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New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern makes an emotional final appearance as New Zealand Prime Minister

Ardern sent shockwaves last week when he said he was stepping down as leader after more than five years because there was nothing left in the tank.

Over the weekend, her Labor colleagues voted unanimously for Chris Hipkins to become prime minister on Sunday, with him taking office Wednesday.

Ardern’s final act as leader was to attend a celebration with Hipkins and other legislators at the R’tana meetinghouse, home of the indigenous Mori religious movement.

Ardern told reporters that she and Hipkins had known each other for nearly 20 years and spent two hours together on the drive to the meetinghouse. Her only real advice she can offer is “you do you”.

“This is for him right now,” Ardern said. “It’s about carving out his own space and being his own kind of leader.” No, we can share information, share experiences, but this is for him now.”

Jacinda Ardern with incoming Labor leader and Prime Minister Chris Hipkinson

/ Getty Images

Ardern also noted the wide-ranging debate that has raged since her announcement about the harsh and misogynistic attacks against her on social media — nothing she said contributed to her decision to resign.

Ardern said, “There have been a few comments after my departure, but no one sees my departure as a negative comment about New Zealand. That is my main experience.”

Hipkins told reporters the leadership transition was “bittersweet”.

“Of course I’m really honored to take on this role, but as you all know, Jacinda is a very good friend of mine.

Ardern has tears in her eyes while on duty

/ Getty Images

At the assembly hall, Ardern was greeted with hugs and songs.

“I didn’t think it was possible,” she said.

Her colleagues were extraordinary people, she said.

“I’ve never done this job alone,” Ardern said. “I went to New Zealand with these wonderful servants, and I leave knowing that you are doing your best.”

Ardern plans to remain in parliament until April to avoid triggering a special election ahead of October’s general election. She said she was ready for her new, relatively obscure role.

Ardern told reporters, “I’m ready to do a lot. I’m ready to be a backbench MP. I’m ready to be a sister and a mother.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/jacinda-ardern-emotional-final-appearance-new-zealand-prime-minister-b1055091.html Jacinda Ardern makes an emotional final appearance as New Zealand Prime Minister

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