‘Not enough in the tank’: New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern steps down

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By: Ayanangsha Maitra
Updated: 19 January, 2023 12:22 pm IST
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand on Thursday announced that she will step down from her role as the Prime Minister as well as the leader of the New Zealand Labour Party next month.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand on Thursday announced that she will step down from her role as the Prime Minister as well as the leader of the New Zealand Labour Party next month.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand on Thursday announced that she will step down from her role as the Prime Minister as well as the leader of the New Zealand Labour Party next month. The third populous Oceanian nation New Zealand will hold a General Election on 14 October, which Arden won’t contest, officials stated. A caucus vote is already scheduled to elect a new party leader on Sunday, January. 22.

“I leave New Zealanders with a belief that you can be kind but strong, empathetic but decisive, optimistic but focused…that you can be your own kind of leader, one who knows when it’s time to go’..the outgoing Prime Minister Ardern said.

Arden will be serving as the Prime Minister till February 7, she said. While revealing the reasons for giving up the top portfolio, in an emotional note on Thursday, the 42-year-old leader mentioned that she doesn’t have ‘enough in the tank’ to continue her tenure.

“Having reflected over the summer I know I no longer have that bit extra in the tank to do the job justice. It’s that simple,” Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday while addressing the media.

Speaking on the upcoming election, she said, “While I won’t be contesting the election, I know the issues that impact New Zealanders most will remain the focus of the Government through this year and into the election…The ability for families to make ends meet, to create new opportunities to get ahead, and keep the economy strong and stable in the face of international headwinds will continue to be our focus,” Jacinda Ardern asserted.

Howbeit, Jacinda Ardern will hold the portfolio of the Member of Parliament for Mt Albert till April. Speaking on her party’s position and electoral issue, she further said, “Labour will be standing on our strong record of progress. I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved over these two terms. We are a strong, experienced, and effective team that has successfully steered New Zealand through the greatest challenges our country has faced in decades.”

While in office, Arden had to tackle situations like the Christchurch Mosque shooting in 2019, the White Island volcano disaster, and the Omicron wave during the Covid pandemic. The Labour Party stalwart assumed the Prime Minister’s portfolio in a coalition-led incumbency in 2017, becoming the youngest Prime Minister at the age of 37. Arden gave birth to a female child while in office and gained global attention by bringing her three-month-old daughter Neve Te Aroha to the UN General Assembly.

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