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'I'm deeply sad' - Jacinda Ardern opens up in candid interview about Christchurch terror attacks

Jacinda Ardern has opened up in an interview on Australian television about how she's doing in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack.

The interview with Waleed Aly on Channel 10's The Project started with a hug between the pair.

Ms Ardern says "I’m deeply sad" after 50 people were killed in the shooting at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15.

"There are moments where there aren’t cameras and I’ve just been with families and its fair to say that those are very emotional moments."

Aly asks Ms Ardern about her family and how much time she has been able to spend with them.

"Not much, but at the moment my time with them probably wouldn’t be quality because I feel such a draw to be focused on doing what’s needed for those who have lost loved ones. Too much else feels a bit selfish right now.

"My family have come and visited me in the Beehive when they can and I have my parents helping at the moment with Neve as well so I’m the last one that anyone should be worried about."

Ms Ardern says she has always been an empathetic person but even more so now that she has become a mother.

"It’s probably hard sometimes to analyse the way that you are changed by parenthood, but you feel it, I think."

She told Aly about her decision to wear a black hijab while visiting the families affected by the terror attacks.

"I gave it very little thought, it was so obvious to me that that would be the appropriate thing to do. What I underestimated was it gave people a sense of security.

"It didn’t occur to me for a moment that there would be those woman in the community that felt unsafe ... so if in wearing the hijab as I did gave them a sense of security to continue to practice their faith, then I’m very pleased I did it."

An iconic image of Jacinda Ardern wearing a hijab and hugging one of the victims after the Christchurch terrorist attack went viral after it was displayed on the tallest building in the world as a sign of appreciation from the UAE.

Talking about racism in New Zealand Ms Ardern told Aly the "vast majority of New Zealanders" have "values of tolerance and inclusion".

"That is not to say that there are not pockets of ideology that are not counter to our values."