Monday, 7 May 2018

Cosying up to the Devil: Killary Clinton's visit to NZ

Hillary Clinton to talk US election during NZ visit

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is promising to provide her personal insights into the 2016 US presidential election when she visits New Zealand in May.

Power selfie: Ardern meets Clinton

The Prime Minister met the former United States Secretary of State in Auckland this morning.
Jacinda Ardern and Hillary Clinton

7 May, 2018

Jacinda Ardern and Hillary Clinton had breakfast together.

The meeting with the former first lady and presidential candidate was scheduled for half an hour but went longer than expected.

Mrs Clinton will talk in front of 3000 people this evening at Auckland's Spark Arena, sharing insights into the 2016 US election, its aftermath, and her experience as a woman in politics.

Unlike Former President Obama's widely reported recent arrival, very few people knew the former Secretary of State and New York Senator was in town until she was spotted at a children's clothing store in Parnell.

A usually quiet Sunday at work turned into something far more exciting for retail assistant Kersti Ward at Parnell Baby Boutique
"There were a couple of security guys hanging around the shop for a while before she came.

"I thought 'oh that's a bit weird maybe Jacinda's coming in or something like that'. They were parked across the road, there were three cars in the bus bay and then this woman was escorted across the road and it was Hillary Clinton."

"I do admire her, so it was kind of a shock and I really didn't know what to talk to her about."

Ms Ward said she had looked into attending Mrs Clinton's talk tonight, but it was not possible on a student budget.
Parnell Baby Boutique assistant Kersti Wade with Hillary Clinton.Parnell Baby Boutique assistant Kersti Wade with Hillary Clinton. Photo: Instagram / Parnell Baby Boutique

Tickets for the upper level seating start at $195 while those with a VIP package paid $495 for the closest seats, a copy of her book and entry to a pre-event cocktail function.

The appeal of hearing one of the biggest newsmakers of recent times had many jumping at the chance.

Christchurch resident Nicola Rykers was flying up for the event with her daughter later today.

"Back in 1999 I was given a free ticket to go hear Bill Clinton talk at the Antarctic Centre in Christchurch and I thought he was amazing, he's a great orator.

"Because the Clintons are such an influential, on a global scale, kind of couple it was a great opportunity to hear the other half."

While Mrs Clinton was not everyone's favourite politician, there was plenty about her for New Zealanders to be interested in, Ms Rykers said.

"She's a great academic and intellectual in her right and obviously has a lot of grit and perseverance, so she is a great role model even if you don't like her politics."
National Council of Women president Vanisa Dhiru said Mrs Clinton's reflections on modern leadership would be of great interest to many.

"Leaders like this have an important place in the sphere of having female leaders, that other women, young women, girls, can look up to. I think being able to listen and see her in New Zealand on our soil is amazing."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is meeting privately with Mrs Clinton this morning but will not be attending the speech.

Hillary Clinton will talk about her book What Happened, which reflects on her experience during the 2016 US election race with Donald Trump.

Event organisers The Growth Faculty said as of last night tickets were close to selling out but some were still available for purchase.

The conversation is being moderated by former Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley.

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