Jacinda Ardern defends Hamilton after 'rough' criticism from Mark Richardson

Jacinda Ardern has staunchly defended her birthplace of Hamilton after "disrespect" from Mark Richardson on the state of the city's central business district (CBD).  

Richardson said on The AM Show that for a city to have "soul" it needs a CBD people want to go to.

"I'm sorry to say it but Hamilton, the city centre is derelict and people have moved out to these outer suburbs and the city lacks soul!"

In a later interview, Ardern refused to let Richardson drag the city, saying she hoped there was "no more disrespect" on the show.

"Do you think we've been unfair?" asked host Duncan Garner.

"It's been a little rough - it's my place of birth!" replied Ardern.

When Garner pointed out that doesn't necessarily mean she had to be loyal to it, Ardern retorted it did, especially if "Mark's having a go!"

When Garner asked the last time she had visited Hamilton, Ardern was quick to respond.

"I was there last week actually!" 

She denied she had just passed "straight-through" and maintained she had stopped in the city.

"I'm standing by my defensiveness here!" she laughed.