Instinct v advice: PM Jacinda Ardern reveals decision-making process

  • 09/07/2019

Jacinda Ardern has disclosed her judgment-making process as Prime Minister, revealing day-to-day decisions come down to "mixture" of instinct and advice. 

"You want to be guided by a good evidence base when you're making decisions on behalf of the country," the Prime Minister told Newstalk ZB. 

Ardern has been Prime Minister of New Zealand for almost two years now and during that time has overseen some major - and often controversial - policy changes, such as gun law reforms following the Christchurch massacre. 

"When you're in a situation where things are happening moment-by-moment and you just have to make decisions quite quickly, as you'd imagine, a lot of that does come down to just your individual instincts," Ardern said. 

"Of course you want to be informed when you're making those calls but sometimes there's very little time available. You hope you're never in that position, though."

The Prime Minister also spoke of the difficulty in leading a country whilst trying to find time for her 1-year-old daughter, Neve Te Aroha. 

She admitted to suffering from parental guilt, but said that's no different from other parents juggling full-time work and trying to find time for their children. 

Ardern, 38, said while her and her partner Clarke Gayford have accepted that she won't get to spend as much time with their daughter as she'd like, she still puts Neve to bed "most nights". 

The Prime Minister's comments on motherhood follow the announcement of her engagement in May to Clarke, 41, and her daughter's first birthday, celebrated last month. 

Earlier this year, Ardern told NEXT magazine it was difficult for her to find spare time, as her weekends often include event appearances on Saturdays, and then on Sundays she prepares for Monday's Cabinet meeting.

Speaking about her daughter, she said: "I hope that she doesn't feel any limitations. That she doesn't have any sense of what girls can or can't do. That it's just not even a concept for her."

The Labour leader said she hasn't had an unproductive day "in about a decade", and said she had her partner "try not to have too many expectations because it's changeable".


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