Ahead of this weekend’s election in New Zealand, it seems everyone’s got a opinion on Kiwi Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. So when one Aussie columnist shared his somewhat negative opinion about her, hundreds of Kiwis hit back with some strong opinions of their own.

It all started with an article in The Australian in which Ardern was called the “high priestess of the woke”.

“No international halo is so shabby, or so fraudulent, as that worn by New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern,” the article read.

“Politically she resembles Dan Andrews. They excel in woke gesture and progressive symbolism.

“Their achieve­ments in real policy terms are thin or negative.”

This article was then picked up by the New Zealand Herald, which wrote about how international media outlets have been slamming the PM. The piece also included articles from the Sydney Morning Herald and the BBC in its roundup.

The article basically highlighted that fact that not everyone totally adores Ardern, and used those Aussie articles as examples.

In the comments section on Facebook, Kiwis did not hold back their feelings.

“Australian journalists criticising NZ politics? Perhaps they should concentrate on their own internal political mess,” wrote one person.

“Typical negative Ozzie politics. Look after your own sad country,” said another reader. “Leave NZ to the Kiwis.”

“Eh… focus on your own country…” read another comment.

“Considering our Government has had to deal with a volcanic eruption, mass killing, this stupid pandemic, and cleaning up Nationals’ mess, I feel they’ve done okay.”

In among all the mess were a handful of comments agreeing with the original piece in The Australian, with one person even saying that it’s “crazy we have to look offshore to get a proper appraisal of her performance.”

However the bulk of the comments (and reactions) seem to be firmly in the Ardern camp, and of the opinion that we should sort out our own mess here before slamming the Prime Minister of New Zealand, who at the very least has excelled in managing the coronavirus pandemic over there.

To be fair, people in the comments of the original article absolutely ate that shit up.

But perhaps that’s where the distinction lies between readers of The Australian (who are, presumably, in Australia) and our fellow Facebook users across the Tasman.

Image: Getty Images / Hagen Hopkins