> Skip to content

Article  •  3 March 2020

 

Five things you didn’t know about Jacinda Ardern

The Prime Minister of New Zealand is famous for her empathy and leadership skills.

You may know her as the youngest and third female Prime Minister of New Zealand, the first head of government to take maternity leave and the powerfully empathetic responder in times of crisis. But how much do you really know about Jacinda Ardern?

 

David Hill’s new picture book Taking the Lead: How Jacinda Ardern Wowed the World is a treat for both adults and children, exploring the life and career of one of the most popular world leaders with beautiful illustrations by Phoebe Morris.

 

Here are a few things you might not have known about the leader of New Zealand’s Labour party:

 

1. Jacinda grew up on an apple farm.

Jacinda was born in Hamilton on 26 July 1980 and her family then moved to Murupara, where Jacinda’s father Ross worked as a policeman. Jacinda loved living on the orchard in Murupara and learned to drive a tractor before she could drive a car!

 

2. Jacinda started her political career in high school.

It was a tough choice between being a clown (because they have so much fun) or a scientist (like her big sister Louise), but when she realised her passion for helping others, Jacinda chose politics. For a school project, Jacinda interviewed former Member of Parliament Marilyn Waring and was very impressed by how friendly and helpful Ms Waring was. Jacinda swapped her after school job at the local fish and chip shop to work for New Zealand’s Labour Party in the 1999 General Election.

 

3. Jacinda worked at a soup kitchen in New York.

After graduating from a Bachelor of Communications at the University of Waikato, Jacinda took some time to travel overseas. However, she just couldn’t stop her desire to help others and ended up working at a New York soup kitchen, serving food to the poor and homeless people of the city.

 

4. Jacinda was President of the International Union of Socialist Youth.

After visiting the USA, Jacinda travelled to England where she worked for British Prime Minister Tony Blair before being chosen as the President of the International Union of Socialist Youth. The Union’s focus was human rights and equal opportunities for the world’s children. As President, Jacinda got to travel the world even more with meetings in China, Lebanon and Jordan, to name a few.

 

5. Jacinda performed as a DJ.

Jacinda loves music and briefly worked as a DJ at an Auckland’s Laneway Festival and in some record shops. Her playlists include the Beatles and some of her favourite Kiwi bands like Street Chant and Opossom.

 

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has had an impressive career since she was elected as leader in 2017 and was recently named #2 in Fortune’s list of World’s Greatest Leaders in 2019. Learn more about Jacinda in Taking the Lead: How Jacinda Ardern Wowed the World, out now in your local bookstore.

Feature Title

Taking the Lead
Meet Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, who hopes the things she's done will help everyone, especially children, to believe that they can do great things too.
Read more

More features

See all
Article
Look inside The Sea in Me

Look inside the breathtaking picture book by multitalented athlete, musician and writer Cody Simpson.

Article
QUIZ: What kind of crime novel should you read this winter?

Cosy crime, rural crime, detective fiction . . . what will your next crime read be?

Article
Your Guide to the Penguin Authors at ABC RN's Big Weekend of Books

ABC RN’s Big Weekend of Books 2024 is almost here! Learn about the Penguin authors you can hear from.

Article
Penguin Random House children’s authors at Sydney Writers’ Festival 2024

Learn more about the children’s authors who were part of the 2024 Sydney Writers' Festival and check out their books.

Article
What readers are saying about $10 Meals with Chelsea

Chelsea Goodwin, the creator behind the $10 Meals Australia Facebook group, has released a cookbook full of incredible budget eats. See what readers are saying!

Article
QUIZ: Which YA fantasy should you read next

Take this fun quiz to figure out which fantasy book you should reach for next.

Article
Maxine Fawcett on the myth of the ‘perfect mother’

Ahead of Mother’s Day, author of Everything is Perfect, Maxine Fawcett, shares how she has come to embrace the imperfections of motherhood.

Article
10 things you didn’t know about electricity

Check out 10 fun electricity facts from Lee Constable’s new book.

Article
Everything you need to know about hockey romance books

What is hockey romance? Why is BookTok obsessed? Check out this article for everything you need to know.

Article
Better Reading’s Top 100 books of 2024 announced

Penguin Random House is proud to have twenty-four titles on the list this year.

Article
Penguin Noir is back with two events in 2024

Learn about two exciting Penguin Random House author showcases this August!

Article
Mini-me reads for mums and kids this Mother’s Day

Read by example this Mother’s Day with these book duos, perfect for mums and their children.

Looking for more articles?

See all articles