Themacforums – Jacinda Ardern Resigns as Prime Minister of New Zealand. Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand, made the surprising revelation that she is stepping down while also announcing that the country will hold elections in October.
Ardern said that she “no longer had enough in the tank” to carry out the duties during the party’s first caucus meeting of the year on Thursday. She continued, “It’s time.”
“I’m going because of the duty that comes with such a privileged position—namely, the responsibility to know when you are the best person to lead and when you are not. I am aware of what this profession entails. And I understand that I’m running out of gas to do it justice. That’s how easy it is, she said.
Even though her time as prime minister must end no later than February 7th, she will remain a member of parliament through the year’s election.
“I am a human, and so are politicians. For as long as we can, we offer everything we have. Then the time comes. And it’s time for me,” she remarked.
Over the summer vacation, Ardern said she thought about whether or not she had the stamina to carry on in the position and came to the conclusion that she did not.
When Ardern, then 37, was chosen as prime minister in 2017, she set a record for the youngest female head of state in the world. She has guided New Zealand through numerous crises, including the volcanic eruption on White Island, the Christchurch terrorist attack on two mosques, and the Covid-19 pandemic.
The past five and a half years have been the most rewarding of my life. It has, however, not been without its difficulties. “We faced a domestic terror event, a significant natural disaster, a global pandemic, and an economic crisis, among an agenda centred on housing, child poverty, and climate change,” she added.
When asked how she wished her time in office will be remembered by New Zealanders, Ardern replied, “As someone who always tried to be compassionate.”
“I want New Zealanders to believe that it’s possible to be nice but firm, sympathetic but decisive, and upbeat but laser-focused. And that you can be your own brand of leader, one who understands when to step down, said Ardern.
Threats of violence against Ardern have significantly increased over the past year, especially from groups of conspiracy theorists and opponents of vaccinations who are enraged by the nation’s vaccination requirements and lockdowns. But she said that her choice to leave the position was not motivated by the elevated danger that came with the job.
“I don’t want to give the notion that individuals leave politics because of the difficulties they confront. It does indeed have an effect. We are all just people, but it didn’t really factor into my decision,” she remarked.
Ardern claimed that other than spending more time with her family, she had no plans for the future.
Neve, the daughter she gave birth to while in government, and Clarke Gayford were acknowledged as “the ones that have sacrificed the most out of all of us.”
“To Neve: Mom is excited to be there for you as you begin school this year. And to Clarke: “Let’s wed at last.”
Many New Zealanders were shocked by the revelation made by the prime minister. Ardern declared she had no intention of resigning during a brief uproar of rumours about her potential departure in late 2022. There were no hints or leaks in the weeks before to Thursday’s announcement that her resignation would be forthcoming.
The announcement of the election date—October 14—comes as New Zealand enters a campaigned election year. Recent polling saw the Ardern-led Labour party trailing the opposition National by a small margin.
Ardern claimed that her declining popularity did not influence her decision to quit.
We need new leadership to take on this task, she said, adding that she wasn’t quitting because she thought the country couldn’t win the election.
The deputy leader and finance minister, Grant Robertson, who would have been the front-runner, announced on Thursday that he would not be running for the position, thus it is still unclear who would succeed Ardern.
I’m not putting myself forward as a candidate for the Labour party’s leadership, he declared.
It will take the Labour caucus seven days to determine whether a new candidate has more than two-thirds of the vote to succeed Ed Miliband as a leader and prime minister. On January 22, a caucus vote to elect a new leader will be held. If no candidate receives so much support, the leadership election will be decided by the entire Labour membership.
Christopher Luxon, the leader of the National party, praised Ardern as a “strong ambassador for New Zealand on the international arena” and said she has “made a big contribution to New Zealand, in what is a challenging and demanding role.”
“She may be proud of her leadership in the wake of the Christchurch terror atrocities, which was at once forceful and sympathetic,” he continued.
Anthony Albanese, the prime minister of Australia, praised Ardern and said she had “shown the world how to lead with knowledge and strength… She has shown how empathy and wisdom are strong leadership traits.