Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has revealed where her Super Rugby loyalties lie and given sports fans some good news as the country slowly moves back towards normality.
With Super Rugby Aotearoa – and sport in general – returning to screens and fields across New Zealand very soon, Ardern made a surprise appearance on Sky Sport's The Breakdown, where she discussed rugby, the re-opening of community sport and the person in parliament she would love to give a good walloping on the footy field.
When asked what team she'll be supporting for the new domestic Super Rugby season starting on June 13, the Prime Minister didn't blink and proclaimed her support for the Chiefs.
"I've always been clear. My loyalty has always been with the Chiefs," Ardern said. "I was born and raised in Morrinsville so it's pretty hard to really take the Mooloo country out of me. I was born with bells in my ears."
The Government this week announced plans to allow gatherings of up to 100 from midday this Friday, which is a huge boost for the re-opening of community sport in New Zealand.
Ardern said she was pleased that restrictions were able to be lifted for many New Zealanders and that the return of community sport is a big sign of a return to normality.
"We kept talking about that phase when things will feel like they're getting back to normal. And for me a real sign of that sense of normality is people being able to get back to their clubs, to get back to Saturday mornings of taking the kids to sport.
"That's such a huge part of who we are that the return to that is a sign that things are coming back. It's also for me a big part of it is just being able to gather again together, that sense of community, and mental health and wellbeing. Physical exercise and activity is such an important part of that, really important."
With professional sport also returning next month, Ardern also gave fans some hope that watching live sport at stadiums and arenas – in some shape or form – could be allowed in the not too distant future.
"One of the things that we're still giving ourselves some time to work through is when you've got much larger events and places, when you've got convention centres and so on. Can we do a little bit of thinking about how we manage in those environments.
"We haven't quite finished our thinking around that but that is one of the issues I think is fair to raise. For now though, it's obviously not too far for us to wait before the fans can see their favourite teams back on the field or back on the court. And just the ability even if they're watching from home. I think that'll make a really big difference."
Before returning back to running the country, the Prime Minister left one last final playful jab at Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard in response to being asked by former All Black Mils Muliaina about the one person in parliament she would like to "smash" on the rugby field.
"Let's just say that I'm not sure it would be great for parliament if I was in the opposing team with the speaker. Trevor Mallard would attract a lot of attention."