New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces plans to step down

In announcing her decision, Ardern attributed her resignation to a lack of energy necessary to continue leading the nation.

Updated: January 18, 2023 - 8:02pm

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that she would step down from her position before Feb. 7.

Ardern, 42, became the nation's youngest ever female prime minister, and the nation's youngest prime minister overall in 150 years, when she took office at age 37 in 2017. She later secured reelection in 2020. A general election is currently scheduled for Oct. 14.

In announcing her decision, Ardern attributed her resignation to a lack of energy necessary to continue leading the nation.

"Nearing the end of the year I thought I really need to give myself the summer to really consider whether or not I have what it takes to continue. Once I realized that I didn't, I knew unfortunately there wasn't much alternative other than to hand over now," she said, CNN reported.

A member of the Labour Party, Ardern took office after forming a coalition government with New Zealand First while arranging a confidence and supply support agreement with the Green Party. Her party won an outright majority in 2020.