Jacinda Ardern sitting at a table and smiling while people behind her clap

“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.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announcing her resignation. She has led the country since 2017.

Published on

jan 19, 2023

Why It Matters: Elected at 37 years old, Prime Minister Ardern has been described as "a global icon for women in leadership." She is the youngest female prime minister to lead New Zealand and the second world leader to give birth while serving in office, balancing motherhood with leading a nation (for example, when her infant attended the United Nations General Assembly). She led during a unique time in New Zealand's history, particularly as she guided the country in the wake of the country's worst mass shooting in 2019, and through the pandemic.

More from her speech: “But I am not leaving because it was hard. Had that been the case I probably would have departed two months into the job. I am leaving because with such a privileged role comes responsibility."

Looking Ahead: Her party will vote for a new leader this weekend. Prime Minister Ardern will step down on February 7th and will continue to serve as a lawmaker until April. She said she has no plans beyond "looking forward to spending time with my family again." She said her family – her 4-year-old daughter and fiancé – are "arguably ... the ones that have sacrificed the most out of all of us."

New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, an icon to many, to step down (The Associated Press)

New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern to step down as prime minister (Axios)

‘You just get on with it’: Jacinda Ardern says Queen gave her ‘best advice’ on being a new mum and leader (The Guardian)

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