Zealand PM explains surprise resignation


Jacinda Ardern will step down from office early next month, ending her stint as the world’s youngest female head of state

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced her resignation, saying she was exhausted after five years in office and did not have the energy needed to continue her role.

Announced the decision on Thursday afternoon, Ardern said she had been thinking about her future as prime minister during the summer break before the New Zealand Parliament and decided she would rather spend more time with her family.

“I’m leaving because with such a privileged role comes responsibility. The responsibility of knowing when you are the right person to lead and when you are not.” she told attendees at the Labor Party caucus retreat in the town of Napier. “I know what this job requires. And I know I don’t have enough left in the tank to do it justice. It’s that simple.”

Ardern’s term ends on February 7 and a new general election is scheduled for October 14. After leaving the Prime Minister’s office, she will remain the electorate MP for Auckland’s Mount Albert region until April.

“This will give me some time in the electorate before I leave, and also save them and the country a by-election,” Ardern added.

Ardern, who took office in 2017, is currently the world’s youngest female head of state. However, it remains unclear who could replace her, as deputy chief and chief financial officer Grant Robertson said he would not seek the position despite being considered an immediate front-runner. Labor now has a week to determine whether another candidate can earn more than two-thirds support under the Labor Caucus. If they fail to elect a new leader, the contest would expand to a vote involving the entire Labor Party.

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