“You’ll be pleased to know that we do consider both the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny to be essential workers,” Ms Ardern said during a press briefing on Monday. “As you can imagine, at this time they’re going to be potentially quite busy at home with their family as well and their own bunnies.”
She added: “I say to the children of New Zealand, if the Easter Bunny doesn’t make it to your household, we have to understand that it’s a bit difficult at the moment for the bunny to get everywhere.”
As an alternative to a traditional Easter egg hunt, Ms Ardern suggested children craft Easter eggs and place them in the windows of their homes.
According to Ms Ardern, the idea can mimic the trend that has seen households around the world place teddy bears in their windows to entertain children who are home from school.
“If you’re one of those homes that’s had a teddy in your front window, maybe draw an Easter egg and pop it into your front window and help children in your neighbourhood with their own Easter egg hunt,” the prime minister said.
Shortly after the press briefing, Ms Ardern shared an Easter egg colour-in picture on Instagram, asking children to join in and make this Easter “extra special”.
“Will you take part in The Big New Zealand Easter Egg Hunt and make this Easter extra special?” the print-out reads. “All you need to do is colour in this Easter egg, or design your own, and stick it in a window that faces the street so that everyone can have the chance to hunt for eggs this weekend!”
In addition to placing the finished, coloured egg in windows, the prime minister also encouraged participants to share photos of their eggs with the hashtag #NZEggHunt.
On social media, Ms Ardern’s comforting response to the roles of the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy amid the pandemic have prompted praise and support.
“Having been told that a reporter had received a letter from a child wondering if the Easter Bunny would be exempt from the lock down, New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern once again showed why she is one of the great world leaders,” one person tweeted.
Another said: “So relieved the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny are classed as key workers. Bravo Jacinda Ardern.”
As of Monday, New Zealand has reported 1,106 confirmed cases of coronavirus and one death attributed to the virus.
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