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Jacinda Ardern's heartbreaking confession during The Project interview

The brave Prime Minister has opened up about the emotional toll the Christchurch terrorist attack has taken.

By Jess Pullar
While her country felt shock, despair and hopelessness following the devastating terrorist attack in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern got straight to work.
March 15, 2019 was described as New Zealand's darkest day, when a gunman opened fire in two Christchurch mosques, killing 50 people and leaving many others injured.
But if there was anyone who could bring hope to a country after such a traumatic and devastating event, it would be the brave Kiwi PM.
Without question, Ardern put on an admirable show of support immediately following the attack.
She was seen in a series of now-iconic images, embracing members of the Muslim community. She also banned military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles within the week.
Most importantly, the politician was and continues to be an incredible example of what any leader of a country should be.
But that doesn't necessarily come easy - not even for the female powerhouse that is Jacinda.
Now, in an emotional interview with The Project's Waleed Aly, Ardern has opened up on the heartbreaking toll the events of March 15 have taken on her, and her country.
Jacinda has set an incredible example of leadership in the weeks following the Christchurch terrorist attack. (Image: Getty)
Waleed, a respected presenter on the show, asked Jacinda how she was feeling following the events of the last few weeks.
And in a heartbreakingly honest moment, she said: "I'm deeply sad. There are moments when there aren't cameras around where I've just been with family … it's fair to say that those are very emotional moments.
"I've always been a person inclined to feel things quite deeply."
But proving her strength once again, she insisted: "I'm the last one that anyone should be worrying about."
See the poignant moment in the player at the top.
Jacinda's heartbreaking confession struck a chord. (Image: Network Ten)
The Kiwi PM also spoke modestly about the incredible display of solidarity she put on the day after the attack.
In stunning images that swept the globe, Jacinda was seen wearing a headscarf and embracing members of the Muslim community.
"It was so obvious that would be the appropriate thing to do," she explained on the show.
"What I underestimated was that it gave people a sense of security."
She said it hadn't occurred to her that some women would feel unsafe to wear their faith in a public manner - until that moment.
"My job is to make people feel safe. The idea that people currently do not, I find deeply distressing and it's my job to try and bring that sense of security back."
WATCH: Jacinda Ardern speaks to Muslim leaders in Christchurch. Story continues after video...
Ardern also discussed her response to the attack, which has been cited as an incredible reflection on New Zealand
"[New Zealanders] see ourselves as peaceful and inclusive, and the act has been so counter to that," she said.
"But the response, the flood of flowers in front of mosques, the spontaneous song when people have gathered, the real desire to give safety and security for a person to return to worship – that's New Zealand."
On Monday, Ardern announced a royal commission into the massacre would take place, and it was made very clear she would do everything in her power to stop such acts of terror from happening again.
"We have to acknowledge that that kind of targeting has happened before, this is not a world first, and so that is why our language is very deliberate. This is a terrorist attack."
Cementing her thoughts further, Ardern made headlines last week when she shared another emotionally charged speech to Parliament where she denounced the gunman, vowing to never speak his name.
"He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety. And that is why you will never hear me mention his name. He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless," she said.
"And to others, I implore you: speak the names of those who were lost, rather than the name of the man who took them."
Watch her incredible speech below. Story continues after video...
On the night of the attacks, Aly himself opened up about the Muslim faith and his feeling of utter hopelessness over what had happened.
The clip, which was shared on the The Project's Instagram page, racked up millions of views online.
Ardern was also clearly touched by his words - in the interview they did together, the 38-year-old greeted Aly saying: "Do you mind if I give you a hug?"
Waleed repied: "No, not at all."
"I saw your piece on The Project and it was incredible," Jacinda said.
Waleed later opened up on the show's panel, saying the Christchurch memorial had "deeply affected" him.
"That's almost life-changing. I'll remember that forever."

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