Meet Jacinda Ardern, whose real name is Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern. She is a New Zealand politician who was the 40th prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party from 2017 to 2023.
She was born in Hamilton in 1980 and grew up in Morrinsville and Murupara. Ardern joined the Labour Party at age 17 and worked as a researcher in the office of Prime Minister Helen Clark after graduating from the University of Waikato in 2001.
She was later elected as an MP in 2008 and was unanimously elected as deputy leader of the Labour Party in 2017 before becoming leader of the party later that year.
As leader of the Labour Party, Ardern led her party to gain 14 seats at the 2017 general election and became prime minister after forming a coalition government with New Zealand First and the Green Party.
She has been recognized for her leadership during the Christchurch Mosque shootings and for her government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern resigned as Labour leader in January 2023 and as prime minister a few days later.
Jacinda Ardern Biography
Jacinda Ardern is a New Zealand politician who served as the country’s 40th Prime Minister from 2017 to 2023. She is a member of the Labour Party and has been the member of Parliament for Mount Albert since 2017. Ardern joined the Labour Party when she was 17 and worked as a researcher in the office of Prime Minister Helen Clark after graduating from the University of Waikato in 2001.
She was later elected as an MP in 2008 and became the leader of the Labour Party in 2017. After negotiations, New Zealand First chose to enter a minority coalition government with Labour, supported by the Green Party, with Ardern as Prime Minister.
Throughout 2020, Ardern led New Zealand’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, for which she won praise for successfully containing the virus. On 19 January 2023, Ardern announced she would resign as Labour leader, and on 25 January, she resigned as Prime Minister.
Early Life | Education
Jacinda Ardern was born on July 26, 1980, in Hamilton, New Zealand. She grew up in Morrinsville and Murupara. Her father was a police officer, and her mother worked in a school as a catering assistant.
Ardern was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and her uncle is a general authority in the church. She attended Morrinsville College, where she was the student representative on the school’s board of trustees. While still in school, she found her first job at a local fish-and-chip shop.
Early Political Involvement
Ardern joined the Labour Party when she was 17 years old. Her aunt, a longstanding member of the party, recruited her to help with campaigning for a local MP during his re-election campaign.
After graduating from the University of Waikato with a degree in politics and public relations, she spent time working in the offices of Phil Goff and Helen Clark as a researcher.
Early Career | Political Life
After working on a workers’ rights campaign in New York City, Ardern moved to London, England, in 2006, where she became a senior policy adviser in an 80-person policy unit of the United Kingdom Cabinet Office under prime minister Tony Blair.
She was also seconded to the United Kingdom Home Office to help with a review of policing in England and Wales. Later, Ardern returned to New Zealand and became a member of Parliament in 2008. In 2017, she became the Prime Minister of New Zealand.
President of International Union of Socialist Youth
Jacinda Ardern served as the President of the International Union of Socialist Youth from 2008 to 2017. During this time, she advocated for various youth-related issues and worked towards empowering young people around the world.
Member of Parliament
Ardern was first elected to the New Zealand Parliament in 2008 as a member of the Labour Party. She was re-elected in the subsequent elections and has been an incumbent member of parliament since then.
Mount Albert By-Election
In 2017, Ardern contested in the Mount Albert by-election and won with a huge majority. This win further strengthened her position within the Labour Party and paved the way for her to take on more significant roles in the party.
Deputy Leader of The Labour Party
Ardern was elected as the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in March 2017, under the leadership of Andrew Little. Her appointment was seen as a major step towards promoting gender diversity and empowering women in politics.
Leader of The Opposition
In August 2017, Ardern was elected as the Leader of the Opposition, following the resignation of Andrew Little. As the Leader of the Opposition, she led the Labour Party’s campaign in the 2017 general election.
2017 General Election
Under Ardern’s leadership, the Labour Party won the 2017 general election, defeating the National Party. This victory made Ardern the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand, and she became the youngest woman to hold the office in over 150 years.
Her progressive policies and leadership style have earned her praise and recognition both in New Zealand and around the world.
Prime Minister (2017–2023)
Jacinda Ardern became the Prime Minister of New Zealand on October 26, 2017, after her Labour Party formed a coalition government with two smaller parties. She was the youngest person to become Prime Minister in over 150 years and only the second woman to hold the position in New Zealand.
First Term (2017–2020)
During her first term in office, Ardern’s government implemented a number of domestic policies aimed at improving the lives of New Zealanders. These included measures to address child poverty, increase the minimum wage, provide free school lunches to low-income students, and improve access to mental health services.
Ardern also made a significant impact on the world stage during her first term as Prime Minister. She was a vocal advocate for progressive values, including gender equality, climate change action, and refugee rights.
Her government also played a leading role in negotiating the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a major trade agreement involving 11 countries in the Pacific region.
Christchurch Mosque Shootings
In March 2019, New Zealand experienced one of the deadliest mass shootings in its history when a gunman attacked two mosques in Christchurch, killing 51 people and injuring dozens more.
Ardern’s response to the tragedy, including her decision to wear a headscarf while meeting with members of the Muslim community, was widely praised for its empathy and inclusiveness.
Ardern’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic was also widely praised. Her government implemented strict lockdown measures early on, which helped to keep the number of cases and deaths in New Zealand relatively low.
Ardern also communicated regularly with the public, providing clear and transparent information about the situation and what was being done to address it.
Second Term (2020–2023)
Ardern’s government continued to focus on improving the lives of New Zealanders during her second term as Prime Minister. This included measures to address the housing crisis, improve access to healthcare, and support small businesses affected by the pandemic.
COVID-19 and Vaccination Programme
As the COVID-19 pandemic continued, Ardern’s government also focused on rolling out a vaccination programme to protect New Zealanders from the virus.
The country’s successful response to the pandemic has been attributed to Ardern’s leadership and the government’s swift action in implementing public health measures.
Ardern remained a prominent figure on the world stage during her second term as Prime Minister. She continued to advocate for progressive values and pushed for action on climate change.
Ardern’s government also strengthened its relationships with neighboring countries in the Pacific region and worked to address issues such as regional security and economic development.
Resignation of Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced her resignation from the post, effective 7 February 2023. She cited her desire to spend more time with her family and her inability to commit to another four years in office.
Ardern’s announcement drew mixed reactions from political leaders and prominent New Zealanders, with some thanking her for her service and others criticizing her government’s policies. Despite a recent drop in her domestic popularity, Ardern denied that her resignation would affect her party’s chances of winning the upcoming election.
She was succeeded by Chris Hipkins as the new leader of the New Zealand Labour Party and the country’s new prime minister. Ardern expressed her love for the country and its people at her final event as prime minister, a birthday celebration for a Māori prophet.
She has described herself as a social democrat, progressive, republican, and feminist. Ardern has spoken out about the issue of child poverty and homelessness in New Zealand, calling it a failure of capitalism.
She supports same-sex marriage, abortion rights, and the decriminalization of cannabis. Ardern believes that the Māori electorates should be decided by Māori and that compulsory Māori language study should be implemented in schools.
She advocates for a lower rate of immigration but wants to increase the intake of refugees. In foreign affairs, Ardern supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and condemned the Israeli killing of Palestinians during protests.
She plans to introduce legislation to lower the voting age to 16 years. While she has expressed support for New Zealand becoming a republic, she maintains respect for the Royal Family.
On April 4th, 2023, Ardern was appointed as a trustee for the Earthshot Prize. The announcement was made by Prince William, who praised Ardern’s commitment to sustainable and environmental solutions. The prince also credited Ardern with being one of the people who inspired him to create the prize.
Ardern is known as a famous politician. After she became the leader of the Labour Party, she received lots of positive attention from the media, both in New Zealand and internationally.
This was called “Jacindamania” and was credited with increasing New Zealand’s global influence. Ardern’s speeches and actions were seen as a contrast to other world leaders, such as Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
However, after a year of her government, some people felt that not enough had changed. Despite this, Ardern was praised for her leadership after two tragedies in New Zealand, which brought people together and inspired others around the world.
Jacinda Ardern has received numerous recognitions for her leadership skills and contributions. In 2019, she was featured on the cover of British Vogue and included in Time magazine’s list of 100 most powerful women in the world.
She was also shortlisted for Time’s 2019 Person of the Year and recognized as the second-greatest thinker for the COVID-19 era by Prospect in 2020. In 2021, a new species of wētā was named after her, and she was named the world’s greatest leader by Fortune magazine.
Ardern was awarded the 2020 Gleitsman International Activist Award by Harvard University, which she donated to New Zealand students studying at the university. Most recently, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Harvard University in May 2022 for her contributions that have shaped the world.
Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, was raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but left the church in 2005 at age 25 because she believed it conflicted with her personal views, including her support for gay rights. She identified as agnostic in 2017 and met the president of the LDS Church in 2019.
Husband | Children
Ardern’s partner is Clarke Gayford, a television presenter, and the couple has a daughter named Neve Te Aroha. Ardern announced her pregnancy in 2018, becoming the first New Zealand prime minister to be pregnant while in office.
The couple planned to get married in January 2022 but had to delay due to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant outbreak. Ardern is also related to former Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall and former National MP Shane Ardern.
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