"It's Time": Jacinda Ardern To Step Down As New Zealand Prime Minister

Jacinda Ardern has announced she will quit as New Zealand prime minister next month, saying she no longer has "enough in the tank" to lead.

STP Reporter
New Update
Jacinda Ardern Last Day As PM
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has said she is resigning, in a shock announcement as she confirmed a national election in October later this year.

"For me it's time," she said at a meeting of members of her Labour Party. "I just don't have enough in the tank for another four years."

Ardern choked up as she detailed how six "challenging" years in the job had taken a toll. She will step down as Labour Party leader no later than 7 February. There will be a vote in the coming days to determine her replacement. She will continue as an MP until the general election to be held on 14 October.

Jacinda Ardern resigns as New Zealand PM

Ardern became the youngest female head of government in the world when she was elected prime minister in 2017, aged 37. And a year later she became the second elected world leader ever to give birth while in office.

She steered New Zealand through the Covid-19 pandemic, the Christchurch mosque shootings, and the White Island volcanic eruption.

"It's one thing to lead your country through peacetime, it's another to lead them through crisis," she said.


"These events... have been taxing because of the weight, the sheer weight and continual nature of them. There's never really been a moment where it's ever felt like we were just governing."

“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,” she said. Ardern said she had reflected over the summer break on whether she had the energy to continue in the role, and had concluded she did not.

“This has been the most fulfilling five and a half years of my life. But it’s also had its challenges – amongst an agenda focused on housing, child poverty and climate change, we encountered a … domestic terror event, a major natural disaster, a global pandemic, and an economic crisis,” she said.

Asked how she would like New Zealanders to remember her leadership, Ardern said “as someone who always tried to be kind.”

“I hope I leave New Zealanders with a belief that you can be kind, but strong, empathetic but decisive, optimistic but focused. And that you can be your own kind of leader – one who knows when it’s time to go,” Ardern said.

However, Ms Ardern said she was not resigning because she believed Labour could not win the election, but because she thought it would.


"We need a fresh set of shoulders for that challenge," she said.

Suggested Reading: Five Feminist Quotes By Jacinda Ardern That Will Empower You

jacinda ardern new zealand pm