'That's New Zealand!' Aussie journo gets Jacinda Ardern 'on the blower immediately'

  • 21/10/2017
Jacinda Ardern during the election campaign.
Jacinda Ardern during the election campaign. Photo credit: Getty

When an Australian journalist wasn't sure how to pronounce Jacinda Ardern's name, he decided to go straight to the source.

What he didn't expect was to get a lesson in pronunciation from the Prime Minister-elect herself. 

ABC Radio National's Tiger Webb tweeted about the exchange, expressing surprise at how easy it was to get in touch with the new Prime Minister.

"How's this. Heard variant pronunciations of Jacinda Ardern, so called her office. Got JA on the blower immediately. She confirmed: AH-durn," he wrote. 

Mr Webb said it was quite a short conversation, but compared to other people he has to call in his job, she was nice.

His colleague Alex McClintock assured followers the story was true, writing: "I want to reiterate: @tfswebb called New Zealand to find out how to pronounce their new prime minister's name and got put through to the PM".

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark took notice, replying to a later tweet byt a colleage of Mr Webb to say "That's New Zealand!!"

Ms Ardern later told NZME it was "funny".

"He said 'oh hello' and said his name and where he was from, and that he just needed to know how to pronounce my surname.

"I told him and then I thought 'oh the poor thing, clearly the operator's just put him straight through'. I'm sure he probably didn't intend to do that but it was no trouble at all."