'Freaky' Incident at Ardern's Office Leads to Arrest

Cops nab 57-year-old woman after 'willful damage' to NZ prime minister's office
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2022 6:16 AM CDT
Updated Oct 27, 2022 6:43 AM CDT
'Freaky' Incident at Ardern's Office Leads to Arrest
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is seen at a press conference in Sydney on July 8.   (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

A woman has been arrested after an incident of "willful damage" at Jacinda Ardern's office in Auckland. Per Stuff, a witness says he saw a person walk toward the New Zealand prime minister's working quarters early Thursday, then use some kind of tool to smash the glass front door before hurling something inside. Smoke soon started billowing out, the witness says. Shortly after, Stuff received an email from someone who claimed responsibility for the attack.

"I smashed a hole in her electoral office door and dropped the bomb in," the email read, in part. A little over two hours later, police say they arrested a 57-year-old woman at a home in Coatesville, just outside of Auckland. Police haven't released much information, other than to say in a statement that they're "making inquiries into a report of willful damage at an address on Great North Road," and to confirm "an object was thrown through a window," per the Guardian. Stuff has published a photo of a weapon—what it describes as a samurai sword—apparently left behind on the pavement outside Ardern's office.

The owner of a yoga studio next to Ardern's office tells Stuff it was a good thing no one had arrived at the office yet, and that although she's witnessed incidents there before, this one was "particularly freaky." "Unfortunately, they happen on a reasonably regular basis," Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson tells the outlet. As for the status of Ardern herself? She was far away at the time, on a trip to Antarctica with her fiance. She's due back in New Zealand on Friday. Police say an investigation into the attack on the building, which was unoccupied during the attack, is ongoing. (More Jacinda Ardern stories.)

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