New Zealand becoming known overseas for its progressive Prime Minister, marketing expert says

Source: 1News

New Zealand is quickly becoming known overseas for it's progressive Prime Minister - Jacinda Ardern, according to a marketing expert.

Dr Jessica Vredenburg was in Canada and Australia recently and said Ms Ardern was the first, and practically the only thing people wanted to talk about when she mentioned she was from New Zealand.

But while Mr Ardern is being praised internationally, back home some people are criticising her leadership.

Last week National Party leader Simon Bridges called Ms Ardern a "part-time Prime Minister" for visiting Tokelau while issues with Ihumātao remained unresolved in Auckland.

Dr Vredenburg told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning there were different roles the Prime Minister plays which are both important.

"Obviously all the internal politics are important. It's important for the nuts and bolts for the running of the country," she said. "But having a strong international brand is also important for things like international trade, for tourism, for investment in the country in other ways."

However, there are also concerns Ms Ardern's leadership was distinctly different to a lot of other leaders throughout the world which could mean a clash.

"She's definitely having to walk that line between how to engage and stay true to what she's saying are her brand values and the associations she wants to be known for, but yet a lot of these conversations internationally are happening with other leaders that may not hold those same values."

But her "fame" could also propel her into other international roles in the future, Dr Vredenburg said.

"She has two brands, if you will, that she's got in her portfolio at the moment in terms of her role as Prime Minister as well as her personal brand and who she is as Jacinda, who she is in terms of a leader and a role model," she said.  

"Internationally the brand is focused a lot more on the overall image, less on the details of the politics within that same country, so they're seeing the positive responses to the Christchurch mosque attacks and they're seeing, sort of, this quite different leadership being shown in this part of the world."