Jacinda Ardern, Theresa May: Leadership styles from different planets

NZ leader strikes right note over shootings as UK PM drips Brexit bitterness

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that her government will ban military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles following the killing of 50 people in the country’s worst mass shooting.

Jacinda Ardern, prime minister of New Zealand, and Theresa May, prime minister of the United Kingdom, are of different generations and different politics. They are leaders on alternative sides of the globe each facing a national crisis but, in terms of leadership style, these two women are on different planets.

When she first heard word of the appalling massacre at mosques in Christchurch, Ardern clearly took a deep breath and immediately adopted a tone and stance designed to confront the atrocity and its implications for her country straight on. She was determined it would not have the effect desired by the perpetrator of dividing the people of New Zealand. She made and communicated a series of important decisions which set the tone for the national and indeed international response.

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