Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is being used as a poster-child for Marxist ideas in a prestigious British medical journal.

In a November editorial for The Lancet, editor Dr Richard Horton discusses the impact of Marxism on the health sector. He doesn't actually call Ardern a Marxist, but suggests that she has opened the door for Marxist ideas to be debated.

"More and more people, especially younger generations, believe that economies based only on free markets are not necessarily the best means to deliver fairer or healthier societies," Horton writes.

"New Zealand's new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, noted last month that, 'When you allow markets to decide the fate of your people … that does not serve a country or people well.' Marxist ideas have re-entered the political debate."


In a response in the Spectator Australia, Carlos D'Abrera addresses Horton's use of Ardern as a champion for Marxism.

"That the millennial Ms Ardern should be considered a 'go-to' authority on such matters should trouble Kiwis and Marxists alike."

National's health spokesman Jonathan Coleman brought up The Lancet editorial during Question Time today while asking about whether the Government would support a public-private partnership for building Dunedin Hospital.

In ruling out a PPP, Coleman asked if that was why "the world's oldest medical journal says in its November editorial that, with Jacinda Ardern, Marxist ideas have re-entered the political debate in health?"

Asked about The Lancet's general availability, Coleman, who sought to table the editorial, said: "You probably wouldn't get it at your local dairy."

It's not the first time Ardern has been associated with the legacy of Karl Marx.

Newstalk ZB host Leighton Smith made similar observations after watching a speech from 2009 when Ardern headed the International Union of Socialist Youth, where she used the word "comrade" several times.

"Comrades this, comrades that. Comrades means something," Smith said.

"She said this morning it doesn't mean anything, it's just – I'm sorry, it does. Comrades means something. It is actually a Marxist term. And you don't pick that sort of thing up because you're not a Marxist."

During the election campaign, Morrinsville farmer Craig Sinclair protested against Labour's proposed water tax with a sign that called Ardern a "pretty communist".

When asked what she thought of the sign, Ardern said: "I'm a pretty communist? Did they intend that to be a compliment or an insult? I'm not entirely sure."

An October headline in The Australian proclaimed: "Kiwis now led by a commie as Ardern attacks capitalism and embraces socialist roots."

The Prime Minister's office declined to comment.