Jacinda Ardern had made a subtle dig at Donald Trump during an interview with the BBC.
Ms Ardern described how she prided herself on having empathy as a politician and has made a deliberate choice to avoid being too adversarial.
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"I've made a very deliberate decision that in the Westminster style of politics that we have in New Zealand, which is very adversarial that there is a place for us to still push back a little bit on that," she said.
"I've always said that it takes courage and strength to be empathetic, and I'm very proudly an empathetic, compassionately driven politician.
"We teach kindness and empathy and compassion to our children but then we somehow when it comes to political leadership want a complete absence of that."
But she seems to have made a veiled reference to US President Donald Trump, who favours isolationist "America First" policies, during a discussion on globalisation.
"We can capitalise on that fear by blaming others and saying that the answer is to become more and more insular, to become protectionist, to build up those walls around us, so that we can retreat back to yesteryear," she said.
Ms Ardern said instead it is possible to give a message of hope and say countries can provide for people and have healthcare, education and job security if they plan for the future and avoid blaming others.
"I put myself firmly in that constituency. We have a responsibility as politicians for the language that we use but also the policies that we provide and the hope that we deliver."