19 January 2023

UK Prime Ministers should take note of Jacinda Arden’s stunning resignation as PM of New Zealand

“I know I no longer have that bit extra in the tank to do the job justice,” said the Māori party leader.

Jacinda Arden is resigning as New Zealand’s prime minister ahead of this year’s election, saying she no longer has “enough in the tank” to lead the country. 

In a tearful and emotional speech, she announced she will step down on February 7th. Arden will, however, continue as a member of parliament till October, when elections are due. In an honest and commendable speech, Arden provided a shining example of how politicians should behave – in the best interests of their respective countries, unlike the UK’s recent PMs who won’t walk away until they practically have a gun to their head. 

“I believe that leading a country is the most privileged job anyone could ever have, but also one of the more challenging. You cannot, and should not do it unless you have a full tank, plus, a bit in reserve for those unexpected challenges,” she said.

“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,” she continued. Arden’s honesty and selflessness are refreshing – and we hope future and current world leaders take note. 

Arden became the world’s youngest female head of government when she was elected prime minister in 2017 at age 37. She said she had reflected on her position over the summer and concluded that it was time to move on. 

“I have given my absolute all to being prime minister but it has also taken a lot out of me. Having reflected over the summer, I know I no longer have that bit extra in the tank to do the job justice.”

She added it would have been a disservice to New Zealanders if she continued in the job. “I’m a politician who is first and foremost human.” Ardern said she “needed to let someone else take on this job” and believed the party would win the upcoming election.

New Zealand’s Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said that the politician was “driven from politics” because of “constant personalisation and vilification” in what she called the most “demeaning form of politics we have ever seen.”

Ngarewa-Packer said: “Te Pāti Māori [Māori Party] wishes to thank the outstanding contribution Jacinda Ardern has made to our country.”

  • Writer Chris Saunders
  • Banner Image Credit YouTube / New Zealand Herald

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