New Zealand’s history of political gifts

Credit: GCSB

Our class-less leader Jacinda Ardern thinks that a cheap stuffed Kiwi made in China is an appropriate gift for a powerful world leader like Germany’s Angela Merkel. Traditionally a gift from the Prime Minister of New Zealand to other leaders is a quality gift that was New Zealand made or especially significant to the recipient of the gift. Let’s have a look at a few examples of gifts that have been given and received in the past.

New Zealand sports memorabilia, including signed rugby balls, are common gifts from our foreign minister to overseas ministers. John Key gave ex-Prime Minister Helen Clark a gift basket filled with “Iconic New Zealand Foods” when he visited her overseas.


Helen Clark while Prime Minister gifted a live white horse to Japan as a replacement horse for the Toshogu Shrine, one of the most important shrines in Japan.

Prime Minister Bainimarama gifts a tanoa to the New Zealand Minister for Foreign Affairs Gerry Brownlee on May 31, 2017. Photo: DEPTFO News

Fijian Prime Minister Bainimarama gave a Kava bowl to  Gerry Brownlee when he was the New Zealand minister for Foreign affairs.

Vietnam at the APEC summit presented the New Zealand Prime Minister with a portrait of herself

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc gave Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern an oil painting which was a portrait of her. When Helen Clarke was in power she had Trevor Mallard gift the Vietnamese Prime Minister a large vase with an artwork of Auckland painted on it.

The acting Prime Minister for the Solomon Islands was given a Croatian made tie by the Croatian Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand.

This small sample of gifts given and received in the past illustrates how inappropriate Ardern’s gift to the Prime Minister of Germany was. Imagine the outrage if she had given her cheap stuffed Chinky Chicken to a Chinese politician?

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