Fascination with NZ's Prime Minister continues far from home as Jacinda Mania comes to Europe - Joy Reid

Jacinda Mania has come to Europe.

The PM is attempting to create a European FTA, and also discussed climate change and the Pacific with President Macron. Source: 1 NEWS

The fascination with New Zealand's Prime Minister crosses borders, continents and oceans.

In the past few weeks there have been long feature articles written about her in myriad top foreign newspapers, not just in the UK, but also in France and Germany.

Now she's actually here, she's attracting large media interest. As the Kiwi media contingent walked through the heavy security into the Elysee Palace ahead of the Prime Minister's first meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, our Embassy guide looked at the larger than usual media turn out and said "this is because of her".

Then as the PM walked up the palace stairs to greet the smiling warm French leader, the cameras furiously clicked and there were audible sighs, or gasps from the press pen – I couldn't tell which.

1 NEWS Europe Correspondent Joy Reid has the details. Source: Breakfast

Even the President seemed captivated, cupping her hand with both of his and guiding her at times with his hand on her back.

So what's Jacinda Ardern's x-factor? Is it her youth? That she's a pregnant leader? Her policies? Her publicly relaxed nature?

Or is it the whole package?

A young and vibrant new leader who is also a champion of climate change policy was always going to go down well in France – the home of the Paris Accord and a country whose people also recently voted for a vibrant young leader in Emmanuel Macron.

She easily won over a packed auditorium of students at a prestigious Parisian University where she delivered a key note speech on climate change.

She was introduced to her audience (or perhaps I should call them fans) by Sciences Po University's President who showered her with accolades about her achievements, hailing her as example to women for the way she was handling her "pregnancy and leadership".

In a university where more than half the students are female – it went down well.

She took a range of questions from the floor, to each one she would say "good question" and afterwards several students gushed about her.

Even her Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau who happened to making a speech in the same venue shortly after her, squeezed in a brief bilateral chat, and dished out compliments as they posed for the cameras.

They say first impressions last, and with a number of first time "meet and greets" with world leaders coming up this week at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (including the Queen), if her day in France is anything to go by, it surely augurs well for New Zealand.