PM Jacinda Ardern Shocks New Zealand with Her Plan to Leave Office 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern unexpectedly announces her resignation. | IMG Source: Kerry Marshall/Getty Images

On Thursday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that she would step down as the country’s leader. 

Ardern held back tears as she spoke to her party in the seaside town of Napier. She recalled how it has been tough being Prime Minister and that she “no longer had enough in the tank” to continue to lead. 

“I’m leaving, because with such a privileged role comes responsibility,” she said addressing her audience. “The responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead and also when you are not. I know what this job takes. And I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It’s that simple.”

Ardern became the youngest world leader at 37 years old last 2017. Her day in office will conclude on February 7. The ruling New Zealand Labor Party will vote for a new leader on Sunday, they will be the new Prime Leader until the general election on October 14. 

“I know there will be much discussion in the aftermath of this decision as to what the so-called ‘real’ reason was,” Arder said. “The only interesting angle you will find is that after going on six years of some big challenges, that I am human,” she stressed. “Politicians are human. We give all that we can, for as long as we can, and then it’s time. And for me, it’s time.”

Geoffrey Miller, a geopolitical analyst with the Wellington-based nonprofit Democracy Project said that Ardern’s announcement was definitely unexpected. “It was something that commentators had thought of and have been asking since the end of last year … and she quite convincingly said she was going to stay, and that she wasn’t going anywhere.”

In the past six years, Ardern handled disasters and tragedies and gained a global audience. Miller said that with the way Ardern dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic, terrorist attacks, and a volcanic eruption she has become much more well known than previous New Zealand Prime Ministers. 

During her announcement, Ardern also told her daughter, Neve, that she was excited to be there when she started school this year. She also told her partner Clark Gayford that it’s about time they get married. 

Leave a Reply