Jacinda Ardern: Attack, volcanic eruption, baby at the UN… 5 striking images of the New Zealand Prime Minister
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern surprised everyone by announcing her resignation on February 7th. The internationally very popular leader has shaped the spirits several times through her sensitive and popular exercise of power.
the youngest head of government in the world
In 2017, Jacinda Ardern was elected leader of New Zealand at just 37, becoming New Zealand’s youngest prime minister since 1856 and – at the time – the youngest head of government in the world.
During her campaign, the Labor leader, buoyed by an impressive outpouring of sympathy and nicknamed “Jacindamania” by the media, had been compared to two other young leaders, French Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Justin Trudeau.
Driven to the helm of a beleaguered New Zealand opposition, Jacinda Ardern had given Labor an incredible rise in the polls and embodied the promise of generational change.
Your baby at the UN General Assembly
Jacinda Ardern made history in September 2018 when she appeared at the annual UN General Assembly with her 3-month-old daughter Neve. It was the first time a female leader had brought her baby into the vast hall of the United Nations.
“New Zealand’s first baby.”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with her three-month-old daughter Neve during the 73rd… #YOU in New York, September 24, 2018.
Ardern made history by becoming the first world leader to bring a baby into the United Nations Assembly Hall. pic.twitter.com/7LdLhGpU2c
— Voice of America (@VOANews) September 25, 2018
“I want to make it more normal,” Ms Ardern told CNN, hoping that through “openness it could pave the way for other women.”
Strong emotions after the attack in Christchurch
Jacinda Ardern has been hailed for her response to the Christchurch bombings in March 2019, the country’s worst on record. A white supremacist broke into two mosques in the city during Friday prayers, killing 51 and injuring 40.
With a scarf on her head, she had comforted the families of the victims after the shooting, an attitude celebrated around the world. She later explained that the gesture was spontaneous and a sign of respect for the Muslim community.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern comforted mourners by laying a wreath at Kilbirnie Mosque in Wellington following the Christchurch terror attack https://t.co/5wUMKC8U69 pic.twitter.com/B0nkYMr3PU
— CNN International (@cnni) March 18, 2019
She was also praised for quickly passing gun law reforms and urging social media to tackle hate speech online.
a deadly volcanic eruption
On December 9, 2019, a volcanic eruption occurred on the small island of White Island in northern New Zealand. About fifty tourists, mostly Australians, were trapped during a field trip to the site. The toll of the disaster is high: 22 dead and 25 injured.
New Zealand celebrated the one-year anniversary of the White Island volcanic eruption that killed 22 people. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the tragic event as “devastating” for the country https://t.co/HzdSQUyjRo pic.twitter.com/YGijoUZcNP
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 9, 2020
Nine months after Christchurch, Jacinda Ardern once again faces a grieving nation. The leader, who goes there to comfort victims’ families and congratulate rescuers, is still celebrated for her empathy, which will shape her leadership style.
On May 25, 2020, Jacinda Ardern was giving a live television interview when she was cut short by a 5.6 magnitude earthquake that struck New Zealand’s North Island.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern remains calm despite “decent shaking” during a live interview. pic.twitter.com/pYwMY5ZowT
— The National (@TheNationalNews) May 25, 2020
Undeterred, the prime minister remains smiling and explains the situation. “We have an earthquake here,” she said before continuing her interview.
But the naturalness of the New Zealand leader also played a trick on her. Last December, she called opposition leader David Seymour an “arrogant asshole”. An insult uttered in a low voice in Parliament’s hemicycle, but picked up by his microphone…always on.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has apologized for calling a rival MP an “arrogant ass” during a heated microphone moment in Parliament. pic.twitter.com/eS9paPey1L
— VICE World News (@VICEWorldNews) December 13, 2022