Jacinda Ardern Steps Down as New Zealand Prime Minister
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Abruptly Announces Resignation
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made a shock announcement at the Labor Party meeting in Napier on Thursday, announcing her resignation from the post of Prime Minister next February. Ardern, aged 42, who won a landslide victory in the October 2020 elections, says she feels she no longer has the energy to continue in the role, unable to “do justice” to the job.
Speaking after the announcement, Ardern remarked on the priviledge of leading the nation, but recognised the daunting and demanding nature of the job. She cited “too much responsibility” and an insufficient “full tank” of energy to handle the “unexpected challenges” of the role.
Ardern held back tears and stated she had no plans for once she leaves, looking to spend more time with family and to continue contributing to New Zealand.
Following her emotional speech, a vote will be held within the Labor Party to determine Ardern’s successor on January 22, with the winning candidate requiring support of two-thirds of the members, this process is anticipated to take no longer than February 7.
Ardern has been seen as an icon since her election victory in 2017, making history as the youngest female leader in the world at that time. During her three-year period in charge New Zealand have braved numerous difficulties, including the 2019 Christchurch attack, the White Island volcano eruption and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following the shock news the advantage in polls has now been given to the opposition National Party. However, Ardern remains confident her party will win the election in October regardless, hoping to leave a legacy of kindness and strength, as well as knowing when it’s time to go.