New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Watch: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern On Global Misinformation Photo by: AFP/Emmanuel Dunand

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern shocked many when she announced Thursday that she is resigning.

She said that she “no longer had enough in the tank” to do the job, and that "it’s time,” reported The Guardian. She shared that she was leaving because with "such a privileged role comes responsibility." She noted that the "responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead and also when you are not." She knows what this job takes, and that she no longer has "enough in the tank to do it justice."

Her days as the Prime Minister will conclude no later than Feb. 7, but she will continue as an Member of Parliament until the election later this year. According to BBC, New Zealand will hold a general election on Oct. 14.

It’s not clear who will be the next Prime Minister until the election, reported the Associated Press. Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson announced that he wouldn’t be contesting for the leadership of the Labour Party. This throws the competition open.

Ardern said that she had taken time to think about her future over the summer break. The 42-year-old shared that she is a human, and that "politicians are human." She added that politicians give all that they can for as long as they can, and then it’s time. She said that for her, "it’s time."

She became the world’s youngest female head of a government when she was elected as the Prime Minister in 2017. At the time, she was only 37 years old. She led her country through the Covid-19 pandemic, and disasters like the terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch as well as the White Island volcanic eruption. She said that this has been the "most fulfilling" five and a half years of her life. But she noted that it’s also had its "challenges – amongst an agenda focused on housing, child poverty and climate change, we encountered a … domestic terror event, a major natural disaster, a global pandemic, and an economic crisis."

Ardern hoped that she leaves New Zealanders with a belief that you can be kind, but "strong, empathetic but decisive, optimistic but focused. And that you can be your own kind of leader -- one who knows when it’s time to go."

In the last few months, she has faced a significant increase in threats of violence. They particularly came from conspiracy theorist and anti-vaccine group members who were infuriated by the country’s vaccine mandates and Covid-19 lockdowns. She said that the increased risk associated with the job was not the reason why she was stepping down. Now, she is looking forward to spend more time with her family.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said she will step down no later than February 7. Photo by: AFP/Marty Melville

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