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Dame Jacinda Ardern retained as NZ and France create Christchurch Call foundation

Author
Adam Pearse,
Publish Date
Tue, 14 May 2024, 3:36pm
Former Prime Minister Dame Jacinda Ardern will become the Patron of the Christchurch Call in a new foundation. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Former Prime Minister Dame Jacinda Ardern will become the Patron of the Christchurch Call in a new foundation. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Dame Jacinda Ardern retained as NZ and France create Christchurch Call foundation

Author
Adam Pearse,
Publish Date
Tue, 14 May 2024, 3:36pm

Former Prime Minister Dame Jacinda Ardern will remain a key figure in New Zealand’s efforts to reduce online extremist content as part of the newly created Christchurch Call Foundation.

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and French President Emmanuel Macron today announced the foundation and outlined how it would continue addressing the kind of harmful content that led to the deadly 2019 mosque attack in Christchurch.

The foundation, to be based in Wellington, was intended to coordinate civil society, social media companies, and governments to continue the Christchurch Call’s work.

Ardern set up the entity shortly after the terrorist attack in 2019, and after stepping down as PM was made Special Envoy for the Christchurch Call in April last year. It was intended Ardern would use her relationships with global leaders and tech companies to advance the Call’s work.

Her new role within the foundation was as Patron of the Call.

On social media, Ardern said she’d advised Luxon her role should change and that a new organisation should be established.

“The NZ Government of the day continues to support the mission of the Christchurch Call, which began after our Muslim community experienced a terrorist attack on 15 March, but to be a truly multi-stakeholder body the secretariat will move out of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in the coming month, and instead become a separate legal entity with charitable status.”

Ardern said the Call had helped establish a terrorism and extremism response model that had been activated more than 300 times in more than 40 countries.

Luxon thanked Ardern for her advocacy and leadership.

“I wish her and the Christchurch Call well as they evolve in the next phase of their development.”

Macron said the Call had established a global community that took action when terrorism occurred.

“Our commitment to this promise remains firm and I am confident that this new stage of the Call provides a solid basis for the future of this initiative and the new challenges we now have to tackle, including AI-generated content.”

New Zealand taxpayer funding for the Call would conclude at the end of next month.

Adam Pearse is a political reporter in the NZ Herald Press Gallery team, based at Parliament. He has worked for NZME since 2018, covering sport and health for the Northern Advocate in Whangārei before moving to the NZ Herald in Auckland, covering Covid-19 and crime.

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