WELLINGTON, New Zealand – When an Australian journalist wanted to find out how to correctly pronounce the name of New Zealand’s incoming prime minister, he — unwittingly — went straight to the top.
According to The New Zealand Herald, Tiger Webb of Australia’s ABC Radio called the New Zealand Parliament on Friday to find out how Jacinda Ardern, who takes over as prime minister this coming week, pronounces her surname.
Webb was transferred to the Labour Party’s offices, and none other than Ardern herself answered the phone. She told Webb that her last name is pronounced “AH-durn.”
“It was funny. I was in a meeting and my desk phone started to ring and it doesn’t ring much so I went over and I saw it was an international number and I just picked up,” Ardern told the Herald.
The brief phone conversation sparked some lively Twitter banter after an impressed Webb tweeted about the incident.
Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark tweeted, “That’s New Zealand!!”
Ardern, 37, will be New Zealand’s youngest leader in more than 150 years, and hopes to take the country on a more liberal path following nine years of rule by the conservatives.