A three-minute video of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a Hindu temple has gone viral. Several social media users on Twitter and Facebook have shared the video along with the claim, “New Zealand’s PM visited a Hindu temple after declaring the nation free from COVID-19.” (translated from Hindi text न्यूजीलैंड की PM देश कोरोना कोविड19 मुक्त घोषित करने के बाद हिंदू मंदिर गई।).

A Twitter user @ajaykum61068972 shared the viral video drawing 100 retweets as of this writing.

It was also posted on Facebook (1,2). Cumulatively, these posts have gathered over 1,000 shares.

Alt News received several requests to fact-check this on WhatsApp (+917600011160) and on our official Android application.

Fact-check

Alt News performed a keyword search on YouTube and found that Hindustan Times posted the viral video on August 10. As per the video description, PM Ardern visited Auckland-based Radha Krishna Mandir on August 6 ahead on national elections in September. Indian envoy Muktesh Pardeshi was also present at the event.

A keyword search on Twitter led us to reports by several Indian media outlets including Zee News.

Radha Krishna Mandir’s details are listed on the Auckland Indian Association’s (AIA) website. On August 8, AIA posted the images of this event on Facebook.

AIAI Officers Team are honoured to welcome Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Leaders of the Labour Party

Posted by Mahatma Gandhi Centre/Auckland Indian Association on Friday, 7 August 2020

Similarly, Pardeshi tweeted pictures from the event at Radha Krishna Mandir.

Thus the social media claim that New Zealand PM Ardern visited a Hindu temple after declaring the nation COVID-19 free is false. Ardern visited Auckland-based Radha Krishna Mandir ahead of national elections.

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About the Author

He joined as an intern in 2019. Until June 2022, his work primarily focused on fact-checking. Now his primary responsibilities include catalysing all aspects of organisational growth — from fundraising to development of new projects at Alt News. He attended the Asian College of Journalism (2015-16) and The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (2012-2015). In past, he worked at The Hindu and Zee Media's WION.
Tipline Bling: archit@altnews.in