When Jacinda Ardern was younger, she wanted to be a clown. She’d witnessed one make her entire school laugh, and thought, “I want to make people happy too”.
After that, she thought she would be a policewoman, then a psychologist. “I certainly didn’t think I would be a prime minister.”
Ardern reveals this, and more, in this special episode of Sitting Room Only, available exclusively on nzherald.co.nz.
In it, she sits down with Kiwi singer-songwriter Gin Wigmore, as the pair are interviewed by actor and film-maker Hannah Marshall. The episode was created in conjunction with Wigmore’s Girl Gang project, an art collaboration centred on the ethos of bringing women together.
It’s a stripped-back, intimate conversation that shows a new side of both women. The pair discuss topics ranging from how women have to work harder for success, their pregnancies, and how they can inspire younger generations.
While sharing pregnancy stories, Wigmore and Ardern discover that they both received the news after an argument with their partners.
“I was in Wellington, and Clarke [Gayford] was in Northland and he was doing his fishing show,” says Ardern.
“I’d called him and we’d had a little bit of an argument about whether or not he was going to be able to get to Wellington for the announcement of… the government.
“When I got the result of my test,” Ardern continues, “I thought, ‘oh my word, I’m going to have to call him back’. I called him back, and he was kind of exasperated because I had just got off the phone with him, and he was surrounded by his whole film crew. He went into a toilet, so he was in a rented bach, in a toilet, when I told him.”
Ardern also reveals she went through morning sickness for 16 weeks of her pregnancy. “I just wanted to throw up all of the time.”
Wigmore says a fight with her husband, Jason Aalon Butler, was what prompted her to take a test. “We’d had a little argument, and I was like, ‘you know what? I’m always fighting with him, I must be pregnant. I’m overly emotional at the moment’… Did [the test] – pregnant – and then thought, ‘great, I’ll call him on the phone, it’ll totally diffuse the whole argument.”
Ardern and Wigmore also discuss how Kiwis have a different approach to people in the public eye. Ardern says she was at Kmart recently when a woman approached her and simply said: “Shopping at Kmart. Legit.”
The PM says that sense of familiarity and approachability is something she loves about New Zealand – but worries that young women struggle to see their dreams as possible.
“If any country can get through that, and put [dreams] within reach of these young girls, it will be us because we’ve got two degrees of separation,” she says. “It shouldn’t take much for you to get contact with someone like Gin. [Or] just roll down to Kmart on a Saturday and I’ll meet you in the maternity pants section.”
Who: Gin Wigmore and Jacinda Ardern in conversation
What: Sitting Room Only x Girl Gang – directed by Hannah Marshall
Where: Watch exclusively above
Source: NZ Herald