Jacinda Ardern stepping down as New Zealand's Prime Minister

Jacinda Ardern is stepping down as New Zealand's Prime Minister after five years in the role credit:Bang Showbiz
Jacinda Ardern is stepping down as New Zealand's Prime Minister after five years in the role credit:Bang Showbiz

Jacinda Ardern is stepping down as New Zealand's Prime Minister after five years in the role.

The 42-year-old politician - who was elected in 2017 aged 37 - insisted she has no more "in the tank", and her final day of office will be February 7th.

She choked back tears in a news conference, telling the world: "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.

"This summer, I had hoped to find a way to prepare for not just another year, but another term - because that is what this year requires. I have not been able to do that."

Ardern insisted she has given "all [she] can" in her tenure, during which she has faced the country's worst terror attack - when a white supremacist gunman killed 51 people in two mosques in Christchurch - the COVID pandemic, and a volcanic eruption.

She added: "I know there will be much discussion in the aftermath of this decision as to what the so-called real reason was.

"The only interesting angle you will find is that after going on six years of some big challenges, that 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."

New Zealand's Labour Party will vote for a new leader this weekend, and the successful candidate will be in charge until the country's next general election on October 14th.

'Jurassic Park' star Sam Neill, 75, shot to Ardern's defence following the news.

The Kiwi actor wrote on Instagram: "#PrimeMinister @jacindaardern resigned today. I am not surprised, nor do I blame her. The treatment she has been receiving these last few months , the appalling pile on by the left , the right, the aggrieved, the whiners, the nutbags, the know-it-alls, the misogynists etc. has been both disgraceful and embarrassing. I think she was a great leader through the most difficult times. She deserved better. And we will get what we deserve- inferior leadership. I personally will miss her . And thank her . And wish her a far happier future (sic)"