Jacinda Ardern's Ratana absence no 'snub'

Jacinda Ardern has promised she won't miss Ratana next year.

The Prime Minister is presently in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum.

"Unfortunately the timing of the World Economic Forum is always going to clash with the timing of Ratana," she said on Thursday morning (NZ time).

"They tend to schedule at exactly the same time."

Jacinda Ardern at Ratana last year.
Jacinda Ardern at Ratana last year. Photo credit: Getty

Instead, the Government delegation will be led by Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, who'll be talking up the coalition's efforts to revitalise rural areas through its Provincial Growth Fund.

"All around this country there are Maori settlements that have got hope now in terms of all sorts of infrastructure projects," he told The AM Show, listing Whanganui, the East Coast, Hokianga, Kaitaia and Kaikohe as examples.

Kelvin Davis will also be speaking at Ratana on housing.

Ms Ardern said it was a "real disappointment" to miss Ratana, and denied it was a "snub" to the Labour-aligned movement - as AM Show host Duncan Garner suggested.

"Absolutely not I will be back there next year."

Winston Peters.
Winston Peters. Photo credit: The AM Show

The last Prime Minister to miss Ratana was John Key in 2015. He also went to Davos, sending then-Deputy Prime Minister Bill English in his place.

Then-Labour leader Andrew Little declined to use it for political gain, saying it was important for New Zealand to have a presence on the world stage.

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