Chased with a banana: Ardern discovers working from home challenges

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 9 May 2022, 9:54am
(Photo / File)
(Photo / File)

Chased with a banana: Ardern discovers working from home challenges

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 9 May 2022, 9:54am

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she has no Covid symptoms after being forced to work from home due to partner Clarke Gayford's infection.

Ardern appeared via Zoom on TVNZ's Breakfast this morning, as she isolates at home.

"I just did a radio interview where Neve, through the duration of it, chased me around the room with a banana - so anything could happen.

"We're fine, thanks. Just the one patient in the household at the moment," she said, acknowledging that only Gayford is positive with Covid at this point.

Ardern told AM she had no Covid symptoms and was able to adequately work from home.

"We've managed to re-shape a lot of the work we do in Parliament so that we can do it remotely."

During the interview, Ardern's daughter Neve could be heard and seen in the background – although Ardern's background was blurred.

Ardern apologised for the disturbance but couldn't help letting out a little laugh.

"I thought I had it totally covered, I've got some TV parenting, I had snacks ... it doesn't matter what you do."

She said there was still plenty of time before she is due to travel to the United States later this month and to make alternative plans if need be.

On yesterday's big announcement for new funding for Police and Corrections, Ardern told TVNZ the focus when putting the package together was safer communities, making sure Kiwis felt safer and that our police were safe doing their jobs every day.

Ardern acknowledged that what needed to be changed is the prevention work and rehabilitation work that we do, because those are the things that stop re-offending and stop people becoming victims.

"We want to ultimately make meaningful change for particularly children who we are finding in our criminal justice system - which is a small number - and youth offending."

The Government needed to do "much more" than just look at our criminal justice system.

Ardern acknowledged that other issues needed to be looked at and worked on too - including addressing family violence, disengagement with education and care and protection issues.

Ardern said for gang-related illegal activity, there is now a programme that is focused on addressing that criminal activity.

Authorities also have a programme that helps to prevent people joining organised crime in the first place.

"We're looking to roll that programme out more broadly," she said.

What has been a more emerging issue are the ram raids, Ardern said.

"It's a spike rather than a trend - but one we absolutely need to address."

The Prime Minister announced yesterday that Gayford had tested positive for Covid-19.

While she and daughter Neve were "fine" they would be isolating for a week.

She said Gayford "woke up feeling a bit average and has tested positive ... so we have 7 days of family time ahead of us!"

"I'll be working from home so anyone who watches question time, or is attending my Business NZ speech on Wednesday, you'll still see me remotely."

Ardern broke the news on social media on Sunday with a picture of a Mother's Day card from 3-year-old Neve.

The card read "Yay! It is Mother's Day. I love fishy kisses. I love you like hot lava!"

If Ardern manages to avoid the virus she will be out of isolation by next Sunday, in time for Budget Day on May 19.

On Sunday the Government announced the upcoming Budget would include nearly $600 million in new funding for police.