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New Zealand is 'not immune' to fake news, says Jacinda Ardern, after Judith Collins' controversial tweet

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand is not immune to fake news, as a National MP was caught out today tweeting a story that originated from a site that reportedly creates fake news. 

"I think we should all be concerned about fake news," Ms Ardern said at her first post-Cabinet press conference since she returned from maternity leave. 

Earlier today, Judith Collins tweeted an article titled: 'France Passes Law Saying Children Can Consent To Sex With Adults', and asked if Ms Ardern was willing to "denounce this legislation of child sexual abuse". 

It came from a news source that CBS News described as a 'fake news site'. 

Ms Ardern said she had not looked "in any detail" what Ms Collins had asked "or what sits behind it".

"I do think there is an ongoing discussion around the impact fake news can have on security, on domestic politics, it's a conversation that has been had globally. We're not immune to it and we should probably be a part of it," Ms Ardern said. 

National Party leader Simon Bridges said the topic was an issue Ms Collins "she felt strongly about, but she didn’t get her source right".

Ms Collins’ tweet has sparked concerns about the prevalence of fake news. Source: 1 NEWS

"I think when we are on Twitter a lot sometimes we do get it wrong. She has here, fair cop."

"In general we should get these things right, but we won't always, particularly on Twitter."

The Independent and Telegraph reported in May that France tightened laws on child rape, however did not set a minimum age for consent of sexual relationship with an adult, earlier planned to sit at 15. 

It meant a sexual relationship between a person under 15 is illegal, but if the threshold for rape was not met, a new offence of 'sexual violation by penetration' would be used. 

Ms Collins tweeted saying the decision to top "short of consent is appalling". 

"An opportunity to protect children is lost."

The Prime Minister said fake news can have an impact on security and domestic policies. Source: 1 NEWS


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