Wellington, May 16: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was turned away by a top cafe in Wellington when she along with her husband arrived for a brunch. Onlookers who saw the restaurant manager rejecting Ardern as the outlet had reached its permissible capacity at that hour, posted on social media to share the rare incident. New Zealand Opens Lockdown in Alert Level 2: From Mayor Bungee Jumping to Others Meeting Their Families, Here's How Residents Celebrated The Ease of Restrictions.
Responding to one of the Twitterati, Ardern's partner Clarke Gayford said the incident did happen with them. However, the restaurant found space by the time they were down the street. One of the cafe personnel came rushing to them to inform. They subsequently returned and braced themselves for top hospitality services.
“I have to take responsibility for this, I didn’t get organised and book anywhere,” he wrote on Twitter “Was very nice of them to chase us down st when a spot freed up. A+ service," Gayford added.
See Ardern's Husband's Tweet
I have to take responsibility for this, I didn't get organized and book anywhere. Was very nice of them to chase us down st when a spot freed up. A+ service.
— Clarke Gayford (@NZClarke) May 16, 2020
The restaurant in-charge, while speaking to a leading New Zealand daily, said they had to refuse a table for Ardern initially as they had ran out of the permissible space. After one of the tables were freed, the Prime Minister and her partner were called back.
They had a brunch, he said, without revealing what they ordered. The couple did not bring their 23-month-old daughter along, the manager said, adding that it was a "date brunch". The PM enjoyed her time, was treated like an ordinary customer and was respectful towards all the staff members, he added.
The lockdown in New Zealand was lifted on May 14, less than two months after it was imposed to contain the transmission of virus. Ardern's government drew praise from all quarters as the pandemic has infected below 1,500 persons and claimed 21 lives. The figures are way lower than several leading countries in the world have recorded.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 16, 2020 11:37 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).