December 11, 2023

Former PM Ardern donates significant clothes, memorabilia to Te Papa

Watch: Jacinda Ardern sits down with Newshub's Sam Hayes for an extensive interview.

Jacinda Ardern is donating several items of clothing and other memorabilia from her time as Prime Minister to Te Papa museum.

Ardern sat down with Newshub’s Sam Hayes for an extensive interview on Tuesday to reflect on her time in Government and revealed her new jobs.

Ardern has been appointed as a special envoy to the Christchurch Call as well as joining the board for Prince William’s Earthshot Prize.

During the interview, Ardern also revealed she’s donating an extensive collection of clothing and memorabilia from significant moments in her time as Prime Minister to the museum.

Among the items is a dress Ardern wore when she was pregnant to meet the late Queen Elizabeth II and other world leaders at Buckingham Palace in 2018. She wore a korowai, a traditional Māori cloak, over the dress as well. But she said that isn’t being donated because she doesn’t own it.

She’s also donating a maroon pantsuit she wore for an international trip while heavily pregnant. The former Prime Minister told Hayes it actually features an elastic waist so she could be comfortable as well as professional.

The red jacket she wore when she became the leader of the Labour Party is also included in the collection, along with what she was wearing when she was sworn in as Prime Minister both times.

Te Papa is also getting the jumper she wore when she made her first public appearance after giving birth to her daughter Neve.

It’s not just clothing though, Ardern is also gifting the museum the pens she and Winston Peters used to sign the documents for their coalition government and the notes she made for herself immediately after the March 15 Christchurch terror attack.

Ardern told Newshub donating the clothing felt like an important way to mark her time as leader of New Zealand.

“Whenever I have gone to museums there are certain artefacts that always stand out to me. I remember seeing a soldier’s uniform once straight from the frontline and there were so many things about it that captured that moment in time. From the fabrics used to the stature of the individuals,” she said.

“So I think it doesn’t have to be just that I was a female. For me, it does capture in large part, also New Zealand designers at the time, because I really tried to wear clothing that was made by New Zealanders.”

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