Jacinda ArdernPolice in New Zealand said on Sunday that the right-wing terrorist behind a massacre at two mosques in Christchurch was acting alone, as it emerged the killer's manifesto had been sent to the country's prime minister minutes before the tragedy unfolded. Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, sent a racist, rambling manifesto to prime minister Jacinda Ardern in which he denied being linked to any organisations and said he was acting on his own. The document, which praised President Donald Trump and Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik, was emailed to Ms Ardern's office just 9 minutes before the attack began. However, a senior White House official said it was unfair to cast the shooter as a supporter of President Trump based on one reference to him in the manifesto.  Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told "Fox News Sunday" that the shooter was a "disturbed individual" and an "evil person." Mr Mulvaney said attempts to tie the shooter to any American politician "probably ignores some of the deeper difficulties that this sort of activity exposes." It came as a man whose wife was killed in the attack as she rushed back into a mosque to rescue him said he harbours no hatred toward the gunman, insisting forgiveness is the best path forward. "I would say to him 'I love him as a person'," said Farid Ahmad, whose wife Husna Ahmad, 44, was killed at the Al Noor mosque – the first of two targeted by the gunman. "I could not accept what he did. What he did was a wrong thing," he added. A man reacts following the attacks on Friday. Asked if he forgave the 28-year-old white supremacist suspect, he said: "Of course. The best thing is forgiveness, generosity, loving and caring, positivity." Tarrant has also broadcast the massacre live on social media, using a head-mounted camera, which sparked an outcry across the world as platforms such as Facebook were slow to take down the grisly footage. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter had scrambled to take down duplicates of the video at the request of the New Zealand police. The footage showed worshippers being sprayed with bullets, with some trying to crawl away, as Tarrant moved through Al Noor Mosque. A spokesman for Facebook said it had blocked or removed 1.5m copies of the video after the original was streamed online. Traditional media outlets were also criticised for broadcasting lengthy segments of the 16-minute video clip. Sky New Zealand removed Rupert Murdoch-owned Sky News Australia from broadcasts after the channel repeatedly screened extracts of the footage. “We made the decision on Friday with Sky News Australia to replace their live news with sport,” Sky New Zealand tweeted on Friday evening. The call was made “to ensure coverage doesn’t compromise ongoing investigations in NZ”. On Sunday, Ms Ardern said the bodies of those who died were beginning to be returned to their families as of that evening. She said it was expected all would be returned by Wednesday. Two days after the massacre, Dunedin woman Jackie Lawton, 34, said she was "still just overwhelmed and so sad” thinking about the lives lost. She went to a vigil with hundreds of others, held outside Dunedin’s Al Huda Mosque on Sunday afternoon. The last time Ms Lawton attended a vigil was in December, to honour slain British backpacker Grace Millane. “When Grace Millane was murdered the whole country mourned, deeply, for weeks. We felt like we knew her, even though she’d been here for such a short time,” she said. “This is 50 people though – each one as loved and needed as Grace. This is Grace times 50 and I don’t know if we can even process that.” Flowers, candles, and messages of solidarity had been placed in front of the mosque and a group sang hymns before performing a haka. Vigils have been held the length of the country over the weekend. Christchurch local James Tawhiti, 41, had driven down to Dunedin on Saturday “because it was too tense and sad and awful." “We’ve all already been through the earthquakes, that screwed a lot of people up,” he said. “But this is somehow worse because it’s a man-made tragedy. Natural disasters aren’t evil like this and it just feels like we’ve lost something, maybe our innocence.” Three students from Cashmere High School were at the Al Noor Mosque for Friday prayers when the attacker burst in. Two of the students are presumed dead and the third is in the hospital with gunshot wounds. The father of Sayyad Milne, 14, told the New Zealand Herald that his son was last seen lying on the bloody floor of the mosque bleeding from his lower body. "I've lost my little boy. He's just turned 14," he told the newspaper. "I remember him as my baby who I nearly lost when he was born. Such a struggle he's had throughout all his life. He's been unfairly treated but he's risen above that and he's very brave. A brave little soldier. It's so hard … to see him just gunned down by someone who didn't care about anyone or anything," Milne said. "I know where he is. I know he's at peace." Current students weren't the only ones caught in Friday's mass shootings, the deadliest terrorist attacks in the country's modern history. A former Cashmere High School student is also believed to have been killed, as was the father of another student. Outside the school on Sunday, students came in a trickle to lean bouquets of flowers up against a construction barricade, evidence of the ongoing rebuilding from Christchurch's 2011 earthquake. Principal Mark Wilson said counselors and trauma specialists will be on hand when classes resume at the diverse school of more than 2,000. "I'm very confident in our staff; I'm very confident in our school community. It's made up of awesome people," Wilson said. "It's still going to be hard. There's going to be a lot of grief. There's going to be a lot of sadness. I think we've also got to be very patient with each other." Wilson declined to talk about the boys believed to have been killed, but confirmed three students were at the mosque on Friday and said one remained hospitalized with gunshot wounds to the leg. The principal noted that schools can often be a safe place for children coping with trauma. He is also encouraging students to take up their own acts of love to counteract the tragedy.



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Jacinda Ardern received Brenton Tarrant's manifesto nine minutes before New Zealand attack

Jacinda Ardern received Brenton Tarrant's manifesto nine minutes before New Zealand attackNew Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her office received a "manifesto" from the gunman suspected of killing 50 people in two Christchurch mosques minutes before Friday's attack. "I was one of more than 30 recipients of the manifesto that was mailed out nine minutes before the attack took place," Ms Ardern told reporters on Sunday. "It did not include a location, it did not include specific details," she said, adding that it was sent to security services within two minutes of receipt. Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday. Tarrant was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5 where police said he was likely to face more charges. Ms Ardern said she had read "elements" of the lengthy, meandering and conspiracy-filled far-right "manifesto". New Zealand mosque massacre – In pictures "The fact that there was an ideological manifesto with extreme views attached to this attack, of course, that is deeply disturbing," she said. The massacre was live-streamed around the world by the gunman and the shootings have raised new questions about violence being disseminated online. Ms Ardern told the briefing that she had been contacted by Facebook operations chief Sheryl Sandberg who had acknowledged what had happened. "This is an issue that I will look to be discussing directly with Facebook," Ms Ardern said. Facebook said on Twitter it had removed 1.5 million videos of the attack in the first 24 hours and it was also removing all edited versions, even those without graphic content. Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, demanded social media sites freeze their websites in the event of a terrorist atrocity to prevent people sharing graphic images of terrorist violence. He said a “radical rethink” was needed after Tarrant broadcast live the shootings on Facebook before it was shared among millions of people. “If social media sites can't stop the videos being uploaded to their platforms then they should suspend all uploads,” he said. “If you have to review a massacre to assess whether it breaches your terms and conditions you've got the wrong business model.” For almost three days forensics teams have been working through multiple crime scenes – at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques as well as a house in Dunedin, the southeastern city where the Tarrant lived. Bodies of those he gunned down had remained inside the mosque awaiting autopsies and identification by increasingly distraught family members desperate to begin Muslim burial rites. Ms Ardern tried to reassure them on Sunday. "I can confirm that the bodies of those who have died are beginning to be returned to their families from this evening," she said, adding that all were expected to be released by Wednesday. It is customary in Islam to bury the dead within 24 hours. Terror in New Zealand | Read more Ms Ardern said police would be posted at all mosques while they are open. Police Commissioner Mike Bush earlier said the body of the 50th victim was found at the Al Noor mosque, where more than 40 people died after a gunman entered and shot at people with a semi-automatic rifle with high-capacity magazines, before travelling to a second mosque. As the bodies of some victims were released to their families, a list circulated by relatives showed they ranged in age from three to 77 and included at least four women. Amid the sadness, there have also been tales of heroes such as Alabi Lateef and a fellow worshipper, who followed the 28-year-old Australian gunman to his car and used a discarded rifle to smash the vehicle's back window. Alabi said he told worshippers to duck down and then described how he and a "brother" decided to confront the attacker during a lull in the gunfire. "By the time he got there (outside the mosque) the bullets were finished and the gun was used," Lateef recounted. The pair's actions may have helped saved further casualties, as Tarrant was apprehended by two armed police officers soon after. Daoud Nabi, a 71-year-old Afghan man, reportedly ran into the line of fire to save fellow worshippers at the Al Noor mosque and died shielding someone else from a bullet. "He jumped in the firing line to save somebody else's life and he has passed away," his son Omar told AFP. Haji Daoud Nabi (pictured), 71, a father-of-five and retired engineer, moved to New Zealand from Afghanistan in 1977  The mosque attacks have shaken this usually peaceful country, which prides itself on welcoming refugees fleeing violence or persecution. Ms Ardern has vowed to change the country's gun laws and to uncover how a self-avowed extremist legally purchased two semi-automatic weapons, reportedly AR-15s, two shotguns and a lever-action gun without drawing the attention of the authorities. It has also has emerged that a former soldier raised concerns about extremism at Tarrant's gun club in Dunedin. Ardern said the cabinet would be briefed on Monday on the aftermath of the disaster and begin discussions "around issues like, for instance, gun policy."



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New Zealand's 'First Baby' Neve makes history with United Nations debut alongside Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand's 'First Baby' Neve makes history with United Nations debut alongside Jacinda ArdernNew Zealand’s so-called “First Baby” – the three-month-old daughter of prime minister Jacinda Ardern -  has made her debut on the international political stage, appearing at a peace summit at the United Nations with her mother. Ms Ardern kissed Neve Te Aroha before addressing the summit, during which the baby was held by Clarke Gayford, Ms Ardern’s partner. Mr Gayford sent an image of his daughter’s United Nations security pass, which playfully listed her title as “First Baby”. "Because everyone on Twitter's been asking to see Neve's UN ID, staff here whipped one up," he wrote. "I wish I could have captured the startled look on a Japanese delegation inside the UN yesterday who walked into a meeting room in the middle of a nappy change. Great yarn for her 21st." Because everyone on twitter's been asking to see Neve's UN id, staff here whipped one up. I wish I could have captured the startled look on a Japanese delegation inside UN yesterday who walked into a meeting room in the middle of a nappy change. Great yarn for her 21st. pic.twitter.com/838BI96VYX— Clarke Gayford (@NZClarke) September 24, 2018 Ms Ardern, 38, is her country’s youngest leader and the first to take maternity leave. She is only the second leader in modern history to give birth while in office, after Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto in 1990. Ms Ardern said she and her partner made “a very practical decision” to take Neve with them into the United Nations summit in New York. “Neve is actually nearby me most of the time in New Zealand, she's just not always caught,” she said. Clarke Gayford holds baby Neve while Jacinda Ardern speaks at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit Credit:  CARLO ALLEGRI/REUTERS  "But here when she's awake we try and keep her with me so obviously that was the occasion.” A United Nations spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said the organisation was delighted to see Neve in the General Assembly hall. “Prime Minister Ardern is showing that no one is better qualified to represent her country than a working mother,” he said. “Just five  percent of the world’s leaders are women, so we need to make them as welcome here as possible.” Jacinda Ardern addresses the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit Credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP Ms Ardern has been feted by the United States media during her visit and appeared on NBC’s Today Show shortly after her arrival. She joked that taking her daughter on a seventeen-hour flight “at the time felt on par” with running the country. "But between Clarke and I we managed it," she said. "You don't know until you are there of course, but [motherhood] has met my expectations, the joy though has far surpassed my expectations."



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