Jacinda Ardern, who revealed she will step down as New Zealand Prime Minister in February and won’t seek re-election, has emphasized that misuse or threats to her and her family were not the basis of her decision. She said she did not have “enough in the tank” anymore. However, others say that Ardern’s burnout resulted from “constant vilification,” abuse, and personal attacks she faced during her tenure.
“It does have an impact. We are humans after all, but that was not the basis of my decision,” she said.
“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,” she said.
Ardern’s conclusion might have stunned the nation, but she said she rested soundly “for the first time in a long time”. She told reporters on Friday that she was feeling “a range of emotions” and had no guilt about quitting the job.
“I of course feel sad – but also I do have a sense of relief.”
“It is a sad day for politics where an outstanding leader has been driven from office for constant personalisation and vilification,” Māori party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said after the surprise resignation, according to a report in The Guardian.
“Her whānau [family] have withstood the ugliest attacks over the last two years with what we believe to be the most demeaning form of politics we have ever seen.”
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