New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced she will be stepping down from office next month. In a surprise announcement, Ardern said she had decided to retire from politics after serving as Prime Minister for three years.
Ardern said she was “proud of the progress” her government had made, particularly in the areas of housing, health and employment, but said it was time for a change.
“I’m proud of the progress we have made together, and I thank all those who have worked alongside me in this role. But I believe it is now time for a new leader to take the reins,” she said. Ardern said she had no plans to return to politics, but said she would remain involved in public service.
“I have no intention of leaving public service altogether, I hope to remain involved in some capacity, and I look forward to the next chapter of my life,” she said.
Ardern’s resignation will trigger a leadership contest within the Labour Party, with speculation that current Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson is likely to become the party’s next leader.