Aussies are again calling for Jacinda Ardern to be the country’s leader after her “classy” response to the White Island volcano disaster.
Ms Ardern was praised for her leadership in the wake of the horror that has gripped Christchurch following a terrorist attack that killed 50 people.
Her staunch rejection of the “extremist ideology” behind the attacks, which she said had “no place in New Zealand society”, was applauded by those watching events unfold from around the world.
This morning, Ms Ardern got a similar response after she met with emergency services personnel who responded to the White Island eruption that left five dead, with almost a dozen Australian tourists still unaccounted for.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed 24 Australians were visiting the island “as part of a cruise ship tour”. He said 13 have been hospitalised and the remaining 11 are still unaccounted for.
Ms Ardern has labelled the events at White Island a “calamity”.
Speaking to media following a roughly 30-minute conversation with Whakatane first responders and the local fire station, Ms Ardern said the emergency service personnel had gone above and beyond the line of duty.
“They have done an incredible job under devastating circumstances,” she said. “What a calamity that exists here in Whakatane and everyone from coastguards, firefighters, St John, the police, all (those) down on the ground making themselves available to assist.”
Many have taken to social media to respond to Ms Ardern’s reaction.
One man wrote how she should come to Australia and look after our country in times of emergency.
Another woman wrote, “What a class act Jacinda Ardern is. Her compassionate speech in regard to the volcanic eruption on White Island is something we in Australia would never experience under our cold hard hearted government.”
One commented how Ms Ardern was “the best leader in the world right now”, while others suggested Mr Morrison should not be visiting NZ and instead focus on this own country “burning” right now.
“Hey Morrison. It’s important to offer our support to New Zealand. But what about addressing the current crisis in Australia. Our East Coast is on fire and all you can do is offer thoughts and prayers. Address climate change now.”
Many of the victims in the disaster are tourists from Australia, the UK, China, Malaysia and the US.
New Zealand Police say there are no further signs of life on the island, following flyovers late on Monday.
It is still unclear when emergency services will be able to access the island and start recovering bodies, with police waiting for the all-clear before going in.