AP

New Zealand’s Ardern to leave office, sets October election

Jan 18, 2023, 7:41 PM | Updated: 7:57 pm
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern...
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends a press conference in Sydney, Australia, with Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, July 8, 2022. Ardern, on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, has announced her resignation as New Zealand prime minister. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, whose empathetic handling of the nation’s worst mass-shooting and health-driven response to the coronavirus pandemic led her to become an international icon but who faced mounting criticism at home, said Thursday she was leaving office.

Fighting back tears, Ardern told reporters in Napier that Feb. 7 will be her last day as prime minister.

“I am entering now my sixth year in office, and for each of those years, I have given my absolute all,” she said.

She also announced that New Zealand’s next general elections would be held on Oct. 14, and that she would remain a lawmaker until then.

It’s unclear who will take over as prime minister until the election. Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson announced he wouldn’t be contesting for the leadership of the Labour Party, throwing the competition open.

Ardern described her job as among the most privileged but challenging and said doing it required having a reserve to face the unexpected. She said she no longer had that reserve to serve another term.

She said her time in office has been fulfilling but challenging. “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, 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 is that simple,” she said.

Ardern had been facing tough election prospects. Her liberal Labour Party won reelection two years ago in a landslide of historic proportions, but recent polls have put her party behind its conservative rivals.

She was lauded globally for her country’s initial handling of the coronavirus pandemic after New Zealand managed for months to stop the virus at its borders. But that zero-tolerance strategy was abandoned once it was challenged by new variants and vaccines became available.

She faced tougher criticism at home that the strategy was too stArdern in December announced a Royal Commission of Inquiry would look into whether the government made the right decisions in battling COVID-19 and how it can better prepare for future pandemics. Its report is due next year.

In March 2019, Ardern faced one of the darkest days in New Zealand’s history when a white supremacist gunman stormed two mosques in Christchurch and slaughtered 51 people. She was widely praised for the way she embraced the survivors and New Zealand’s Muslim community in the aftermath

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

AP

Priscilla Presley speaks at the public memorial for Lisa Marie Presley at Graceland on January 22, ...
Andrew Dalton, Associated Press

Priscilla Presley disputes trust of late Lisa Marie Presley

Priscilla Presley has filed legal documents disputing who oversees the estate of her late daughter Lisa Marie Presley.
21 hours ago
A Qantas Boeing 747-400, registration VH-OEJ,  passes over Sydney's Eastern Suburbs as it departs S...
Gene Johnson, Associated Press

Boeing bids farewell to an icon, delivers last 747 jumbo jet

Boeing bids farewell to an icon on Tuesday: It's delivering its final 747 jumbo jet.
21 hours ago
Alec Baldwin charged in Rust shooting...
Associated Press

Prosecutors file charges in set shooting by Alec Baldwin

Actor Alec Baldwin and a weapons specialist have been formally charged with involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on a New Mexico movie set, according to court documents filed by prosecutors Tuesday.
21 hours ago
People attend a candlelight vigil in memory of Tyre Nichols at the Tobey Skate Park on January 26, ...
Adrian Sainz

7th Memphis officer disciplined, EMTs fired in Nichols death

Memphis police say two more officers involved in the arrest, beating and death of Tyre Nichols have been disciplined.
21 hours ago
R&B singer R. Kelly (L) arrives at the Cook County courthouse where jury selection is scheduled to ...
Claire Savage and Michael Tarm, Associated Press

Chicago prosecutor dropping R. Kelly sex-abuse charges

A Chicago prosecutor said Monday that she's dropping sex-abuse charges against singer R. Kelly following federal convictions in two courts that should guarantee the disgraced R&B star will be locked up for decades.
2 days ago
Amy Robach and TJ Holmes attend the 2022 ABC Disney Upfront at Basketball City - Pier 36 - South St...
Associated Press

TV anchors T.J. Holmes, Amy Robach leave ABC amid romance

T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach, anchors at the afternoon extension of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” are leaving the network.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
New Zealand’s Ardern to leave office, sets October election