A social media meme claims that New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s net worth is $25 million but the figure comes from a website that provides no source or information to back up the assertion.
A version of the claim, posted to an Australian Instagram account, shows a screenshot of a tweeted meme, which reads: “Jacinda Arderns (sic) net worth as of November 4th last year was $800,000. Her Net worth now is stated to be $25 million. This is a 3125% increase, her salary is ‘only’ $470,000. Where in the f*** is all this money coming from?” Above the meme, the tweet adds: “Good question. Pfizer? Astra Zeneca?”
The salaries of NZ’s Members of Parliament are publicly available. As prime minister, Ms Ardern is paid $471,049 annually. The NZ government also publishes MPs’ pecuniary and other specified interests, listing their company directorships, interest in companies and businesses, real estate and retirement schemes, debts and gifts.
Page 6 of the January 2021 register shows Ms Ardern owns a family home in Auckland, has several retirement schemes, pays a mortgage to Westpac bank, and received contributions to travel as PM to Fiji and Australia. It also lists half a dozen gifts and free tickets to sport and entertainment events.
In July 2021, NZ media outlets Stuff and the NZ Herald speculated the value of Ms Ardern’s family home increased $290,000 in one year to $2.35 million. But that doesn’t account for her purported net worth.
The $25 million figure appears to originate on the website apumone.com, which claims to have “all the latest net worth estimated on your favourite celebrities. Right now we have almost 1000 celebrity profiles on the blog”.
Apumone.com provides no information about who runs the site, other than “Apumone Group”. A LinkedIn page locates it in Ghana, however this contrasts with a Twitter account that lists California and describes Apumone as a “media & news company”.
In August, Apumone published a profile on Ms Ardern which reads: “Jacinda Ardern (sic) net worth is estimated at around $25 million which makes her a millionaire. Her salary is around $471,230. Her major source of income is from her private businesses. She is one of the powerful women in the world. Her successful career has earned her some of the luxurious lifestyle and fancy trips.”
The article does not detail how the $25 million was calculated or what “private businesses” the NZ prime minister owns. No businesses are listed against Ms Ardern in the NZ parliament’s register of pecuniary interests. A NZ Companies Office search does not show any businesses with Jacinda Ardern as a director or shareholder.
The $25 million figure surfaced again in a widely circulated tweet in November, with the full text repeated in the Instagram meme in January. In December, the net worth figure was repeated in a blog and was also discussed on a NZ chat forum.
An article on UK-based website, The Focus, rejected the $25 million figure and estimated Ms Ardern’s net worth between $5 million to $10 million. The article calculated her salary since entering parliament in 2008, including the period as prime minister since 2017, but added that Ms Ardern “has written books and has been named as one of the world’s most influential women”, which “raises her net worth again”.
While she has been the subject of several books, Ms Ardern has not authored any of them. She contributed a chapter to Stardust and Substance (2018), an account of the 2017 NZ election. There is no financial reward for being “one of the world’s most influential women” or for being ranked number one on Fortune magazine’s list of the world’s 50 greatest leaders.
AAP FactCheck contacted the NZ prime minister’s office for comment on the claim but received no response.
Publicly available information on Jacinda Ardern’s salary and financial interests, including her family home, shows her net worth is much less than $25 million. The post’s unsourced figure comes from a website that provides no details on Ms Ardern’s financial assets and liabilities to substantiate the claim.
False – The claim is inaccurate.