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Why New Zealand’s prime minister’s resignation shocked the country and the world: Jacinda Ardern left at the height of her popularity

Date: May 31, 2023 Time: 09:02:59

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced her retirement from politics.


Since coming to power in 2017, Jacinda Ardern has become the youngest female politician in the world to head the state. On the eve of new elections, Ardern, 42, realized that she had neither the strength nor the energy nor the inspiration to be re-elected. She told reporters about this.

“I gave my all to become prime minister, but it also took a lot of energy,” she said in Napier, where her Labor party held a meeting. – I know what this job requires, and I know that I no longer have enough energy to do it.

Few expected this turn of events. According to experts, Ardern was at the height of his impressive political career, having experienced both a crisis and a rise during this time. But in the next elections, scheduled for October 14, Ardern would have to face opposition forces, the National Party, which recently gained more support from the New Zealand population. Labor, with its liberal values, has given way remarkably. On January 22, the Labor Party must decide on its candidates, who will compete for the post of prime minister in the future.

2017 Jacinda Ardern’s first public appearance as Prime Minister.


In any case, Jacinda Ardern will be remembered by many. In 2018, she became the second world leader to give birth while holding high political office. The first was the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto. However, due to the restrictions of her career and her coronavirus, Jacinda postponed her wedding to her lover Clark Gayford. Now the politician says that, perhaps, at the end of the term, they will finally formalize their relationship.

Jacinda Ardern left the press conference where she announced her departure smiling and holding hands with her partner Clark Gayford. The couple had a daughter in 2018, but never formalized the relationship.


Ardern is called a good crisis manager. Following the shooting at two Christchurch mosques, in which 51 people died and several dozen were injured, in the spring of 2019, the head of government appeared at a meeting with relatives of the victims of the terrorist attack dressed in a hijab. Through this gesture, he won the support of New Zealand’s Muslim communities and gained the approval of Muslim states.

For a visit to Christchurch’s Muslim community, Jacinda Ardern donned a headscarf.


During the coronavirus pandemic, Ardern introduced perhaps the world’s strictest health measure to the country to eliminate transmission of the virus. Foreigners were banned from entering New Zealand. For several months, the work of most businesses came to a complete halt, including public transportation, food, entertainment, and hospitality businesses. Residents are required to stay at home.

When sanitary measures began to loosen up a bit, Jacinda herself became a victim of her own anti-COVID policy. She and her fiancée were not allowed into the cafe.

Despite the severity of the covid restrictions, Ardern has remained popular with New Zealanders. This helped her win re-election in 2020. But after that, Jacinda’s level of support started to wane. Firstly, due to the worsening economic outlook and the rapid growth of the living wage. The Central Bank of the country began to talk about a recession, the interest rate was raised several times to control inflation.


After the start of the Russian special operation, the New Zealand authorities took an active Russaphobic position. The country’s government has joined the sanctions against Russia, and Jacinda Ardern herself noted that the Cabinet is considering the introduction of additional restrictions both against individual Russian citizens and against their companies and products.

In response to these actions, the Foreign Office announced the introduction of an indefinite ban on entry to Russia for 31 New Zealand citizens. The list includes politicians, journalists and public figures. According to a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry, the list will be expanded, since the New Zealand authorities are not going to abandon the Russophobic policy. Previously, a similar ban was introduced against Jacinda Ardern herself.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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