New Zealand PM confirms name to stunned Aussie journo over a seemingly ‘routine’ call

New Zealand PM confirms name to stunned Aussie journo over a seemingly ‘routine’ call

Australian journalist Tiger Webb said he was surprised by how accessible Jacinda Ardern is, because most politicians wouldn't do the same.

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Jacinda Ardern confirms her name should sound “Ah-durn”. (Source: AP Photo)

Tiger Webb, a digital producer at ABC’s Radio National was in for a pleasant surprise when he called New Zealand’s new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern’s office to double check how to pronounce her surname, after hearing a few different versions used by Australian and New Zealand broadcasters. His call was transferred to the Labour office, wherein Ardern picked up the call and explained it to the flabbergasted journalist that it should be pronounced “Ah-durn”.

According to the media reports of Herald, Ardern confirmed that the conversation happened and said she was “happy to help” with Webb’s query. “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,” she said.

“He said ‘oh hello’ and said his name and where he was from and that he just needed to know how to pronounce my surname. I told him and then I thought ‘oh the poor thing, clearly the operator’s just put him straight through’. I’m sure he probably didn’t intend to do that but it was no trouble at all.”

Webb, who manages the media outlet’s database on the pronunciation of people’s name and place name, tweeted about the exchange and received hundreds of positive replies from both Aussie and Kiwi Twitterati, including ex-Prime Minister Helen Clark, who tweeted, “That’s New Zealand”.

The 37-year-old politician is due to take office next Thursday after securing 14 extra seats in last month’s general election.