The awkward moment between Lisa Wilkinson and Jacinda Ardern

Gillian Wolski
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Lisa Wilkinson makes Jacinda Ardern squirm. Photo: Channel 10.

Viewers watched on as the typically composed New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was grilled by Lisa Wilkinson on The Sunday Project last night.

The veteran journalist wasted no time in addressing the politician’s hardline stance on Australia’s deportation laws, which she earlier branded as “corrosive.”

Hard chat

Jacinda, who met with Australian PM Scott Morrison on Friday to discuss the policy, seemed to be taken aback by Lisa’s strong line of questioning.

“You’ve described Scott Morrison’s stance on deportations as ‘corrosive’,” she stated.

“I think we should be fair, the … the deportation policy has existed for a while …” Jacinda began, visibly unsettled.

Detecting her hesitation, Lisa interjected to point out that Scott Morrison was the “architect” of the laws, which allow Australia to deport criminal New Zealanders.

Scott Morrison met with Jacinda Ardern on Friday to discuss the "corrosive" deportation policy. Photo: Getty Images.

Jacinda agreed, adding that, as the neighbouring countries are “friends,” the two leaders have the ability to “speak frankly with each other.”

She went on to assert that the matter “is in the hands of the Australian government” but said that New Zealand wouldn’t back down on concerns following the deportation of more than 1500 Kiwis since the rules were changed in 2014.

“I think it speaks to the strength of [our countries’ relationship] that we can speak so openly,” Jacinda said by way of wrapping up the conversation.

Jacinda, Clarke Gayford and baby Neve. Photo: Getty Images.

A Prime Minister and mum

After the tense political discussion, the mood eased when Lisa touched on the new mum’s young daughter, one-year-old Neve, and balancing parenting with running a country.

“Now I’m probably gonna get criticised for asking you this, you are a strong, successful, working women but I think people are genuinely interested. How are you going with motherhood?” Lisa said.

A smiling Jacinda admitted that she “doesn’t mind” talking about life with Neve and fiancé Clarke Gayford, who she praised as their little one’s “primary caregiver.”

“I have a lot of help… we also have to utilise our mums a lot,” she revealed.

She shrugged off claims that she’s a “Wonder Woman,” saying: “No one needs to see anyone pretending it’s easy because it’s not.”

“It’s hard and women who are both working and raising children deserve to have help and support and so we shouldn’t pretend it can be done alone,” she said.

As for her baby girl, Neve, she’s by all reports “very, very strong-willed and cheeky” - intel which Lisa later revealed on her Instagram that the NZ PM had “never told anyone” before.

"She's charming, down-to-earth or candid," Lisa gushed over Jacinda on social media. Photo: Instagram/lisa_wilkinson.

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