Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand, declared on Thursday that she will step down for a new leader within weeks because she doesn’t think she has the energy to run for reelection in the elections in October.

At a press conference, Ardern stated that her term would end on February 7, the day she anticipates the swearing-in of a new Labour prime minister, albeit “depending on the process that might be earlier.”

Ardern declared, “I made the choice on my own.” “The most prestigious and difficult position anyone could ever have is that of leader of a nation. Without a full tank and some extra fuel for unforeseen difficulties, you cannot and should not perform the task.

She continued, “I don’t have enough left in the tank to accomplish the job right.

Ardern was the third female prime minister of New Zealand and one of the youngest in the world when she took office in 2017 at the age of 37. She gave birth while in office in less than a year, making history as only the second world leader to do so.

NEW ZEALAND’S AUCKLAND – 17 OCTOBER: On October 17, 2020, in Auckland, New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gives her acceptance speech following her historic victory in being re-elected. Today is election day to choose the 53rd New Zealand Parliament. The 2020 New Zealand general election was originally scheduled for Saturday, September 19, but it was postponed because COVID-19 was once again making headlines in the neighborhood. (Image courtesy of Newsroom/Newsroom and Lynn Grieveson via Getty Images)
Even when giving up, Jacinda Ardern transgresses conventions
Her government’s “go hard and go early” response to the Covid-19 outbreak, which saw New Zealand apply among of the harshest border controls in the world, separating families, and effectively banning nearly all foreigners for almost two years, helped her win re-election in 2020.



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On Thursday, Ardern was open and honest about the toll the position has taken and looked back on the different crises her government has faced, including the influenza and the 2019 Christchurch terrorist attack, which resulted in the deaths of 51 people at two mosques.

The attack served as a turning point in Ardern’s career as a leader, and her prompt action received high praise. She quickly proposed changes to the nation’s gun laws, wore a headscarf as a sign of respect for Muslims, and declared publicly that she would never utter the name of the suspected assailant.

On March 16, 2019, mourners placed flowers on a wall in the Christchurch Botanical Gardens in New Zealand.
On March 16, 2019, mourners placed flowers on a wall in the Christchurch Botanical Gardens in New Zealand.
Author: Vincent Thian
“The only intriguing aspect you will discover is that, despite having faced significant obstacles over the past six years, I am still a human being. Politicians are people too, she declared. “For as long as we can, we give everything we have, but eventually it must end. And it’s time for me.

Ardern also emphasized accomplishments made under her leadership, such as laws addressing child poverty and climate change. “I wouldn’t want the difficulties we’ve faced over the past five and a half years to be the exclusive focus. It has also been about the improvement for me,” she stated.

Ardern’s departure, according to Bryce Edwards, a political scientist at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, was “surprising” but not entirely unexpected.

She is praised all over the world, but according to the polls, her government is doing horribly.

The following general election in New Zealand will take place on October 14.

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Watch the moment. In response to a reporter’s inquiry on gender, Jacinda Ardern
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meteoric climb to power
Ardern, a former DJ and reformed Mormon, was the closest thing New Zealand has to a rockstar politician, drawing large crowds and inundating the media with attention. During her first election, she had a lot of support from young people, who were termed “Jacindamania.”

With Ardern appearing on the covers of Vogue and Time magazines and welcoming American TV host Stephen Colbert at her suburban Auckland home, that popularity has spread abroad.

On April 19, 2018, in London, Queen Elizabeth II greeted Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand.
On April 19, 2018, in London, Queen Elizabeth II greeted Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand.
Images from WPA Pool/Getty
While Ardern won admirers throughout the world for her innovative and sympathetic approach to the job, her popularity has recently dwindled in New Zealand, according to her detractors who claim she hasn’t done enough to create the transformational administration she promised when she stood for office.

According to CNN affiliate Radio New Zealand, a number of polls conducted in late 2022 shown declining support for Ardern and her Labour Party, with some measuring at the lowest level since she assumed office in 2017.

Political expert Edwards suggested that Ardern’s choice to resign may have saved her from receiving an unfavorable election outcome.

“Leaving right now is best for her reputation… Instead of losing the election, she will part ways amicably, he said.

Despite the fact that Chris Hipkins, the police and education minister, and Kiri Allan, the justice minister, have a close relationship with Ardern, Edwards claimed that there isn’t “someone clear” to take her position.

Ardern claimed she doesn’t yet have definite plans for her future, but she is looking forward to seeing her family more often. They have undoubtedly made the most sacrifices out of all of us, according to Ardern.

“For Neve, Mom is looking forward to being there when you start school this year,” she stated, addressing her daughter and fiancé separately. “And for Clarke, let’s finally get married,” she added.

Since 2019, Ardern and television host Clarke Gayford have been engaged.

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Viewing the profile of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern 02:41 – Source: CNN
A woman in the spotlight
While in government, Ardern established a reputation as a trailblazer by constantly discussing women’s rights and gender equality.

For instance, she highlighted women’s capacity to juggle work and parenting when she announced her pregnancy in 2018.

She remarked at the time, with Gayford taking on the role of a stay-at-home dad, “I am not the first woman to multi-task, I’m not the first woman to work and have a kid, I know these are unusual circumstances but there will be many women who will have done this far before I have.”

The employee of a small-town takeout shop who won New Zealand — and the world
She and Gayford took their 3-month-old child to the UN General Assembly after giving birth, with Ardern telling CNN that she wants to “create a way for other women” and support more inclusive workplaces.

She commented on her ascent to power in a 2021 interview with CNN, saying: “It wasn’t that long ago that being a woman in politics was a pretty solitary experience.”

When she announced on Thursday that she would be stepping down, there was an immediate outpouring of support on social media, even from prominent political figures. Many emphasized the legacy she would leave for women in politics.

Anthony Albanese, the prime minister of Australia, praised Ardern in a tweet, writing that she had been “a great friend to me” and had “shown the world how to lead with brains and strength.”

Penny Wong, the foreign minister of Australia, tweeted her congratulations to Ardern and called her “an inspiration to me and many others.”

Trudeau thanked Ardern for her friendship and her “empathic, caring, strong, and steady leadership over these past several years” in a tweet that included a photo of them strolling together.

He said, “The difference you have made is tremendous.


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