It was a day for Aotearoa, and for Kiri Allan (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Tūwharetoa). Following a series of earthquakes and tsunami threats, the Labour MP has been in the spotlight at a number of press conferences and interviews in her role as Minister for Emergency Management - catching the attention of the wider NZ public for her clear, concise communication, use of te reo Māori, and an innate sense of cool.
The social media swooning was almost immediate, with a rare chorus of praise and positivity across the political spectrum - and plenty of ‘future prime minister’ comments.
Kiri is a down-to-earth rising Labour star, and clearly someone that prime minister Jacinda Ardern feels she can trust and rely on. Expect to see much more of her.
Not to be all indie hipster about it, but Kiri has been on our radar for a while: shining on election night when she won her East Coast seat and celebrated with a delightful group of rowdy supporters and a broad smile.
She was also there to warmly welcome the swathe of new Labour MPs to parliament in October, hugging each as they arrived and taking roll call with an A4 page printed with each person’s photo.
Is it just us or does she feel like your cool cousin of similar age who is incredibly accomplished; will take the piss out of you, your aunty and your uncle; always brings a plate and offers to help tidy up; and is your nana’s secret favourite?
With a background in law and business consulting, this is just Kiri’s second term in parliament, as the MP for the East Coast as well as joining cabinet as Minister for Conservation and Emergency Management, and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture & Heritage and the Environment.
And now, a new political and press conference superstar:
A few more ‘Kiri is cool’ facts and observations…
• She loves and looks great in a suit.
• But has clearly had style for years.
• According to her Twitter bio, she likes “single malt, rugby, fishing, law, politics”.
• Her cousin is the equally cool Chelsea Winstanely.
• She once had a political podcast with Chlöe Swarbrick.
• She has a 3-year-old daughter with former partner Natalie Coates.
• She’s cheeky; sharing this following Rawiri Waititi’s protesting of old-fashioned parliamentary dress codes:
• She used to have dreadlocks.
• She even manages to look cool in a Macpac jacket - a look she described as “pretty skuxx” (later said on Instagram she wrote, “Is it even a day if you don’t say skuxx at least once?")