New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern resigned and will step down as Labour Party leader by 7 February. She confirmed a national election in October later this year. During her announcement today, She said, “For me it’s time, I just don’t have enough in the tank for another four years.”
Ardern detailed how six years in the job had taken a toll on her life. In her announcement at the Labour party’s annual meeting, she mentioned, ” It’s one thing to lead your country through peacetime, it’s another to lead them through the crisis.”
Jacinda Ardern Resignation
In the span of five and half years of Prime ministership, Ardern led her country through the major events in history- the COVID-19 pandemic, a major volcanic eruption, a domestic terrorist attack, and an economic crisis. While doing she focused on her agenda of child poverty, housing, and climate change. During her tenure, she also became a mother to her first child. When she says- “I am human, 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.” – it seems understandable.
Ardern’s resignation has received positive as well as negative reactions. A few called it that she ruined the country and left to bleed alone, others called it a sign of powerful leadership. No matter what- Love her or hate her, Jacinda Ardern charted a unique legacy in the world.
When Ardern was asked- How she would like New Zealanders to remember her leadership? Ardern replied, “as someone who always tried to be kind.” Many dignitaries and New Zealanders have something similar to say about her.
A health policy researcher said, “What I’ll always remember is how PM Jacinda Ardern’s leadership lead to New Zealand banning assault rifles and military-style semi-automatic weapons in just SIX days after the Christchurch mosque attacks. No greater example of what going beyond thoughts and prayers looks like.”
Australian Government official remarked, “Jacinda Ardern has shown the world how to lead with intellect and strength. She has demonstrated that empathy and insight are powerful leadership qualities. Jacinda has been a fierce advocate for New Zealand, an inspiration to so many, and a great friend to me.”
Kim Dotcom also commented, Arden just resigned as Prime Minister of New Zealand. She’s been subject to much criticism and abuse. I believe she has tried her best. She had a great start and then came Covid-19. I wish Jacinda, and little Neve all the best.
Charlotte Clymer, a writer said, “I’m glad Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is leaving on her own terms after a brilliant tenure leading New Zealand, all the while encouraging and inspiring young women around the world to lead on their terms, too. She is the blueprint for highly effective leadership.”
Speaking of how female leaders are treated in politics, a user said, “There goes my theory that New Zealand’s treatment of female leaders was more mature and evolved than Australia’s treatment of its first female PM, Julia Gillard. I must admit I didn’t know Ardern was experiencing this crap. My heart hurts.”
A user said, “I understand but…Gutted! Wish you all the best you fabulous woman! You have raised the bar in terms of humane leadership Your strength kindness and humour are a gift to us all Thank you.”
Another user said appreciated her work and the crisis she faced, “In Jacinda Ardern’s 5 years as New Zealand PM she’s dealt with: – a pandemic – a terrorist attack -giving birth to her 1st child-and more, So her resignation comments are kinda understandable. Talking about harassment Arden faced considering her personal life, a user said, “faced endless harassment of both herself and Clarke, to the extent they postponed their wedding indefinitely – vicious, ugly and vitriolic abuse and lies from across the spectrum.”
Many took Arden’s resignation as a symbol of grace and not a power hunger politician. They differentiated her from the male politician in the world. A user said, “Unlike insurrectionists Trump & Bolzanaro… Jacinda Arden steps down with grace dignity & elegance. A remarkable leader who led with intellect, empathy, & strength… a fierce advocate for New Zealand’s inclusive democracy, thus inspiriting future generations.”
Arden’s move also attracted negative take of abandoning the country. Many also targeted her for showing incompetency and vulnerability. But more than that it needs to be noted as Arden did not step down because the job was hard, but because she believed others could do a better job. Her decision needs to be respected.