Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern, or as most of us know as Jacinda Ardern, is the prime minister of New Zealand. She has been serving as the prime minister of the country since 2017. She is the 40th prime minister of New Zealand and the leader of Labour Party. Ever since her appointment as the prime minister, she has made headlines across the world through her exceptional leadership skills. In May 2020, Ardern was rated 59.5 per cent as ‘preferred prime minister’ in a Newshub-Reid Research poll, the highest score for any leader in the Reid Research poll’s history.
Ardern started her career working as a researcher in the office of Prime Minister Helen Clark aft graduating from the University of Waikato in 2001. She was first elected as an MP in the 2008 general election, when Labour Party lost power after nine years. Ardern was elected to represent the Mount Albert electorate in a by-election in February 2017. She was later unanimously elected as deputy leader of the Labour Party on 1 March 2017, following the resignation of Annette King. At the 2017 general election, Ardern led her party to gain 14 seats, winning 46 seats to the National Party’s 56. Ardern was sworn in as the prime minister on October 2017, becoming the world’s youngest female head of government at age 37.
Ardern was praised for her ways of handling the Christchurch Mosque shootings, which took place on 15 March 2019. 51 were fatally shot and 49 injured in two mosques in Christchurch. She travelled to Christchurch to meet first responders and families of the victims. In an address at the Parliament, she said, “Speak the names of those who were lost rather than the name of the man who took them … he will, when I speak, be nameless”. Less than a month after the attack, the New Zealand Parliament passed a law that bans most semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles, parts that covert guns into semiautomatic guns, and higher capacity magazines.
Jacinda Ardern has continuously received positive coverage from media, including international outlets such as CNN, with commentators referring to a ‘Jacinda effect’ and ‘Jacindamania’. Many times, Ardern has been described as a celebrity politician, whilst to many other, she is described as “a progressive politicians who breaks the mould in a world where the political strongman is on the rise”.
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