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New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern’s car chased by anti-vaccination protesters

🔴 Videos of the incident shows protestors shouting abuse at the PM Jacinda Ardern's vehicle as her security stood guard.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (AP)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, travelling in her van last week, was chased by anti-vaccination protestors who forced her vehicle to the curb. The PM and her convoy escaped unhurt and has said that it was “just another day” for her, according to a report in The Guardian.

Videos of the incident, filmed by the protestors from their vehicle, have gone viral on social media. It showed protestors shouting abuse at the PM’s vehicle as her security stood guard. Later, the PM’s van is seen attempting to pull onto the main road before moving to the curb as the protestor’s vehicle attempts to block it.

In the footage, voices are heard yelling “Shame on you!” and “We do not consent.” “There’s Jacinda,” says a voice, while another says “​​Oh this is fun, we’re on a chase.” They go on to abuse Ardern, refers to her as a Nazi, and berates her for “hiding in the van”.

The video was reportedly shot at Paihia waterfront in Bay of Islands. Paihia is a tourist town around 230 km north of Auckland.

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Ardern’s reaction

Asked about the incident on Tuesday, PM Ardern reportedly shrugged it off as “just another day.”

“At no point was I worried about my safety or the safety of anyone that was with me,” The Guardian quoted her as saying.

“Every day is faced with new and different experiences in this job … We are in an environment at the moment that does have an intensity to it that is unusual for New Zealand. I do also believe that with time it will pass,” she added.

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Since the beginning of the pandemic, New Zealand had implemented strict coronavirus lockdowns and closed its borders to control the spread of the virus. Though vaccination is not mandatory, the unvaccinated cannot visit certain business establishments like gyms and malls or dine outside in restaurants. Around 95% of its eligible population is currently vaccinated. However, a small vocal group of people have opposed the jabs.

“I see that [such incidents] as just being a reflection of the fact that we are the decision-makers,” she told Australia-based news website news.com.au. “And if people don’t like the decisions that are being made, then it’s us that of course will hear the feedback about that.”

 

First published on: 26-01-2022 at 02:55:35 pm
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