New Zealand’s Ardern Has No Plans to Step Down Anytime Soon
(Bloomberg) -- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she has no intention of stepping down anytime soon.
“I’m not stopping, I need to carry us through, it’s my job,” Ardern said of her role in an interview with Newshub Nation broadcast Saturday.
“I still consider this to be the greatest privilege of my life,” Ardern said. “I’ve only just been re-elected.”
Ardern’s Labour Party is holding its annual conference this weekend at which it will vote on simplifying the process for electing a new leader. That prompted the opposition National Party to speculate Ardern may be planning to hand the reins to Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson at some stage.
Ardern won a second term in a landslide election victory last year and remains the most popular politician in the country by a wide margin, even as an ongoing lockdown in largest city Auckland draws criticism.
Asked about the many crises she has had to deal with since becoming prime minister in 2017, including a mass shooting and now the coronavirus pandemic, Ardern said: “you can’t anticipate what you will come up against in this job.”
“We are in, you know, the biggest health crisis of a generation, frankly going back to 1918, and a significant economic crisis as well,” she told Newshub Nation. “To be the person who is able to steward New Zealand through that time despite the difficulties that it presents, I still consider it an honour.”
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.