The PM's hardest year: Jacinda Ardern opens up about the toll of the Christchurch shooting as she reflects on 2019

This year was the Prime Minister's hardest year, and Jacinda Ardern has opened up like never before about the toll the Christchurch terror attacks had on the country and on herself.

But her year's been memorable for happier moments too, and Newshub sat down with her to take a look back at the year that was.

The Christchurch shooting on March 15 was labelled New Zealand's  'darkest day'. 

"None of us could imagine it and I find it hard to think that there'd be anything that will have the kind of impact that that has had on NZ," Ardern said, reflecting on the shooting in which 51 people died.

"There's always a degree to which [in] these roles you need to be prepared for the unexpected. You need to build as much resilience as you can but this was something different again."

Ardern doesn't talk much about how the Christchurch terror attack affected - and continues to affect - her.

"I've always shied away from personalising it because it was never, ever about me," she told Newshub. 

"The scale of it for me was nothing in comparison to those who lost family members."

Those family members she met, consoled and grieved with. 

"I think it would be hard-pressed to find something that was that's going to match what that felt like for anyone really," Ardern said.

But as hard as the year has been, after an interview with the Prime Minister in June, she described how her daughter Neve was progressing with her animal noises. Now six months on, she's said her first word.

"She's got plenty of them," Ardern said. "Her first word was 'dada'."

The Prime Minister and her partner Clarke Gayford also got engaged this year.

Watch the video.