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Reaction to NZ PM's Jaca invite reveals community divided

REACTION to an idea intended to make the Jacaranda City's favourite event more open and inclusive has revealed a community divided.

From excitement for the potential to put the Jacaranda Festival on the international stage and welcome a "role model" to the town, to some calling New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern a "traitor" and "disgrace" for her support of the Muslim community. 

Here are some of the responses to our Facebook post:

Ursula Tunks: Totally inappropriate suggestion. Any attempt to use any event in the Valley to redeem our community reputation is simply vile. 

No amount of deflecting or denying that the mass murderer was a product of our community will ever change the fact he was.

Instead we all should be concerning ourselves with ensuring our community is inclusive 24/7.

Pam Lane: Lovely gesture I am sure but for other reasons it would be a logistical and security disaster, not to mention drag up sad and horrific memories for some families.

Karleen Murray: I think it's a fantastic idea. Just think of the interest and good publicity it will bring to the festival and to Grafton, not only for the rest of Australia but around the world. It would be a great way to show the world that there are wonderful people in this town and the Jacaranda Festival is worth a look.

Maxine Blanchard: I hope it doesn't bring too much spotlight here. I question if we could be making our whole town a target for a revenge attack. Well worth considering.

Denise Deane: She's a great role model for women for the courage and leadership she shows.

Hannah Jane Straw: After reading some of these comments and hearing some of the disgusting comments around town it's hard not to hold Grafton a little responsible.  

Seriously people she didn't ask to be invited. Criticise the committee not her.

Veronica Balsamello: I feel for his family!! This will only bring all the media back again and not for the right reasons.... yes it is sad what happened and it should not have ever happened BUT THINK ABOUT OUR LOCAL PEOPLE THAT IT IS GOING TO AFFECT. It would have been nice for all locals to have a say before it got put out there.

Tom Porter: We couldn't afford the security requirements.

Lisa Hellebrand: No way, she was a disgrace after what happened in NZ. She bowed down to their ways she's not worthy of even being a prime minister.

Vicki St Lawrence: Tunnel vision, narrow minds producing so many ill informed comments.

Colin John Wiblen: No way. She came across as a caring leader, if one of our leaders (who happen to be men) did what she was doing they would be ridiculed. Fantastic leader of NZ leave it at that.

Judy Hackett: I would love to meet such an Inspirational woman like Ardern. We could learn a lot in our political landscape from putting aside our discomfort and improving our tolerance of those around us.

Amanda Donohoe: I thought the Jacaranda Festival was about great things in our town not reliving bad things that we are not even associated with. Seriously who comes up with these stupid ideas.

James Austen: I think it's a great idea. No harm in reaching out and making an offering of peace. No one is being asked to take the blame, simply acknowledge what has happened and be opened minded about it. We can be leaders in Grafton too, not just narrow minded whining sheep.

Catherine Pawsey Field: Ridiculous!!! That just cements Grafton as a town where a gunman was from. Why keep reminding people of it???

Harry Skinner: And contaminate a great event? No way.

Melissa Chapman: This is Ridiculous!!!!! Grafton has got nothing to do with what happened in Christchurch at all. 

This will only put Grafton in the spot light for the wrong reason....

Maree Geerin: No way, get an Australian.

Deborah Burke: Not with my rate money. What a huge waste of time & money Not to mention the trauma her visit will cause his family and friends.

Lou Bloomer: People in comments! It's Jacaranda committee wanting to invite her. Not Jacinda wanting to come here. Why y'all hating on Jacinda?

Patty Kay: No, she has lost her credibility. No need for her to be here. Let the town move on.

Jimmy Harris: Would one be surprised the gunman came from Grafton after reading these comments. She gets ridiculed for showing love and compassion to people who were murdered. Think about that, and how stupid it makes you look.

Mark Napier Harris: Grafton had nothing to do with it so why?

Don Webster: The shooter denied the national experience. It's got nothing to do with Grafton.

Annie B Bury: No way traitor.

Should NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern be invited to attend the 2019 Jacaranda Festival in Grafton?

This poll ended on 22 May 2019.

Current Results

Yes. What a wonderful way to showcase Grafton as an inclusive community.


No. This will only put Grafton in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

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