Jacinda Ardern says she was misled by the authors of a newly-released book that centred on her leadership, rather than on a number of women in political leadership as she was led to believe.
The book, titled Jacinda Ardern: Leading With Empathy, was published on June 2 and is authored by Supriya Vani and Carl A Harte.
According to website Goodreads, the book “carefully explores the influences – personal, social, political and emotional – that have shaped Ardern. Peace activist and journalist Supriya Vani and writer Carl A. Harte build their narrative through Vani’s exclusive interviews with Ardern, as well as the prime minister’s public statements and speeches and the words of those who know her”.
At her post-cabinet media briefing today, Ardern said she was not aware the book was being written as an exclusive about her, saying she thought she was contributing to a book on women in political leadership.
“I generally had a bit of a policy around not engaging in any efforts to write anything specifically of that nature – about me,” she said.
“But I have from time-to-time when someone’s made an approach and have said they are writing a book on women in leadership in particular, on the odd occasion I have contributed to those.
“That was the nature of the request I received in this example. It was in 2019 that I was approached, I was told the author was writing a book on women in political leadership and I was told there were roughly 10 other female political leaders involved…and asked whether or not I would participate.”
Ardern said that it was on that basis, “given it was not specific to me” that she agreed to contribute.
“So no, it is not accurate to say it was an exclusive interview specifically for that purpose.”
She says she was “clearly misled" and says she would seek that any statements are not misleading.
“And certainly the claim that it was an exclusive interview for the purpose of writing a book of that nature is not true, so I think I’ll certainly ask that that will be clarified," Ardern said.