Jacinda Ardern once met Nelson Mandela - a fact she doubts many people know

MONIQUE FORD / STUFF

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern chats with Stuff political reporters Tracy Watkins and Vernon Small.

She once met Nelson Mandela and is a self-confessed "policy nerd", and as of Tuesday she's the new leader of the Labour Party.

Jacinda Ardern, 37, says meeting Mandela, the former president of South Africa who served 27 years in prison for conspiring to overthrow the state, was "pretty amazing".

It's a fact she doubts many people know about her and with an election in just seven weeks Ardern doesn't have a lot of time for voters to figure her out.

Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford are already familiar faces and their profile is about to get a whole lot bigger.
STUFF

Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford are already familiar faces and their profile is about to get a whole lot bigger.

So what do you need to know?

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Ardern says she's actually a "total policy nerd" and she describes her grasp of Te Reo as "disappointing".

It's an area she'd like to do some "personal development" in and she hopes the next generation won't have as little understanding of the Maori language as she does.

The MP that most grinds her gears?

That award goes to ACT leader David Seymour who she says can "definitely get my back up".

And as for what her partner, presenter Clarke Gayford, said to her when they finally got to speak about her new gig - "he told me he'd been asked to do an interview on what he'll be wearing as the first lady".

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 - Stuff

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