Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's message to Budget cover woman now in Australia

The woman on the cover of the Budget documents, who lives in Australia and questioned why her picture was used, has received a message from the Prime Minister.

On Thursday, only hours before the release of the Government's Wellbeing Budget, it was revealed the woman who appears on the Budget's cover, Vicky Freeman, had moved to Australia because Kiwi living costs were too much.

It was another blunder for the Government after some of the Budget details were released by the National Party and Treasury officers began handing out the Budget to journalists before the lock-up began.

Freeman told Newshub it was a "shock" to see her picture on the cover, having moved to Australia as it was "hard financially" being a single parent in New Zealand.

She's now received a message from Jacinda Ardern after questioning why the photo of her and her daughter Ruby-Jean was used.

On an Instagram post uploaded by Ardern on Thursday featuring a picture of the Budget cover, Freeman, under the username "wikiwiki.zn" commented: "Great cover. Can I ask why this photo was chosen please?"

Ardern replied saying it was all about "happiness".

"Simple reason really - happiness. You both looked really happy."

Freeman said: "We are".

National leader Simon Bridges pointed out the blunder in Parliament on Thursday. As he held a copy of the Budget, he pointed to the image of the woman on the cover and told MPs: "She's moved to Australia!"

"That tells you all you need to know about this Budget - it's glossy pics; it's spin."

Ardern defended using the image, taking a jab at the National Party Caucus.

"It's somewhat similar, probably, to the Opposition Caucus room - regardless of the smiling faces on the front, it's what happens on the inside that really matters."

Finance Minister Grant Robertson also addressed the image saying he was sure the Budget will mean "she wants to move back to New Zealand".

But while Freeman is proud she's the face of the new Budget, she's happy in Australia.


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