Threats against Jacinda Ardern have tripled in the past three years

Threats against Jacinda Ardern have tripled in the past three years

Jacinda Ardern

Threats made against New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have almost tripled in three years, with rising anti-vaccination sentiment in the community labelled a driving force.

The data was obtained by Newshub under an official information request and shows police have dealt with 50 threats against Ardern this year, compared to 18 threats in 2019 and 32 in 2020.

Newshub reports that the information shows anti-vaccination sentiment and opposition to the New Zealand government’s firearms crackdown are factors in the rising number of threats.

Earlier in 2022, there was a three week anti-vaccine mandate protest outside New Zealand’s parliament, with most of the fury directed at Ardern. Protestors called for Ardern and other public leaders to be tried and hung, and there was one sign that compared Ardern to Hitler.

“It was an attack on our front-line police, it was an attack on our parliament, it was an attack on our values, and it was wrong,” Jacinda Ardern said at the time.

There have been reports of men threatening to assassinate Ardern after continual harassment, and there have also been incidents where anti-vaccination protestors have chased her while she’s been in a van. During one incident, Ardern’s van was forced off the road onto a kerb.

“My job is to make tough calls that not everyone like,” Ardern told AM. “Now that – never ever- is a reason for anyone in any leadership position to face threats and I don’t want to trivialise it by saying it comes with the job. But unfortunately, in recent times, that’s increasingly been the case.”

“Does it change what I do or how I do it? No.”

The increased threats to Ardern’s safety come as multiple surveys have shown young women are turning away from politics as a career choice.

One recent survey released by Plan International Australia found that 60 per cent of young people don’t believe parliament has improved or become safer for women in the past year. Another study found young women are less likely to run for public office or join a political party today, than they were 12 months ago.

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