Jacinda Ardern says 'I think we'll call it a day' as she stands down as New Zealand's PM

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By Euronews  with AFP & AP
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, right, hugs her fiancee Clarke Gayford after announcing her resignation at a press conference in Napier, New Zealand,
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, right, hugs her fiancee Clarke Gayford after announcing her resignation at a press conference in Napier, New Zealand,   -   Copyright  Mark MItchell/New Zealand Herald

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says her decision to stand down was fully supported by her family.

She left the press conference in Napier with her fiancee Clarke Gayford by her side.

Jacinda Ardern became Prime Minister in 2017 and has earned an international reputation for progressive politics during her time in office.

She announced that she will leave office on 7 February and that New Zealand’s next general elections would be held on 14 October when she plans to stand down as a member of parliament.

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

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson announced he wouldn't be contesting for the leadership of the Labour Party, throwing the competition open.

Ardern described her job as among the most privileged but challenging and said doing it required having a reserve to face the unexpected.

She said she no longer had that reserve to serve another term, describing her time in office as fulfilling and challenging.

Jacinda Ardern was lauded globally for her country's initial handling of the coronavirus pandemic after New Zealand managed for months to stop the virus at its borders.

But that zero-tolerance strategy was abandoned once it was challenged by new variants and vaccines became available.

She faced tougher criticism at home that the strategy was too strict.