Christchurch terror attack: Jacinda Ardern praised for being 'compassionate leader'

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been praised internationally for her response to the Christchurch terror attack.

While the country reeled from the attack, the 38-year-old leader has been commended for showing calmness, compassion and empathy.

"She promptly labelled the worst peacetime mass killing in New Zealand as terrorism, and set about reassuring a nation that has been largely unscathed by the violence and fears that have afflicted other countries in the past two decades," Reuters reports.

The New York Times wrote that Ardern's vision of kindness in politics has been tested by the worst mass murder in New Zealand's modern history.

By "utterly rejecting and condemning" the gunman, Ardern's sentiments were echoed throughout the country - things like this do not happen here, the New York Times writes.

Immediately following the attack, Ardern - wearing a black headscarf - embraced family members who had lost loved ones.

She also swiftly announced her Government would tighten gun laws.

When United States President Donald Trump called to offer condolences and asked what support the US could offer New Zealand, Ardern pointedy said "Sympathy and love for all Muslim communities".

Political commentator Bryce Edwards says, "Ardern's performance has been extraordinary - and I believe she will be strongly lauded for it both domestically and internationally," according to Reuters.

"Can we just acknowledge with open hearts and clear heads that @jacindaardern has done an extraordinary job representing our nation, our pain and our resolve," prominent journalist and television news presenter Eric Young said in a Twitter post.

"I wish with everything in my heart she hadn't had to, but I am proud that she did."

Qasim Rashid, a Virgina Senate District candidate, tweeted a photo of the Prime Minister in her headscarf saying, "This is New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, grieving with the Muslim community as they mourn the 49 departed, and wearing a hijab in solidarity. What a powerful example of compassion and leadership. May she and her nation prosper in love and peace.

Literary agent Jonny Geller tweeted: "Can you imagine having a leader of a country showing this kind of empathy? Thank you, Jacinda Ardern, for reminding the world what a Leader is and could be."