Fighting back tears: Jacinda Ardern announced her resignation on Thursday.
Guido Fieldsforeign editor
Jacinda Ardern (42) surprisingly announced her resignation as Prime Minister of New Zealand. “I know what you need for this job and I know that I don’t have enough left in the tank. It’s that simple, »she explains the step. The falling poll numbers and the fear of a defeat for your Labor Party in the October 14 elections probably also contributed to the decision. Ardern will step down on February 7th.
Her tenure lasted five and a half years. Not long enough for a beacon of hope who is still young and wanted to change a lot. The fact that she now throws in the towel contributes to a mixed record.
Jacinda Ardern – like the Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (37), who was elected in 2019 – encouraged young women in particular. The power woman wanted to show how she can reconcile a top career and family. It was a matter of course for her that she took her three-month-old daughter Neve Te Aroha to the UN General Assembly in 2018 and rocked and kissed the “First Baby” during the session.
She also proved her humanity when an extremist killed 51 people at a mosque in Christchurch in 2019. She put on a headscarf and comforted the relatives of the Muslim victims. Even after the volcanic eruption on White Island nine months later, she hugged the survivors and helpers who had recovered the 22 dead.
When she took office in 2017, her announcement that the gross domestic product would be replaced by a feel-good index that also took into account the climate and child poverty caused a stir. Today, however, she is confronted with massively increased prices, fear of crime and a housing shortage combined with the highest level of homelessness in the OECD countries.
She came under pressure in the Covid pandemic. A low vaccination rate and a lack of intensive care beds meant that New Zealand had to pursue a zero-Covid strategy and close the borders. According to experts, this strategy may have saved the lives of thousands of people, but it also put pressure on the New Zealanders’ wallets and psyche.
While Ardern’s standing remains high internationally, her popularity in New Zealand has fallen to 29 per cent, the lowest since he took office. Polls predict Labor would no longer be able to form a government with coalition partners. The right block, on the other hand, is increasing.
And now get married!
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand forecast in late 2022 that the country would fall into recession in 2023. This led to a rise in mortgage interest rates and at the same time to a fall in real estate prices. Christopher Luxon (53), President of the conservative National Party, said that “the country is developing in the wrong direction”.
The balancing act between a top career and family was apparently more difficult for Jacinda Ardern than she had imagined. After her resignation, she wants to catch up on what she missed during her political career: devote herself to her family. And to her partner Clarke Gayford (46) she said: “Let’s finally get married.”