New Zealander Jacinda Ardern quits. Is there a lesson here for others? : NPR

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces her resignation on January 19, 2023 in Napier, New Zealand.

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Kerry Marshall/Getty Images


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces her resignation on January 19, 2023 in Napier, New Zealand.

Kerry Marshall/Getty Images

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement that she would step down as leader of the country in February has shocked many of her constituents and leaders around the world.

“I’m leaving because such a privileged role comes with responsibilities,” Ardern, 42, said in his announcement Thursday local time. “The responsibility of knowing when you are the right person to lead and when you are not. I know what this job requires. And I know I don’t have enough resources left to do justice. it’s that simple.”

Jennifer Lees-Marshment, an associate professor of politics and international relations at the University of Auckland, told NPR she was surprised by Ardern’s sudden resignation.

“I didn’t expect this to happen because politicians are rarely so strategic and selfless,” she said.

It’s particularly hard to imagine a politician resigning in the United States, as Ardern did: probably re-elected and still respected around the world, according to Joshua Kurlantzick, senior researcher for Southeast Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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