A glowing editorial in the New York Times has heaped praise on the way Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has handled the fallout from the shocking events of last week in Christchurch.

In the wake of last Friday's terror attack on two mosques which killed 50 people, the actions of Ardern in swiftly moving to ban semi-automatic guns as well as her sympathetic response to the Muslim community has garnered worldwide attention.

The Times editorial entitled 'America Deserves a Leader as Good as Jacinda Ardern' said "the world should learn from the way Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's prime minister, has responded to the horror".

In particular, Ardern's handling of the issues around gun control have struck a chord with the newspaper's editorial board.


"Ardern listened to her constituents' outrage and declared that within days her government would introduce new controls on the military-style weapons that the Christchurch shooter and many of the mass killers in the United States have used on their rampages," the editorial said. "And she delivered ... 'It's about all of us,' she said, 'it's in the national interest and it's about safety'."

The editorial also praised Ardern for the measured response to social media concerns after the video of the accused gunman's rampage appeared live on Facebook and other platforms.

"Earlier in the week, she told Parliament that social media sites must address the ease with which the internet can be used to spew hate and images of violence. 'We cannot simply sit back and accept that these platforms just exist and that what is said on them is not the responsibility of the place where they are published,' she said. 'It cannot be a case of all profit, no responsibility'.

"She made clear that she believed that those social media platforms, like gun manufacturers and dealers, bore some responsibility for the carnage visited on Christchurch and so many communities in recent years."

The issue of gun control - and the different ways the US and New Zealand approach the debate - also resonated.

"The display of what one deranged man can do with weapons designed for combat seemed to persuade a majority of New Zealanders, and a strong majority in Parliament, of the need to ban rapid-firing weapons.

"That attitude stood in stark contrast to the way the National Rifle Association and its political allies in the United States have resisted any restrictions on weapons like the AR-15, the semiautomatic rifle used in several mass killings.

"In New Zealand, it took one mass shooting to awaken the government. In the United States, even a string of mass killings — 26 dead in a school in Newtown, Conn.; 49 in a nightclub in Orlando; 58 at a concert in Las Vegas; 17 in a school in Parkland, Fla. — has not been enough. Nor has the fact that 73 percent of Americans say that more needs to be done to curb gun violence, according to recent polling.


"The ban on terrorists' weapon of choice was only one of the areas in which Ms. Ardern showed what leadership looks like in time of crisis. In lieu of trite messages, she donned a black head scarf and led a group of politicians to visit victims' families; speaking without a script to a school some of the victims attended, she urged the pupils to 'let New Zealand be a place where there is no tolerance for racism. Ever'. She told grieving families, 'We cannot know your grief, but we can walk with you at every stage'.

"And in a striking gesture, she refused to utter the name of the suspected killer. 'He may have sought notoriety, but we in New Zealand will give him nothing', she said. 'Not even his name'."

The editorial's final message was a not-so-subtle dig at US president Donald Trump.

"After this and any such atrocity, the world's leaders should unite in clearly condemning racism, sharing in the grief of the victims and stripping the haters of their weapons. Ms. Ardern has shown the way."