Jan 19, 2023
By Jane Brown
She became a global icon of the left and exemplified a new style of leadership.
She was also the youngest woman ever to become a head of government at the age of 37 in 2017.
Jacinda Ardern has decided to step down as prime minister of New Zealand saying she can no longer give the job the energy it deserves.
“After going on 6 years of some big challenges, I am human,” Ardern told reporters in Napier Thursday, “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.”
Ardern was praised around the world for her handling of the nation’s worst-ever mass shooting and the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But she faced mounting political pressures at home and a level of anger from some that hadn’t been experienced by previous leaders in New Zealand.
Ardern’s liberal Labour Party won re-election in 2020 with a historic landslide, but recent polls have put her party behind its conservative rivals.
Despite the challenges, Ardern’s announcement came as a shock throughout the nation of 5-million people.
Ardern said her last day as prime minister will be February 7th but she will stay on as a lawmaker until New Zealand’s October general election.