Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern resigns: politicians and New Zealanders pay tribute

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National Party leader Christopher Luxon thanked Ardern for her services to Aotearoa.
Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

When Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced her resignation, tributes to her time as leader poured in from all walks of life across the country.

Justice Minister Kiri Allan said she was incredibly proud to have served as a minister in her cabinet.

“The imprint she will have on Aotearoa, which she has given us, will go down in history and she will be one of our most important leaders.

“We are shocked, but we send with her love, we send her and whanau with compassion.

“It’s been incredibly challenging these past few years. She’s called and we love her.”

Minister Carmel Sepuloni said when he heard of the decision the Labor caucus was one of “absolute respect for Jacinda”. She said the caucus supported Ardern in her decision and was united.

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Covid-19 Minister Ayesha Verrall said she was privileged to have served with Ardern “and witnessed her strength, intellect and humanity as she guided us through the pandemic”.

“Her leadership has saved tens of thousands of lives in New Zealand.”

Interior Minister Jan Tinetti said “no words” could convey how she felt about Ardern.

“Not only has she been the most incredible boss, but she’s been a huge support to me on a personal level. I’ll never forget the support and aroha she gave me when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Jacinda is a great leader, the hardest working person I have ever met, but most of all I will always notice that she is a kind, generous, very loyal person with the utmost integrity.”

National Party leader Christopher Luxon said: “On behalf of the National Party, I offer Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern our thanks for her services to New Zealand.

“She has given everything for this incredibly demanding job and I wish her and her family all the best for the future. Thank you Jacinda.”

National’s Nicola Willis said Ardern “gave her everything for what is an incredibly demanding job. We wish her and her family all the very best for the future. Thank you Jacinda,” while her fellow MP Chris Bishop echoed that message.

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ACT party leader David Seymour posted his statement on Facebook, saying: “Jacinda Ardern is a well-meaning person, but her idealism clashed hard with reality. We wish her and her family the best for their future.”

Greens MP Eugenie Sage MP thanked Ardern for the “warmth and empathy, grace and intelligence that characterized your time as Prime Minister – whether on the international stage or here on an east coast marae.

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“Thank you for being such a strong, people-oriented leader who set the course for Aotearoa in difficult times; and for always giving your all. We have been fortunate to have you as Prime Minister.”

Kim Dotcom, of the Internet Freedom Party, said on Twitter “she’s been the subject of a lot of criticism and abuse. I believe she gave her best. She had a great start and then came Covid-19.”

He said he wished her, partner Clarke and their daughter Neve all the best.

Comedian Michèle A’Court said on Twitter that Ardern was the “best prime minister we’ve ever had”.

“Glad she’s getting her life back. She deserves all the good things.”

More to come…