TODAY |

PM demonstrates 'East Coast wave' as coronavirus alternative to handshakes, hongi

During her post-Cabinet meeting press conference today, the Prime Minister demonstrated the 'East Coast wave' - a uniquely New Zealand alternative to handshakes amid the spread of coronavirus. 

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Limited contact is being advised due to the spread of coronavirus, and one of the alternatives suggested is the ‘East Coast wave’.

On Saturday, while announcing the sweeping 14-day self-isolation rule on all travellers entering the country, except from the Pacific Islands, Ms Ardern requested New Zealanders stop handshakes, hugs and hongi. 

"I know this is counter to who we are as a nation, but the best we can do right now to show love and affection to one another is to switch to the East Coast wave.

"If you don't know what that is, find an East Coaster."

In a lighter moment today after announcing a ban on large gatherings, Ms Ardern was asked to demonstrate the East Coast wave. 

She obliged, then asked the media to also demonstrate.