New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced her resignation next month.
Jacinda, the leader of the Labor Party, will no longer hold office after February 7. A vote will be held in the coming days to determine his successor. General elections will be held in New Zealand on October 14.
Jacinda Ardern, 42, said she took time out during the summer break to consider her future.
He told reporters, “I had hoped that I would have found what I needed by that time. But unfortunately, I have not, and it would be a disservice to New Zealand if I continue in charge.”
Ardern became the world’s youngest female head of government when she was elected prime minister in 2017 at the age of 37. A year later she became the second elected world leader to give birth while in office.
Jacinda Ardern steered New Zealand through the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent recession, the Christchurch mosque shootings and the White Island volcano eruption.
‘It is one thing to lead your country in peacetime, another thing to lead it through crisis’, he said.
‘These events were something to deal with, because of the weight, the sheer weight, and the continuous nature of them. There was never a moment where it felt like we were just ruling.’
Ardern led the Labor Party to a landslide election victory in 2020, but her domestic popularity has fallen in recent months, according to opinion polls.
But he said he was not resigning, as he believed the Labor Party would not win the election.
Deputy leader Grant Robertson said he would not contest the leadership vote, which will take place on Sunday. If a candidate fails to secure the support of two-thirds of the party room, the vote goes to Labor members.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paid tribute to Ardern as a leader of intelligence, strength and compassion.
He wrote on Twitter, ‘Jacinda is a New Zealand advocate, an inspiration to many and a great friend of mine.’
Ardern listed her government’s achievements on climate change, social housing and reducing child poverty as ones she was particularly proud of.
Jacinda hopes New Zealanders will remember her as ‘someone who always tried to be kind.