Jacinda Ardern admits mistake after group selfie
Jacinda Ardern has admitted she “made a mistake” after she took a selfie with fans, breaching social distancing measures.
The New Zealand Prime Minister went to Massey University at Palmerston North on Thursday while on the campaign trail.
Excited students followed her around campus and as she left, the PM was met by a group who wanted to take a photo with her.
The prime minister reportedly asked the crowd to step back at first, but eventually joined them for the selfie.
Ardern has admitted her mistake on Monday while announcing the easing of coronavirus restrictions.
"All the way through on the campaign trail and even before during alert level settings, I work really hard not to shake people's hands," she said.
"I sanitise. I wear my mask in Auckland, and I work hard to try to keep my social distance.
"In that particular photo I did make a mistake. I should have stepped further forward. I should have asked them to step apart from each other, and I acknowledge that."
New Zealand is set for an election on October 17, which presents a unique challenge for candidates and voters during the COVID pandemic.
Ardern spoke about the challenges on Monday.
Have I woken up in an alternate reality?
Ardern: “I’ve acknowledged it was the wrong thing, I shouldn’t have taken a selfie...I’m sorry for it...I need to take responsibility for it...I should have not done it”@TheAMShowNZ @jacindaardern #nzpol pic.twitter.com/QL0hSZZmfu
— The Orwellian 🇳🇿 (@TheOrwellianNZ) September 21, 2020
She says the country's social distancing restrictions are decided based on health advice and not on campaign needs.
"None of our decision-making around these alert levels, actually are based on the politics or the campaign," she said.
Restrictions in New Zealand have now eased, however Auckland still faces tougher rules than the rest of the country.
"We are in a strong position to make our next move down our alert settings," Ardern said.
"Auckland needs more time."
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