Wellington, 21 January 2023 (TDI): The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern has announced to step down from her position in early February. She will not seek reelection.
At the party’s first caucus meeting of the year on Thursday, Ardern said, “She no longer had enough in the tank to continue” as a Prime Minister was greeted first with surprise and then praise by fellow politicians and supporters.
Her term as Prime Minister will end on 7 February but she will continue as a Member of Parliament until the election this year in October. Ardern said that “she had reflected over the summer break on whether she had the energy to continue in the role or not”.
Further, she added, “Politicians are human. We gave all that we can, for as long as we can, and then it’s time. And for me, it’s time”.
In addition, she also added that it had been a tough five and a half years as Prime Minister and that she was only human and needed to now step aside.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Ardern became the World’s youngest female head of government at 37 when she was elected in 2017.
She has led New Zealand through the Covid-19 pandemic, and a series of disasters including the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, and the White Island volcanic eruption.
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While addressing the media she added, “This has been the most fulfilling five and a half years of my life. But it’s also had its challenges with 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.” Ardern also added that she would like New Zealanders to remember her leadership as “someone who always tried to be kind”.
The United States (US) President Joe Biden paid tribute to her leadership and said, “Your stewardship in advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific was crucial – I look forward to deepening our nations’ ties for generations to come“.
While Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese on behalf of Australia’s politicians, praised Jacinda Ardern for leading her country with a mix of intellect and strength.
Albanese wrote on Twitter, “She has demonstrated that empathy and insight are powerful leadership qualities. She has shown the world how to lead with intellect and strength”.