New Zealand PM vets Ed Sheeran’s request for citizenship

I am of course deeply smitten with Jacinda Ardern, the new Prime Minister of New Zealand, as she is smart, funny, has a good sense of humor, and is Labour! Here, according to the Guardian, she’s recorded an answer to Ed Sheeran, an English singer, songwrite, and producer, who, anticipating his tour in New Zealand, broached the idea of becoming a citizen. Ardern recorded an answer, which is great. The Guardian:

This week Sheeran recorded a video message for New Zealanders before his much-anticipated March concerts there. “Hey New Zealand I can’t wait to see you very soon, I’m not yet a citizen of New Zealand but I’m working on it – hook me up prime minister, please,” said Sheeran, in the video for local radio station ZM.

New Zealand’s leader, 37-year-old Jacinda Ardern – a well-known music fan and occasional DJ – responded to the singer’s request with a 35-second video of her own, recorded in her parliamentary office in Wellington.

Her citizenship test actually included two questions that I couldn’t answer, which surprised me as I’d absorbed as much as I could of Kiwi culture when I was there (I’ve now been dubbed an Honorary Kiwi™ and a little bird told me I’m getting a genuine replica of an All Blacks jersey for my birthday). At any rate, looking up the answers to the first two questions, I found photos to go with the Guardian‘s answers:

“Hello Ed, my name is Jacinda Ardern, I’m the prime minister of New Zealand and I understand you’ve put through a very informal request for citizenship,” says Ardern, mock-serious.

“Before we’re able to think about that a little bit more I’ve got some very important questions for you; the first, do you like pineapple lumps? Do you even know what they are?”

Pineapple lumps are a distinctly nostalgic New Zealand treat, a chewy chocolate-covered sweet with a sweet pineapple-flavoured soft centre, which New Zealanders often keep in the freezer.

[JAC: I didn’t have these or see these in NZ!]

Ardern continues: “Two, are you willing to wear jandals in semi-inappropriate situations, and also, do you know what jandals are?”

Jandals – also known as flip-flops or thongs – are often worn by New Zealanders throughout the year, including winter, and sometimes with suits or dresses to formal events (for comfort’s sake). It is thought to be a derivation of “Japanese sandals”.

[JAC: I would have no problem with this as I wear flip-flops during the summer.]

I think I know where Ardern got the “semi-inappropriate situations” thing, for this is on her Facebook page. They aren’t jandals, I think, but come close. . .


  1. Graham Head
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Oh for a prime minister with a sense of humour. And no, waving a box of cough sweets at the chancellor of the exchequer does count.

    • Graham Head
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      does NOT count.

  2. Merilee
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Love (fresh) pineapple and love chocolate but the combo sounds pretty awful to me ( worse than bacon + chocolate).

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      It’s actually not bad because it’s processed candy not actual pineapple. My mother loves pineapple lumps so anyone coming from NZ has to get some. I once forgot but found some in the airport in Sydney so not even in NZ.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

      They are delicious Merilee! A bit too delicious – it’s easy to eat too many!

      • boggy
        Posted December 1, 2017 at 1:33 am | Permalink

        When in NZ I found ginger chunks encased in dark chocolate. Divine!

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted December 1, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          I have one of them each night as my reward for doing the dishes! 😀

          • boggy
            Posted December 2, 2017 at 1:03 am | Permalink

            I hope you brush your teeth after eating the ginger chunks.

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted December 2, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

              Of course!

  3. Liz
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Heck yea. The All Blacks are the best.

  4. bundorgarden
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Sorry as a NZer, I find all this incredibly corny.

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    So is Pascal(l)’s wager “bet you can’t east just one pineapple lump”?

  6. tony walters
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    She is quite the essentialist though. She declines to oppose elections that whites are not allowed to participate in. Sad.

  7. Diana MacPherson
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    A song about Jandalsby Kiwi comedian, Rhys Darby.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Oops try again

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Oops and now I’ve embedded. I’m having HTML brain farts.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        “Para” – Para Rubber – used to be a chain of stores that sold all things rubber, from jandals to hose to paddling pools. It seems a weird sort of category to specialise in. I haven’t noticed one for years but Google says they still exist.


      • Heather Hastie
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

        A common sign outside nicer restaurants and bars is “no jandals” because they’re so common, especially in the summer.

  8. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Personally I can’t stand jandals. Trouble is, they’re so insecure – on uneven ground your heel twists sideways off the back of the thing and jams into the gravel/mud/rocks while the thong tries to wrench your toes off. Jacinta’s TV footwear is considerably more stable.

    If I have to wear shoe-like things I just wear sandals (or whatever they’re called) usually the minimalist sort with velcro straps but I prefer that traditional Kiiwi footwear – just feet.


    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      I hate two them too but I have bad feet and need orthotics so jandals are horribly painful for me. And my bad feet are from my mom’s kiwi family so….

  9. Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Talking about the All-Blacks, it was thanks to my first-cousin Prince Alexander Obolensky that England beat the All-Blacks for the first time in Rugby history!

    • Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Sadly, he died a few years later.

      • Posted November 30, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think the “died” link is correct.

        • Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

          Actually, it is. Excerpt from that article:

          “Such is fame, although, alas, Obolensky didn’t live long enough to fully enjoy his celebrity status. By the age of 24 he was dead, killed in a training accident with 54 Squadron on March 29, 1940 while practising his landings in a Hawker Hurricane at RAF Martlesham Heath, in Suffolk – the first of England’s many rugby internationals to be killed in the Second World War.

          “The official accident report said that Obolensky’s aircraft L1946 “dropped into a ravine at the end of the runway, breaking his neck”. He is buried at the Ipswich War Cemetery.”

          • Posted December 2, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

            That’s interesting. That’s almost exactly what happened to the first squadron leader of Hornet squadron in Piece of Cake. I wonder if Derek Robinson knew of the incident.

    • Liz
      Posted December 1, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Thank you for sharing this. Looks like he played outside center.

  10. Jake Sevins
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if Sheeran had instead expressed wanting to move to the U.S. what Trump would have said in an analogous video…?

    “C’mon over… since you’re a star, you can grab the women by the p—y. Except I never said that. That recording was a fake.”

  11. Matthew North
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I think it should be a crime,(punishable up to five years imprisonment), for men to wear flip-flops.

    Usually women’s feet are divine, while men’s are dirty, hairy ugly eyesores.

    But maybe I’m biased.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      If you’re a Kiwi, you wear jandals in the summer, usually with white sock marks on your ankles because you had to wear shoes and socks with the obligatory shorts while tramping in the bush or working.

  12. Posted December 1, 2017 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    I have actually seen something like this in an Australian lab’s door:

    • JohnnieCanuck
      Posted December 1, 2017 at 3:58 am | Permalink

      In a lab where corrosive reagents are on hand and will, given enough time, inevitably get spilled onto your protective footwear? Unless of course you aren’t using protection? Seems a no-brainer to me.

  13. Jonathan Wallace
    Posted December 1, 2017 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    I’m intrigued by the concept of a genuine replica. 🙂

  14. Posted December 1, 2017 at 4:47 am | Permalink

    I hate jandals, which I didn’t know were called jandals. I’m assuming it’s an NZ thing to call them jandals?

  15. Graham Martin-Royle
    Posted December 1, 2017 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    I love anything sweet so would adore pineapple lumps. Sadly, being diabetic I can’t actually eat them.

    I love wearing jandals mainly cos I’ve got very sweaty feet so I need to let my feet breathe. Unfortunately, it’s far too cold most of the time here in the UK so I don’t get to wear them much.

    I’d love to make NZ my home!!!

    That’s it then, I should qualify for NZ citizenship. Now, how do I go about applying?

  16. DutchA
    Posted December 1, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Bet Ed Sheeran’s ‘request’ has something to do with Middle Earth and his hobbitiness.

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