New Zealand PM steps down, says ‘I no longer have enough in the tank’

Jacinda Arden Jacinda Arden

Jacinda Arden has resigned from her role as prime minister of New Zealand.

Arden made the announcement on Thursday at the annual caucus meeting of the ruling Labour Party, saying she no longer has “enough in the tank” to lead.

In an emotional speech, the 42-year-old said she had taken time to consider her future over the summer break, hoping to find the motivation to continue her job.

“Unfortunately I haven’t, and I would be doing a disservice to New Zealand to continue,” she said.


“And so today, I’m announcing that I will no longer be seeking re-election, and then my term as prime minister will conclude no longer than the 7th of February.

“This has been the most fulfiling five and a half years of my life. I am leaving because with such a privileged role comes responsibility – the responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead and also when you’re not.

“I know what this job takes and I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice, it’s that simple.”


Arden said leading the country had been difficult, adding that the effort required of the job was not worth the cost.

“These events have been tasking because of the weight, the sheer weight and continual nature of them. There’s never really been a moment where it’s ever felt like we were just governing,” she said.

Her resignation comes amid speculation that the ruling party will struggle to win re-election on October 14.

However, Arden said she’s only quitting because she is human.


“I know there will be much discussion in the aftermath of this decision as to what the so-called real reason was, I can tell you that what I’m sharing today is it,” she said.

“The only interesting angle that you will find is that after going on six years of some big challenges is that I am human. Politicians are human. We give all that we can for as long as we can and then its time. And for me, its time.”

Members of parliarment will vote to find her replacement on Sunday.



Ardern became the youngest female head of government in the world when she was elected prime minister in 2017 at 37 years.

A year later, she became the second elected world leader to ever have a child while in office, who she took to the United Nations (UN) general assembly.


She steered New Zealand through the Covid-19 pandemic, a volcanic eruption, and the worst terror attack in the country’s history.

World leaders have since poured in praises following Arden’s shocking announcement.


While making her announcement, Arden thanked the country for giving her the opportunity to serve, saying “I hope in return that you can be kind but strong, empathetic but decisive, optimistic but focused, that you can be your own kind of leader, one that knows when its time to go”.

In the past year, some other female leaders have also resigned from their roles.

In October 2022, Liz Truss, former prime minister of Britain, resigned after a turbulent 45 days in power, saying she could no longer deliver the mandate on which she was elected.

In the same week, Suella Braverman, UK home secretrary, resigned after sending an unpublished ministerial statement from her personal email to a colleague to get support for her policy.

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