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Jacinda Ardern gets standing ovation as she delivers farewell speech to New Zealand parliament

Jacinda Ardern received a standing ovation when she gave her farewell speech before the New Zealand parliament.

In January, Ms. Ardern quit as New Zealand’s leader and stated to the country that she no longer had enough fuel in her tank to complete the task. It’s that easy.

To prevent a special election being held before those planned for October, she offered to remain on as a politician until April. Since stepping down, she has been replaced as prime minister by Chris Hipkins.

In her last speech as an MP, Ms Ardern wore a traditional Maori cloak called Korowai to talk about her five-year tenure as prime minister.


“An attack on domestic terror. A volcanic eruption. A pandemic. “A series of events in which I was present in people’s most grieving or traumatizing moments.” she explained. “Their stories, faces and memories will be etched in my memory forever.

She also shared a few anecdotes about how a European leader was impressed by her hair. They began to fluff it like a hairdresser, with Ms Ardern laughing that her hairstyle helped her secure a free trade agreement.

She also joked that her ex-colleagues should take politics out of climate change. “There will always been policy differences, but underneath it, we have all we need to make progress.”

In her 35-minute speech, she also spoke about her IVF journey as well as becoming the second-ever global leader to have a child while she was in office.

Ms Ardern also spoke about her approach to the pandemic. She said she used a scientific methodology and that New Zealand was among the most developed countries when it comes to excess mortality.

She also told parliament about the time she attempted to calm down a single protester over a conspiracy theory. “I couldn’t single-handedly rescue someone from the rabbit hole.”

Continue reading: Who is Ardern’s replacement?

Ardern is’sure to leave a lasting legacy’

‘Driven to office’ by constant abuse

Image: Grant Robertson, Finance Minister, is hugged by Ardern after her speech. Pic by New Zealand Herald/AP

Following her speech, Ms Ardern was greeted by fellow MPs representing all political parties. They then gave her a standing ovation and were followed by performances of Maori songs.

Ms. Arden will take on a new unpaid role in combating online extremism later in the month. This is an initiative that she started in 2019 with the French president Emmanuel Macron in the wake the shooting that claimed 51 lives in the city.

She will also be joining the board of the Earthshot PrizePrince William’s environment charity.

She spoke out to tell MPs how she became the leader of the country through an unexpected chain of events and that she couldn’t control what others made of her tenure.

She added, “You can be anxious and sensitive, kind, and show your heart.”

You can be a mother or not. Or you can be an ex Mormon. Or you can be a nerd or a crier or a hugger. And you can also be here and lead, just like me.


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