Jacinda Ardern 'exceptionally diplomatic' in the US – expert

The AM Show 28/09/2018

It's been a big week for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who’s been overseas this week.

She's been the talk of town at the United Nations, had major US TV appearances, had bi-laterals with world leaders and keynote speaking spots in climate summits.

But how are experts rating our leader's effort? Associate Professor of Politics at Auckland University, Jennifer Curtin, told The AM Show on Friday Ms Ardern is doing "pretty well considering her agenda is full".

"She's exceptionally diplomatic, especially when it comes to the President of the US," she told The AM Show host Duncan Garner.

"I think she's handling herself with aplomb and I think the fact that she's getting a lot of 'wow, this is cool, baby in the Assembly' is good for us. It makes us look impressive."

Garner said he was "impressed" with how well Ms Ardern has been doing with her diplomacy.

"She could easily have fallen into just a few little traps that may have been set for her around Trump," he said.

"Trump urged New Zealand and other countries to join him in his fight against drugs, urged them to go with his new take on Iran but they've gone with the other deal.

The PM carefully avoided controversy with Stephen Colbert.

"New Zealand could easily have put their foot in it this week. I think Jacinda has been quite careful and she's had to check herself probably a number of times. But she's checked herself well."

Ms Curtin agreed, and said the best example of this was when some in the General Assembly laughed at Mr Trump but Ms Ardern didn't.

"People have asked her questions about Trump and she's been very careful in her response," she said.

"She's really held it together in that regard and even when she's on the talk show hosts, she charmed her way through the Stephen Colbert Late Show and didn't make a joke of New Zealand - except a little around the Hobbit cup."

Watch the full interview with Jennifer Curtin above.

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.

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