'I no longer have enough in the tank': New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern steps down

In her leaving speech New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she is looking forward to spending time with her family

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that she will be stepping down next month.

Her last day as prime minister will be February 7th.

She also announced that New Zealand’s 2023 general elections would be held on October 14, and that she would remain a lawmaker until then.

"I know what this job takes, and I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It is that simple,” she said.

She said during her six years in office, she has "given [her] absolutely all".

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, right, hugs her fiancee Clark Gayford after announcing her resignation. Credit: Mark MItchell/New Zealand Herald via AP

Ardern said the role required having a reserve to face the unexpected. “But I am not leaving because it was hard. Had that been the case I probably would have departed two months into the job," she said.

“I am leaving because with such a privileged role comes responsibility. The responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead, and also, when you are not.”

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson reacts to Jacinda Ardern quitting as New Zealand PM

Her announcement came as a shock to people throughout the nation of five million people. Although there had been some chatter in political circles that Ardern might resign before the next election, she’d always maintained she planned to run again.

It’s unclear who will take over as prime minister until the election.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson announced that he won't contest the leadership of the Labour Party, throwing the competition open.

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