Jacinda Ardern: New Zealand PM announces resignation and will not seek re-election

A tearful Ms Ardern told her party: 'I just don't have enough in the tank for another four years'

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said she plans to stand down no later than February 7 and will not seek re-election.

In a televised address on Thursday, Ms Ardern said she still believed New Zealand Labour would win the coming election, which she called for October 14.

She choked back the tears as she said: "For me, it's time. I just don't have enough in the tank for another four years.

“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.

"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.

“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."

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

When she came to power in 2017 aged 37, she wase the world’s youngest female head of government.

Ms Ardern has led the country through the Covid-19 pandemic and major disasters including the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, and the White Island volcanic eruption.

She said she wanted New Zealanders to remember her “as someone who always tried to be kind".

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“I hope I leave New Zealanders with a belief that you can be kind, but strong, empathetic but decisive, optimistic but focused," Ms Ardern said.

"And that you can be your own kind of leader – one who knows when it’s time to go."

Ms Ardern will remain a Member of Parliament until April.

Updated: January 19, 2023, 11:19 AM
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