If the Prime Minister wins the Nobel peace prize tonight, and it’s a big if, but if she does, it will be well-deserved.
She deserves to win it or at least to be a really strong contender for it.
I know, this won’t be an entirely popular opinion.
I’ve had to defend it a fair bit today and I know that some people feel very strongly about the prime minister and it’s not always positive.
But hear me out on this. Take out your political leanings and your feelings about the way the PM and her party are running the country.
If you can look at it objectively, of course she deserves to be considered.
What Jacinda Ardern did in the days after the Christchurch shooting on March 15 did a lot of good.
Here in New Zealand, we don’t really see the hatred that the Muslim community is subjected to around the world.
We don’t see the way they’re routinely mocked, treated differently, abused and blamed for things.
There are political parties across Europe who’ve been borne out of Islamophobia.
We don’t see that.
We’ve had one, terrible encounter with this kind of hatred, one.
In some parts of the world, this kind of thing is not a one off.
So for the Prime Minister to embrace this community both literally and figuratively, to say they are us, to put on a hijab in solidarity, that was massive for a community who feels under siege.
It says everything about how powerful it was that Ardern was projected onto the biggest building in Dubai, a Muslim city.
We’ll never know if what she did actually created peace, or if it stopped that one horrible act from leading to retaliatory violence.
I’ve been told the PM was just doing her job, but come on. that’s not a disqualification from the prize.
The EU, the organisation for the prohibition of chemical weapons, the international campaign to ban land mines, they were just doing their jobs and they won it.
I’ve also been told any prime minister would’ve done the same.
That’s not true.
In Australia last year a Somalian-born man killed one and injured two in a stabbing incident in Melbroune’s Brouke Street.
We saw the coverage here, it made international news.
Days later, Scott Morrison essentially blamed the Muslim community for that man’s radicalisation.
That’s divisive and it’s the opposite of what Ardern did.
So we of course don’t know who’ll win tonight, the PM might not.
But if she does, she shouldn’t be begrudged the award, it would be well-earned.