60 Minutes defends Jacinda Ardern interview

Current affairs programme 60 Minutes has defended itself after a controversial interview with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The interview drew accusations of sexism, but in a statement provided to Newshub, Nine network has defended the coverage.

"In its 40 years on-air, 60 Minutes has always been renowned for its political interviews conducted without fear or favour," a spokesperson said.

"In interviews with various world leaders including Bob Hawke, Margaret Thatcher and current Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull, 60 Minutes reporters have always asked the tough questions which the public has been wanting to hear, while also showing the human side of these individuals that we rarely get to see."

Charles Wooley, the journalist who interviewed Ms Ardern, "came away from his interview with Jacinda Ardern in awe of her poise, intelligence and everyday charm, which was reflected in the full story" according to the spokesperson.

Mr Wooley spoke to NZME earlier on Monday, and slammed the social media backlash as "Orwellian".

In the 60 Minutes segment he made a comment about how attractive Ms Ardern was, but he says there are many different meanings to the word.

He said he did not regret the interview, but said his wife accused him of "gushing".

Ms Ardern told reporters she was "not fazed" by the interview.

"Maybe I've lost all my sensitivity, maybe it's just that I'm from Morrinsville," she said.


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