Jacinda Ardern made a special pit stop on her quick tour of the eastern North Island, where she visits the places with the lowest vaccination rates, in a bid to encourage locals to get vaccinate.
On a stopover Thursday in Murupara, the Prime Minister had the chance to visit the house where she lived as a child, with her family, while her father worked in the city as a policeman.
“While I was in Murupara today I stopped by the house we were living in,” Ardern said on social media.
“Nowadays it’s used by night cops, so they opened it up for me. It’s amazing how the spaces can bring back instant memories. As soon as I walked into the kitchen, I wondered. I’m reminded that the upstairs cupboard was where my mom hid the treats. Once I climbed on the bench trying to get my hand in it and burned my knee on the slow cooker… J “I still have the scar! And the green carpet is still there. I have many happy memories of living here in this house, it was such a pleasure to visit.”
The Prime Minister was able to peek inside his childhood home. (Picture/Facebook)
Ardern was born in Hamilton, but had a brief stint in Murupara, where she started school.
She told e-tangata in 2017 that she had “really positive memories” of being there in what she described as a “great community”.
Speaking to the Herald in 2016, the prime minister said the house, which is opposite the police station, had been bombarded with bottles before and that she had previously encountered ‘heavy guys’ threatening her father. “Keep walking, Jacinda, keep walking,” her father said.
In 2014, she told New Zealand Woman’s Weekly that her experiences in Murupara sparked the instincts that led her into politics, after seeing rampant inequality in the town as a little girl.
“I always noticed when things felt unfair to me,” she said in the interview. “Of course when you’re a kid you don’t call it social justice. I just thought it was wrong that other kids didn’t have what I had. When we moved to Morrinsville, I was eight years old, and I started doing something about it – joining human rights groups at school and things like that.”
As part of his tour to encourage vaccination, Ardern was in Hastings and Wairoa yesterday.
The aerial tours, which had only been organized the day before, saw Ardern speaking to frontline staff and members of the public getting vaccinated.
The house is now used by the local police. (Picture/Facebook)
During the Murupara leg of his visit, three protesters appeared as Ardern was greeted, with signs proclaiming “freedom of choice” and “informed decision-making”.
Murupara currently has the lowest vaccination rates in New Zealand.