NZ Prime Minister poses for photo without mask just days after Government urges public to wear masks more

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jul 19, 2022 |

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has posted a photo of herself in a large crowd, not wearing a mask – not even a week after the Government made a public plea for Kiwis to wear masks more to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Ardern posed for the photo with the 120 youth MPs, Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro and a number of sitting MPs on a staircase in the Beehive. One person can be seen wearing a mask.

The photo was posted on the same day Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury (Formally the CDHB, before the Government changed the name) announced it was tightening visitor restrictions and enforcing a ‘no mask, no entry’ policy.

From tomorrow morning visitors to Canterbury hospitals will need to mask up and keep masks on at all times while inside any of the facilities.

Newshub showed the photo to epidemiologist Michael Baker and he was shocked.

“As leaders they have a responsibility to promote mask use, especially indoors.”

Newshub reported that, as a nation, mask use was slipping to the point that this very same afternoon speaker Trevor Mallard emailed the entire parliamentary precinct telling people to wear their masks, though he told Newshub his words were not connected to the prime minister’s post.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister says that Jacinda had been wearing a mask but took it off briefly because the photographer asked.

Political reporter Amelia Wade said “this is not a good look, because COVID-19 is killing Kiwis every day. It’s crippling our businesses and overwhelming our hospitals. Our leaders should be leading from the front and using every photo op to normalise our most effective defence masks.”

Former Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said “Define Hypocrisy. The PM and a number of MPs who like to lecture kiwis on wearing masks. Then walk out the door and this is what they do – because it suits them.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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