Jacinda Ardern’s time as Prime Minister coincided with major events in New Zealand and around the world, from the Christchurch mosque attacks to the coronavirus pandemic.
Jacinda Ardern has announced her shock resignation as Prime Minister of Aotearoa New Zealand, saying she “no longer has enough in the tank” to do the role justice.
In an emotional speech, the Labour Party leader said her time in office has been “the most fulfilling five and a half years of [her] life” but that it “has also had its challenges”. She explained: “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.”
Her premiership will conclude no later than 7 February, but she will continue as an MP until the election on 14 October this year. In recent months, polling has suggested the Labour Party party faces a difficult path to re-election.
1. October 2017: Jacinda Ardern becomes Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Jacinda Ardern became Prime Minster of New Zealand in October 2017, leading a coalition government with the Green Party and New Zealand First. It came just months after she took over as leader of the Labour Party, in August.
2. February 2018: Ardern marches at Pride.
Ardern becomes the first New Zealand Prime Minister to march in the Pride Parade - an event which supports the LGBTQ+ community. She joined 25,000 others on the streets of Auckland.
3. June 2018: Ardern became a mother.
In June 2018, Ardern became only the second elected world leader to give birth while in office. In September of that year, still breastfeeding, she took her daughter Neve to the United Nations General Assembly, becoming the first world leader to do so. Neve even had her own UN security pass to enter the chamber.
4. March 2019: Christchurch mosque attack
New Zealand and the rest of the world were shocked by a tragic terrorist attack in 2019, when an Australian-born white supremacist walked into two mosques in the southern town of Christchurch and killed 51 people. She wore a hijab as she met the Muslim community a day after the attack, telling them the whole country was “united in grief” and swiftly tightened gun control and banned military-style semi-automatic weapons. She also refused to speak the name of the gunman, telling Parliament: “He sought many things from this act of terror, but one was notoriety, and that is why you will never hear me mention his name.”