This morning we finally got to see what it takes for Jacinda Ardern to directly call out Donald Trump, who on Monday told four elected non-white Congresswomen to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came".
In Trump's sights were Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib. All except Omar were born in the US.
....and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
....it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
The Prime Minister has been reluctant to weigh in on Trump, but this morning on Radio NZ she pushed back.
"Usually I don't get into other people's politics, but it will be clear to most people that I completely and utterly disagree with him.
"I'm quite proud that in New Zealand, we take the opposite view ... that our Parliament should be a representative place. It should look and feel like New Zealand. It should have a range of different cultures and ethnicities, and never should a judgement be made about the origin of anyone, and their right therefore to be in Parliament as a representative.
"We should celebrate our diversity."
Being told to go back where you came from is a phrase that cuts right to the bone. Few comments make you feel so excluded, like you don't belong, like your very presence is somehow wrong and you should just disappear.
It should be challenged and condemned whenever it is hurled at any person, regardless of where they're from or the colour of their skin.
The hurt is amplified if, like me, you're a New Zealand-born Chinaman and are subjected to such words on the streets of Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin, Whanganui, or anywhere I've ever been in New Zealand.
Comment: Jacinda Ardern speaks with silence to Trump
'They hate our country': Trump steps up attack on congresswomen of colour
And what if you're a non-white elected representative of your country?
Ardern's words followed outgoing British PM Theresa May calling Trump's language "completely unacceptable", while Canadian PM Justin Trudeau took a softer line, saying, "That's not how we do things in Canada."
Ardern is seen as the anti-Trump - young, progressive, inclusive - and she took part in the Women's March which doubled as an anti-Trump protest in Auckland before she became Labour leader.
But she has had to tread diplomatically since becoming Prime Minister.
When comedian Tom Sainsbury revealed a private conversation with Ardern in which she told him that Trump had mistaken her for Trudeau's wife when they first met at Apec in Vietnam , Ardern was forced to release a statement saying that Trump had done no such thing.
In New York last year, while on The Late Show , host Stephen Colbert asked Ardern about the UN General Assembly's laughter during Trump's speech, and the President's claim they were laughing with him.
"Are you trying to create a diplomatic incident?" Ardern responded.
When pressed, she said the assembly had laughed once with the President, but refused to say whether a second, smaller laughter was at the President, calling it a "spontaneous murmur among some people amongst themselves".
Did she herself laugh? "I observed."
That hasn't stopped others from calling her the anti-Trump. Her speech to the UN last year was in stark contrast to Trump's , and a headline in Vogue magazine last year screamed "Call Her the Anti-Trump ".
It's not a label that Ardern can openly embrace, but she has done little to dispel it.
When Trump called after the March 15 terrorist attack and asked what the US could provide, she said to show "sympathy and love for all Muslim communities ".
She also rejected Trump's view that white nationalism was not a growing problem.
But this morning her comments were refreshingly a step further, directly addressing and rejecting what Trump had said.
They weren't the strongest words of condemnation, but given that Foreign Minister Winston Peters is currently in Washington DC to push for a trade deal, it was probably about as far as she could go.