Jacinda Ardern posts Happy New Year message to Kiwis as we enter 2021

After a year marred by the devastating COVID-19 pandemic which also saw historic elections in New Zealand and the US, Jacinda Ardern has shared how she saw the very end of 2020.

The Prime Minister took to social media on Friday morning with a message to Kiwis heading into 2021.

"It's not often I stay up to see the New Year in these days (not since we had a baby anyway) but this year, I wanted to make sure I saw the back of 2020," she said.

"To everyone who helped us get through this year, thank you. While there are plenty of challenges ahead I feel more confident than ever that we're all up for it.

"Happy New Year Aotearoa!"

The posts on Instagram and Facebook have quickly amassed thousands of comments, with the vast majority of them highly positive.

"Mad love to you Jacinda! Happy to have spent 2020 in Aotearoa under your amazing leadership," wrote skateboarder and 'Nek Minnit' meme creator Levi Hawken.

Other commenters have commended Ardern for her leadership during the pandemic, which has seen New Zealand successfully eliminate COVID-19 from the community.

"Happy new year to you to Jacinda. Words can't express your incredible leadership for our beautiful country!" one commenter wrote.

"And to think we are the envy of the rest of the world not only to be blessed with the world's best leader but could celebrate the new year in a mass gathering which is not an option for the rest of the world. Here's to a boring and positive year in 2021!"

Another wrote: "Happy New Years, boss. Thank you for getting us through 2020."

Many Kiwis were able to ring in 2021 together around Aotearoa, in stark contrast to people in countries around the world which are still in lockdown due to the coronavirus.

Thousands of people flocked to downtown Auckland at midnight to watch the fireworks and lighting display on Sky City's Sky Tower and on the Auckland Harbour Bridge.