Man confesses to killing PM’s cat

Two years after Jacinda Ardern's cat was tragically run over, the person responsible for Paddles' death has finally come forward.

In October 2017, Jacinda Ardern had taken over as Prime Minister of New Zealand. But sadly as her new life in the hot seat was evolving, Paddles had died a few doors down from Ms Ardern's home in Auckland's Point Chevalier.

One of Ms Ardern's neighbours, named Chris, told Stuff he had come home to pick something up from home when he backed out the driveway and rounded a corner. Out of nowhere Paddles appeared.

But for Chris it was too late. He hoped Paddles had run off and was still alive.

After a frantic search for Paddles, Chris and another neighbour found her dead in behind a fence, the New Zealand Herald reports.

Days later Chris's two daughters wrote a condolence card for Ms Ardern and Clarke Gayford, with his seven-year-old daughter writing she hoped Ms Ardern wouldn't send her to prison.

Just months later Chris received a phone call from the Prime Minister, who had received his daughters' heartfelt letters.

"It was none other than Jacinda and she basically rang up to say 'sorry you had to go through that, thank you for stopping by and thanks for the card'," Chris told Stuff.

"It was extremely nice of her to take time out of her day to check that I was okay for running over her cat."

While Ms Ardern's phone call to Chris eased some of his guilt, he felt he needed to approach her in person.

A few months after the tragic incident, Chris confessed to Ms Ardern in person.

After seeing her at the park with friends, Chris went up to her and told her he lived locally before apologising for killing Paddles.

"I told her I was aware of where she lived and I basically confessed that I was the one who ran over Paddles," he told Stuff.

"I said, 'I'm so sorry', and then she said, 'No, I'm sorry' and it kind of went round in circles."

To this day Chris still feels bad over the accident, saying it was a shock, especially given the popularity and social media following of Paddles.

This article originally appeared on the NZ Herald and has been republished with permission.