Jacinda Ardern blasted for 'appalling' gift to Joe Biden

Environmentalists have hit out at the gift, urging Ms Ardern to be more vigilant in the future

Published

Jacinda Ardern has been slammed for an “appalling” gift she gave to US President Joe Biden.

Ms Ardern has been blasted for showing a “lack of care” after she presented Mr Biden with a swamp kauri bowl.

Environmentalists labelled the bowl, which is made of glazed timber harvested from trees that had been submerged for 60,000 years in peat swamps as “really not on”.

Fiona Furrell chair of the Northland Environmental Protection Society hit out at the gift.

Joe Biden and Jacinda Ardern
Joe Biden and Jacinda Ardern
Ms Ardern has been slammed for the gift
Ms Ardern has been slammed for the gift

She said: “To us swamp kauri, of all things for a gift to America, is really not on.

“It's shocking after all the work we've gone through to try and protect these wetlands that produce the swamp kauri,” she told RNZ.

Ms Furrell also urged Ms Ardern to be more vigilant when giving out gifts in the future.

She added: “Any use of swamp kauri that is featured by our government, therefore, puts our wetlands at risk, because people will want more swamp kauri now.”

Ms Ardern’s office confirmed that the wood came from Nelson Parker, a businessman who was investigated by the Ministry for Primary industries in 2019 and found likely to have violated the Forests act for exporting kauri to China for artwork.

The ministry opted not to prosecute Mr Parker over the incident.