Dogged during her tenure for sexist remarks and comments about her youth, Ardern, 42, encouraged young people Wednesday not to be intimidated by outdated perceptions of what makes a good leader.
“I hope I have shown something completely different. That you can be anxious, sensitive, kind and put your heart on your sleeve,” said Ardern, dressed in white, wrapped in a traditional Maori cloak and fighting back tears. “You can be a mother or not. You can be an ex-mormon or not. You can be a nerd, a crybaby, a hugger. You can be all of these things. And you can’t just be here, you can lead like me.”
5 Moments That Defined Jacinda Ardern’s Time As New Zealand Prime Minister
Ardern said in January that “I don’t have enough in the tank anymore” to contest the October election. Her centre-left Labor Party had trailed the main Conservative opposition in polls before her resignation as prime minister.
His five and a half years in top office were among the most challenging in the South Pacific country’s modern history and included a 2019 Christchurch terror attack on two mosques, a volcanic eruption and the coronavirus pandemic.
“When you look back on Jacinda’s five years, the truth is that the pandemic took two and a half years,” said former Prime Minister Helen Clark, Ardern’s mentor. radio new zealand. “It does not give you much clarity in your economic and social policy agenda. Looking back, there needs to be more recognition that the pandemic took governments, communities and publics around the world by surprise. It was not easy”.
Christopher Luxon, leader of the main opposition National Party, paid tribute to Ardern on Wednesday, describing his leadership after the Christchurch massacre as “exemplary” and saying he “kept our profile in a good place internationally.” But the center-right politician also criticized his management of the economy.
Many viewed New Zealand’s coronavirus policies, which included strict lockdowns and sealed borders, as a success. But opposition from the far right, fueled in part by misogyny and misinformation, sparked violent protests outside Parliament against vaccine mandates and other Covid restrictions.
It was also criticized for failing to address the country’s housing crisis and abandoning a landmark policy of building 100,000 homes.
Responding to that Wednesday, Ardern said that any politician who declares the “job is done” on issues like poverty, inequality and environmental degradation has “set the bar too low.”
“Politics has never been a checklist for me. It’s always been about progress. Sometimes you can measure it and sometimes you can’t,” he said, going through a list of achievements that include strict new gun laws introduced in the wake of the 2019 attacks. “There will be no list of lives saved because of the gun ban. military-style semi-automatics.
Ardern’s covid policy was his ‘greatest legacy’, but also his undoing
Ardern was the second world leader in modern times to give birth in office, a pregnancy she found out about. just a few days before He formed his first government. On Wednesday, she opened up about her fertility problems, saying that when she became the leader of her party, she had “experienced a failed round of IVF” not long before and launched into the election campaign, rather than dwell on her disappointment.
In a prime time interview that aired on Tuesday, cameras he followed Ardern as he cleaned out his office. Among her memorabilia: a temporary United Nations badge awarded to her 3-month-old daughter, “Mrs. Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford”, who became her “first baby” when she accompanied her mother to the UN General Assembly in New York in 2018.
Ardern’s successor as prime minister, Chris Hipkins, announced on Tuesday that he had been appointed to an unpaid role as special envoy to the Christchurch Call, a global initiative launched by Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron to urge tech giants and others governments to commit to combating the spread of extremism on social media.
“Terrorist and violent extremist content online is a global problem, but for many in New Zealand it is also a very personal one,” Hipkins said, referring to the 2019 terror shooting at two mosques in the southern city of Christchurch. The attacker had shared white supremacist views online and live streamed the massacre on Facebook.
New Zealand PM receives worldwide praise for her response to mosque shootings
Ardern will also join the board of directors of the earthshot award, a charity founded by Britain’s Prince William to support inventors with ideas that could save the planet. Annual award winners each receive $1.25 million to help scale ideas that address pressing environmental issues.
“Four years ago, before The Earthshot Prize had a name, Jacinda was one of the first people I spoke to, and her encouragement and advice were crucial to the initial success of the prize,” Prince William said in a statement on Tuesday.
In September, Ardern attended an Earthshot summit in New York, where he spoke on behalf of the prince following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
“Since its inception, I have believed in the power of Earthshot to encourage and spread not only desperately needed innovation, but also optimism,” Ardern said in a statement Tuesday. “Solutions are within our reach if we invest in, support and accelerate them globally.”