Ardern announces resignation from PM role

On Sunday, a caucus vote will be held to determine a new PM

Ardern announces resignation from PM role

Jacinda Ardern announced her resignation as New Zealand’s prime minister today.

Ardern, who had been in the role for five and a half years, said in a statement published by the NZ Herald that while she considered leading the country to be an “enormous privilege”, the responsibility had “taken a lot out of [her].”

“With holding such a privileged role comes responsibility, including the responsibility to know when you’re the right person to lead, and also when you’re not. I have given my absolute all to being prime minister, but it has also taken a lot out of me. You cannot and should not do the job unless you have a full tank, plus a bit in reserve for those unplanned and unexpected challenges that inevitably come along,” she explained.

“Having reflected over summer I know I no longer have that bit extra in the tank to do the job justice.”

Ardern will officially relinquish the post on 7 February. A caucus vote is set to take place on Sunday to determine a new PM and Labour Party leader. She will remain a MT Albert MP until April so that a byelection will not be required, the Herald reported.

Ardern highlighted some “constant and weighty” decisions she had made in her time as PM.

“In addition to our ambitious agenda that has sought to address long term issues like the housing crisis, child poverty and climate change, we also had to respond to a major biosecurity incursion, a domestic terror attack, a volcanic eruption and a one-in-one hundred year global pandemic and ensuing economic crisis,” she said.

“I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved over the last five years in spite of the many challenges thrown at us. We’ve turned around child poverty statistics and made the most significant increases in welfare support and public housing stock seen in many decades. We’ve made it easier to access education and training while improving the pay and conditions of workers.”

Ardern also pointed to her work with Māori as a standout initiative.

“We’ve worked hard to make progress on issues around our national identity – I believe that teaching our history in schools and celebrating Matariki as our own indigenous national holiday will all make a difference for years to come,” she said.

Australian PM Anthony Albanese praised Ardern’s leadership in a tweet.

“Jacinda Ardern has shown the world how to lead with intellect and strength. She has demonstrated that empathy and insight are powerful leadership qualities,” he wrote.

In her announcement, Ardern also revealed that this year’s election will be held on 14 October.

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