Jacinda Ardern returns girl’s ‘dragon research’ bribe

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has rejected a “bribe” from an 11-year-old girl who wrote asking her government to conduct dragon research.

The girl, identified only as Victoria, wanted to be given telekinetic powers so she could become a dragon trainer.

She included NZ$5 ($3.20; £2.50) with her letter, apparently as a bribe.

Writing back on official letterhead, Ms Ardern said her administration was “not currently doing any work in… psychics and dragons.”

But in a handwritten note, she added: “P.S. I’ll still keep an eye out for those dragons. Do they wear suits?”

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The letter exchange first emerged on web forum Reddit after a picture of the PM’s reply was posted by a user who claimed his little sister had tried to “bribe Jacinda”.

The Reddit user said his youngest sister wanted the government to “make [dragons] telekinetic… and wanted to find out what they know about dragons and if they had found any yet, so she could train them”.

Replies included: “Reasonable. good thinking ahead,” and “Your sister sounds rad.”

Explaining the niche request, the schoolgirl’s brother said her interest in telepathy comes from the Netflix Sci-Fi series Stranger Things, which features telepathy and telekinesis – the power to move things using one’s mind.

The prime minister’s office (PMO) confirmed to the BBC that Ms Ardern’s 30 April reply is genuine.

In it, she thanked Victoria for getting in touch, writing: “We were very interested to hear your suggestions about psychics and dragons, but unfortunately we are not currently doing any work in either of these areas.

“I am therefore returning your bribe money, and I wish you all the very best in your quest for telekinesis, telepathy and dragons.”

This is not the first time Ms Ardern, who gave birth to a daughter last year, has replied to a young girl’s letter.

In March, one Twitter user posted a letter that was reportedly sent from Ms Ardern in response to an eight-year-old girl who had said it was a “good idea to ban dangerous guns”.

“I can tell from your letter that you are a kind and compassionate girl, Lucy,” Ms Ardern wrote.

“I would just like to encourage you to keep spreading that kindness through your life.”



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