Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand, has announced that she is leaving her job. This was a surprise, and it came at the same time that she confirmed a national election for October of this year.
At the party’s annual caucus meeting on Thursday, Ardern said that she “didn’t have enough in the tank” to do the job anymore. She said, “It’s time.”
“I’m leaving because with such a privileged job comes a lot of responsibility.” It is your responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead and when you are not. I know what it takes to do this job. and I know I don’t have enough left to do it justice anymore. She said, “It’s that easy.”
Her time as prime minister will end on February 7, but she will stay on as an MP until the election later this year.
“I’m a person, and so are politicians.” For as long as we can, we do everything we can. Then it will be time. “It’s time for me,” she said. Ardern said that she had thought about whether she had the energy to keep doing the job over the summer break and decided that she did not.
When she was elected Prime Minister in 2017, Ardern, at age 37, became the world’s youngest female head of government. She has been in charge of New Zealand during the COVID-19 pandemic and major disasters like the attack on two mosques in Christchurch and the eruption of the White Island volcano.
“These five and a half years have been the best of my life.” But it’s also been hard. “We ran into a domestic terror attack, a major natural disaster, a global pandemic, and an economic crisis while working on housing, child poverty, and climate change,” she said.
When asked how she would like New Zealanders to remember her as a leader, Ardern said, “As someone who always tried to be kind.”
“I hope I leave New Zealanders with the idea that you can be kind and strong, caring and decisive, hopeful and determined. “You can be your own kind of leader, one who knows when it’s time to go,” Ardern said.
Over the past year, there have been a lot more threats of violence against Ardern, especially from conspiracy theorists and anti-vaccine groups who are angry about the country’s mandatory vaccinations and COVID-19 lockdowns.
She said, though, that the increased risk of the job wasn’t the reason she decided to quit.
“I don’t want to give the impression that people leave politics because of the problems they face. It does make a difference, yes. “We are, after all, people, but that wasn’t why I made my choice,” she said.
Ardern said that she didn’t have any plans for the future besides spending more time with her family.
She thanked her partner, Clarke Gayford, and her daughter, Neve, whom she had while she was in office. She said that they were “the ones who have sacrificed the most of all of us.”
“Mom is excited to be there when you start school this year, Neve. And to Clarke: “Let’s get married!”
The Prime Minister’s announcement comes as New Zealand heads into an election year, and the 14th of October has been set as the date of the vote. In recent polls, the Labour Party, led by Ardern, trailed the opposition National Party.
Ardern said that the decision to leave wasn’t because of her falling in the polls.
She said, “I’m leaving not because I think we can’t win the election, but because I think we can and will, and we need new shoulders for that challenge.”
not yet clear Who Will Take Ardern’s Place: Grant Robertson, the party’s deputy leader and finance minister, said on Thursday that he would not be running for the job, even though he would be a strong candidate. In a statement, he said, “I am not putting myself forward as a candidate for the leadership of the Labour Party.”
Now, the Labour Caucus has seven days to find out if a new candidate has the support of more than two-thirds of the caucus to become the new leader and prime minister.
On January 22, the caucus will vote for a new leader. This will happen in three days. If no one gets that number of votes, the leadership race will be decided by all Labour members.
Christopher Luxon, the leader of the opposition National Party, said that Ardern had “made a big difference for New Zealand in a tough and demanding job.” She was called a “strong representative of New Zealand on the international stage.”
“Her leadership in the wake of the Christchurch terror attacks was both strong and kind, and she can be proud of that,” he said.
Jacinda Ardern has shown the world how to lead with intellect and strength.
She has demonstrated that empathy and insight are powerful leadership qualities.
Jacinda has been a fierce advocate for New Zealand, an inspiration to so many and a great friend to me. pic.twitter.com/QJ64mNCJMI
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) January 19, 2023
Anthony Albanese, the Prime Minister of Australia, said that Ardern “has shown the world how to lead with intelligence and strength.”
He said, “She has shown that empathy and insight are strong leadership traits.”
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