Social media users have revived an old Facebook post from Jacinda Ardern - written on Easter 2014, long before she took over as Prime Minister. Now, five years later, it is being shared around the world as an example of her compassion.
It comes just days after Ms Ardern was also named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people of 2019 - in which she was praised by the magazine for her leadership following last month’s terrorist attacks in Christchurch.
The 2014 Facebook post, her supporters have suggested, shows her compassion well before the massacre or before fame beyone New Zealand. In it, Ms Ardern told a story of how she shared a car ride with three strangers after all four found themselves stranded at Wellington Airport with cancelled flights.
The then-MP wrote, "Everyone waiting at the gate looked pretty gutted, but a few in particular.
"I was lucky enough to grab a rental car, so I doubled back through the airport to try and find the upset looking group from my flight. Turns out that one was due at a wedding, the other a 21st, and the third just wanted to see her family."
After devising a travel plan between them, Ms Ardern received a text message from a colleague in Auckland who had informed her that one of the passengers was their daughter and that they’d meet in Taupo to carry out the rest of the trip.
"And so here we are, a random collection of people who have had the loveliest reminder that New Zealand is beautifully small," Ms Ardern concluded.
The Facebook post has earned over 73,000 reactions and has been shared over 8000 times, not including reposts on Instagram and Reddit.
"It's reassuring to know that the country is being led by someone who is genuinely a better person than most of us (or me at least)," one Reddit user wrote of the post. "It won't mean she will always make the right decision. I sure as hell won't agree with her all the time.
"But I do know she's coming from a position of good will and integrity."