Watch: Beaming Jacinda Ardern says she's 'incredibly happy' with #KnitForJacinda online drive

Jacinda Arden's furrowed brow and sombre tones while discussing international trade were instantly transformed this morning when asked if she was familiar with the online #KnitForJacinda drive.

Posed the question at the reopening of the earthquake strengthened Dunedin courthouse, the Prime Minister beamed while saying she was aware, and thoroughly approved. 

"I have! I'm so please about it because actually a while ago someone said to me 'what should people send you' and I said 'photos of the things that they make for other people'," she said.

"You know I've always maintained that people who have the most get given the most and what would make me incredibly happy would be to see some benefit for, you know, premature babies, families in need, others who would really benefit from that generosity that New Zealanders inherently have.

"So if you would really love to knit something, please do, and send me a pic, yep."    

The KnitForJacinda movement was kick started by Heather McCracken, who woke up one morning with the hankering to get her knitting needles out and conjure up some warm garb for the Prime Minister's impending arrival.

But on reflection she decided the baby would be showered with gifts and her efforts would be better used by those less fortunate than the PM.

Her post on Twitter reads: "So I woke up this morning feeling like 'I want to knit for Jacinda's pepi WHO'S WITH ME'.

"But then I thought her baby will prob get loads of lovely things, and many other bubs are in need of warm clothes and hats and booties to go home from hospital."

The tweet has taken off, with lots of generous Kiwis rallying behind the cause, so much so that the children's ward at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland has been inundated with knitted goods for their young ones.

The PM has responded to the #KnitForJacinda movement, saying she’d love for people to donate to others and send her a pic. Source: 1 NEWS




Green Party launches election process to find new female Co-Leader

Green Party leader James Shaw says the race is on to find his next co-leader after the party brought forward the election process.

Mr Shaw told reporters at Parliament today that nominations will open on February 2 and close on February 9, with all Green Party list members - whether MPs or not - eligible as long as they are female and have been a member for six months or more.

The full list of nominations will be announced February 12, and campaigns will continue inside the party until March 26.

Ballots will then be cast until April 7, with the new co-leader announced on April 8.

Mr Shaw said the election process would usually coincide with the party's Annual General Meeting, but after Metiria Turei stepped down last year, leaving it until the AGM would mean the position would have been vacant too long - almost a year.

"Now that we're in government we've got to focus on the business at hand and we want to get this out of the way," Mr Shaw said.

"By the time Easter is done we'll have a new co-leader in place."

Green Party members were advised to check their membership status was up to date, Mr Shaw said, as they would have a say in who their party branch endorsed.

Nominees will not comment whether they are running, he said, until the official announcement, and members will also not be commenting on who they endorsed.

Any candidates who received more than $500 in donations to their campaign would be required to declare it.

Top ten female Green list MPs (list position):

Marama Davidson (2)
Julie Anne Genter (3)
Eugenie Sage (4)
Jane Logie (6)
Chloe Swarbrick (7)
Golriz Ghahraman (8)
Mojo Mather (9)
Denise Roche (13)
Teall Crossen (15)
Leilani Tamu (17)

James Shaw has announced that a new female Co-Leader will be chosen "by the time Easter is finished". Source: 1 NEWS