After nearly six years in the senior job,
Ardern made it clear, in a tearful speech on Thursday, that she did not have the energy to run for re-election.
“I know what this job takes,” she said. “I know I don’t have enough left in the tank to do justice.”
“I’m going to do this country a disservice knowing I don’t have enough in the tank to keep working for the next four years.”
Australian youth advocate Yasmin Paul called her a “bright light amidst the political darkness” on Twitter, adding: “Her legacy will inspire women and girls for generations.”
Since Ardern became Prime Minister in 2017, her easygoing demeanor and relatability have been central to her charm.
These are some of the popular culture moments that built this legacy.
Making history with her child at the United Nations
In 2017, after a brief five-month stay as party leader, Ardern became the world’s youngest female head of government at the age of 37. Just over a year later, she gave birth to her daughter, becoming the second elected leader to do so. .
After wading through repeated questions about tricky motherhood in the top job – even before they had daughter Nevi – Ms Ardern decided to attend the United Nations General Assembly with her newborn.
Jacinda Ardern holds her daughter Neve as her partner Clarke Gifford looks on during the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2018. Source: AFP, Getty / Don Emmert
Asked by NBC’s US Today if it was difficult to rule a country or take care of her daughter on a 17-hour flight, Ms. Ardern responded with a laugh and said “I felt on an equal footing at the time.” She also added an apology to the other passengers, sparing some tears.
Index of gender questions and comments
Jacinda Ardern responded to a question from a journalist last November after she was asked about her reasons for meeting with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin.
“A lot of people are going to wonder: ‘Are you going to meet just because you two are a similar age and have a lot of common things there — when you got into politics and stuff — or do Kiwis really expect to see more deals between our countries along the line…? “
Ms Ardern was quick to chime in, asking if the media would ask the male leaders about their similarities.
My first question is I wonder if anyone asked [former US President] Barack Obama f [former New Zealand Prime Minister] Jun Ki if they met because they were the same age,” the reporter questioned.
The question was one of many. On her first day of driving, a reporter asked if she planned to become pregnant in the near future, claiming that citizens had a right to know if she was going to take maternity leave.
While she said she was open to answering the question, she advocated for other women’s right to privacy.
“It is completely unacceptable in 2017 to say that women have to answer this question in the workplace,” said Ms Ardern.
“It is a woman’s decision about when she chooses to have children and should not predetermine whether or not she will get a job.”
When her daughter’s bedtime coincided with her live broadcast
The 42-year-old Kiwi was livestreaming after hours on Facebook in 2021 to update New Zealanders on the country’s response to COVID-19 when her young daughter interrupted.
The Prime Minister replied, “You’re supposed to be in bed.” “It’s time to sleep, baby – go back to bed and I’ll come see you in a second.”
“Sorry, everyone,” Ardern told the live broadcast. “That was a bedtime fail, wasn’t it?”
She said her mother was present that evening, and would help her daughter to sleep, but Neff returned later, only to finish it off.
Fundraising for all “Pokes Everywhere”
Just last month, Ms Ardern was confronted with a stumble by a heated microphone in Parliament and was heard calmly calling the opposition party leader an “arrogant prick” after a row.
After Ms Ardern apologized to ACT captain David Seymour for the comment, the story took a positive turn when the rivals came together to raise money for prostate cancer.
The pair signed and framed a copy of the page in Parliament Hansard where the satire was recorded, namely
Mr. Seymour suggested the idea to Mrs. Ardern, who immediately agreed to put the frame up for auction.
After the rollercoaster, Mrs. Ardern thanks her rival for being a “good sport”.
“Can’t say I foresaw this…..slip with my old microphone in Parliament turned into $100,100 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation,” she wrote on Facebook.