At age 37, she became the youngest woman to lead a country. But it should end in February. She intends to resign in February. She doesn’t have the strength for another four years.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern plans to step down in February. She made the announcement at a Labor Party event on Thursday. The reason given by the 42-year-old woman was that she felt that she no longer had the strength for another four years in office. When Ardern was elected Prime Minister in 2017, she became one of the youngest women to head a government at the age of 37.
“It’s time for me,” Ardern said. “I just don’t have enough in the tank for another four years.” The head of government was obviously referring to the upcoming parliamentary elections in October this year and the subsequent legislative period. She will step down from her role on Feb. 7, Ardern said.
The 42-year-old politician, who at times fought back tears, said her nearly six years as prime minister had been difficult. You haven’t found a way to prepare for another year and another term.
She said she was not stepping down because the prime minister’s job is difficult, but because she believes others can do better. She told her four-year-old daughter, Neve, that she would be there when she started school this year. It’s also time to marry his longtime partner Clarke Gayford. She has already postponed plans in this regard because of the pandemic.
A successor should be found within a few days.
The ruling New Zealand Labor Party will elect a new leader on Sunday. The party leader will also hold the post of prime minister until the next general election on October 14.
The popular Labor politician gained media attention across the world when she became the world’s youngest female prime minister in 2017, aged just 37. In just a few months, she rose from deputy leader of the opposition to head of government. Its meteoric rise has a name in New Zealand: Jacindamania. When she gave birth to daughter Neve in June 2018, she became the first prime minister in decades to give birth while in office.
Sensitive crisis management as a leadership style
In all his years in office, his charismatic policy stood out, especially with his sensitive crisis management. This applies, among other things, to New Zealand’s path during the corona pandemic. Ardern also received much recognition for his reaction to the March 2019 terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch that killed 51 people. On the occasion, she gave a moving speech and wore a headscarf to show her solidarity with the Muslim community around the world. More recently, however, the popularity ratings of the head of government and her party have dropped in polls.
“With such a privileged role comes responsibility, including the responsibility of knowing when you are the right person to lead and when you are not,” she said. The office demanded a lot from her. “You can and should only do the work when you have a full tank of gas, plus a little reserve for the unplanned and unexpected challenges that will inevitably arise.” She hopes she has given New Zealanders a belief that they can be their own kind of leader: “Someone who knows when it’s time to go.”