The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, has made a shocking decision to step down from her leadership post from February 7. Ardern appeared in a press conference on Thursday to announce her resignation and also called for an election on October 14.
“I know what this job takes. And I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice,” the leader said while fighting back tears. Ardern noted that she had the support of her family to continue in the role, but that they respected her decision. She also honoured her team, saying, “I never led on my own.”
“It’s one thing to lead your country through peace time, it’s another to lead them through crisis. I had the privilege of being alongside NZ in a crisis and they placed their faith in me,” she said.
Ardern was elected Prime Minister in 2017 and saw the country through the Christchurch massacre – two mass shootings which claimed the lives of 51 people – the White Island volcano eruption, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oprah Winfrey is one of many prominent people to have praised her leadership. Referring to Ardern’s response to the Christchurch shootings she said, “I have never seen such leadership. A woman who has the courage of her convictions and has set a global standard in leadership with her response.”
Ardern was just 37 when she was elected Prime Minister becoming the country’s youngest leader since the 1800s. She is New Zealand’s third female Prime Minister. She also gave birth to her daughter Neve in 2018 becoming just the second world leader to give birth while in office.
This article originally appeared on Grazia Australia.