Jacinda Ardern Aims 'Karen' Quip at Opposition Leader During Debate

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern aimed a remark about being a “Karen” at opposition leader Judith Collins during a debate on hate speech laws on June 30.

During the debate, Judith Collins asked Ardern: “What is her response to Tova O’Brien, who wrote, ‘Jacinda Ardern is wrong about her own hate speech law. Completely and utterly wrong. Not only is the Prime Minister wrong about the basic facts of the proposal, she is wrong to shut down debate on hate speech.’”

Ardern responded, saying: “I also disagree with that statement and I also, as it happens, disagree with the member’s statement on Twitter that somehow it will become illegal to call someone a Karen. That is absolutely incorrect and I apologise. That means these laws will not protect that member from such a claim.”

Judith Collins had previously posted on Twitter, asking: “Will calling a middle-aged white woman a ‘Karen’ now be a crime under Jacinda Ardern’s law?”

The exchange came as New Zealand’s government sought to introduce tougher punishments for hate speech in the wake of the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings. Credit: New Zealand Parliament via Storyful

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