WELLINGTON – Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand and an international leader in progressive politics, startled the nation on Thursday by announcing her impending resignation.
The 42-year-old, who presided over the nation during its worst-ever terrorist attack, the COVID pandemic, and natural disasters, claimed she no longer had “enough in the tank.”
“I am human. We give as much as we can for as long as we can and then it’s time. And for me, it’s time,” she made this statement before a gathering of Labour Party members.
Jacinda Ardern shock resignation
Less than three years after claiming victory in a landslide election to clinch her second term in government, Ardern announced she would resign no later than February 7th.
Since that “Jacindamania” high point in 2020, Ardern’s government has struggled, with rising inflation, an impending recession, and a resurgent conservative opposition hurting its support.
“I believe that leading a country is the most privileged job anyone could ever have, but also one of the more challenging. You cannot and should not do it unless you have a full tank, plus a bit in reserve for those unexpected challenges.”– Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand Prime Minister)
For her compassionate handling of the 2019 Christchurch mosque tragedy, which resulted in the deaths of 51 Muslim worshippers and the injuries of an additional 40, Ardern received praise from all over the world.
Later that year, when the deadly White Island (also known as Whakaari) volcano erupted, she received plaudits for her decisive leadership.
She expressed pride in her government’s efforts to address child poverty, climate change, and housing affordability on Thursday.
“And we’ve done that while responding to some of the biggest threats to the health and economic well-being of our nation arguably since World War II,” Ardern added.
The strain of the job has been apparent, with Ardern exhibiting a rare lapse in composure last month when she was accidentally recorded calling an opposition lawmaker a “arrogant prick.”
General elections will now be held in New Zealand on 14 October 2023 to select the country’s next leader.
She declared that she will continue to represent the electorate as a member of parliament until then.
Her resignation creates a vacancy at the top of the Labour party, and Grant Robertson, her deputy, has already ruled out running for the position.