New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently… announced his resignation from his post, made his last public appearance as the country’s prime minister on Tuesday. Saying she has been friends with her Labor colleague Chris Hopkins for nearly two decades, Ardern also offered advice to the incoming prime minister about what she will miss about her job.
As his final act, he attended events at the Ratna Meeting Ground, home to a local Maori religious movement, the Associated Press reported. Speaking to reporters, the current New Zealand prime minister said she shared the two-hour drive to the meeting grounds with Hopkins and cited the only ‘real advice’ she could give him.
Ardern advised Hopkins.
“It’s for him now. It’s for him to carve out his own place to be the kind of leader he is,” Ardern was quoted as saying by the AP.
She added that there was no “advice” she could “really provide” other than sharing “information and experiences”.
Ardern said she would miss her countrymen the most because they were “a joy to work with”.
Hailed as a global icon, Ardern was greeted at the ground with hugs and chants. Addressing the audience, she said she will leave her role with more love and affection for her people than she started with. She also addressed attacks on social media questioning her decision and said she would “hate for anyone to see my departure as a negative comment on New Zealand”.
The soon-to-be prime minister, meanwhile, said the leadership transition was “bittersweet”. Greeted Ardern as “a very good friend”.
Ardern said she was ready to be “many things” and be a “backbench MP” with a “sister and mother”.
Ardern, who shocked the world by announcing her resignation, cited nothing more “on the tank”. He explained how the pressure of leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 pandemic and the country’s worst terror attack had left him exhausted, saying a man could only give so much “until the time comes”.
Hopkins said he understood he was promoting himself as “public property” by taking the new job. However, he added that given the “enormous scrutiny and pressure” on Ardern and her family, her response would be to give her family, including her six-year-old son and four-year-old daughter, “complete Keep out of it. Spotlight”.
Hopkins will be sworn in as New Zealand’s 41st prime minister by the governor-general on Wednesday after Ardern officially steps down.