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Australian interview with pregnant New Zealand prime minister condemned as 'sleazy' and 'repugnant'

Reporter Charles Wooley has landed himself in hot water with New Zealand viewers for his interview technique.

Source: 60 Minutes Australia/YouTube

AN AUSTRALIAN INTERVIEW with pregnant New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has drawn condemnation in her home nation.

Veteran 60 Minutes reporter Charles Wooley recently spent two weeks with Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford prior to the interview.

In it, he waxes lyrical about her abilities as a politician, but also drifts into murkier waters, describing the 37-year-old, who became her country’s youngest ever leader last October, as being “so attractive”.

“I’ve met a lot of prime ministers in my time, but none so young, not too many so smart, and never one so attractive,” Wooley says while walking alongside Ardern through Parliament House in the Australian capital Canberra.

yt Ardern and Gayford, pictured during the interview Source: Youtube/60 Minutes Australia

Describing himself as being “smitten” with Ardern, Wooley also chose to ask her and Gayford about her current pregnancy, saying that “it’s interesting how much people have been counting back to the conception” (his point appears to have been as to whether or not Ardern had conceived during the election campaign).

“The one really important question is: ‘when is the baby due’,” he said.

Having produced six children it doesn’t amaze me that people can have children, why not have a child conceived during an election campaign?

The tone of the interview has come in for savage criticism in New Zealand, with some reaction on social media labelling it as ‘sexist’, ‘sleazy’, and ‘repugnant’.

60 Minutes defended Wooley’s approach, saying its reporters “have always asked the tough questions which the public has been wanting to hear, while also showing the human side of these individuals that we rarely get to see” in a statement to New Zealand media.

Wooley meanwhile described the backlash to his interview style as ‘Orwellian’.

“I think you’ve got to be so careful with newspeak and thought crime and everything else, we suffer the same thing in Australia,” he told radio network NewsTalk ZB.

Ardern herself however said today that she’s “not fazed” by the interview.

“It’s fair to say that I couldn’t recall there being anything from the interview that particularly stood out to me,” she told reporters earlier today.

Her partner Gayford appears to be slightly less impressed however:

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