Jacinda Ardern welcomes in year of the rat at Chinese New Year Festival

Source: 1News

Jacinda Ardern is back on the job and celebrated by welcoming in the year of the rat at the Chinese New Year Festival in Auckland.

She kicked off the festival by welcoming the crowd and wishing them a happy New Year at Auckland's ASB Showgrounds this morning.

"I think it's a development that in our lifetime as we see increasingly more and more members of our New Zealand community coming together to celebrate what is an incredibly important part of the Chinese calender," she said.

Ms Ardern also wished Simon Bridges, who was in the audience, a happy New Year after joking she hadn't seen him much over the summer break.

"It's good to see you, we don't get to see each other as much over the summer period, so hello and happy New Year."

The free-admission festival, which includes food stalls, performances and activities, ends at 4pm today.