Jacinda Ardern steps down as Prime Minister: Kiwis react to PM’s shock resignation
After Prime Minister Jacinda Adern’s shocking announcement that she would step down as New Zealand leader on February 7, Kiwis are shocked.
Ardern stated that she had hoped to have the energy and heart to keep the role in summer, but was unable to do so during her first press conference.
Ardern stated that she had been reflecting on her future and was choked back by tears. She said: “This has probably been the most rewarding five and a-half years of my entire life.”
Surprising, sadness, shock and “I’m sorry she has gone” were all heard on Mt Albert as Jacinda Ardern, the local MP, announced that she had resigned today from the office of Prime Minister.
Lynley Stone, Cathie Hutchinson and Cathie Hainson were staunch supporters of Ardern’s local MP. They felt a lot of sympathy for Ardern’s decision to step down next month. Stone rated her the “best Prime Minister I have ever seen”
“Good for her for taking her time and going this far from the election. As a young mother, I was concerned about her personal well-being. Her toddler has been a terrible experience. She has been there to see us through Trump’s pandemic and White Island.
“The empty tank thing is something I completely get. Stone said that you can only give so much to your job before it is time to take some time off.”
Hutchinson stated that Ardern was the right leader of the times and led New Zealand through terrible times like the Christchurch mosque attack and Covid.
“The personal attacks she is subject to, along with other politicians, make it a miserable job. She has a lot of life ahead of her. Hutchinson stated that she was sorry for her to step down.
Peter Griffin, a property manager, recently returned to Mt Albert, having grown up in Auckland’s suburb. He said Ardern’s resignation was “out of the blue” and expressed his surprise.
“I am not sorry that she is retiring. She is an excellent craftswoman, but unfortunately she hasn’t fulfilled many policies such as housing. Griffin stated that she hopes for something fresh and new to take (Labour’s) place.
Michael Buchan, a baker believed Ardern was “running before being thrown out”.
Buchan said that “She made a lot unpopular decisions, especially around the second lockdown.” He also blamed Ardern and predicted that the Prime Minister would be offered a comfortable job offshore at the United Nations.
Sung-min Park, a Korean IT student who has been studying IT at AUT from 2018 to 2018, was shocked by the news and said she had been an excellent leader for New Zealand.
He was especially impressed by the way Ardern managed to balance competing interests with China and the United States.
Nasi Tua was the barbershop owner in Mt Albert. He said that Ardern will be remembered mostly for her bad work, but that she also did some good things. He said, “New Zealand needs to start over.”
Nelia Maiva was in Mt Albert with her children when the “sad” news broke. Maiva stated that Maiva did a fantastic job during the terrorist shooting in Christchurch and the pandemic. However, she needed to live a normal life.
Nico Rota, the drinks sales rep, was shocked by the news. However, coming from Italy, where there are changes of leaders every two years, he said that the New Zealand political scene was “very, very stable”. He also appreciated the youthful mindset Ardern represented, as opposed to the old politicians he saw in Italy and elsewhere across Europe.
Rota believes Ardern could have done things differently through Covid. However, she said that the lockdowns became too severe over time. Rota stated that small businesses were affected, but it was unfair to place all of the blame on Ardern.
Social media was flooded with tributes to Ardern, who guided the country through many difficult years. These included the 2019 Christchurch Mosque attack, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the devastating White Island volcanic eruption.
Labour MP Tamati Coffey wrote: “Thanks Jacinda Ardern. You’ve been a great boss. The fight continues. Ka whawhai matou
Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito Sua William Sio thanked Ardern for his support.
“Prime Minister Jacinda Adern has been and will continue to be my greatest source of gratitude for supporting me in my work for Pacific Peoples. She supported me across many portfolios: Minister for Pacific Peoples (Minister for Courts), Associate Minister for Foreign Affairs, Associate Ministry of Education (Pacific), Associate Secretary of Justice, Associate Ministerof Health (Pacific), and Associate Minister for International Affairs (Pacific).
“She brought kindness, compassion and integrity to the political agenda. These are the values that many people, especially those in the Pacific, hold dear and expect from their politicians. Faafetai le alofa. Faafetai le tautua. Faafetai le toa.”
Max Tweedie, Auckland Pride’s executive director, described Ardern to be one of the most influential leaders in New Zealand history.
“Cannot express my gratitude enough to her for her exceptional leadership in our country.”
Reverend Frank Ritchie, Church Minister, wrote: “Prime Minister Jacinda ardern thank you for all your years of service in very difficult times. I have my gratitude, as well as the appreciation of many other people.
Another called Ardern “remarkable leader”.
One Herald reader wrote that she was a great leader who has dealt with extraordinary circumstances. I wish her all the best… She can now focus on her family and herself.
Another said: “You were a trailblazer in giving 100 percent +, and now it is time for you and your family. We are grateful to you for your leadership in advancing women’s rights and progress. It has been hard with all the abuse, nastiness and threats that have been directed at you, but you’ve shown dignity and authenticity as the PM.
Another said, “Thanks Jacinda Ardern!” You are an extraordinary woman, and you deserve time with your family. You saved my country, and I will always be grateful to you.”
Many Kiwis celebrate the announcement, after becoming disillusioned by the direction that the Government was taking.
Dan Wootton, a Kiwi journalist and columnist for the Daily Mail, was critical of Ardern’s leadership. He claimed that her leadership had led to an “economic disaster”.
“Jacinda has resigned as New Zealand Prime Minister, knowing full well that she was about be brutally removed from office by Kiwis who saw through her Covid authoritarianism and Be Kind hypocrisy. She had inflicted an economic disaster on an incredible country. Good riddance.”
Others in New Zealand took aim at Ardern’s leadership. A number of them suggested she knew she was losing the battle leading up to the 2023 election.
“Worst PM in NZ History knows she will lose badly in October.” One claimed that there is little chance of a Labour replacement.
Another said: “The best news for 2023, but it is very sad that she and Labour Party have decimated the New Zealand I.”