Ardern still feels safe despite heckling from protesters

Source: 1News

Jacinda Ardern says she still feels safe despite being chased and heckled by protesters.

The Prime Minister has been chased and yelled at by angry anti-mandate and anti-vaccine protesters at some recent events. There are protest signs up around the country and at Parliament, some with violent pictures or messages.

However, Ardern told Breakfast on Monday that she still feels safe and that this kind of behaviour has been going on since October when Covid-19 vaccine efforts ramped up.

"It's not that I've climatised to that at all, but it is something that's been happening for a while and very much associated with the vaccination programme," she said.

"I know people across the country, in small numbers, do have very strong feelings about vaccines but I've always known that, of course, the vaccines were the things providing protection to New Zealanders as well.

"In terms of safety, look, I absolutely believe that, yes, we have a moment of time here where there are a group of people, small as it may be, who are feeling extraordinarily passionately about an issue that a much larger group of New Zealanders also feel passionately about and they happen to be in different positions, but it's a season and it will pass."

Ardern reiterated that Covid-19 restrictions would be eased when it is safe to do so, not because some people are protesting.

"That's my job - to look after everyone and make sure that our healthcare system can provide the care that everyone needs.

"We'll find ourselves one day in a position where we'll be able to reflect back on this period and I hope the thing that stands out in people's minds is the lives we saved, rather than the differences of opinion."