Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces resignation
Jacinda Ardern has announced she will step down as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. Her resignation will take effect on the appointment of a new Prime Minister.
A caucus vote to elect a new Party Leader will occur in 3 days’ time on Sunday the 22nd of January.
“Being Prime Minister has been the greatest honour of my life and I want to thank New Zealanders for the enormous privilege of leading the country for the last five and a half years,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“With holding such a privileged role comes responsibility, including the responsibility to know when you’re the right person to lead, and also when you’re not.
“I have given my absolute all to being Prime Minister but it has also taken a lot out of me. You cannot and should not do the job unless you have a full tank, plus a bit in reserve for those unplanned and unexpected challenges that inevitably come along.
“Having reflected over summer I know I no longer have that bit extra in the tank to do the job justice. It’s that simple.
“I have spoken to the Governor-General this morning to let her know.
“In addition to our ambitious agenda that has sought to address long term issues like the housing crisis, child poverty and climate change, we also had to respond to a major biosecurity incursion, a domestic terror attack, a volcanic eruption and a one in one hundred year global pandemic and ensuing economic crisis. The decisions that had to be made have been constant and weighty.
“I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved over the last five years in spite of the many challenges thrown at us. We’ve turned around child poverty statistics and made the most significant increases in welfare support and public housing stock seen in many decades.
“We’ve made it easier to access education and training while improving the pay and conditions of workers. And we’ve worked hard to make progress on issues around our national identify - I believe that teaching our history in schools and celebrating Matariki as our own indigenous national holiday will all make a difference for years to come.
“And we’ve done that while responding to some of the biggest threats to the health and economic wellbeing of New Zealanders, arguably since World War Two.
“The Labour team are incredibly well placed to contest the next election. They are the most experienced team in the country and have shown they have the skills necessary to respond to whatever comes their way.
“I’m not leaving because I believe we can’t win the election, but because I believe Labour can and will win it. We need a fresh set of shoulders for the challenges of both this year and the next three.
“As to my time in the job, I hope I leave New Zealanders with a belief that you can be kind, but strong, empathetic but decisive, optimistic but focused. And that you can be your own kind of leader - one who knows when it’s time to go,” Jacinda Ardern said.
Notes to editor on electing a new leader:
- Jacinda Ardern will remain the MP for Mt Albert through till April. That means there will be no requirement for a by-election ahead of the General Election on October 14.
- The Labour Caucus has seven days to ascertain whether one individual holds more than 2/3rds support within caucus to become the new leader and Prime Minister. A caucus vote for a new leader will occur in 3 days on 22 January.
- If no one receives 2/3rds support within caucus, the leadership contest will go to the wider Labour membership. This can happen in a short time frame and the Prime Minister has recommended to the Party that the process, if required, conclude no later than 7 February.