Jan 19 (Reuters) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday she would step down no later than Feb. 7, and that there would be a general election on Oct. 14.
Following are comments from figures in government and others about her resignation:
CHRISTOPHER LUXON, HEAD OF NEW ZEALAND'S OPPOSITION NATIONAL PARTY
"On behalf of the National Party, I offer to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern our thanks for her service to New Zealand. She has given her all to this incredibly demanding job and I wish her and her family all the very best for the future. Thank you Jacinda."
AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER ANTHONY ALBANESE
"Jacinda Ardern has shown the world how to lead with intellect and strength. She has demonstrated that empathy and insight are powerful leadership qualities. Jacinda has been a fierce advocate for New Zealand, an inspiration to so many and a great friend to me."
JAN TINETTI, NEW ZEALAND'S MINISTER FOR INTERNAL AFFAIRS
"Not only has she been the most incredible boss but she has been a huge support to me in a personal capacity. I will never, ever forget the support and aroha she gave to me when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Jacinda is a great leader, the hardest-working person I have ever met."
JAMES SHAW, NEW ZEALAND GREEN PARTY CO-LEADER
"Jacinda Ardern has been a decisive and tireless leader of our country through unprecedented challenges, and we will be sorry to see her go."
CHRIS HIPKINS, NEW ZEALAND'S MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
"Jacinda has been a voice of calm, kind reassurance and strength. I can think of no better person to have led us through the past five and a half years and I totally respect her decision to stand aside. I know after she has had some time to recharge we will hear more from Jacinda."
DEBBIE NGAREWA-PACKER, TE PATI MAORI CO-LEADER
"It is a sad day for politics where an outstanding leader has been driven from office for constant personalisation and vilification. Her whanau have withstood the ugliest attacks over the last two years with what we believe to be the most demeaning form of politics we have ever seen."
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER
"Thank you, @jacindaardern, for your partnership and your friendship – and for your empathic, compassionate, strong, and steady leadership over these past several years. The difference you have made is immeasurable. I’m wishing you and your family nothing but the best, my friend."
NANAIA MAHUTA, NEW ZEALAND'S FOREIGN MINISTER
"I want to acknowledge the leadership of the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and the contribution she has made to ensure a more tolerant and inclusive Aotearoa NZ at a time when so many challenges confronted her. She has led with grace, kindness and decisiveness. Thank you."
HELEN CLARK, FORMER NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER
"Much will be written about Jacinda’s substantial and significant legacy. For now, I express my gratitude to Jacinda for the humanity and empathy she brought to leadership, and wish her and her family well for the next chapters of their lives."
MARK BROWN, PRIME MINISTER OF THE COOK ISLANDS
"Your more than 5 years in office have occurred during the most turbulent time the world has faced since the second World War. You leave a legacy of true leadership qualities of compassion, strength, and kindness during some of NZ’s most challenging tragedies including the Christchurch mosque shootings, the White Island eruption and the Covid pandemic."
TOM UDALL, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO NEW ZEALAND AND SAMOA
"The saying goes, we don’t remember days, we remember moments. How warmly PM Arden welcomed us to Aotearoa, being w/ her & the President in the Oval… so many treasured moments. An incredible world leader, she is manaakitanga personified. Very proud of what we accomplished together."
SAM NEILL, ACTOR AND NEW ZEALAND NATIVE
"#PrimeMinister @jacindaardern resigned today. I am not surprised nor do I blame her. Her treatment, the pile on, in the last few months has been disgraceful and embarrassing. All the bullies, the misogynists, the aggrieved. She deserved so much better. A great leader." (Compiled by Gerry Doyle Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's sudden resignation on Thursday may have come as a shock to the rest of the world, but as her popularity waned domestically, some had questioned how long she would remain in power. Her successor as Labour leader and prime minister faces a stern test in a general election in October, with support for the party falling and the country expected to fall into a recession next quarter. Despite her high global profile, Ardern's Labour Party has slid in the polls, hurt by rising living costs, growing crime and concern about social issues.
“I’d be doing a disservice to New Zealand if I continued,” she said.
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