Now the neighbour who hit the PM's cat has spoken out for the first time, telling Stuff.co.nz that, after hitting Paddles, he wasn’t sure if the cat was still alive, because she had run off after the collision. When he later asked a female neighbour about the cat, he became alarmed when he released just who she belonged to.
“She said ‘That’s my neighbour’s cat’,” the man going by the name of Chris explained. “I pointed at [Ardern’s] house and said: ‘Not this neighbour!’”
He later wrote a condolence card for Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford, where the man's daughter asked them "not to send him to prison" for the incident. Later on, Ardern called the neighbour to say thank you for the card and to apologise for the ordeal, according to the report.
“It was extremely nice of her to take time out of her day to check that I was OK for running over her cat,” he said.
Ardern and Gayford’s daughter Neve was born just over one year ago. Ardern is currently on holiday with Gayford and Neve in Rarotonga.
WATCH: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Offers Emotional Apology to Family of Murdered British Tourist.