Today I Learned: Jacinda Ardern Was Once A Kickass DJ Before Becoming New Zealand's PM

What an origin story.

These days we know Jacinda Ardern as New Zealand’s Prime Minister, a model of what a world leader should be and an all-around angel to everyone.

Now PMs and world leaders have a life before taking office and a colleague recently brought to my attention what Jacinda was up to before becoming the leader of New Zealand. It turns out that prior to becoming PM, Jacinda was a *checks notes* DJ.

Talk about a wild origin story.

Years before assuming the position of New Zealand’s leader, Jacinda Ardern was a budding disco jockey with a penchant for playing tunes ranging from Spice Girls to Judas Priest. While most do this as a hobby, she got good enough to do some pretty notable gigs, such as a set for Record Store Day at Real Groovy Records Auckland in 2013.

According to one fan who had the good fortune of witnessing this set, she played The Beatles into Toy Love and was apparently pretty great.

2014 saw a few more noteworthy DJ gigs for Jacinda, as she did another Record Store Day set and a few uni shows. But perhaps the most headline-grabbing performance for that year was when she performed at that year’s Laneway Festival in Auckland.

Having always attended the festival as a fan, the event’s former co-promoter suggested that she should “come and DJ” given her skills and history with Laneway. Unsurprisingly, Jacinda jumped at the chance.

Sadly for music fans, Jacinda’s DJ career didn’t progress beyond that as there were political matters to attend to and she became New Zealand’s PM only a few years after her 2014 Laneway Festival set. As much as we need DJ Jacinda Ardern in our lives, we need her more as a kickarse world leader.

That being said, Jacinda still clearly holds her musical past dear to her heart. Appearing at the 2018 Laneway Festival – as a guest and not a DJ sadly – she spoke about her DJ past, how important it is to support creatives and artists, and how it feels like she’s come full circle by attending the event as PM.

From DJ to New Zealand’s prime minister. The origin story of Jacinda Ardern just keeps getting better and will probably make a great movie one day. Maybe she could dust off her old DJ chops and contribute to the soundtrack of that hypothetical biopic.

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Here Are All The Flights Scott Morrison Could've Taken Back Home But Didn't

Surely it can't be that hard to get a business class seat from Hawaii to Sydney.

After being called out for taking an early holiday to Hawaii while Australia continues to be ravaged by bushfires, Scott Morrison has sheepishly delivered an apology (which was a bit tone-deaf TBH) before declaring he’s cutting his vacay short to come home ASAP.

Now that’s nice and all, except for the fact that Scotty appears to be taking his sweet time getting back. An unverified Twitter user shared some photos of someone who looks remarkably like Scott Morrison just chilling in Hawaii, hours after the PM delivered his apology and said he was going home.

Now we can’t exactly confirm whether or not this bloke is Scott Morrison or not, though we can say that the resemblance is uncanny. But in a startling twist of events, political editor Annika Smethurst has posted a tweet stating that Scotty was spotted in the lift of a Hawaii hotel the morning after his sheepish apology.

What this tells us is that Scotty either appears to be really taking his time coming back home, his definition of ASAP is different to everyone else’s, or perhaps he simply couldn’t get a flight back home on such short notice.

Since bushfires is no laughing matter and Scott Morrison did indeed say he’s doing all he could to come back to Australia, we decided to check the number of commercial flights (since he flew to Hawaii on a commercial flight, and in business class no less) that have run from when Scotty apologised to the time of writing.

Taking into account the 21-hour time difference and the 11-ish hour flight time, there were at least five commercial flights that could’ve gotten Scotty back to Sydney anywhere between 3:45pm to 8pm:

  • 20th December – Honolulu to Sydney via Jetstar – estimated arrival time: 3:45pm
  • 20th December – Honolulu to Sydney via Qantas – estimated arrival time: 5:35pm
  • 20th December – Honolulu to Sydney via Hawaiian Airlines – estimated arrival time: 7:45pm
  • 21st December – Honolulu to Sydney via Qantas – estimated arrival time: 5:35pm
  • 21st December – Honolulu to Sydney via Hawaiian Airlines – estimated arrival time: 7:45pm

With at least two flights a day running at the same times, surely ol’ mate could’ve gotten himself on one of them.

Then there’s also the Australian Defence Force option, which could’ve given him a lift home seeing as how Scott Morrison has them at his disposal. He could’ve literally been home right now instead of standing at some Hawaiian hotel lobby waiting for an Uber to the airport.

Now this might be seen as a waste of government resources but taking into account the fact that Australia is literally on fire, a state of emergency has been called, and the country’s leader is MIA, not to mention Scotty’s vow to come home ASAP, hitching a ride via the Defence Force seems like the better option than a commercial flight.

Either way, we know this much: Australia is still ravaged by bushfires, Scott Morrison isn’t here, and it seems like he’s taking his sweet time coming home despite all the options available to get him back to Sydney ASAP.

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Scott Morrison Cuts His Holiday Short Yet Still Delivers A Tone-Deaf Apology

Dug upwards, Scotty.

Scott Morrison is going through shovels at quite the clip isn’t he? Following an avalanche of flack for bailing on Australia for an early holiday while bushfires continue to rage on, Scotty has now cut his vacay short following the death of two young volunteer firefighters and put out an apology for his absence.

But in a move that’s been par for the course for ol’ mate during this bushfire season, he somehow managed to botch his apology statement.

Scotty says his leave was “brought forward” ahead of his original scheduled leave in January due to his “official government visit to India and Japan.”

He then says he “deeply regret[s] any offence caused to any of the many Australians affected by the terrible bushfires by [him] taking leave with family at this time” and says he’ll be back in Sydney ASAP.

In a separate statement, Scotty also expressed “sincere condolences and sympathies” to the families of the two firefighters who were killed.

All in all, Scotty’s whole apology statement feels incredibly disingenuous given how it has come mere hours after the tragic death of the two firefighters. It’s also difficult to buy ol’ mate’s sincerity and his deep “regrets” for going on early vacay given how he tried oh so hard to keep it secret.

And then there’s the bit where Scotty explains the moving up of his holiday because he’s going to be travelling a lot in the new year for work anyway, which sounds like the most first world problem of first world problems.

At the end of the day though, Scott Morrison has handled the bushfire crisis extraordinarily poorly.

Early holiday aside, Scotty hasn’t exactly endeared himself to the public with his tone-deaf statements and actions, such as not giving aid to the volunteer firefighters, refusing to meet with fire chiefs, and just disappearing altogether. He did find time to plug his ridiculous religious discrimination bill though so he wasn’t exactly doing nothing the entire time.

We understand that there’s actually very little that a PM can physically do to help during a crisis like the bushfires, but the fact that Scotty didn’t even try is pretty horrendous.

Remember when Kevin Rudd helped out during the 2011 Brisbane floods? Ruddy may be the target of many jokes but at least he knew how to be a leader and tried his best during times of crisis.

No one is begrudging Scotty for going on holiday, but you can’t realistically expect Australians to accept this after weeks of showing next-to-no leadership or even a simple act of trying to do something useful to help out.

One thing’s for sure, the protesters camping outside Kirribilli House aren’t going to give Scott Morrison a very warm welcome home greeting when he gets back from his vacay.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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