'What a woman': Ronan Keating raves about Jacinda Ardern, dreams of returning to NZ soon

Ronan Keating says he's itching to make his way back to New Zealand as soon as possible, joking that his connection with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern might help his chances of being let in. 

Speaking to The Breeze, the former Boyzone star said with Aotearoa "getting back to normal" during the COVID-19 pandemic and concerts starting up again, the sooner he could get back, the better. 

"You've got a remarkable country there, you really do. I would easily live in New Zealand," Keating said during a Zoom interview with fans and radio host Robert Scott. 

"I was lucky enough to meet Jacinda Ardern - what a woman, she's amazing," Keating said. 

"My wife and I are big fans and when we were in Wellington we popped into the Beehive to say hi and we had a cup of tea with her."

The singer said he would "reach out" to the Prime Minister and see if she would let him in the country to play a show, adding: "That would be mega. So cool." 

Ardern isn't the only Kiwi mate Keating has made over the years. The father of four said he and his son had also spent time with rugby stars the Savea brothers and the Barretts when they visited Wellington for the Lions tour in 2017. 

Keating said his happy memories of Wellington meant it took the top spot as his favourite place in New Zealand, but also raved about the "magnificent" Cape Kidnappers and Mission Estate in Hawke's Bay.