Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was in New York on the first day of her trade mission to the United States when the Texas shooting happened.
She was getting ready backstage at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert when news of the shooting broke. Less than an hour later, she was on-air but shaken.
"When I watch from afar and see events such as those today, I think of them not as a politician, I see them just as a mother and I'm so sorry for what has happened here," Ardern told Colbert.
Colbert was devastated.
"There is nothing that can ever be said that can approach the immeasurable grief of those families," the talk show host said.
But they both knew what they were there for - to give a laugh to those who needed one. The pair laughed over the name of a chilly bin, or a cooler as Americans say.
For Ardern, New York was meant to be about trade and tourists.
After a COVID-19 nightmare back home, this morning she finally woke up in the city that never sleeps. She's here to buddy up to the States to open more doors to trade.
Like doors to $10 trillion investment firm BlackRock. But Ardern is not just a brand ambassador, she’s the Prime Minister with power and those she’s meeting know it.
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"She should definitely be pushing our President," said Myron Brilliant, a head at the US Chamber of Commerce, pressuring the Prime Minister to pressure Joe Biden to drag America back to the Pacific trade deal.
"I think it was a huge mistake for the Trump administration to pull out of the CPTPP. I think it's been a mistake for the Biden administration not to look at that as an opportunity."
Asked why Biden isn't listening to that message to join the CPTPP, Brilliant said someone else would need to ask him that question.
It's Ardern who has the access to ask him that.
"I’ll say privately what I say publicly that ultimately the CPTPP is an existing framework that offers a significant amount from NZ's perspective," said Ardern on Wednesday.
While she's only just arrived, she’s walked right into a power play between the US and China, each trying to outmanoeuvre the other.
It came up in her meeting with the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.
"I will continue to advocate on New Zealand's behalf for peace and stability in our region."
After a beefy meeting at the UN, the Prime Minister went to a Silver Fern Farms event to literally talk beef and experience a bit of a serenade.
It was a really lovely moment, but unbeknownst to all, thousands of kilometres away, two hours earlier a teenager had walked into a primary school and opened fire.
A tragedy to change the trajectory of the trip.