19 July 2024

Jacinda Ardern announces shock decision to stand down as PM

Holding back choking tears, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today unexpectedly announced her decision to stand down in her current role as prime minister.

“I am announcing that I will not be seeking re-election and that my term as Prime Minister will conclude no later than the 7th of February,” Jacinda Ardern announced to the surprised Labour Party caucus at Napier this afternoon.

“This has been the most fulfilling five and a half years of my life. But it has also had its challenges…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. 

“I know what this job takes, and I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It is that simple…” she said.

A few months back, however, the Prime Minister had vehemently denied rumours she was considering stepping down before the next general elections.

PM Ardern has announced her decision to step down
Jacinda Ardern today announced her decision to resign (Videograb)

When asked today when she made the decision, Jacinda Ardern said it was near the end of last year but needed the summer to see if she had what it takes to continue.

“Once I realised that I didn’t, I knew unfortunately there was not much alternative other than to hand over now.”

Prime Minister also announced this year’s election will be held on Saturday, October 14.

A caucus vote on Sunday, 22 January will decide the new Party leader.

Grant Robertson, Deputy Prime Minister, in a statement has indicated he would not be putting his name forward to step into the top job.

“I am not putting myself forward to be a candidate for the leadership of the Labour Party,” the statement read.

“In 2014 when I failed to secure the leadership of the party for the second time I indicated that I would not put myself forward again. 

“My position has not changed. I have been a close up witness to the extraordinary work that Jacinda has done as leader and Prime Minister.”

Outlining achievements in various sectors, including education, economic recovery, etc during her tenure, Ardern said “We achieved a huge amount in the last five years.  And I am so proud of that…

“The only interesting angle you will find is that after going on six years of some big challenges, that I am human. Politicians are human. We give all that we can, for as long as we can, and then it’s time. And for me, it’s time.”

 Jacinda Ardern has not finalised any future plans as yet, except perhaps, getting married.

“Let’s finally get married”, she told her partner, Clarke.

The caucus has seven days to ascertain whether one individual holds more than 2/3rds of the caucus support, but the caucus has agreed to vote in three days time on 22 January.

In her parting note, the prime minister thanked “New Zealanders for giving me this opportunity to serve, and to take on what has and will always be the greatest role in my life.”


  1. When Labour PM Michael Joseph Savage passed away, almost a century ago, colleague Peter Fraser was able to steer a steady ship of state as his successor. However, more recent history of shock political departures indicate that an immediate successor is unlikely to pick up the ball. When National’s John Key resigned as PM, little known Labour MP Jacinda Ardern was able to out-maneuver Bill English to take on the PM role…NZers should be grateful for her public service…This Sunday’s leadership contest should not be hurried and it would be wise to seek grassroots Labour membership feedback…my pick for preferable successor is Chris Hipkins, who has the most parliamentary experience of the prospective Labour party leadership contenders(abr).

  2. It was expected as she wouldn’t have courage to accept defeat, even though she had at one time denied such rumours on the AM show

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