Home World Jacinda Ardern’s latest outing as prime minister and her tribute to the Maoris: “Governing has been a great privilege”

Jacinda Ardern’s latest outing as prime minister and her tribute to the Maoris: “Governing has been a great privilege”

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Jacinda Ardern’s latest outing as prime minister and her tribute to the Maoris: “Governing has been a great privilege”

The New Zealand premier Jacinda Ardern he left his office thanking “for having had this wonderful role for so many years” and denied that his farewell was due to the pressure of the very heavy online attacks suffered during the period of his premiership. During his last public engagement as prime minister, visiting the Maori settlement of Ratana on the North Island and donning a korowai (traditional Maori cloak made from feathers), he said he “couldn’t bear” to have his departure seen as “a negative commentary on New Zealand”.

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“I leave with the gratitude that I have had this wonderful role for so many years,” he told reporters from the birthplace of one of the country’s most influential indigenous political movements. “The thing I will miss the most are the people, they were the ‘joy of work’.

The popularity of Ardern’s Labor government has deteriorated in recent months, hampered by a looming recession and resurgent Conservative opposition. The 42-year-old Ardern announced her resignation last week, explaining she no longer has “enough energy” after five years of work hampered by natural disasters, the worst terrorist attack ever and the pandemic. Her resignation, less than three years after a sensational electoral victory, has sparked a national debate on the harshness of the attacks against women leaders, especially on social media.

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Chris Hipkins, 44, will be sworn in tomorrow as the new prime minister, and has called the attacks on Ardern while he was at the helm “absolutely repugnant”. “I’m really honored to take on this role, but Jacinda is also a great friend of mine,” he said, admitting that there were “moments where you realize the situation and moments where it doesn’t feel quite real.”

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