Jacinda Ardern Resigns As Prime Minister Of New Zealand – In an unexpected move, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced her resignation and confirmed a national election for October. At the party’s first caucus meeting of the year on Thursday, Ardern said she “no longer had enough in the tank” to do the job. “It’s time,” she added. “I’m leaving, because with such a privileged role comes responsibility – the responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead and also when you are not. I know what this job takes. And I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It’s that simple,” she said.
Her term as prime minister will conclude no later than 7 February but she will continue as an MP until the election this year. “I am human, politicians are human. We give all that we can for as long as we can. And then it’s time. And for me, it’s time,” she said. Jacinda Ardern stated that after considering her energy levels over the summer break, she has come to the conclusion that she will not continue in her role as the Prime Minister.
People Also Read: Yellen to Meet with Chinese Finance Minister in Switzerland
When she was elected as Prime Minister in 2017 at the age of 37, Jacinda Ardern became the youngest female head of government in the world. During her tenure, she has successfully led New Zealand through a number of crises including the Covid-19 pandemic, the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch and the White Island volcanic eruption.
“This has been the most fulfilling five and a half years of my life. But it’s also had its challenges – among an agenda focused on housing, child poverty and climate change, we encountered a domestic terror event, a major natural disaster, a global pandemic, and an economic crisis,” she said. Asked how she would like New Zealanders to remember her leadership, Ardern said “as someone who always tried to be kind.”
“I hope I leave New Zealanders with a belief that you can be kind, but strong, empathetic but decisive, optimistic but focused. And that you can be your own kind of leader – one who knows when it’s time to go,” Ardern said. Over the past year, Jacinda Ardern has received a significant increase in threats of violence, particularly from anti-vaccine groups and conspiracy theorists who were outraged by the country’s vaccine mandates and lockdowns. Despite this increase in risk, she stated that this was not a factor in her decision to step down as Prime Minister.
“I don’t want to leave the impression that the adversity you face in politics is the reason that people exit. Yes, it does have an impact. We are humans after all, but that was not the basis of my decision,” she said. Ardern said she had no future plans, other than to spend more time with her family. She thanked her partner, Clarke Gayford, and daughter Neve, whom she gave birth to while holding office, as “the ones that have sacrificed the most out of all of us.”
Many New Zealanders were surprised by the Prime Minister’s announcement. Earlier in 2022, when rumors of her resignation began to surface, she stated that she had no intention of stepping down. In the days leading up to the announcement, there were no indications that her resignation was imminent, leaving the announcement as a shock to many.
People Also Read: President Joe Biden Congratulates Kevin McCarthy After He Is Elected New House Speaker
The National leader, Christopher Luxon, said Ardern had “made a significant contribution to New Zealand, in what is a difficult and demanding job” and called her a “strong ambassador for New Zealand on the world stage.” “Her leadership in the aftermath of the Christchurch terror attacks was simultaneously strong and compassionate, and is something she can be proud of,” he added. The prime minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, paid tribute to Ardern, saying she “has shown the world how to lead with intellect and strength. She has demonstrated that empathy and insight are powerful leadership qualities.”