Why Jacinda Ardern Left

The first hint of an immaculately guarded secret, however, came when Gayford took a seat in the front row of the room.

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Even the most seasoned political journalists were ignorant of Ardern’s news, which shocked MPs enough that they struggled to respond afterwards.

As Ardern exited the press conference and returned to her party room, she was greeted by her colleagues with tearful hugs and Maori song.

The caucus sang the waiata Tutira mai nga iwi – a song of unity, strength and diversity sung by the Black Ferns last year when they won the Women’s Rugby World Cup.

One of those there, Ardern’s predecessor as chairman Andrew Little, said the caucus was shocked but understood.

“There was a great understanding of Jacinda, the difficulty of the decision and understanding of the reasons behind the decision,” he said.

“The number of issues and challenges and the scale and scale that she has dealt with over the last five years, I doubt there has been another Prime Minister in New Zealand history who has dealt with it.”

Ardern has dealt with a truly remarkable series of trials and tragedies.

She led Labor to power after becoming Labor leader just seven weeks before Election Day 2017, a campaign marked by ‘Jacindamania’.

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In 2019, she comforted New Zealanders through the worst mass shooting in modern times when Australian terrorist Brenton Tarrant murdered 51 worshipers at two Christchurch mosques, and her compassionate response won global praise.

Another tragedy followed in December when Whakaari volcano erupted as tourists explored its crater, killing 22, including 14 Australians.

In 2020, New Zealanders rewarded their government’s response to COVID-19 with a second term, but the multiple challenges of the pandemic continued.

Ardern led New Zealand when she became a first-time mother and gave birth to Neve after nine months on the job.

Ardern explained her departure to the public and said there was not a single moment that led to her decision.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hugs her fiance Clark Gayford.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hugs her fiance Clark Gayford.Credit:NZ Herald/AP

“The cumulative challenges we faced as a team – and they were extraordinary – took their toll,” she said.

“The decisions that had to be made were continuous and they were weighty…there was never really a moment when it never felt like we were just governing.

“But I’m not going because it was difficult. If that were the case, I probably would have given up the job for two months.

“I’m leaving because with such a privileged role comes responsibility.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hugs a mosque visitor at Kilbirnie Mosque in Wellington in 2019 after the Christchurch massacre. Her response to the attack was praised around the world.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hugs a mosque visitor at Kilbirnie Mosque in Wellington in 2019 after the Christchurch massacre. Her response to the attack was praised around the world.Credit:Getty

“The responsibility of knowing when you are the right person to lead and when you are not.

“I know what this job needs. And I know I didn’t have enough in the tank to do it justice. As simple as that.”

Ardern’s departure dramatically changes the campaign.

In her last term as Prime Minister, she named October 14 as election day when Labor will attempt to win a third term in government.

Ardern insisted her departure would not destabilize Labor and her announcement was made with the party in mind.

“Every political leader has to think about the necessary transitions,” she said.

“It’s about knowing when you have what it takes and what it takes to lead, but also having the courage to know when you don’t have it.

“There is no doubt that this is a big change, but I also strongly believe that we have the ability and our team to continue to push New Zealand forward.”

AAP

https://www.smh.com.au/world/oceania/i-am-not-leaving-because-it-was-hard-why-jacinda-ardern-walked-away-20230119-p5cdz5.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Why Jacinda Ardern Left

Callan Tansill

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