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New Zealand PM makes surprise announcement

Jacinda Ardern said she will leave office early next month

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced her resignation, saying that five years in office had left her exhausted and that she did not have the energy needed to continue in the role.

Ardern announced the decision on Thursday afternoon, saying she had reflected on her future as PM during the summer break for the New Zealand parliament and determined she would prefer to spend more time with her family.

“I’m leaving, because with such a privileged role comes responsibility. The responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead and also when you are not,” she told attendees at the Labour Party’s caucus retreat in the city of Napier. “I know what this job takes. And I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It’s that simple.”


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FILE PHOTO: Jacinda Ardern speaks during a press conference in Sydney, Australia, July 8, 2022
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Ardern will leave the PM’s office no later than February 7, but she will remain the electorate MP for Auckland’s Mount Albert region until April.

“This will give me a bit of time in the electorate before I depart, and also spare them and the country a by-election,” Ardern added.

Taking office in 2017, Ardern is currently the world’s youngest female head of state. It remains unclear who could replace her, however, as deputy leader and finance chief Grant Robertson said he would not seek the position despite being considered an immediate frontrunner.


Labour now has one week to determine if another candidate can earn more than two-thirds support among the Labour Caucus. Should they fail to select a new leader, the contest would broaden to a vote involving the entire Labour Party. The next general election is scheduled for October 14. 

January 19, 2023 at 07:21AM

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