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Jacinda Ardern pays tribute to ‘greatest privilege of my life’ on last day as PM

Jacinda Ardern pays tribute to ‘greatest privilege of my life’ on last day as PM thumbnail

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced last week that she would be stepping down from her role.

Jacinda Ardern announces resignation as New Zealand PM

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Part of her statement noted that she had “no more in the tank” to perform efficiently as Prime Minister. On Tuesday, the 42-year-old spoke to Maori elders and politicians who gathered in Ratana, north of Wellington.

In her speech she said: “Thank you from the bottom of my heart from the greatest privilege of my life”.

Ardern made her speech when cross-party politicians gathered on their annual visit to the area to celebrate the birth of Maori propher Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana.

A number of supporters asked the outgoing PM for photographs and many elders spoke warmly of Ardern.

One told her: “Thanks so much for teaching us to love quickly”.

Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern bid farewell on her last day as PM (Image: Getty)

NZ Politicians Attend Rātana Celebrations

Ardern called being PM “the greatest priviledge” (Image: Getty)

Ardern claimed she was urged by those at the event to say a few words about her time as leader.

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She added: “My overall experience in this job of New Zealand and New Zealanders in this job has been one of love, empathy and kindness.

“I want you to know I leave with a greater love and affection for Aotearoa New Zealand and its people than when I started.”

Tuesday was Ardern’s last day as Prime Minister, with her resignation scheduled for Wednesday.

READ MORE: BBC sparks ‘sexism’ row over ‘misogynistic’ Jacinda Ardern coverage

Incoming New Zealand PM Chris Hipkins

Chris Hipkins will replace Ardern (Image: Getty)

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with her daughter

Ardern said: “I’m ready to be a sister and a mum” (Image: Getty)

Chris Hipkins, the new Labour party leader will replace Ardern until the upcoming elections.

The mother of four-year-old Neve told the crowd: “I am ready to be lots of things. I’m ready to be a backbench MP. I’m ready to be a sister and a mum.”

Ardern’s daughter will be starting school in June and as a baby she helped Ardern tackle stigma and gain global recognition for working mothers and she brought her into a meeting with the United Nations.

As part of her resignation announcement last week, Ardern declared that the 2023 General Elections in New Zealand would take place on October 14.

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Jacinda Ardern

The 2023 General Elections in New Zealand will take place in October (Image: Getty)

She noted that after six years in office, she has “given [her] absolute all” and said: “I know what this job takes, I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice.

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“It is that simple…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.”

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