Following the surprising and unexpected announcement of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s resignation, many have wondered what she will do next. Ardern is one of the most respected political figures in the western world: despite internal criticism and the fact that you have failed to resolve some structural problems in New Zealand, you have demonstrated throughout your mandate that you have charisma and great leadership skills. At the time of her resignation, although her popularity has declined, she is still the most respected politician in the country, and is exceptionally admired in the rest of the world.
Ardern is also quite young for the experience she has: at 42, she has already been a prime minister for five and a half years and a deputy for about 15 years. For this reason it is considered unlikely that she will retire completely from political life, and several analysts think that her resignation could be the beginning of a new path rather than the end of a career.
– Read also: The exceptional nature of Jacinda Ardern
At least for now, Ardern hasn’t made any announcements about his future plans. Quite exceptionally and unusually for a political leader, he said he has decided to leave his office because he no longer has the energy to carry it forward in the way he sees fit. He then said he wanted to spend some time with his family, right now made up of partner Clarke Gayford and 4-year-old Neve. During the press conference in which she announced her resignation, moved, he said: «Snow: mom can’t wait to be with you when she starts school this year. And Clarke: we can finally get married.
However, many believe that given her energy, her abilities and above all the esteem and credibility she has earned internationally, Ardern will at some point be convinced to resume some type of political activity, even if not in elective positions.
According to Stephen Hoadley, professor of political science and international relations at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, Ardern could find himself in a new position as early as the end of this year. Hoadley speculated on a role in an international body, citing as an example the case of Helen Clark, a former New Zealand prime minister who later became a development program manager at the United Nations.
According to Hoadley, other international philanthropic or charitable organizations could also propose some type of job to Ardern, taking advantage of his visibility and the empathic, inclusive but decisive style of his leadership.
It is precisely this style that has made her exceptional, especially in the course of the crises she has had to face as prime minister: from the Christchurch massacre in March 2019, considered the largest mass murder in New Zealand history, to the great eruption of the White Island, which left 22 dead and many wounded. In both cases Ardern was praised for the way she expressed her closeness to those affected.
“Jacinda is one of the most selfless, determined and civic-minded people I have ever known: I imagine that whatever she does, she will do it in the public interest,” said her government’s climate change minister, James Shaw.
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