sign up log in
Want to go ad-free? Find out how, here.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tells the United Nations General Assembly countries must work together to tackle ‘wicked problems’

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tells the United Nations General Assembly countries must work together to tackle ‘wicked problems’

Here is the New Zealand National Statement Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday morning, NZ time.

New Zealand National Statement to United Nations General Assembly 

E nga mana nui o nga whenua o te ao

Tena koutou katoa

Nei ra te reo mihi maioha o Aotearoa

Tena tatau i nga kaupapa korero

Ka arahina e tatau

Me te ngakau pono

Me te kotahitanga o te tangata

Madam President, 

Mr Secretary-General,

Friends in the global community. 

My opening remarks were in Te Reo Maori, the language of the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand.  As is tradition, I acknowledged those who are here, why we are here, and the importance of our work.    

It seems a fitting place to start.

I’m struck as a leader attending my first United Nations General Assembly by the power and potential that resides here.

But in New Zealand, we have always been acutely aware of that.

We are a remote nation at the bottom of the South Pacific. Our nearest neighbours take 3 hours to reach by plane, and anywhere that takes less than 12 hours is considered close.  I have no doubt though, that our geographic isolation has contributed to our values.

We are a self-deprecating people. We’re not ones for status. We’ll celebrate the local person who volunteers at their sports club as much as we will the successful entrepreneur. Our empathy and strong sense of justice is matched only by our pragmatism. We are, after all, a country made up of two main islands - one simply named North and the other, South. 

For all of that, our isolation has not made us insular.

In fact, our engagement with the world has helped shape who we are.

I am a child of the 80’s. A period in New Zealand’s history where we didn’t just observe international events, we challenged them. Whether it was apartheid in South Africa, or nuclear testing in the Pacific, I grew up learning about my country and who we were, by the way that we reacted to international events. Whether it was taking to the streets or changing our laws, we have seen ourselves as members of a community, and one that we have a duty to use our voice within.

I am an incredibly proud New Zealander, but much of that pride has come from being a strong and active member of our international community, not in spite of it.

And at the heart of that international community, has been this place.

Emerging from a catastrophic war, we have collectively established through convention, charters and rules a set of international norms and human rights. All of these are an acknowledgement that we are not isolated, governments do have obligations to their people and each other, and that our actions have a global effect. 

In 1945, New Zealand Prime Minister Peter Fraser said that the UN Charter offered perhaps a last opportunity to work in unison to realise the hope in the hearts of all of us, for a peace that would be real, lasting, and worthy of human dignity.

But none of these founding principles should be consigned to the history books. In fact, given the challenges we face today, and how truly global they are in their nature and impact, the need for collective action and multilateralism has never been clearer.

And yet, for all of that, the debate and dialogue we hear globally is not centred on the relevance and importance of our international institutions. Instead, we find ourselves having to defend their very existence.

That surely leaves us all with the question, how did we get here, and how do we get out?

If anything unites us politically in this place right now it is this – globalisation has had a massive impact on our nations and the people we serve.

While that impact has been positive for many, for others it has not. The transitions our economies have made have often been jarring, and the consequences harsh. And so amongst unprecedented global economic growth, we have still seen a growing sense of isolation, dislocation, and a sense of insecurity and the erosion of hope.

As politicians and governments, we all have choices in how we respond to these challenges.

We can use the environment to blame nameless, faceless ‘other’, to feed the sense of insecurity, to retreat into greater levels of isolationism. Or we can acknowledge the problems we have and seek to fix them.

Generational change

In New Zealand, going it alone is not an option. 

Aside from our history, we are also a trading nation.  And proudly so. But even without those founding principles, there are not just questions of nationhood to consider. There are generational demands upon us too.

It should hardly come as a surprise that we have seen a global trend of young people showing dissatisfaction with our political systems, and calling on us to do things differently – why wouldn’t they when they themselves have had to adapt so rapidly to a changing world.

Within a few short decades we now have a generation who will grow up more connected than ever before.  Digital transformation will determine whether the jobs they are training for will even exist in two decades.  In education or the job market, they won’t just compete with their neighbour, but their neighbouring country.

This generation is a borderless one – at least in a virtual sense. One that increasingly see themselves as global citizens. And as their reality changes, they expect ours to as well - that we’ll see and understand our collective impact, and that we’ll change the way we use our power.

And if we’re looking for an example of where the next generation is calling on us to make that change, we need look no further than climate change.

Global challenges

Two weeks ago, Pacific Island leaders gathered together at the Pacific Islands Forum.

It was at this meeting, on the small island nation of Nauru, that climate change was declared the single biggest threat to the security of the Pacific. Please, just think about this for a moment.

Of all of the challenges we debate and discuss, rising sea levels present the single biggest threat to our region.

For those who live in the South Pacific, the impacts of climate change are not academic, or even arguable.  They are watching the sea levels rise, the extreme weather events increase, and the impact on their water supply and food crops. We can talk all we like about the science and what it means, what temperature rises we need to limit in order to survive, but there is a grinding reality in hearing someone from a Pacific island talk about where the sea was when they were a child, and potential loss of their entire village as an adult.

Our action in the wake of this global challenge remains optional. But the impact of inaction does not.  Nations like Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, or Kiribati – small countries who’ve contributed the least to global climate change – are and will suffer the full force of a warming planet.

If my Pacific neighbours do not have the option of opting out of the effects of climate change, why should we be able to opt out of taking action to stop it?

Any disintegration of multilateralism – any undermining of climate related targets and agreements – aren’t interesting footnotes in geopolitical history. They are catastrophic.

In New Zealand we are determined to play our part.  We will not issue any further offshore oil and gas exploration permits.  We have set a goal of 100% renewable energy generation by 2035, established a green infrastructure fund to encourage innovation, and rolled out an initiative to plant one billion trees over the next 10 years.

These plans are unashamedly ambitious.  The threat climate change poses demands it.

But we only represent less than 0.2% of global emissions.

That’s why, as a global community, not since the inception of the United Nations has there been a greater example of the importance of collective action and multilateralism, than climate change. It should be a rallying cry to all of us.

And yet there is a hesitance we can ill afford.  A calculation of personal cost, of self-interest. But this is not the only challenge where domestic self-interest is the first response, and where an international or collective approach has been diluted at best, or rejected at worst.

Rebuilding multilateralism

But it would be both unfair and naive to argue that retreating to our own borders and interests has meant turning our backs on a perfect system. The international institutions we have committed ourselves to have not been perfect.

But they can be fixed.

And that is why the challenge I wish to issue today is this – together, we must rebuild and recommit to multilateralism.

We must redouble our efforts to work as a global community.

We must rediscover our shared belief in the value, rather than the harm, of connectedness.

We must demonstrate that collective international action not only works, but that it is in all of our best interests.

We must show the next generation that we are listening, and that we have heard them.


But if we’re truly going to take on a reform agenda, we need to acknowledge the failings that led us to this cross road.

International trade for instance, has helped bring millions of people out of poverty around the world.  But some have felt their standard of living slide.  In New Zealand, we ourselves have seen the hesitancy around trade agreements amongst our own population.

The correct response to this is not to repeat mistakes of the past and be seduced by the false promises of protectionism.  Rather, we must all work to ensure that the benefits of trade are distributed fairly across our societies. 

We can’t rely on international institutions to do this, in the same way as we cannot blame them if they haven’t delivered these benefits. It is incumbent on us to build productive, sustainable, inclusive economies, and demonstrate to our peoples that when done right, international economic integration can make us all better off. 

And if we want to ensure anyone is better off, surely it should be the most vulnerable.

In New Zealand we have set ourselves an ambitious goal. We want to be the best place in the world to be a child. It’s hardly the stuff of hard and fast measures – after all, how do you measure play, a feeling of security, happiness?

But we can measure material deprivation, and we can measure poverty, and so we will. And not only that, we are making it law that we report on those numbers every single year alongside our budgets. What better way to hold ourselves to account, and what better group to do that for than children.

But if we are focused on nurturing that next generation, we have to equally worry about what it is we are handing down to them too – including our environment.

In the Maori language there is a word that captures the importance of that role - Kaitiakitanga. It means guardianship. The idea that we have been entrusted with our environment, and we have a duty of care. For us, that has meant taking action to address degradation, like setting standards to make our rivers swimmable, reducing waste and phasing out single-use plastic bags, right through to eradicating predators and protecting our biodiversity.

The race to grow our economies and increase wealth makes us all the poorer if it comes at the cost of our environment. In New Zealand, we are determined to prove that it doesn’t have to be this way.

But these are all actions and initiatives that we can take domestically that ease the blame and pressure on our international institutions. That doesn’t mean they don’t need fixing.

Reforming the UN

As the heart of the multilateral system, the United Nations must lead the way.

We strongly support the Secretary-General’s reform efforts to make the UN more responsive and effective, modernised so that it is capable of dealing with today’s challenges.  We encourage him to be ambitious. And we stand with him in that ambition.

But ultimately it is up to us – the Member States – to drive change at the UN. 

This includes reforming the Security Council. If we want the Council to fulfil its purpose of maintaining international peace and security, its practices need to be updated so it is not hamstrung by the use of the veto.

New thinking will also be needed if we are to achieve the vision encapsulated in the Sustainable Development Goals. In New Zealand, we have sought to embed the principles behind the SDGs in a new living standards framework that is guiding policy making, and the management of our resources. And we remain committed to supporting the roll out of the SDGs alongside international partners through a significant increase in our Official Development Assistance budget.

Universal Values

But revitalising our international rules-based system isn’t just about the mechanics of how we work together. It also means renewing our commitment to our values.

The UN Charter recalls that the Organisation was formed to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which through two World Wars had brought untold sorrow to humanity.  If we forget this history and the principles which drove the creation of the UN we will be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. 

In an increasingly uncertain world it is more important than ever that we remember the core values on which the UN was built.

That all people are equal.

That everyone is entitled to have their dignity and human rights respected. 

That we must strive to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom. 

And we must consistently hold ourselves to account on each.

Amongst renewing this commitment though, we have to acknowledge where accountability must continue - and that is especially the case when it comes to equality.

So many gains have been made, each worthy of celebration.  In New Zealand we have just marked the 125th year since women were granted the right to vote. We were the first in the world to do so. As a girl I never ever grew up believing that my gender would stand in the way of me achieving whatever I wanted to in life. I am, after all, not the first, but the third female Prime Minister of New Zealand. 

But for all of that, we still have a gender pay gap, an over representation of women in low paid work, and domestic violence. And we are not alone.

It seems surprising that in this modern age we have to recommit ourselves to gender equality, but we do. And I for one will never celebrate the gains we have made for women domestically, while internationally other women and girls experience a lack of the most basic of opportunity and dignity. 

Me Too must become We Too.

We are all in this together.


I accept that the list of demands on all of us is long. Be it domestic, or international, we are operating in challenging times. We face what we call in New Zealand ‘wicked problems’. Ones that are intertwined and interrelated.

Perhaps then it is time to step back from the chaos and ask what we want. It is in that space that we’ll find simplicity. The simplicity of peace, of prosperity, of fairness. If I could distil it down into one concept that we are pursuing in New Zealand it is simple and it is this.  Kindness.

In the face of isolationism, protectionism, racism – the simple concept of looking outwardly and beyond ourselves, of kindness and collectivism, might just be as good a starting point as any. So let’s start here with the institutions that have served us well in times of need, and will do so again.

In the meantime, I can assure all of you, New Zealand remains committed to continue to do our part to building and sustaining international peace and security. To promoting and defending an open, inclusive, and rules-based international order based on universal values.

To being pragmatic, empathetic, strong and kind.

The next generation after all, deserves no less.

Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa.

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.




Great speech Jacinda. Now let's get some emissions legislation in place to "encourage" NZTA and our incompetent local councillors to rid Wellington of its dirty diesels stinking up the streets.


To those that like the PM it is a great speech; to those that dislike her it look likes the "head girl" got her wish to address the UN. Guess how I saw it?


That's really cynical. I didn't vote for Labour, I have no skin in the game.

I thought it was a terrific speech and delivered very well. I was proud of NZ and our leader for the first time in a very, very long time.

She certainly put John Key's oratory skills to shame. Well done PM Ardern.


Head girl? There are a lot of things to criticise Jacinda for, her age and sex should not be among them.


Another talk fest to a toothless organisation.


And ineffectual, and politicised, and yet another enabler of the public disconnection with political institutions that are delivering us buffoons such as Trump and other more sinister variants.


As long as you are not calling Jacinda Ardern toothless 8)


""Whether it was apartheid in South Africa, or nuclear testing in the Pacific, I grew up learning about my country and who we were, by the way that we reacted to international events.""
Fine words from our leader but in those days the prayer for opening parliament was not in afrikaans or in french however this week Raymond Huo MP read it in mandarin. My guess is there will be no speeches by Jacinda about organ harvesting from Falun Gong members, no mention of the treatment of ethnic minorities in China.…
I've seen the defense that the govt of China has been highly successful lifting the vast majority of its citizens out of poverty but the same kind of defense could be made of the French when they were exploding nuclear weapons in the Pacific (I have French relatives and have asked them what was wrong with the Bay of Biscay) or of Hitler in the thirties as Jews were sent to concentration camps.
I can understand why our govt is being pragmatic but it is embarassing to be boasting about our past reputation.


The "lifting millions out of poverty" line is such a classic propaganda move. All china did was allow market reforms, and the inevitable happened. If I put an old lady in a choke, then loosen my hold, I haven't lifted her out of asphyxiation.



Nothing - not a mention - of the need for corporate responsibility - for governments to take control back from the corporate lobbyists. Nor any mention of the international and national regulatory institutions that court and protect big business and allow it to exploit workers and citizens/governments.

She could have used the simple/stark example of the zero tax Apple pays in NZ in comparison to their sales and profit;…

Or the way our government succumbed to pressure regarding the orange roughy fishery due to threats from our own local/NZ corporate fishing industry;…

Or how she was personally mocked by our farming lobby and called a "pretty little communist" due to her stance on bringing agricultural emissions in to the ETS.

A totally missed opportunity to point out what the real problems are regarding inequality and environmental degradation the world over.


Kate: can you put into a single sentence ""what the real problem regarding inequality is""? The US declaration of independence states "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." But rather obviously we are not created equal - just a single example I note you are a more fluent writer than I. The rest of it makes sense even if I am an atheist. Is equality of opportunity or result? The only way we can give every child an equal opportunity is to abolish families but that would punish most children for the benefit of the minority who have evil or uncaring or plain hopeless parents.
Different cultures tackle inequality in different ways - maybe it is in the competition between one nation state and another that the optimum solution is found - the optimum being the one that helps every child grow to its best potential.


Kate: can you put into a single sentence ""what the real problem regarding inequality is""?

Decline (or lack of appropriate regulation) of the labour/wage share in relation to the capital/profit share of income;


I've no trouble with agreeing with you about a decline being a bad thing. Bad for the individuals who miss out but also for the long term well being of the comparatively wealthy - better to poorer while remaining 'top dog' and don't living in fear that the poor will rebel or refuse to look after you when old and needing care.
However isn't a return to a previous status quo (say the 60's when I grew up) although a better distribution still not perfect? Where do you stop - well before North Korea's apparent equality with one exception.
Can we agree that although it is impossible to define utopia at present the move should be towards generous universal child benefit [invest in everyones future - well everyone except the rather old like myself], increasing instead of declining social mobility, capital gains taxes (although with Auckland housing it may be better named a windfall tax). Sounds like a Labour party is needed.


I am sorry Kate but she did speak to all those things. Those not directly mentioned, were strongly implied. Considering the forum, it was a great speech which challenged the UN to the core of it's principles, and to achieve that she effectively challenged each and every Government leader there to step up to those principles.

Specifics would get lost because they are usually unique to regions. Best of all it was a slap in the face to Trump without being one.


With globalisation, capital have now got access to seemingly endless heap (almost free) labour in poor countries. The poor workers gain have been at the cost of working classes of developed countries.

Kate, the problem with your view of equality is that it only looks at kiwis. The world has been becoming more equal on a global scale. The following is from here:

"According to these household surveys, 44% of the world population lived in absolute poverty in 1981. Since then, the share of poor people in the world has declined very fast—in fact, faster than ever before in world history. In 32 years, the share of people living in extreme poverty was divided by 4, reaching levels below 11% in 2013. Although the World Bank estimates for 2015 are not yet available, the projections suggest that the incidence of extreme poverty has fallen below 10% for that year."

So while globalisation have eroded developed countries working class share of the pie, the labour forces on a global scale have gained significantly. I know that NZ can achieve better equality, but if you think long term sustainable equality in NZ is achievable in a world that is more equal as well.


The world has not become "more equal" on a global scale - instead wealth has become more and more concentrated globally in fewer and fewer individuals.……

It is important not to focus on the statistics of of "extreme poverty" - and determine that because fewer people as a percentage of the global population have been "lifted" out of extreme poverty, that that indicates that globalisation has been genuinely beneficial.

From your link;

The poverty line was revised in 2015—since then, a person is considered to be in extreme poverty if they live on less than 1.90 international dollars (int.-$) per day.

and is also important to point out that living conditions well above the International Poverty Line can still be characterized by poverty and hardship.

In other words, where that measurement (i.e., "extreme poverty") is concerned, the bar is simply set too low to be of any sound use. It cannot be used as a defence of the effects of globalisation.

The international agencies, in particular the IMF and the World Bank are part of the problem - they support endless growth on a finite planet; corporatisation, financialisation and resource exploitation;…

As the second link shows - their prescription for the Philippines is all about "growth" - about creating the opportunity for private capital to increase its reach and profitability there. Where are the prescriptions regards worker protections; environmental protections; natural resource protections; reducing inequality?

No, the prescription is the one played the world over for the last 50-odd years - let FDI/private capital in - welcome Exxon, welcome McDonalds; welcome Walmart, welcome Apple - they have the interests of your citizens at heart.

Yeah, right.


The Philippines is a great example. So many there are held back through the lack of decent labour law and enforcement of such.

People rant against unions here while enjoying great working conditions that came through organised labour. 8 hour days, reasonable minimum wages, decent treatment...but in the Philippines, you see what it looks like when that sort of thing is prevented through the "disappearing" of organised labour leaders. (Yes, likely kidnapping and murder.)

For a concrete example, the country's malls are staff primarily by workers on rolling hire-fire-rehire arrangements, having to be rehired every (IIRC) six months. This avoids the need to pay them the benefits that fulltime long term employees are entitled to. In many cases, they work there for years and years and are never treated like the fulltime employees they actually are. (That said, NZ's courier scene needs some serious attention for similar reasons.)

It's very difficult to compete in capitalism when too much is set up to keep one in one's place at the bottom, and ensure those at the top can benefit from their ability to exploit those at the bottom.

In comparison, we have so much better working conditions in New Zealand precisely because others fought such battles for us in the past. As a result, we've also had greater ability to be participants in capitalism - because of this and because of NZ's efforts in land tax and affordable housing in the past. Reasonable working conditions and the ability to build up capital.

That we forget these things or pretend they don't matter is concerning.


I totally agree.

Interesting that Elizabeth Warren in the US is attempting to address the inequities of capitalism in a new law;…

But while on an optimistic view, stakeholder capitalism would produce stronger long-run growth and higher living standards for the vast majority of the population, there’s no getting around the fact that Warren’s proposal would be bad — really bad — for rich people. That’s a fight her team says she welcomes.

And of course, the 'voices' coming out against it make for interesting reading.


We just need to consider the following:

  • Will Russia, China, India or the USA countenance a prosecution by the ICC of one of their nationals?
  • Will the UN police contested sea lanes (Malacca Straits, Straits of Hormuz, South China Sea)?
  • What is the favourite pastime of UN peacekeepers when on duty? (Choices range from preventing genocides, to aiding surrounding cash/kind economies by engaging in sexual activities with underage locals)
  • What is the UN track record on anything once finger-wagging and arm-waving activities are excluded?
  • Why do Palestinians, alone amongst le tout monde, inherit a 'refugee status' and have done since 1947 (that's 71 years, for the innumerate)

Their MO in any crisis: "Let's hold committee meetings until they're All Dead"....


Yes, the UN is flawed. So what's the alternative?


Team America: World Police - oh wait we've already tried that and it didn't work....bugger.

More seriously - nothing at present.


Good movie though.


loved the annihilation of Paris and the B-job bit


A 'Wicked Problem' here in NZ? Wonder what the PM's view is on the DoC Tahr cull controversy currently rolling on social media. It seems to have united pan sectors of communities - hunters, retailers, rural and urban.…

From the Tahr Foundation facebook page:
Firstly, we have secured agreements from most of the ammunition suppliers that they will not supply DoC with the necessary ammunition ‘til they have heeded the alternative plan being proposed by the GAC. They are all wholeheartedly on board, and any company which broke ranks would be solely responsible for the destruction of the herd – and incur the wrath of thousands of very upset tahr hunters!
As reported by the Otago Daily Times, DoC have recently switched to using non-toxic shot only, as during the Zero Invasive Predators trial in the Perth catchment Kea were found to have highly elevated levels of lead, ingested as a result of DoCs decades of culling with lead buckshot. This means only non-toxic projectiles and buckshot ammunition may be used going forward.

It may not appear to some to be an economic concern, however NZ is the only place you can shoot Tahr in the wild and is a mecca for international hunters because of that - who spend up big when they are here. Given that by DoCs own figures the numbers of Tahr are somewhere between 17000 and 53000 culling 10,000 could reduce their numbers to below the agreed figure in the 1993 Tahr agreement, if in fact they are at the lower end. Also Minister Sage has been misinformed - the breeding season is finished and the birthing season is about to start. Where is SAFE, Greenpeace etc on the slaughtering of pregnant tahr females and their unborn babies who will be left to rot? Not only is this a potential water quality issue - 10,000 or more rotting carcasses in our 'pristine' mountain environment, but also the many more than 10000 plastic shotgun shells that will be left scattered across this same environment.
Will we see a court injunction hearing to stay the cull go ahead on Monday? (Crowd funding has raised over $100k to support this) Will be interesting to see what the outcome of all of this is.


I see the release of the new rabbit virus has been a disaster. I don't know why E-can thought they had the right to bring in a virus and then release it all over the country. Anyway the new virus appears ineffective but gives rabbits resistance.


Agree Aj. I saw a report down here that the success rate was put at around 34%. The results seem to be quite variable - A farmer I spoke to said that they have had a good response, but around our place it doesn't seem to have dented numbers.


New Zealand is also the only place you will see a whole host of endemic plants being eaten by the Tahr, and endemic birds which the Tahr are competing with for food, or degrading the environment they rely on. The target should be 0 Tahr in NZ, and I hope the interests of hunters do not continue to get in the way of tidying up the environmental damage we've done.

Don't worry, once we're done there'll be a thriving Kiwi and Weka hunting industry, and we'll certainly be the only place in the world offering that.


The concept of a 'wicked problem' was initially introduced by Rittel and Webber in relation to problems encountered in the social/planning profession. They defined ten characteristics:

1. There is no definitive formulation of a wicked problem.
2. Wicked problems have no stopping rule.
3. Solutions to wicked problems are not true-or-false, but better or worse.
4. There is no immediate and no ultimate test of a solution to a wicked problem.
5. Every solution to a wicked problem is a "one-shot operation"; because there is no opportunity to learn by trial and error, every attempt counts significantly.
6. Wicked problems do not have an enumerable (or an exhaustively describable) set of potential solutions, nor is there a well-described set of permissible operations that may be incorporated into the plan.
7. Every wicked problem is essentially unique.
8. Every wicked problem can be considered to be a symptom of another problem.
9. The existence of a discrepancy representing a wicked problem can be explained in numerous ways. The choice of explanation determines the nature of the problem's resolution.
10. The social planner has no right to be wrong (i.e., planners are liable for the consequences of the actions they generate).


Perhaps the Hon PM, full of positivity and idealism for the Collective Wisdom of Crowds, should have a wee word in Emperor Xi's ear next time they meet in a smoky back room of the UN.....this Asia Times article is a bit more realistic about China's inclination to listen to anyone outside the Middle Kingdom. Which, it seems, on a scale of 0 to 10, is -11.....


Watched it on the new tonight, shame that half the people who attended at the start like the USA had already left. Half the seats were empty. The fact that the baby has to keep making an appearance is wearing thin.


Her reference to climate change and rising sea levels was amusing, given the forum. In 1989 the UN said “entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.” Funny how that hasn’t happened, but there are plenty of corporate sharks and insolvent govts that are addicted to all of those stupid carbon taxes. I’m sure if she convinces the UN to raise carbon taxes all will be well...


She seems to be winning over the Americans with her sunny personality :)
Perhaps not Trump but who cares about him.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Explains Why The UN Laughed At Trump


Colberts wealthy, far-left new york audience isn't really representative of 'the Americans'.

The current administration is who she needs to be winning over - and going on Colberts show probably didn't help.


Hard to give any show like Colberts any credibility when cue cards are held up saying,applause and laugh.
Any show out of New York(home of Chuck Schumer) is slanted against Trump and the Colbert show is top of the anti Trump brigade.


Why did she start her speech in a language that no one there - including herself - speaks?


Perhaps because she's proud of our country and culturally aware.


Culturally aware of the kind of low-effort tokenism that would appeal to a certain kind of privileged labour voter, I suppose.

If you want to speak maori, learn it properly. Write your whole damn speech in it. Don't sprinkle stock phrases in there and think it means anything.


Oh come on, don't be so small minded. She gave a good speech, that stood for unity, trade an our values. And she wasn't laughed at by the rest of the world unlike Mr Trump.


As someone who actually speaks other languages, token bilingualism grinds my gears.

The Irish are horrible offenders in this regard as well.


Been looking at ABC,CBS,CNN,and NBC websites,her visit certainly hasn't made headlines on them nor has she been mentioned on Aljazzera news.The importance of this visit as with other visits to the UN by other nz PMs is overated,but if it makes the participants feel good with the likely hood of another career after nz politics then sobeit.


It’s a bit like the America’s Cup. A big thing here but internationally it’s just another Yacht Club meet.


By all accounts her speech was to an empty UN theatre


Thank you Kaper2 - I was looking for some humour.


or was it not on purpose........???