Wellington. New Zealanders will have a new prime minister by February 7 and an election on October 14 after two-time Labor Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced her resignation to spend more time with her family. Speaking from the Labor Party retreat, he said, “For me, this is the time”. “I don’t have enough for another four years,” she said. Ardern said she would continue as her local MP until April. Other than that I don’t have any plans. No next step.
All I know is that whatever I do, I will try and find ways to keep working for New Zealand and that I look forward to spending time with my family again – of course, the same people are the ones who have sacrificed the most among us. Ardern’s resignation will come as a shock to many New Zealanders, and especially those living outside the country, given the international reputation she has earned as prime minister over the past five years.
But for those who keep a close eye on New Zealand politics, it is nothing short of a surprise. In November 2021, I wrote in The Conversation: “Could Jacinda Ardern step down?”, following changes to the rules for replacing the Labor Party leader. A game-changing move ahead of the election Ardern’s coming to power in 2017 was a game changer in New Zealand politics. Now he has again surprised everyone with today’s decision to relinquish power. This could be a game changer for the October election.
Ardern is still ahead of National’s Christopher Luxon in the poll of preferred prime minister. So it is not necessary for Labor to change its leader. Now that Labor is falling behind in the polls, a change in leadership will not necessarily hurt the party’s chances of winning in October. The social and economic fallout of the pandemic has been so profound that having a new face could help Labour’s prospects. Former National Prime Minister John Key did a similar thing in 2016, when he handed over the vexing Bill English to everyone’s surprise by saying “I don’t have enough,” as Ardern said.
English and National actually did well in the following year’s election, receiving 44% of the vote. The equations were such that National was unable to form a government and Ardern became prime minister. The face of Ardern’s successor will soon be revealed. Ardern made herself world famous in the last years because of her efficient management of the pandemic, and she did a great job as a leader in that period. But Covid-19 only worked to derail his prime ministership.
She fell behind in giving adequate priority to several key social objectives such as child poverty and housing, which should have received more attention. I know Ardern personally, and what you see on TV is what you get in real life. He is a real person and politician, and you can understand that he gave reasons for stepping down to spend more time with his fiancee and daughter. I believe Labor knows who will take that position.
Leaders could include Justice Minister Kiri Allen, a rising star in politics and could be the first Māori PM, although she is relatively new to politics. Education Minister and Leader of the House Chris Hipkins was a high-profile and hard-working MP during COVID, and he and Allen would make a great team.
Housing, Energy and Resources Minister Dr. Megan Woods is also a veteran and senior member of the party, so she could also be a contender. Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson will not contest the leadership election, and the Labor Party has agreed that a vote will be held within three days, on 22 January. A candidate would need more than 60% of the caucus vote to be successful, otherwise they would have to go through a primary-style process with the Labor membership, which could lead to a mess, so they would want to avoid it.
read this also:- New Zealand Prime Minister will resign next month Jairam Ramesh said people like Jacinda Ardern are needed in Indian politics