TODAY |

'We are staunchly nuclear free' – PM Jacinda Ardern makes her mark in first global TV chat with CNN's Christiane Amanpour


Jacinda Ardern is making her mark overseas with her first international interview, covering rising North Korean nuclear tensions, climate change refugees, and New Zealand's housing crisis. 

Ms Ardern spoke this morning to CNN's chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour, who asked her about what she would say about the volatile state between the US and North Korea. 

"The strong message we would send is it's never to late to talk," Ms Ardern said. 

"We're a nation who have championed the nuclear free movement, we are staunchly nuclear free and continue to promote nuclear non-proliferation."

"That is a message we'll continue to send on the international stage. It's of critical importance to our region."

Ms Amanpour pressed Ms Ardern on a statement made on considering offering climate refugee status to certain people around the world. 

"Areas like Kiribati... are already experiencing rising sea levels, we need to acknowledge we are, unless we make dramatic changes, at the front of seeing refugees as a result of climate change."

"We see a duty of care there both to champion internationally the importance to acknowledging and responding to climate change but also doing our bit."

Ms Amanpour referred to NZ First as a "nationalist party", and asked if Labour's coalition with the minor party would impact plans on refugees and immigration. 

"We have absolutely maintained our commitment to doubling the refugee quota that we have in New Zelanad, it was an important point of principle for us," Ms Ardern said. 

"When it comes to wider immigration, New Zealand is a country that's been built off the fact that migrants have chosen to make New Zealand home. I'm only a third generation New Zealand myself."

She said New Zealand has an issue with infrastructure. 

"We have a housing crisis. So we are trying to balance we have the skills that we need that comes via immigration whilst also provide those who call New Zealand home with a decent standard of living."