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New Zealand Prime Minister gifted stunning Nelson Tasman-inspired ring by Jens Hansen

A PROUD MOMENT FOR US!

NZ Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern was gifted the iconic Jens Hansen Nelson Ring at the official opening of Nelson Airport’s new terminal.

Halfdan Hansen from Jens Hansen jewellers says it is “cool” that the Prime Minister will be “taking a piece of Nelson Tasman everywhere she goes.”

“Sharing a ring with the leader of our country that is so uniquely representative of our home region is a huge honour,” says Hansen. “Now, even when she is not visiting us, the Prime Minister can wear a memory of Nelson Tasman every day.

PM Ardern receives the Ring

Prime Minister Ardern receives the Nelson Ring on Saturday.

 

OFFICIAL MEDIA RELEASE

Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern was gifted the iconic Jens Hansen Nelson Ring at the official opening of Nelson Airport’s new terminal.

The new architecturally designed state-of-the-art airport terminal and the Nelson Ring both share a design inspired by the region.

The airport terminal, designed by Studio Pacific Architecture and built by Naylor Love in Partnership with Gibbons Construction and Fulton Hogan, has an innovative roof structure that reflects the surrounding mountains.

The Jens Hansen Nelson Ring emulates the distinctive shape of the region’s ranges and bays, including the mountain ranges referenced in the terminal roofline. The ring was the winning concept by designer Erika Hansen [no relation] in a public competition held by Jens Hansen Gold & Silversmith to create the first ever Nelson Ring.

Halfdan Hansen from Jens Hansen jewellers says it is “cool” that the Prime Minister will be “taking a piece of Nelson Tasman everywhere she goes.”

“Sharing a ring with the leader of our country that is so uniquely representative of our home region is a huge honour,” says Hansen. “Now, even when she is not visiting us, the Prime Minister can wear a memory of Nelson Tasman every day. Hopefully it will be a talking point for her when she is with other leaders around the world and she can invite them to visit here, like she did with Stephen Colbert.”

 

Ashley Wakelin, Jens Hansen jeweller

 

The Prime Minister’s Nelson Ring was made by Jens Hansen's apprentice Ashley Wakelin, under the watchful eye of master jeweller Simon Colegate.

Halfdan says the workshop has always had apprentices. “Ensuring the traditional skills of gold and silversmithing continue is very important to us – it is crucial for our trade that we have new generation jewellery makers coming through.”

Ash is Jens Hansen’s most recent apprentice, having been with the jewellers for two years after finishing at Waimea College (coincidentally Jens Hansen’s sons Halfdan and Thorkild’s former High School). Ash will graduate with a full trade certification as a manufacturing jeweller in two years.

Ash hadn’t been told who he was making this particular ring for, as it was under wraps. When he was told he was gobsmacked.

"I had no idea I was making this ring for the Prime Minister. I’m often surprised by where our jewellery goes. Working for Jens Hansen I’ve realised it’s a massive name in New Zealand, and overseas. It’s a pretty colossal business for a local Nelson studio! Plus, it’s a really cool place to work.”