NZ Prime Minister

New Zealand PM Ardern cancels wedding amid Omicron wave

The entire country is set to be placed under the highest level of Covid restrictions after an outbreak of the Omicron variant.

The restrictions include a cap of 100 vaccinated people at events and mask wearing in shops and on public transport.

New Zealand has recorded 15,104 Covid cases and 52 deaths.

Ms Ardern confirmed to reporters on Sunday that her wedding to television host Clarke Gayford would not be going ahead.

Coronavirus: New Zealand PM says all arrivals must self-isolate

Jacinda Ardern said the new measure also included returning New Zealanders. The only exemption is for small Pacific islands with no confirmed virus cases.

"I make no apologies. This is an unprecedented time," Ms Ardern said, describing the new rules as the strictest in the world.

New Zealand has six confirmed cases.


PM Ardern says NZ’S aid to Samoa shouldn’t be compared to China’s big spending

Jacinda Ardern has been in Samoa, en route to Tokelau, and visited some of New Zealand's humble aid projects which have been dwarfed by China's flashy spending.

The manumea pigeon, Samoa's national bird, is under threat from illegal hunting. There are only 70 to 200 left, and New Zealand aid is helping to protect the endangered species.

“That's the same status as our Kākāpō, so it is something we're experiencing,” Ardern says. “We can share some of our learnings with each other as you seek to ensure the manumea has a bright future.”

'Kia ora Jacinda!' - Rihanna hits up the Prime Minister on Twitter

"Kia ora @jacindaardern!," she wrote.

"It's been a big year for you & [New Zealand] - congrats!"

The 'Diamonds' singer told Ardern her year could "get even better" if she pledged funds to the Global Partnership for Education.

"I hope you & @MFATgovtNZ agree that educating every child can change the world!" she added.

The organisation is working alongside Rihanna's own charity, the Clara Lionel foundation, to provide education for children in poor countries around the world.

Twitter reacts to Ardern baby news: 'Such a great role model'

Ms Ardern, who became Prime Minister in October, announced this morning, via Instagram, that she and partner Clarke Gayford were expecting a baby in June.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark was among the first of many to congratulate Jacinda Ardern on her pregnancy.

Ms Clark said via a tweet it was going to be a "super busy year" with "much to look forward to".

"Every #woman should have the choice of combining family & career."