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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemns Donald Trump's attack on US congresswomen

13:18 pm on 16 July 2019

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has condemned comments made by the US President attacking four Democratic congresswomen and says she utterly disagrees with him.

Jacinda Ardern said people's origins should not be judged. Photo: Supplied / Pool

US President Donald Trump has been accused of racism after posting tweets attacking Democratic congresswomen.

He claimed the women "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe", before suggesting they "go back".

He then said Speaker "Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements".

He's since doubled down on the attack accusing them of "hating our country".

Ms Ardern told Morning Report there's no place for comments like that and she is proud that the opposite exists in New Zealand.

"Usually I don't get into other people's politics, but it will be clear to most people that I completely and utterly disagree with him.

"I'm quite proud that in New Zealand we take the opposite view, that we take the view that our Parliament should be a representative place, it should look and feel like New Zealand, it should have a range of different cultures and ethnicities and never should a judgement be made about the origin of anyone, and their right therefore to be in Parliament as a representative.

"We should celebrate our diversity, we do in New Zealand, I'm proud of that and so I obviously take a very different view to President Trump."

"Never should a judgement be made about the origin of anyone" - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Foreign Minister Winston Peters is visiting the United States where he will speak at a conference on religious freedom, which Ms Ardern said would be a platform to speak openly about the fact that New Zealand wants to see a world which celebrates the diversity of its citizens and migrants.

Ms Ardern said she would expect Mr Peters to reiterate these views at the US conference, although she said it was not a bilateral meeting.

She said although she disagrees with Donald Trump's lashing out at a group of women from the Democratic Party, bilateral talks between the two countries are not the time to call that out.

She told media at a press conference after she was asked for and gave her opinion of Mr Trump's comments on Morning Report that was the end of it.

Asked whether Mr Peters should raise the matter while in the US, Ms Ardern said it was up to leaders to deal with their own domestic politics.

She said top level meetings would take far too long if they went through every differing opinion.

"Our focus tends to be on New Zealand's relationship, and as I say a number of world leaders and I would spend a long time just talking about differences of opinion if that was the way we focussed our bilaterals,'' she said.

Ms Ardern is expected to visit the US later this year to attend the United Nations assembly.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau have also condemned Mr Trump's comments.