At home with Jacinda Ardern

Ardern says her home is normally chaotic but has a retro feel.
JASON DORDAY/FAIRFAX NZ

Ardern says her home is normally chaotic but has a retro feel.

Tipped as a future prime minister, Jacinda Ardern is Labour's new leader, known for hanging out in Auckland's 'It' crowd and was even once asked to DJ at the Laneway music festival.

In the midst of campaigning for the Mt Albert by election, Ardern opened the door to her "chaotic" 1990s brick and tile home in Auckland's Point Chevalier. It's here she lives with her partner, TV presenter Clarke Gayford. 

Ardern, 36, admits her proudest DIY moment was installing a new toilet "without flooding the house," however, they're yet to install the doors removed throughout the house to have them painted.

Jacinda Ardern lives in Point Chevalier, Auckland, with her partner.
JASON DORDAY/FAIRFAX NZ

Jacinda Ardern lives in Point Chevalier, Auckland, with her partner.

"It's taken us a while to get them back up - we did prioritise the toilet door though," she says. 

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This newspaper clipping shows Ardern's grandmother and late Prime Minister Norman Kirk on their way to a wedding.
JASON DORDAY/FAIRFAX NZ

This newspaper clipping shows Ardern's grandmother and late Prime Minister Norman Kirk on their way to a wedding.

Ardern's favourite treasure is an old newspaper clipping of her grandmother and the late Prime Minister Norman Kirk who are on their way to a wedding. 

"My nana died when I was 12 so we never really talked about politics. It reminds me that we probably had a lot in common," Ardern says.

Describe your house in two sentences:

Salad spinners were once a thing to ridicule but Ardern says she is now a big fan of her own one.
JASON DORDAY/FAIRFAX NZ

Salad spinners were once a thing to ridicule but Ardern says she is now a big fan of her own one.

I can probably do it one word – comfy. It's a 1990s brick and tile style home that pretty much had one owner before us. You can tell it's been loved.

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Describe your style in three words:

Chaotic, sentimental, retro. The chaos part is Clarke.  

Ardern loves to combine colour in various pairings.
JASON DORDAY/FAIRFAX NZ

Ardern loves to combine colour in various pairings.

Where is your home and who lives there with you:

Pt Chevalier, and I share it with my partner Clarke.

First thing you do when you get home each day:

Kick my shoes off and scavenge in the kitchen.

Best new buy:

Clarke is obsessed with lights. Obsessed. We were meant to go and pick up a few Christmas decorations and we came back with a clear stag head complete with lights and glitter.

Proudest DIY moment:

Installing a new toilet without flooding the house. And having my dad compliment our interior paint job.

Favourite spot to relax:

The kitchen table is where I spend the most time. It's my office.

Best kept secret about the area you live in: 

The Pt Chevalier beach. It's not really a secret, but if you take a wee walk early enough in the morning you can have it to yourself.

Best money I ever spent on the house:

Paint runner pro. I saw one at a home show and ranted so much about how good it was that I think someone thought I was working on the stand.

Favourite way of entertaining:

Anything that uses the BBQ.

Best kitchen tool and why:

Salad spinner. I used to tease my mum about how obsessed she was with hers…until she bought me one.

I can't live without:

Cheese. And loved ones of course. But also cheese.

Favourite piece of furniture:

My kitchen table. I picked it up off Trade Me. It wasn't in great shape so a friend helped me fix it up.  

Favourite artwork or family treasure:

I have an old newspaper from Te Aroha that my mum found a few years ago. It has my nana on the front page. She was on her way to a wedding with Norm Kirk. My nana died when I was 12 so we never really talked about politics. It reminds me that we probably had a lot in common.

Favourite household appliance:

Probably the yoghurt maker. The fact we can keep a dairy product in the cupboard till we need it is pretty handy when your schedule is a bit random.

One thing I'd like to change around my house:

I wouldn't mind having the doors installed again. We took them off to paint them and it's taken us a while to get them back up (we did prioritise the toilet door though!)

What's your signature dish:

Fish Pie

What's your quickest dinner idea:

Cheese and crackers. Does that count?

How do you feel about unannounced guests:

As a professional door knocker, I almost never turn people away!

Shoes on or off in your house:

Shoes off – but that will be short lived.

Favourite/least favourite household chore:

I am embarrassed to say that I enjoy vacuuming….as long as it's only once a week

What's one domestic/housework/gardening trick you've learnt over the years:

If you've been cutting or handling fish, always wash your hands with cold water first instead of hot. It's way less smelly.

Favourite flowers:

Lilies and daisies. As far as house plants go, I am a big fan of the peace lily because it's the one plant I can almost keep alive.

Favourite colour combination:

All of them, all at once.

 - Homed

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