Americans jealous over NZs Waitangi Day BBQ

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern served up a BBQ breakfast for the public on Waitangi day.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern served up a BBQ breakfast for the public on Waitangi day. Photo credit: Newshub - Zane Small

Americans are expressing their jealousy over something very normal for Kiwis - Jacinda Ardern's Waitangi Day BBQ.

A clip from the Prime Minister's Facebook video of the gathering has been shared to social media site Reddit, the comments revealing just how envious those across the world are of New Zealand's COVID-19 situation. 

In the clip, Ardern is joined by her fiance Clarke Gayford and MPs Grant Robertson, James Shaw, and Kiri Allan.

All MPs get involved in BBQ-ing and serving the free breakfast for the public at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. 

The Waitangi Day breakfast tradition was originally started by Former Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark who held it at Waitangi Copthorne Hotel. Ardern deciding to continue her predecessor's tradition but make it her own by opening it up to the public and hosting it on the treaty grounds. 

"When I first became Prime Minister I was running through the usual programme that every other leader has had here and I was told there is usually a Prime Minister's breakfast and it's traditionally hosted at the Copthorne," Ardern told Newshub. 

"My view was that that wasn't as open and didn't include as many people as I would like. I'm a big fan of a Bacon Butty and so that's how the barbeque was born. We've done it that way ever since."

During the clip, a smiling Ardern jokes about running out of bacon and MPs burnt sausages labelling them the "sausages of shame." 

The mass gathering, maskless faces, sharing of food, hugging of friends, and joy displayed in the video seems to have struck a soft spot with some Americans.

"I am extremely jealous," one user wrote.

"I cannot wait until we are able to get back to these times. Where we can have dinner with the whole family, see our friends and have a few drinks."

"This makes me so jealous, and angry with our government response," said another.

Some were just sad: "God this made me cry a little bit. I haven’t hugged my parents in a year."

While others got defensive as the thread turned into a fiery debate over whether New Zealand's geographic isolation was a factor in its COVID-19 success.

"Twenty hours flight to get down there. Isolation matters," One user wrote.

"It certainly helps, but it’s only 3 hours from Sydney and 10 hours from the world's most densely populated continent," responded another.

Users went on to argue over lockdowns and what could have been on their side of the world - and some were just happy for us.

"It brings me joy to see people safely enjoying themselves without a threat of COVID-19. Here I am in North Texas going into our 11th month in lockdown, with school, masks, distancing, smell of Clorox everywhere."

"I wanna move to New Zealand someday. They have it under control."

New Zealand has gone a week without a community case of COVID-19, the latest cases from managed isolation were caught before they were able to spread further. 

The US has recorded 17.4 million cases of COVID-19 to date with more than 470,000 deaths.